A pretty nice little Saturday

A pretty nice little Saturday

 

 

I am loving the Toronto fall – still warm enough to do stuff outside, and most importantly, no snow to turn the leaves brown immediately. A nice change from Calgary where the winter coats remain on standby year-round.

To continue bragging about how sweet it is here to my family who is likely reading this while shivering in their long johns, I was out yesterday in my tank top. I actually had to take my sweatshirt off because I was TOO warm.

To take advantage of the sunshine yesterday, Matt and I went to the High Park Zoo. I wanted to go to see the famed Capybaras (more like escape-a-baras), and also because I have a general love of family activities, despite my lack of children.

Let’s go through a list of reasons why the High Park Zoo is awesome:

  1. It is completely free; although there are donation boxes at each entrance to support the zoo.
  2. There are hilarious and adorable furry cows (called Highland Cattle, see above). Who knew cows could have fur?
  3. There are mastermind escape artist capybaras here. Where else can you see this?
  4. See number 1!

With the awesome weather continuing on into next week, think about grabbing your crew/bae/family and heading down to the High Park Zoo. Just promise me you won’t stick your hands in the Emu cage!

Another pro-tip for the carb-loving folks out there – head over to San Remo Bakery after your stroll for a treat. It’s about 15 minutes away from High Park, but trust me, it’s worth it. Try an apple fritter, giant sandwich, or my personal favourite – red velvet cake.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Getting Spooky

Getting Spooky

 

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Casa Loma at night

No matter how many times I walk by Casa Loma, I never get over the fact that there is a CASTLE right down the street from me.

While a lovely destination for weddings, this place definitely has some haunted house potential. Which is probably why the Liberty Entertainment Group turned the castle into a haunted house this October, called Legends of Horror. After finding a Groupon for it, Matt and I  went on a double date there last week. Regular price is between $40-$45 per person, and the deal made it $30 – so check it out if you plan on going.

The spooky factor was pretty high before we even entered the grounds when a skeleton refused to break eye contact with us. To break the awkwardness, Matt said “Jeez, that guy could really use a hamburger.” Poor, hungry skeleton.

Once we got in, one of the staff taking tickets told us that halfway through the haunted house walk there was a bar..in case we needed to take a break from the stress of being scared. My face lit up, because who doesn’t love an unexpected bar stop?

Beginning the walk wasn’t too scary. A few vampires here, a couple of zombies there. But, then we stumbled across a Hall of Mirrors. This place was creepy… If you’ve never been in one though, this is a good introduction. Mostly because you will actually get out.

Midway through was the bar…AWESOME. As a heads up, there are multiple bar set-ups here each offering something different. One sounds like a cocktail bar, but they actually make shots. My friend Yve made this mistake, and she ended up sipping a tiny cocktail from a shot glass.

After the bar stop we were led through the tunnels under the castle, filled with zombies and tombstones. This may have been the creepiest part of the tour! To avoid giving too much away, I’ll stop here.

If you feel like getting into the Halloween spirit, and especially if you’ve never been to Casa Loma, you should definitely check this event out. As a side note – make sure you’re in good shoes. This walk is about 1.5 km so don’t wear heels!

 

Dancing 101

Dancing 101

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Since our engagement last December, My fiancé (Matt) and I have been staring at a long list of to-dos, with one of these being dance lessons. You may be familiar with the *mostly*cringe worthy first dances by couples who dance to a super-slow love song, followed by a super-fun dance song ( i.e. baby got back) Okay, maybe not baby got back, but you get the picture.

I’m not going to lie…I truly enjoyed the thought of having our 45 closest family and friends smiling awkwardly, as they sat and watched us do a 15 minute dance routine. It’s not like the guests can up and leave as the Bride is doing Gangnam style across the floor. And this is one of the many reasons why I am thankful for Matt – he balances out the attention seeking ridiculous person that I am. He pointed out that there will be about 5 tables at our wedding, not 50, and the result would be downright embarrassing – and likely caught on tape…

This is when I agreed to compromise on the  approach to our first dance. Matt calls it “actually learning how to dance..” rather than choreography.  So, last Saturday, we began our dancing lessons at Dovercourt House.

I was definitely nervous walking up to the third floor of the place….mostly because my dance moves have been described as Elaine-like on a good day. Google Elaine dance if you don’t know what I’m talking about. My nervousness melted away after meeting our instructor though. She was super welcoming, and told us that she’d seen it all – and asked us to start dancing naturally to our song.

We did the typical high school style two-step, just trying not to step on each other. After what seemed like the longest 3 minutes ever, our instructor stopped the song, and asked us what we pictured our dance being like. Matt replied – “we want to learn how to like, actually dance.” I’m sure she was thinking – WELL THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS. But, she was super nice about it, firstly lying to us and saying that we had natural rhythm (!), and then giving us a few examples of different ballroom dances. We settled on the Foxtrot, because we thought the simple box pattern of the footwork would work best with our overall lack of coordination.

By the end of the hour, our newfound confidence made us feel like we belonged on Dancing with the Stars. So, we took our 6 new dance steps down to our condo gym to practice when we got home. This is when we learned a tough lesson: The lift move was DEFINITELY only made for Patrick Swayze and Ryan Gosling.

Even if you don’t have an upcoming event to learn how to dance for, its such a fun way to spend an hour learning something new. You’ll probably suck at first, but you might just surprise yourself at how fun it can be.

Check out Dovercourt House here.