Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Trip to Mississaga-Toronto, Canada

Day 1 - Flying to Toronto, meeting Achu and Anand

With my company giving an additional day off during the long weekend, we felt this was a perfect opportunity to fly to Toronto to catch up with my cousin and family. 

On Thursday, after work, we drove to the SFO airport, parked in long term parking, checked in, had a quick dinner - of some yummy Mediterranean sandwiches, and boarded our flight. We are always excited for all our trips, but this one was special as I was going to meet my sister after so long. Our flight was at 10:45 PM, and this means this is a red-eye flight to Toronto. I tried hard to get a few hours of sleep.The kids slept, and Sree was also able to catch some sleep. But I hardly got any-mainly due to how uncomfortable the seats were. I must have slept for around 1.5 hrs. 

Starting to the airport 

In the flight 

Take off, pic taken by Tara

I liked the fact that this was a direct flight to Toronto.We reached Toronto, at around 6:45 am Toronto time. We got out, collected baggage, and collected the rental car. The baggage took some time to come. The rental car was a dated Dodge - not something me or Sree fancied.  My cousin, Achu’s house is only around 15-20 mins from the airport. We drove down there, and met Achu and Anand in their condo around 9 am. Their condo has a beautiful view of Mississaga and toronto skyline and it’s on the 12th floor. We spent some time in the balcony looking down at the cars which almost looked like toy cars and settling down.

Ye! meeting Anand and Achu

Mississaga downtown - View from the balcony

Rava idly!

Bubble fun

After some coffee by Anand, and yummy breakfast of rava idly by Achu, we spent our morning chatting and catching up. We soon freshened up and had a yummy lunch. The jet lag and sleep deprivation was hitting me big time and we all slept for about 2 hrs in the afternoon. After a cup of tea, around 7, left to have a walk around the harbor area nearby.  We also saw some beautiful homes as we drove up there which led to conversations of how expensive some of these homes are.

We had a nice walk along the harbor area, with a stop at Starbucks due to kids demands for food and drinks. We took some nice pics and came back home. We made potato curry and all of us had chapathy and called it a night after more chatting.

Day 2 - Niagara Falls

Achu, being the perfect host, had planned our itinerary while in Toronto.  Today was our day to visit Niagara Falls. Our slot for the boat trip to the falls was at 2 pm. We woke up, and had a quick breakfast of pallappam. We chit chatted ( something we can't avoid ) and then got ready and started by 11 am. 

We ordered subway and picked it up on the way from the Erin Mills Mall near by. It’s always good to have lunch with you, especially when you don’t know when kids would feel hungry. 

We started to Niagara and this was a 1 hr drive from Mississaga. We soon reached Niagara Falls, passing through a row of very cute houses. We found parking quickly and started our walk to the falls. We could see the bridge that separated US and Canada and also saw people from the US side doing the boat tours. The ponchos for the canada side was red and the us side was blue. The falls looked so forceful!

Since we had an hour to the boat tour, we stood in the line for the zip line tickets. This took about 30 mins. After this, we got into the line for the boat tour, collected our ponchos and got onto the boat which will take us to the falls. This ride was really nice. It was my first time seeing the Niagara falls, and it was fun to see the horse shoe falls up close. The site of the white birds - guess its sea gulls, flying against the backdrop of the falls was a great sight. We were drenched by the end of the tour. Took a lot of snaps!The boat tour was 20 mins. After this, I changed my dress to jeans and top, as I was wearing a dress, and me, Achu and Anand stood in the zipline queue. This was a 1 hr wait. By 4 pm, we were hooked up to the zip line, and it was a lot of fun to zip across with a view of the falls. We collected our photos and videos and a golf cart dropped us off where we started. We met up with Sree and kids in the car. Meanwhile, Sree got our customary magnet. We decided to explore a bit further and take some snaps at the horseshoe. Achu and Anand said they will stay in the car, while me and Sree went and explored the area. After we reached back, we stopped at Tim Hortins ( the canadian version of starbucks) and started the drive back. I caught up with Rose and Shara - my rajagiri friends during the drive back over phone and Rose made a quick plan to come over and meet me.

capturing the view from the balcony again

All set to Niagara

The bridge that divides US and Canada 


the horse shoe

ready to zipline!

