On Tuesday morning, Mike and I dropped Theo off at my in-laws and hit the road. Our destination? Toronto. We were driving the 5 hours there to visit friends and to catch the Jay-Z & Justin Timberlake concert. Although it’s a very long drive for just one night, it was definitely worth it. We had 5 hours to chat, which doesn’t happen all that often these days. We stopped for onion rings and listened to Ricky Gervais podcasts. There was no worrying about nap schedules or diaper changes. The car ride alone was a vacation.
We arrived to a SWELTERING Toronto. 40+ degrees. It felt like you were walking in soup. Despite the brutal climate, our friends took us for a stroll through their neighbourhood, Korea Town. I had never been in this part of the city and I loved it. (In fact, I just love Toronto. As a Montrealer, I’m not supposed to admit to that but it’s the truth. Toronto is a wonderful city. There, I said it.) The main strip of Korea Town is on Bloor St, between Christie and Bathurst. You’ll know you’ve arrived when pictures of BBQ pork are plastered on every window. You can get $30 mani/pedis and a bowl of bibimbap on the same block. What more do you need?
Our first stop was at Sam James Coffee Pocket
for iced coffees. Such a cute little spot. Then we wandered down Bloor St., sweating profusely.
You know I had to stop when I saw a sign for Korean donuts. “Warm Your Taste Buds”, it read. I needed nothing warming thank you very much BUT I couldn’t resist the tiny little walnut shaped cakes stuffed with red bean paste or almond paste. $2 for 6. Sign me up.
We didn’t plan for our visit to have a Korean theme but it sort of happened. Days before our arrival, our pals made dinner reservations at Swish by Han
, a Korean place near the concert venue. We arrived – again, sweating profusely – and ordered half the menu. Everything was terrific. My favorites were the Jap Chae, Spicy Tofu with Kelp and Kim Chi and Spicy Pork Tacos. Thanks to a few glasses of wine, we left refreshed and tipsy.
The concert was a blast. There was a lot of dancing and a lot of sweating. I don’t know how Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake didn’t faint from heat stroke on that stage. I nearly did in the nosebleeds. I was absolutely knackered by the end. We slept like babies in our air conditioned bubble. The next morning, we grabbed a quick diner breakfast at Toronto institution The Lakeview Restaurant
and then we hit the road again. I would have happily stayed one more night in Toronto. I passed about 40 restaurants I wanted to check out on Dundas alone. Til next time T.O.!
Epilogue: We arrived to discover that the sewers had backed up on the tuesday night and that meant hours of cleaning black gunk in our bathroom and kitchen. So more sweating – and swearing. Still, no regrets. Sometimes you just have to take some time to reconnect and recharge your batteries!