Monday, September 5, 2011

Oh Canada, Oh Canada!

Since Rino and Jeff were getting married in Toronto, we decided to take a little road trip. OH, what a great idea it was! Mark is really the only person in this entire world that I wouldn't hesitate (0%) jumping in a car for an 8hr drive. Think about that... I mean, I have friends I would do it with - no doubt - but 0% hesitation? Who's that in your life? Anyway, we packed our bags and drove through NYC, NJ, and the humungous state of NY.

(Sorry, that's all in Japanese... I'm using Mark's computer haha)

We didn't really have an itinerary, so we googled Indian reservations along the way but couldn't find one close enough to visit. And then Mark said something genius... 'Weren't Buffalo Wings invented in Buffalo, NY?' Genius. So, we headed to Anchor Bar where buffalos were invented in 1964. The story goes that the son of the bar asked his mom to cook up something late at night for his friends who had stopped by the bar - so she fried up some leftover chicken wings (which at the time, I guess were not meant for eating, but rather thrown into stocks), smothered them with some sauce, and a global sensation was born.
I'm sad to say that they were ... not delicious. They were probably the ... oh, I feel bad saying this ... worst wings I've ever had. The sauce was great, butthe chicken was completely dried out and parts were impossible to even chew. Maybe it was just our batch - who knows. In either case, it was a really fun experience :)
We still had 4 hours to go, so we hit the road. We think it may have been illegal to drive a U.S. car rental into Canada without having told them in advance... so, it was nice that we didn't get detained at the border. Haha. Hello, Canada!
The CN Tower
We got into Canada pretty late, so dim sum at Rol San for brunch in Chinatown was another fantastic Mr.MC idea! I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was better than my favorite place in NYC - Jing Fong! Everything was made fresh and relatively healthy (not too oily). Delicious!
Rol San | 323 Spadina Ave | Toronto, ON M5T 2E9

After brunch, we walked around Chinatown and discovered sugarcane juice. The simple extraction process was fascinating to watch! It didn't taste as sweet as I thought - but very refreshing.

We went shopping (did you know that Club Monaco is a Canadian brand?) and then got ready for the wedding. A ferry took us to a special exclusive island where the ceremony and reception was held. Beautiful and so special!
The Ferry Ride
Rino & Jeff
Dock of Reception Hall
Mark's ASIJ (American School in Japan) Friends
After a night of making new friends and dancing, we stopped by the wedding brunch and then headed to Niagara Falls! Since I can't even remember the last time I was here with my family, it was breathtaking how enormous and strong the falls were. It was incredible. It always amazes me, the fantastic power and unmatched beauty of nature ... and the very fine line between the two characteristics.
Canadian "Horeseshoe" Falls
Aerial View (umm from a website)
We learned that the falls were created by glaciers melting after the Ice Age and erode 1 year each year. It gushes 600,000 gallons of water per SECOND. Thirsty, anyone?

Before heading back to NYC, we had lunch at "Elements on the Falls" - a fancy restaurant overlooking the Niagara Falls. A little pricey, but really worth the window view of the falls!
Spinach artichoke dip - my favorite appetizer!

Mark is a serious trooper. I don't know anyone like him. I think I drove like 10% of the entire trip... and was falling asleep for 50% of that 10%. God bless this man! We ended up driving a different route back - through some small towns in the countryside, which was beautiful and lush with green pastures and lots of cow dung haha. We were slowly driving through another sleepy town called Mount Morris, when we spotted this cute little Italian restaurant: Questa Lasagna!

Questa Lasagna | 55 Main St | Mt Morris, NY

The head chef was originally from Brooklyn - and man, the homemade pasta in the lasagna and the amazing tomato sauce on the fried eggplants... Finger lickin' good!

Amazing food - Amazing service!

Sorry! We at all the lasagna before we took the picture!!

What an amazing weekend! I'm so glad we got to take this little road trip. After traveling by myself this summer, it was really fun to share one more adventure with Mr.MC before he heads to London. Heehee. I feel so lucky and so happy!! I heart you Mr.MC!

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