Having Tim Hortons!

We reached home, and Rose was able to do a quick visit to Achu’s place. It was great catching up with her after so long. We caught up on what’s happening in our lives - and spoke about family, friends and work.  After Rose left, we went to a Mediterranean place and got some yummy Khunafa and Baklava for dessert. 

We had some yummy dinner of chapathy and egg curry which we made at home. 

We chit chatted for a bit, and ended up calling it a night. 

Meeting Rose - my college classmate

Khunafa - a mediterranean dessert

Day 3 - Toronto

Today we had to reach toronto by 10:30 as our ticket for CN tower was at 11 am. We got ready and left by 9:45 AM. We reached the parking lot by 10:30 AM.We parked there, and met another cousin of ours and his wife - Prashant and Anju. We walked towards the CN Tower, and went up, as it was our slot time.

It was really nice to see all of Toronto from the top of CN tower and the toronto islands. We spent a good amount of time in the tower and also went to the second level. After these, we did a quick pit stop at the gift shop and then started to "Annalakshmi" for lunch. The majority ditched Achu's idea of Japanese food.    

Some of us ordered masala dosas, where as others ordered tiffin, sambhar rice and settu dosa. 

After this heavy lunch, and a filter coffee and more chit chats, we said bye to Prashant and Anju and went towards the ferry. We re-parked here, and then walked to the water taxi. The water taxi took only  4 mins and took us to center island. As the ferry left Toronto, it was great to see the toronto skyline from the water taxi.

We reached central island and walked around. On one end of the island was a beach. Pappu played there a bit. I also took Pappu to an amusement park in center island where he did some of the rides. We did not have too much time, so he did two rides and I donated the rest of the tickets to someone there. 

We walked back, and we saw the larger boat leaving and stood in the line and got into the larger boat. We got out and my agenda was to find BeaverTails. Finally we found the shop, and we ordered the banana Rama and strawberry cheesecake flavors. We waited for a while, got the order and all of us were trying it for the first time. It looked more like fried poori with toppings. We then walked back to car, stopped at Home Depot for a few purchases and drove back home. 

At home, we did a quick Dal, and watched a bit of TV and called it a night. 

At CN Tower 

Chinnan and Anju also!

Ferry to Central island

Water! Water 


Beaver tails 

Central island

More from CN Tower

Taking a different shot

Day 4 - Flying back

Today, in the morning prepped some pineapple pachadi and Olan for lunch because Anand really loves it. 

And quickly the 4 of us left for our covid testing. This was pretty quick and the test was a drive through at the airport.The results were out in 15-20 minutes and we all showed negative. Sree chose this testing site , though expensive, to make sure the tests have credibility and we can travel back to the US.  We returned back, packed stuff from downstairs guest suite and then came back up to Achu's apartment. Achu and Anand also reached back from shopping. Me and Achu went down and got a pedicure and manicure done. The nail salon was right below her building. Then it was a quick lunch and a lot of hugs and byes. We drove to the airport around 2 pm, returned the car. There was a long wait to check in the car seat, and then security check and US immigration. We reached  the gate around 3:50 pm, ordered some quick pizza and juice for kids. We got into the plane, and luckily it was a new model. We all got headphones and was completely engaged for next 5 hrs watching TV. I watched “Just like that “ - the second version of sex and the city. After landing, we had to wait for about 45 minutes for baggage.It took another 45 minutes for us to drive home and immediately we hit the bed and slept like a log.

We had so much fun with family the past 4 days, and we are already missing Achu and Anand a lot!

Missing the morning coffee, the afternoon tea, the night green tea, the apartment and our time spent in the balcony and all the chit chatting we did in the car and at home. So lucky to have spent some time and created memories. Until next time - bye! 

goodbyes for now

In the plane