Thursday, August 21, 2008

RT Does Toronto (Part 3: Tourist-ey stuff)

When I finally dragged my stupid butt to bed last night (I stayed up too late, but hey! Sprout is done except for sewing on buttons!), I realized I had forgotten to blog. But then I realized I was going to be up ridiculously early (for me) in order to watch the Gold Medal softball game, which started at 6:30 am EDT on USA Network.

We started out our last day in Toronto with meeting up with one of my part-time bosses, who was in town for a game. We picked up credentials for that night’s football game, then had a yummy brunch before hoofing it over to the home of the Hippo Tours.

This was one of the things that Chris was excited about doing while we were in town and it was fun! The tour place has three Hippo busses, all of them made in Canada. Here’s “our” Hippo

Hello, Happy!

This is their oldest bus, Happy Hippo. These are quite similar to the Duck Tours that are available in many American cities, but with a swimming bus instead of a “WWII-surplus amphibious vehicle”

While on the tour, we drove past a number of Toronto landmarks

Old City Hall

This building has a ton of history. Next trip I think it would be cool to tour it

“The Ex”

The Ex” is home to the Canadian National Exhibition, which started the day after we skipped town.

There was a big splash when Happy jumped into the water

Go, Hippo, Go!

Here’s a pic of Henrietta Hippo, the newest Hippo in the fleet. Gives you an idea what the bus looks like in water

Everybody wave!

We got some good views of Toronto from the water, but because the day was a little hazy, the photos weren’t spectacular. And it seemed like every time I thought I had a nice shot all framed up, something was in the way or something else didn’t seem quite right about it.

So on the way back to our drop-off spot, I managed to get one decent shot of the city’s tallest landmark

You can’t tell, but they were opening the roof of the Rogers Centre while this photo was taken!

Since we were going to the “big game” at the Rogers Centre that night, I figured it was appropriate to get a pic of both those things together. We tried to take a tour of the CN Tower after the Hippo Tour, but it was a busy day and we simply ran out of time.

We did a full lap-plus around Rogers Centre

For some reason, the designers of the SkyDome decided to put sculptures of sports fans on either corner of the “city side” of the building. I don’t understand why, but there you go. It’s called “The Audience” and is hard to miss.

Traffic was starting to remind us of Los Angeles, so we hoofed it back to our hotel, changed clothes for the football game and headed back over to Rogers Centre

Shhh!! Stealth RT photo from the press box!

They couldn’t make up their damn minds about the roof. Open. Closed. Open. Closed. Open for warm-ups. Closed for kickoff. Whatever. We worked through the end of the third quarter, then left early in the fourth.

I was starting to believe that Canada doesn’t have gas stations, but we finally found one off of the QEW, fueled up and headed homeward. There were wicked thunderstorms for the first two-thirds of the drive with massive quantities of rain and huge lightning but we made it through the weather, past the cranky U.S. Customs dude and back home.

Not much has been happening here at the Lake since we got back. Today will be our last full day up here, since we’re heading home on Friday. Finally, here are some photos from last night. The actual sunset wasn’t one of my favorites, but we had some spectacular colors after the sun went down.


Jen said...

Fun! I love the Just Ducky Tours in Pittsburgh. If I ever make it to Toronto, I'll have to take a Hippo Tour!

Donna Lee said...

The Duck Tours in Philadelphia give out duck calls and you can hear them for blocks. Quack, quack. I always feel sorry for the folks who live in those neighborhoods.

SJ said...

The Ducky Tours here do the duck calls, too. (Not that I've been on one, though I've wanted to, but they usually stop and "quack" right below my father's office in downtown!)

Do you have any idea how recent the Hippo tours are in T'ronto? I don't remember seeing them, but then I haven't been there in several years.

Lori said...

What an absolute pleasure to read your funny, informative, enjoyable blog; I too found it when searching on-line for a recipe for the Bachmann Bars (such a tragic story... ). I will continue to check out your blog from time to time--thanks for sharing a little corner of your world!