Canada: Yes I drove to London and Toronto

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July 30th 2009
Published: August 11th 2009EDIT THIS ENTRY

Ankeny To TorontoAnkeny To TorontoAnkeny To Toronto

Yes, I live in Iowa, Not Ohio or Idaho
Closing out July 2009 by road tripping with my “sweet ride” to Toronto, Canada with Dad to see my Trinidad family, experience Caribana 2009 and see a bit of London and Toronto.

Let me break down my trip:
15 hours or 840 miles from Ankeny to Toronto (13 hours of actual driving)
3 hours will be saved by driving to Davenport and working there on Wednesday
2 hours will be saved with an overnight stop to London (just to say I drove to London)
1 hour will be lost as I move to Eastern time

Traveling with me is my Dad, my Garmin, and an assortment of audiobooks (A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity by Bill O’Reilly to name a few). I left at 2pm and had 9 hours or 560 miles to drive. With only three stops for gas and bathroom breaks, we arrived at midnight. And to boot, with the snacks packed, no money was spent on road food. That means more money for trinkets or how about gas? .

The route: I80 to Gary, Indiana then North on I94/I69 to Lansing/Flint, Michigan, crossed the border at Port Huron and into London, ON. The drive was
Covent GardensCovent GardensCovent Gardens

Covent Gardens in London, ON
relaxing and uneventful with the exception of crossing the Canadian border. Next time, I will read the sign before pulling up right behind the car in front of me. The border agent yelled at me to "get back behind the white line." My Garmin, well it worked flawlessly and I recommend one to anyone driving, near or far.

Our first night stay was at the Residence Inn, London. I must confess that Marriott has spoiled me over the years. WOW! This hotel was fantastic, the room was bigger than my first house. Morning came early and after a hot breakfast, we took a drive to see the city center and Covent Market before heading out of town. The market was just so-so, but at the city center, I learned that a huge chalk festival was about to begin.

Several artists will be chalking the Sistine Chapel. It's called Expressions in Chalk Sistine Chapel Project, . Good to know and since I’ve been to the Sistine Chapel in Rome, I must come see the finished product on Sunday. (Read the next travel entry for more details). Off we left at 9 am and our next stop, Victoria University in
Victoria University, TorontoVictoria University, TorontoVictoria University, Toronto

This is the main building at Victoria University
downtown Toronto.

Why? The short story here is that my friend Susan and her kids were coming with us and I thought staying at a hostel would be a great adventure and something I could check off my bucket list. Since she did not come, I was compelled to complete the adventure.

We arrived safely and got to the University minus a turn around or two. As we checked in and I saw the room, my WOW factor went to WHAT did I get myself in to? So I’ll give it a night and reassess my accommodations in the morning. My friend called this “one step above tent camping” and she is so right.

After checking in, we drove to Mississauga for a short visit with my cousin Movin, his son Lucas, Uncle Frank and Aunt Sheila. I had the first of many dishes of curry chicken and roti. Can you say Yumo-O!

We came back to the room at 10 pm and with no TV or radio in the room, we watched a little CNN in the breakroom. After AC 360 I had an attack of "ants in my pants" so I took a late
Toronto City ViewToronto City ViewToronto City View

Nice picture of the Cityscape of Toronto with the CN Tower
night walk around campus and stopped into the nearby Hyatt Hotel to use their wireless. Like in Europe, I felt as safe as if I were in Iowa. To bed by midnight and up at 6:00 am. Yes, this does feel like one of my European adventures, bathroom and all.

Morning could not come soon enough for me. If felt like I was back in the Air Force for a bit and after a quick washdown, and a mix up at the front desk, we checked out and was sent to the Residence Inn at the airport. This is too long of a story for this posting.

Day Two
One day in downtown Toronto is not nearly enough time to see the sights, but I was able to find: Casa Loma - , Kensington Market, St. Lawrence Market, Little India, Chinatown and the CN Tower - . We went to one paid event, Royal Ontario Museum, to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. Take a look at this link: I took a lot of great pictures, but my memory card is MIA.

Let me talk about driving in downtown Toronto, DON’T do it. Even this seasoned
City ViewCity ViewCity View

Another Great View of Toronto
city driver was a nervous Nelly. This so reminded me of Europe; sharing the road with a streetcar, buses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians. Yikes, making a right turn, you can literally run into a bike. Making a left turn, car vs streetcar, do I need to say more?

I’ll end the two days in Toronto by saying this is one of the most diverse city I’ve seen in all my travels. For me, seeing so many Trinidadians was wonderful and made me so very proud of my homeland. Now off to family in Mississauga and experience Caribana.

Above the best

Ann Anhalt

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Kensington MarketKensington Market
Kensington Market

Kensington Market - A Hip and Happening Place
St Lawrence MarketSt Lawrence Market
St Lawrence Market

We had a great morning at the market
Kensington MarketKensington Market
Kensington Market

Trendy Shopping
Cheese Shop at Kensington MarketCheese Shop at Kensington Market
Cheese Shop at Kensington Market

You know how much I love Cheese....NOT!
Sistine Chapel In ChalkSistine Chapel In Chalk
Sistine Chapel In Chalk

Sistine Chapel In Chalk, London, ON
Chalk FestivalChalk Festival
Chalk Festival

Sistine Chapel In Chalk, London, ON
Casa Loma Casa Loma
Casa Loma

Casa Loma, Toronto, CA
City SkylineCity Skyline
City Skyline

Toronto, CA by The Beachy's

11th August 2009

Sistine Chapel
Hi... I am so pleased you visited our lovely city and got to enjoy Expressions in Chalk Sistine Chapel Project. Jan Smelser Chairman Expressions in Chalk London Canada

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