So. The wedding in Toronto was fabulous. It was an invigorating mix of formal and casual, traditional and funky. The ceremony was held on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons hotel (posh!), and was old school jewish. Just to spice things up a little, the bride wore red. This made my mom flip out when I told her, but I thought it was fabulous – the bride clearly loved her gown, and it made her look mad pretty, like a movie star. The food was excellent, the drinks were also excellent (lychee martinis! yay!), and the view was even more excellent! Also in the excellent category was getting the chance to see all my high school friends in the same place, and not having to worry about MY wedding day!
But let me back up just a minute here. Mr. Fizz and I flew in to Toronto on Thursday in order to explore the city for a couple days before the wedding. Well, we explored on Thursday by walking down the main shopping drag looking for a clutch for me to take to the wedding (the one I’d bought for $16.50 was still hanging on my closet door at home). Unfortunately, clutches started at about $200, so I dragged Mr. Fizz down a side street and bought a perfectly serviceable clutch for $20 at some back alley shoe and bag store. Score!
Then we spent an hour browsing a Canadian book store, which is much like an American book store, except the prices are higher and the books are better. This particular Borders knockoff had a Starbucks in it, so we got our first eggnog lattes of the season and went back to browsing. After complaining that my feet hurt (curse the four inch high heels!) we went back to the hotel room and got ready for dinner.
Dinner was a two hour, extremely expensive affair at the steak house near our hotel. The steak was excellent. The wine, also, was excellent (and so expensive that Mr. Fizz told me I had to compliment it every time I took a sip). Dinner, in general, was fabulous (thanks, Mr. Fizz!).
Then back to the hotel room where we watched Season One of Scrubs on Mr. Fizz’s computer until the wee hours of the morning.
We got up early to meet our rental car outside the hotel (score! Budget delivered the rental car to our hotel and picked it up when we were done with it!) and Mr. Fizz deftly navigated the streets of Toronto to deposit us safely on the Queen Elizabeth Way. Our plan was to take in the grandeur and tackiness of Niagara falls, and then sample some nice ice wines on our way back to Toronto. Niagara was indeed tacky, and also full of tourists and expensive and not all that grand. Yeah, the falls were big – and I probably would’ve been more impressed if I could’ve taken the boat to the bottom of the falls (it wasn’t running this late in the season) or walked down to the base of the falls ($30/per person? no way!). So we gazed at the falls for a bit, and then I dragged Mr. Fizz back to the Hershey’s store we’d passed on the way in. Mr. Fizz heroically said no to all my offers to buy him chocolate, so we departed Niagara.
Our next stop along the scenic Niagara Parkway was Inniskillin Winery. There, we took a self guided tour and learned all about ice wines. For example, the grapes used in ice wines are kept on the vine longer than usual and allowed to undergo a series of freeze-thaws. The grapes are then picked while frozen, sometimes in the middle of the night, and squeezed. Ice wine grapes give you about 5% of the juice you get out of regular wine grapes, so the flavor is concentrated and the price tag is large. Mr. Fizz and I sampled a series of four different ice wine varieties, bought bottles of two, and headed out to find some lunch at Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Niagara-on-the-Lake reminded me very much of some of the little towns in the Cotswolds – a teeny little main street lined by boutiques, cool victorian-era buildings, tons of tourists who apparently can’t use a cross-walk even when it’s within 10 feet of them. We searched and searched for a cafe for lunch, and kept turning away from places offering $10 sandwiches. We finally settled on the one chinese place in town, which served excellent wonton soup and lemon chicken for a reasonable price.
At this point I took over the driving and got us back (through crappy traffic, and one HUGE detour to find a gas station) to the hotel. We changed and went to the rehearsal dinner, which involved some excellent food and also a LOT of wine. Also, I need to remember not to talk when I’m tipsy.
Mr. Fizz and I hung out with our high school friends until late, and then watched Scrubs until later, and then went to bed!
Saturday dawned bright and mild, and we rendezvoused with some friends to see the Bodyworlds 2 exhibit at the Toronto Science Center. Let me just say first that the Science Center is amazing in general, and definitely worth a trip to check out its normal exhibits. Bodyworlds itself was very cool, but WAY overcrowded. The premise behind Bodyworlds involves corpses that have been plastinated and covered in a waxy coating. These have had the skin removed to expose the muscle or nerves or whatever else the doctor/artist wants to show. It was an informative exhibit (there were examples of each major organ showing a healthy sample and a diseased sample, as well as a good section on fetal development. Far and away the coolest part of the exhibit, though, was the plastinated camel. Camels are huge! Their organs are huge! It was way, way cool.
After the Science Center we got ready for the wedding. No, I lie. Mr. Fizz and I watched Scrubs until we were way late for getting ready for the wedding. Then I scrambled to do my hair and makeup while Mr. Fizz fell asleep. And then Mr. Fizz scrambled to get dressed while I told him we were going to miss the CEREMONY!
Turns out, we got there in plenty of time, because there was a cocktail hour before the ceremony. Except it was more of a cocktail hour and a half, because no-one (at the four seasons!) announced that we had to move up 29 flights to the ceremony, so there was a general last minute rush when we noticed that the families of the people getting married were no longer in the room. Would it have killed the Four Seasons to announce a movement? Eh? As a result of that disorganization, a bunch of our friends didn’t get to sit with their spouses/SOs – which is too bad, because weddings are (at least for me) a time to think back to my wedding and reflect on married life.
The ceremony itself was well done, and afterwards we were all shepherded back to the tables for dinner. The first part of dinner was excellent – mushroom stuffed ravioli and a pear and walnut salad. The main dishes (a veggie and a fish) were ho-hum…the fish was a bit dry and the vegetarian entree was super spicy! Not my cup of tea. Toasts were done (tastefully and well) and the evening dissolved into dancing and chatting.
Oh, and I learned two new things about my husband. Never mind that we’ve been dating for more than 10 years. First, he has little bumps in the cartiledge on the outer rims of his ears. Even weirder, they’re at different heights on each ear. Freak. Second, he cannot let go of my hand when dancing, even if we’re not partner dancing. He claims he will degenerate into doing the white boy shuffle if he lets go. Apparently some of my bellydancer-fabulous dancing works its way over to him if he holds on.
And that’s it! Sunday we had brunch at the Four Seasons and then packed it in and headed home. And watched more Scrubs on the plane. We’re totally addicted….