The afternoon before our flight back to Canada, my friend Laurie and I had arranged an Aston Martin driving experience at Yas Marina Circuit while his sister and brother-in-law were in town. We met at the track and were soon redlining the cars around the track.
It was sort of a last minute decision to attend my cousin Ally’s wedding in Toronto. Plans fell into place and we flew to JFK on the morning of Friday, Oct 20th. We had a short layover before we were off to Toronto. We arrived at roughly the same time as my brother Kevin and his wife Jordyn so we shared a taxi to our hotel in Vaughan. We said a quick hello to the bride and groom, but couldn’t resist a little nap before dinner. That night, my Uncle Steve had arranged a meal at the nearby Earl’s for the out of town guests on Ally’s side. We finished the evening with a group nightcap in the hotel lobby.
We met Scott in the gym the next morning and worked up our appetite for breakfast. Bec and I joined Cousin Heather for her errand run and we stopped at the local LCBO to fill everyone’s liquor order. Being a teacher, Ally lined up a big yellow school bus for the hotel guests that day. The gang hopped on the bus and headed for St. Clare’s Roman Catholic Church. We arrived in time for the 2:30 pm ceremony and stayed to have some formal pictures with the bride and groom. Scott and Kev ran across the street and grabbed a huge pepperoni pizza from Big Slice for the bus ride back to the hotel. Everyone on the bus got a slice of that pizza. Well, almost everyone…the gentleman beside us was upset that he had forgotten his teeth at the hotel!
There was time for a quick drink and a chance to freshen up, but we were soon back on the bus, this time only a short hop over to the Jewel Event Centre. Ally’s husband, Gabe, comes from a large Italian family and the food at the reception lived up to the Italian standard. There was a welcome shot at the front door and I could have easily made a meal of the antipasto bar alone. What followed was a complete feast: red and white pastas, a chicken and veal plate, a seafood platter, and crème brûlée to finish. The speeches were great and Ally addressed her new family in Italian and Gabe did the same in French. The dance was a lot of fun and the bride and groom set the stage with their own music video set to Bieber’s Despacito. Just as we were all overcoming that “full stomach” feeling, an entire roast pig and a poutine station were set up around 11:00 pm. One last bus ride took us back to the hotel at 1:00 am.
On Sunday, Ally and Gabe hosted a buffet breakfast in the hotel. At noon, the Erickson brothers and wives thanked the bride and groom for a wonderful weekend and set off to see some of downtown Toronto. We caught an Uber to Yorkdale Mall with the intention of riding the metro the rest of the way, but there was some maintenance being performed which resulted in us taking 2 buses to get over to a working line. We eventually made it downtown and got out at Union Station. We walked along Front Street and under the CN Tower. We sat in the park for a bit before settling in to the SoCo patio at the Delta Hotel. The weather was so nice that weekend and we enjoyed the warm fall temperatures. From there, we walked up to City Hall, Yonge-Dundas Square, and through Eaton Centre. For dinner, Jenelle’s friend had recommended a nearby restaurant called Pearl Diver. It had some great seafood sharing dishes and we were happy to have a lighter dinner.
Back at the hotel, we couldn’t resist walking across the parking lot to find out what this Dave & Buster’s was all about. It seemed hugely popular the last 2 nights with the parking lot nearly filling up completely. Dave & Buster’s is like a Chucky Cheese for adults. It had a real Vegas feel to it. We raced cars, killed zombies, played Skee-ball, all while enjoying a few beverages.
The next morning, we had a small breakfast bite in the hotel. We still had credit on our cards when midnight struck the night before and the games shut down. So, to the girls chagrin, we popped back to D&B’s to use up the remaining credit before catching an Uber to Pearson International Airport. We were all on the 15:30 flight to Calgary!