Toronto, Canada treated me very well. If you were talking to someone for just a month (give or take) and they asked to take you on a surprise trip, what would you say? Me a year ago—NOPE. No way José — need more details, more notice. The “not enough money” excuse would have come into play, or the “I’m just not comfortable with it yet” cop out. Living fearlessly takes less effort than you think. You just say yes — and that’s exactly what I did. I call him B, his name is Brandon though.
(Posing in the middle of the road in high traffic area — “We do it for the photos, for the memories.”)
He had to tell me the night before we left where we were headed (so that I could bring my passport), though that didn’t make it any less exciting. Road trip was around 4 hours. While going through the border to Canada, the customs officer said “Any firearms or drugs in your vehicle?” B looks in the back all sketchy …and then says no. The officer is like “Why are you looking in the back, is there something you want to tell me?” LOL OH DEAR. Yea so we definitely ended up having to get out, no surprise there. Face palm. We made it through though! We jammed out to old songs, new songs — everything from Blink 182, to matchbox 20, to Ariana Grande. Thankfully we have the same all-over-the-place taste in music. I guess it matches our up-for-anything attitudes.
(Exploring downtown where we vibed to a song with a homeless woman at a cafe called Second Cup Coffee.)
We have arrived — the view from the room on the 30th floor was breathtaking. We got all settled in, then decided to hit the town. King St. W. was pretty bumping, considering it was a Thursday. It was probably 20 degrees out — or less. Absolutely coming back when it’s warmer to explore more of DT Toronto!
(Drunken admiring of the city lights in my own little world.)
First stop was Wvrst (restaurant). We walked up a flight of stairs to get there — we could hear the loud music before we walked in. Lights were hanging low and it had communal seating so that you can mingle with whoever. It is the only one that exists — which is actually pretty awesome. Being that it was a German restaurant, it served all kinds of crazy sausages like kangaroo and rabbit. Also serving a variety of craft beer, which I happen to be a HUGE fan of. We ordered a flight of beer in which you didn’t get to choose the different kinds of beer you wanted, hey we’re in Toronto — let’s do this! Their duck fat fries are legit amazing. I went the basic route and got Italian sausage with cheese and onions because wild boar, etc. was a little too gamey for my tastes. Next time maybe I’ll be more adventurous, and there will be a next time. I asked the bartender what time they closed and he replied “12:00.” I’m like “Huh, that’s a little early.” He then stated with a mischievous face “We need to go out and drink too!” LOL, MY MAN. We learned that Canadian one and two-dollar coins are called “Loonies” and “Toonies.” So of course B making me laugh, as per usual, kept saying “We got Luneys and Tuneyssssss!” Haha it was funny at the time, I swear. So I recommend going there 100%. Great time, awesome food, really unique place.
(Goofing off at the museum.)
That was night numero Uno. The following night, we went up to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). We took in the museum, all of the culture and beauty, then headed up to the 6th floor lounge for some adult beverages, live music, and a Toronto night city view. The lounge was beautiful. The first band was a psychedelic band I think? We did not know how to vibe to it, because there was essentially no real beat. It was funny trying though. The next band included a girl whose voice was as mesmerizing and beautiful as she was. Luna Li band it was called. We had a great time laughing and enjoying the cool atmosphere. The Uber ride there was pretty amusing as well, or maybe it was the ride back to the room? Little fuzzy there. Tickets were so cheap! Great touristy thing to do while in the the six, I recommend. Fun fact: Toronto used to be broken into six cities — Old Toronto, Scarborogh, North York, York, East York, and Etobicoke. The Toronto area code is also 4-1-6. The debate continues on which one is actually the true meaning of the famous nickname “The Six.”
(Finding warmth in each other’s arms on the walk back.)
So, on to the final day. Sigh. If only there were a better word for the euphoric feeling I felt on that epic last day. So B tells me, “Erin, I have another surprise in store for you today, we are meeting up with a couple of 19 year olds downtown.” In my head WAIT, WHAT?! I’m thinking, what could we possibly be doing meeting up with a couple of random kids in Toronto? He wasn’t telling, and I secretly didn’t want to know. We all met at union station. They are the coolest people ever, by first impression. Albert and Chris are their names. So we say hello and they say “Follow us — you’re in for a great surprise” with big genuine smiles on their faces. So I follow, confused as hell still. We go into a building and hop into an elevator. They press the Top floor. They have backpacks on, so I’m wondering what is in those mysterious backpacks the entire time. So we arrive to the top floor, walk out the door to the rooftop to a vertical steel ladder. They say ok, put your purse around you and climb up. The adrenaline rush was out of this world. What is happening right now, and WHY on earth am I saying yes to this?! So many thoughts going through my mind. So I get to the top of the cold, steel ladder and look up. I swear to you the most beautiful view I will ever see in my life. The sun, the sparkling water, the buildings, the CN tower. It was an absolute rush. I would compare it to something, but you see it was incomparable. My eyes must have been smiling because the look on Albert’s face was one of true satisfaction, and I just hugged him saying thank-you. I felt strangely close to a stranger in that moment. Funny side note—Im also scared of heights. There was another ladder higher up and less safe that they talked me into climbing. It turns out these “kids” are amazingly talented photographers. We had a photoshoot right there on that roof. It was all so so movie-esq. Like my wildest dream came true. Forever memorable. Photos below. Photo Credit Instagram.com/diu.lei and Instagram.com/chriischenn. Follow them for unique views of Toronto! The Prince Charming that made this possible … Brandon Deem
So friends, if you’re feeling like taking a chance, my advice to you is to just say yes. You never know what will happen, maybe you’ll find your rooftop.
(Scared, but safe in his arms.)
(Photoshoot at airport following the rooftop shoot, still on a high from the experience.)
(Candids are the best.)
(Too high to come down.)
(Living on the edge, literally.)