Canada Trip · Ice Hockey

World Cup of Hockey; Day 9

‘Nothing compares to the ice cold refreshment of a Coors Light’

Nine days into this trip and today was the first in which we had no Hockey to watch. With the semi-finals commencing tomorrow (Saturday) at eight o’clock, Friday was our first real opportunity to see what Toronto had to offer. After browsing the web and scowering through some travel brochures we agreed it would be best to invest in a ‘city pass’. Roughly $160 for the pair, it gained us access to Ripley’s Aquarium, Musuem of Ontario, Toronto Zoo, Casa Loma and the CN Tower. Saving us around 43% compared to buying all the tickets separately, so a good bit of business done. 

Having mapped out what was happening over the next ten days, it was time to fill in the blanks. Clouds had finally arrived in Toronto and with it came a spot or two of rain. Instantly putting the CN Tower out the equation, and with Casa Loma also not top of the list, we opted to seek shelter in doors and so chose to visit the aquarium. One of the worlds largest and fastest growing amusement attraction companies, developed on the cartoonist of ideas of one Robert Ripley, his legacy is living long past his death over 60 years ago with the large expansion of Ripley’s attractions. 

 Visiting aquariums was once a common occurrence, but since coming of age and developing strong opinions on Wildlife centers, I’ve tended to decline the opportunity of going. Being on holiday though I somewhat opened up the the idea of going and knowing how they were ran didn’t see any harm in going.

Most aquariums have their little perks that make them unique and the first in sight today had to be the lobster that had only one claw. Not the most bizarre sight but never the less it wasn’t what I was expecting to see first up. People were filtering through and being surrounded by high numbers of over energetic and loud children wasn’t my ideal Friday morning, yet it didn’t bother me at all. If anything it was a breath of fresh air, a flashback to younger years.

Being almost twenty, I now see myself appreciating even the smaller things in life, cherishing moments like this especially being out here with just my Dad. It’s nice to get some time away with the man who has been such a big part in my life and will continue to be for years and years to come. So today it was nice to be doing something we did way back when.

There were the usual tanks of different exotic fish. The pile up of kids screaming at the fact they’ve found Nemo and Dory. Some ill educated people who despite the no flash signs covering the glass, would still persist to take numerous photos with the flash on. What was surprising was the amount of ‘petting stations’ that were dotted around the building, giving customers the chance to touch a number of sea creatures such as the stingrays and horsheshoe crabs. That being said I also experienced the rather odd sensation of being cleansed by the ironically named cleaner shrimp. 

An animal that has always amazed me is the Jellyfish. For its transparent body and electrifying shock, the way it pushes effortlessly through the water to the way it feeds on the plankton available. The large portion of Jellyfish on show where being housed in a very creative tank, one that changed it’s illuminates colour in order to see the fish light up in different colours also.

It was then time to see a Stingray feeding frenzy, as a diver entered the tank to showcase these beautiful creatures. Impressive bodyspans and remarkable tails show why the stingray is one of the most harmless creatures in the ocean. Other exhibitions revealed just how many see creatures co-exist in such a small environment. A slow moving conveyor belt offered a relaxing route underneath the largest of tanks, housing the show stopping creatures. Sawfish, three species of shark, turtles, eagle rays and many different fish combinations offered a very unique experience.

Upon resurfacing from the exhibition it was now time to fulfill the rest of the day with other activities. The rain had stopped but a pit stop in the Rodgers Centre to explore the BlueJays store was followed by another browse of the Hockey Hall of Fame gift shop. It’s just one of those shops that you would buy everything from, given you had the money! With my eye firmly fixed on things to buy later in the week, we headed off into the PATH for a takeaway tea to take back to the hotel as we prepared to watch the BlueJays take on the Yankees in their first of four game series. Having picked up a subway, and being handed a free pair of BlueJays socks, we arrived back at the hotel with time to spare.

 Dean eagerly tucked into his foot long meatball sub whilst I waited off till the game began. After opening a few beers it seemed the night was going well, all be it until my Dad nearly spat out a bite of his sandwich in both shock and disgust. It was a case of the mysterious Jalapeño as Dean failed to combat the heat of a misplaced pepper and found himself struggling to get through. It was funny, believe me!

With the BlueJays winning 9-0 it’s now time to catch some Z’s with another big day in store tomorrow. It’ll be an early morning start for the gym followed by the football and then the big one. Canada vs Russia, as old rivalries are renewed with a place in the final up for grabs.


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