Customised Canadian (Ontario) License Plates

Customised Canadian (Ontario) License Plates

I like this one, thought I’d do a little note about it (share it with la familia). My cousin was given these as a gift for her recent 30th birthday. Nothing like a taste of home, even if you are 3,000 odd miles away.

Which reminds me… flights priced up, dates pretty much sorted, just got to get to booking the trip. Reckon I’ll be back in Canada this coming November, likely around the same time as last year.

Canada: Back On Home Soil

I miss the place already, have to say the time I had there in the last 8/9 days exceeded any original expectations by a mile and more. Flight back was a bit rough around the edges, awful lot of turbulence but “have iPod, will sleep” was my motto getting on board, that and the glass of wine in the airport coupled with the fact that on Thursday night we had been out until 4:30am to mark the fact we were going home.

Wouldn’t mind a holiday to recover from this one – but you might be glad that blogging will resume its normal service after the weekend. I’ve also started piecing together a map (through Google) of everywhere we hit since last Friday, if anyone is interested, I’ll post a link on Monday I reckon.

For now though its back to business as usual, gig tonight with 3epkano which means I’m on duty in about 2 hours having only stepped foot in the door (left Belfast airport at 8am for the drive home). Kudos to Belfast though, I would never fly out of Dublin again for an international flight, they make things too easy. 30 minutes between landing (stepped off the plane at 7:31am local time), collecting baggage, security checks and back to the jeep (8:02am)… can’t fault it.

Pics up through flickr whenever I find the energy after tonight.

If you’ve ever thought about getting away to Canada, or Toronto in particular – do it. I’m already looking at dates for next year to get back again 🙂

Canada: Time To Get Home

So here we are, sitting in the kitchen getting readey to head for the airport, the trip to Canada comes to an end. Been away from the blog for a day or two, too much going on around in fairness – was a most fantastic week. Nothing but highs all round, nothing but good things to say. Plenty of things seen, food eaten, drank, good sushi, good pints, good music and plenty of time to relax which was the main thing.

Rumour has it that the plane is on time so we’ve about 30 minutes before taking the 401 back to the airport, flying out around 8:30 and landing in Belfast about 7am home time.

Farewell Toronto…. 🙁

Canada: Its only Tuesday

Its only Tuesday and the week is going great, which means of course that once tomorrow breaks we’ll be heading into the business end of things but have to say I’m still in awe of the place.

Monday I didn’t even get near the science centre choosing instead to wander up Queen and into the Eaton Centre, a huge (and I mean huge as in it would take you a WEEK to walk around it) shopping mall. So huge was the case that we entered on the second level, made a bee-line for the Apple store and ended up spending an hour in the place where I fell in love with a Mac Book Pro, played around with it for 20 minutes and spent the rest of the time just browsing and testing, browsing and testing. Left the Apple store and checked into Indigo, another HUGE store (this time going for books, cds and more Starbucks) which clocked us up another two hours. Honest to God you’d need the week to get around, whether we head back before the week is out remains to be seen.

Today however it was on to the Ontario Science Centre to check out their exhibits which pretty much took up the whole afternoon. The phone is slowly clocking up some photos but I’ve yet to get a way to take them off the camera and onto the web.

Tomorrow I’m gonna check out the One Of A Kind Show and maybe drop in to the Hockey Hall Of Fame, see how the day goes.

There’s always that Mac Book Pro tho…. 😀

Canada: Enjoying The Session

It takes an Irish man to make a session and thats just what happened last night, sitting in a pub called Dora Keogh’s (next door to Allen’s where we had been on Saturday night after the game) we were enjoying the sessiosn – a few fiddle players, uilleann piper, flute, box etc. Up stepped my father for a song, brought the place to pure silence. Welcome to Toronto!

Spent the day crusing around, drove out to Unionville, an old-style town smack bang in the middle of all the modern developments around the city, enjoyed some good coffee, took in some of the sights and sounds. Also managed to something I wouldn’t normally do – go to mass.

Though it was being more of a tourist attraction, the church seemingly an “eco-friendly” one but really interesting to see how mass was held in this huge building – so far removed from your average parish church, floor to ceiling windows staring out at massive condos, a huge sound system and a priest with a wireless mic, sharing the mass between two alters at either side of the church.

The Guinness isn’t fantastic but the local brews are impressive. Off to the Ontario Science Centre (I think) for a few hours this afternoon, see what the craic is there… The body has finally settled into local time as well, makes things a little easier in the morning!

Canada: So The Maple Leafs Lost

One full day in Canada behind me and it was some day. The gourmet food and wine expo was fantastic. I was there around two hours, you paid for your entrance and then bought “sample tickets” (with the average sample – glass of wine, glass of beer, plate of food) costing you two “tickets”. So we strolled around, tried four or five different wines that I know I wouldn’t see in the off license in Kilkenny, had a ‘Niagra Blonde’ beer, tried a savage plate of pasta cooked in vodka sauce and topped it off with a Razz-Apple Sour cocktail.

All of that before heading across to the ACC (now that I know the ACC stands for Air Canada Centre) to catch the Toronto Maple Leafs in NHL action against the Boston Bruins. The Maple Leafs lost but I’ve been following the NHL for a decade and the result was never going to matter to me – the sheer atmosphere in the arena, the over-priced beers (at CN$9.25 a pint, the hotdogs that taste every bit as good as they smell – start to finish it was simply a great event.

After that it was taxi ride back to Allen’s on Danforth (bit of an Irish connection) where we caught a trad bands, a few bottles and home to bed in the wee hours.

Have to say – Toronto is MASSIVE, but just so easy to get around. Everything is grid-like, everything huge. Been years since I’ve been this side of the Atlantic so I’ll make no apologies for my awe! Have to find a way to get these pictures off my phone and up into that flickr account….

Now for some breakfast….

Canada: We’ve Landed

After a near 7 hour flight we touched down in Toronto around 4am Irish time. Of course, typical airport style we were waiting well over an hour for the bags to get off the belt and out onto the concourse. Great flight all the same, have to hand it to Zoom airlines, they kept everyone fed and watered, handy in-flight meal and Belfast International is a pure breeze.

If you EVER have to fly to Canada, head for Belfast. We got into the airport around 5:30, bags were put through at 5:35 and that was it. No queues, no grouchy passengers – straight to Starbucks for their caramel hot chocolate (two of them to be exact) and a quick look around the duty free before boarding around 8:30pm, flying out a half hour later.

Nothing like doing 550mph at 34,000 feet. The trip itself was around 5,500km give or take. Tired as hell now this morning, ended up sitting in the house, two bottles of beer some cheese and crackers and off to bed around 7:30am Irish time.

Its off to the Gourmet Food & Wine expo before taking in the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Bruins.

Of course I’ve also discovered that the blog looks rather strange in IE7… what happened there?