Quote for a Sunday

But I love New York. I used to set my alarm clock when I was there, and get up at 4am and get a coffee, just because I could.
Gail Porter

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Toronto, Ontario – Canada

I love my city.

Since 2006 I have been roaming, seeking and absorbing myself into (one of) the most multicultural city in the world. (I think it is the top, but cannot be a judge since I have not been to LA or London….I think we beat NYC though).

Before that, I lived about 1.5 hours away from this intriguing destination, and would visit the city at least 5-10 times a year.

Just a thought, but could the city promote this spectacular fact just a bit more?

Here is a screen shot of my Google search: Top Multicultural City in the World

Anyway, I was sidetracked. Over the past few days I discovered a few new and very intriguing things to do in Toronto. Whether a resident or visitor.

Check these out!:

Zip Lining in Earl Bales Park

Might be fun. Might be a warm up for a zip lining adventure I have always dreamed of in Costa Rica.

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Golden Turtle: Reborn

Hah! One of the most popular Pho restaurants in the city was closed for a few months….what a disaster for a few, but I knew where to get the good sh*% still, in their absence! (Pho 88 for delivery and Pho Phuong on Queen or Ossington for sit in).

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Yoga at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario)

WOW! Yoga at the Henry Moore Gallery? Think sculptures that show smooth, rounded figures, mostly female in comforting/nuturing poses. OK…yoga poses as I like to think. Peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Could someone go, and let me know how it is? Unfortunately, I have to be at school and ready to teach at the time they will be held. 

If you are heading this way, and are unsure of what to do in this fabulous city, don’t worry, I can help! Or that person walking past you on the street, or the waiter/waitress at the restaurant you just went to, or that person on the subway from Pearson.

We love our city.

Spectacular Toronto


The Lost Girls

Since I have completed two Jo Nesbo books in a row (think mystery, murder, depressing), and am waiting for the next two to be delivered, I decided to lighten up my read with something a bit more entertaining and happy.

The Lost Girls, by Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner is a story about three friends who all decide to quit their jobs, leave their boyfriends, and apartments in New York City and set out for the unknown. True story! And it’s divided by one of the authors per chapter, all with a different outlook on their adventure.

The book caught my eye in Chapters after the holidays, sitting on display in the travel literature section (my fav!). First thing I did was giggle, since the title reminded me of my friend Katie and myself getting lost on every second street all over Italy 2 summers ago.

I have currently finished the first 2 chapters as the girls catch me up on how their lives were back in NYC, working hard and feeling restless. Can’t wait to read on!

The website for these three girls looks amazing. They have a blog, photos of their trip, and even guest writers describing their own adventures of traveling around the world.

I’ll get back to you with my review of the book, when I can complete it. So far so good and I can’t wait to hear about their adventures in Australia, passing through Kenya, India, Southeast Asia, and New Zealand.

Best U.S. Hiking Cities

National Geographic came out with an interesting article a few days ago on the best cities for hiking in the US. At first, I read the list and laughed a bit…seriously, Vegas? But then I read through it and the hikes actually sound quite spectacular!

Salt Lake City

1. Salt Lake City, Utah

Get Hiking: From the Brighton Ski Resort, follow the Brighton Lakes and Lake Mary trails to some of the wildest scenery near any American city: high-altitude wildflower meadows, three serene alpine lakes, a ring of ragged peaks surrounding the valley, and, if you make it just more than five miles to Sunset Peak, views over the canyons surrounding Salt Lake.

2. San Francisco, California

Get Hiking: Even though it’s within biking distance of the city, parts of the seven-mile loop on the Matt Davis, Steep Ravine, and Dipsea trails can feel nearly as pristine as they must have felt when Miwok Indians walked here centuries ago. That is, of course, until you get to the panoramic views of the coast, city, bay, and beaches from the top of the 2,571-foot namesake peak.

3. Portland, Oregon

Portland

Get Hiking: Try Triple Falls, a three-mile walk from the Horsetail Falls Trailhead that takes hikers through a wooded canyon with views over the Columbia River. The payoff is a stunning three-pronged waterfall—all told, a mere 30 miles from Portland.

4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Get Hiking: Try the strenuous five-mile round trip to Turtle Head Peak from Sandstone Quarry. You’ll hike 2,000 vertical feet through flats covered in blackbrush, Joshua trees, and yuccas; along a ridge; and finally to the 6,300-foot summit with a hawk’s-eye view over Sin City.

5. Seattle, Washington

Get Hiking: This popular four-mile hike has a large measure of challenge (3,700 vertical feet of climbing) with an equal payoff (views of Mount Rainier, Seattle, and the Olympics on a clear day). The journey isn’t so bad either: Along the way, hikers pass classic Pacific Northwest conifer and fir forests, streams, and views over the valley.

Phoenix

6. Phoenix, Arizona

Get Hiking: Park at the Pima Canyon Trailhead and wander a nest of well-mapped trails, or tackle all or part of the 14.3-mile National Trail, which leads to spectacular lookouts on South Mountain over Phoenix and Camelback Mountain, another classic local summit hike.

7. Washington, D.C.

Get Hiking: Check out the kayakers from a lookout over the falls, then keep ambling south to shake off the majority of the visitors. A three-mile loop on the River, Ridge, and Matildaville trails leads along the craggy Mather Gorge, up steep climbs, and through serene forests of oak and ash.

8. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Get Hiking: Pick up a map at Valley Green Inn, then head up the yellow trail to a nest of less-frequented loops through evergreen and deciduous forests frequented by deer, fox, and some 125 species of birds.

9. New York, New York

New York

Get Hiking: Despite the weekend crowds, the view from the top of Bear Mountain is worth the 1,100-vertical-foot climb. The four-mile loop on the Appalachian and Major Welch trails leads past a vista of the Hudson River, Iona Island, and the verdant hills of Westchester far below. It’s also the perfect spot to pick out your next hike—perhaps Anthony’s Nose, right across the river.

10. Austin, Texas

Get Hiking: The park’s Wolf Mountain Trail is one of the region’s most beloved hikes, winding past fern-lined canyons, the ruins of a settler’s house, beautiful views over the Pedernales River Valley, and finally to the mother of all Hill Country vistas at the peak.

11. Chicago, Illinois

Get Hiking: Happily, there’s little reminder of nearby urbanity on the 4.5-mile loop (trails two, ten, and nine) that winds through forests, wetlands, and the 200-foot-tall dunes that have formed over millennia.

12. Miami, Florida

Get Hiking: Try the Long Pine Key Trails, a seven-mile nest of paths through pine forest and saw palmetto, haunted by birds, lumbering alligators, and even the elusive Florida panther.

Boston

13. Boston, Massachusetts

Get Hiking: The 3.7-mile Rock Circuit Trail can take over four hours to complete thanks to its rugged forest terrain and steep rocky scrambles. Just when you’ve forgotten your proximity to the city, you’ll top out at Pinnacle Rock, which has views over the Boston skyline and the tree-speckled New England landscape.

14. Los Angeles, California

Get Hiking: One must-do hike, the six-mile Mishe Mokwa loop, climbs 1,400 vertical feet to the top of Sandstone Peak, the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, where hikers gaze over the Pacific Coast, the Channel Islands, and the sparkle of Los Angeles far below.

15. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Get Hiking: Tick off an out-and-back on any part of the state forest’s 31 miles of trail—the scenery is similar between sections—to see a glimpse of the vestiges of prehistoric America.

My pick? I would go for Portland or Seattle. I really want to visit those cities, and I can just imagine how spectacular the views would be on those hikes.

Spectacular skylines I have seen

Seen a few cities in my day, I have.

Toronto, Ontario

San Francisco, California

New York, New York

Honolulu, Hawaii

Montreal, Quebec

Chicago, Illinois

Vancouver, BC

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Rome, Italy

Victoria, BC

Venice, Italy

Calgary, Alberta

Matera, Italy

Florence, Italy

Quebec City, Quebec

Detroit, Michigan what!

Marrakesh, Morocco

Vieste, Italy

 

Las Vegas, Nevada

Cancun, Mexico

 

Top 10 USA

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I just saw an article on the site touropia promoting the top ten tourists attractions in the USA and was curious what my “score” would be for attractions visited.

Here’s the list:

10. The White House. Ok, haven’t seen it, but I am sure I will some day…

9. Denali National Park. I dream about going there, does that count? It might actually be in the works for next summer. A trip starting in Alaska, through Alberta, all the way down to Grand Teton National Park.

8. Las Vegas Strip. Check! It was quite spectacular, so lively and colourful.

7. The Florida Keys. Soon I bet. I have been to Florida about 9 or 10 times, but never further south than Naples.

6. Kilauea. CHECK! Loveeee love loveeeed it! I took a geoscience course in Hawaii a few years ago and studied the volcano in detail.

5. Niagara Falls. Check! I live about 1.5 hours away from them and have been there countless times, although mostly on the Canadian side of the border.

4. Golden Gate Bridge. Check! Loved San Francisco and was able to walk across the bridge on a nice sunny/windy day. What fun!

3. Yellowstone. CHECK! Just got back about a month and a half ago. Sigh….can I go back right now?

2. Manhattan. Check! I’m on a roll now. New York is one of my favorite cities, and I cannot wait to go back on a long weekend to make friends with the city again.

1. Grand Canyon. Not yet. Does the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone count? I’ve heard it’s just as spectacular. Maybe I will have to include a visit to the canyon next summer…

Six out of ten, not good enough! Time for me to go ‘splorin!

Quotes for a Sunday

I think you know that when an American stays away from New York too long something happens to him. Perhaps he becomes a little provincial, a little dead and afraid.

– Sherwood Anderson

I think New York is not the cultural center of America, but the business and administrative center of American culture.

– Saul Bellow

Everybody ought to have a lower East Side in their life.

– Irving Berlin

A great many people go after success simply for the shiny prizes it brings…And nowhere is it pursued more ardently than in the city of New York.

– Stephen Birmingham

As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.

– Pearl S. Buck

Sometimes, from beyond the skycrapers, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.

Albert Camus

New York is the only real city-city.

– Truman Capote

New York is the biggest collection of villages in the world.

– Alistair Cooke

There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.

– Simone De Beauvoir

Over the great bridge, with sunlight through the girders making a constant flicker upon the moving cars, with the city rising up across the river in white heaps and sugar lumps all built with a wish out of non-olfactory money. The city seen for the first time, in its first wild promise of all the mystery and the beauty in the world.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times : It is a beautiful catastrophe.

– Le Corbusier