Because I travel, I meet so many people. Most of the time it means I have a great time, say goodbye and never see those people again. But sometimes, very rarely, I get to see them again. And it’s so much fun!
In September I ended up going to Toronto for work. I added a few days to the trip and when I asked people what I should absolutely not miss while I was in the city, I immediately got an invitation from someone who would show me around. At the start of summer I ran a backpacking style trip with an unforgettable group. I still have many of them on Facebook and three of them happened to be living in Toronto when I was there. It was the perfect opportunity for the four of us to meet up and catch up.
So one morning I walked to Union station to meet up. I kept looking around, hoping they hadn’t changed too much, but then quickly saw the first two heading my way. They arrived laughing because the wind from the subway had caught their skirts a la Marilyn Monroe. A bit later our little group was complete. We headed to the ferry terminal and joined the masses on the boat to Toronto island. It was perhaps one of the last warm weekends of summer and everyone seemed to be outside.
As the ferry pulled away from the mainland I admired Toronto’s beautiful skyline. Next to me stood two excited little boys, also admiring the view. The crossing doesn’t take long. Back on land the girls take me to a viewpoint to do a little photo shoot. Toronto is the stunning backdrop and you can get out onto a few rocks to place yourself in the frame perfectly. Another tourist couple is out there taking photos and so we have a photographer. He took his job very seriously, directing us where to go and even taking photos as we were walking out onto the rocks!
After a while we continued exploring the island. One of the girls had been there as a kid, but for the other two it was a new experience as well. We walked through an amusement park and found a restaurant where we had some lunch. With full bellies we kept going and looked for the kayak rental. We were ticking off a bucket list item for one of my friends. We had to wait for about an hour, so decided to check out the beach.
There is a pier going out into the water. What an immense lake this is! Ok, I’d heard about it, but in reality it just seems so much bigger. It looked just as if we were at the seaside. There was no sign of it ever ending. Wind surfers were out on the water and kids were building castles on the shore. A bit further down was a maze, so we tried our luck in there before heading out in the kayaks.
I’d sea kayaked not long before and even though there were a lot of waves, I was surprised by how steady I felt. However, these were different kayaks and I felt like any movement from my side would end with me in the water. After a few minutes I got used to it and started to go a little faster. There was a system of canals on the island and we paddled through them. We went under bridges and passed small harbours. One of the bridges had two girls standing on them, ready to jump. They nearly jumped right on top of one of my friends!
The water had a lot of plants in it and more often than not I had some hanging on my paddles when they came out of the water. Afterwards I also had some stuck to the back of my legs. Right before we had to turn around we hit a bend. I had no clue this was coming, but there was the perfect view. The canal ended up in the big lake, with the city of Toronto in the background. Spectacular!
To finish a great day we headed to the CN tower, but not without stopping for a Beaver tail. It’s some sort of flat donut with lots of bad, but o so good, stuff on top. It’s a calorie bomb and it ended up being my dinner. I was stuffed! I don’t know how I still managed to walk to the tower, but we all made it. The elevator flew up and quickly after we were admiring the city from high up. Now this was a bird’s eye view! The girls pointed out different places and we stood on the transparent floor taking photos in which you can’t even see through the glass. It didn’t matter. I had so much fun.
It was great catching up and hanging out with people I already knew. You never really know what it will be like to see each other again, but I am so glad I decided to meet up. It simply wouldn’t have been as much fun without these ladies!