As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, last week I had the opportunity to go to Toronto on a press trip with President’s Choice. I didn’t know exactly why I was going, and they wouldn’t tell me, which made it a mystery trip – which in itself made it that much more exciting. All I knew was that they were working on something new and exciting and all would be revealed during the press event I was invited to attend.
You guys already know I’m a huge President’s Choice and Atlantic Superstore fan. I heart the food, I heart the PC Plus program (I’ve earned over $300 worth of free food since last December!) and I was thrilled to be asked so of course I said, “Yes please!”.
Last Wednesday afternoon I found myself at the airport waiting to fly to Toronto. My flight was delayed 20 minutes (which felt more like 34 hours), but that was nothing compared to the 8 hours delay Monica had in New Brunswick. Apparently her plane hit a flock of birds on it’s way in and they had to bring someone in to inspect it before they could take off. Crazy pants.
Anywho, I landed in Toronto a bit later than initially expected and ended up arriving a bit late to the welcome dinner where I met the other bloggers who were flown in for the event. Besides myself and Monica who were representing the East Coast, there was Merry & Dan from Calgary and Christine & Cassandra from Vancouver and of course the lovely PR reps for Loblaws.
We went to Marben for supper (please excuse the grainy iPhone photos)
Followed by the main course (I had the John’s Burger).
Which was über tasty! And was followed by an assortment of desserts including a juniper cookie, fudge and marzipan as well as creme brûlée (not pictured)
After the mad rush I had to get from the airport to the hotel (not that I could really do anything sitting in the back of the car, but you know what I mean) it was great to have a laid back supper with the group and get to know them a bit better since i had never met any of them before. Afterwards I headed back to the hotel (we stayed at the Holiday Inn Yorkville) where I got to check out my room (I left my carryon with the front desk and went directly to supper).
The view from my room (taken Thursday afternoon)
Once in my room I was pretty excited to get cleaned up and head to bed, travelling always tires me out. But before heading to bed there was a knock at my door and a delivery of a bedtime snack!
Milk and cookies? I don’t mind if I do!
After my snack I hit the hay. Thursday morning, I woke up to find a copy of the Globe and Mail had been slipped under my door with a note to check out the article on Loblaw giving us our first real clue as to what the big mystery was all about…
Targeting foodies and removing all of the artificial flavours and colours out of the PC products? This sounded like great news to me!
Monica had arrived around the same time we got back from the restaurant Wednesday night so she came to my room in the morning and we chatted while I finished getting ready and went down to meet the group for breakfast at L’Espresso Bar Mercurio. I knew I was going to have a lot of walking ahead of me that day so I opted for the French Toast (you know, to carb load ) which was freshly baked croissant in a vanilla cinnamon batter. Yup.
Along with my french toast I had a chai latte and a fresh juice made with beets, ginger, lemon, kale and vitamin C. Delish!
Back at the hotel I had 7 hours to kill so as you know I ventured down to the aquarium, looked at (but didn’t go up) the CN Tower,
meandered around Queen Street West and did a little shopping, went to Kensington Market
Through China Town, up Bloor Street, and basically all over. My feet were very angry at me by mid afternoon. I wore my Reebok Skyskapes which are super comfy, but I thick maybe my running sneakers would have been a better choice since they have so much extra cush. Oh well.
Anyway, I managed to get all that in and still have time to shill out and eat a (not so) nutritious snack before getting ready for the big event at the Maple Leaf Gardens Loblaw store.
Monica, Merry and I met up in the lobby and called a cab to drive us over.
We thought this blue maple leaf made out of the old arena chairs was pretty cool!
And then it was time to find out what all this mystery was about!
And this is where I will leave you for today, part 2 of my Toronto trip will be up later this week!
Disclosure: As mentioned above, my trip was a press trip with Loblaw/President’s Choice and as such my travel and accommodations were covered by them. All opinions expressed in this, and every post are 100% my own.
If you follow me on social media you already know that last week I went to Toronto on a press trip with President’s Choice (you can expect more on the “work” portion of my trip tomorrow). While in Toronto I had some free time and since anytime I’m in Toronto it’s for a whirlwind trip with no time to sightsee, I decided to hit the streets and see some sights!
A friend had been to the aquarium when in Toronto the week before and recommended that I check it out, and since it was next to the CN Tower which I wanted to check out anyway I headed in that direction.
The good thing about walking to the CN Tower is you have a pretty good landmark to make sure you keep on track! The Rogers Centre also hangs out in that part of town
After stopping to take the required number of tourist CN Tower photos, I made my way down to the aquarium and inside. I was surprised at just how busy it was for a random Thursday afternoon in September. I can only imagine what it’d be like at the height of tourist season!
I’ll be honest, when I saw that it was going to cost me $30 to go in I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go, it seemed like a lot of money but I had time to kill and I do like looking at fishies so in I went!
Be prepared for photo overload…
one of the rare blue lobsters (they had two, and a red one as well. And possibly a white one…my memory is failing me on that one)
Mr (or Mrs.) Octopus!
I was really enjoying the aquarium, until I entered Dangerous Lagoon
Once I started hanging our with sharks – I was certain that the $30 admission was more than worth it. How often to you get to have sharks swim over your head without any worry for your safety? If you’re me – the answer is never.
This guy startled more than one person (including myself) when they looked up and saw it hanging out right above their head!
apparently it’s a popular place to hang out!
I had never seen Sea Horses with their tails wrapped around something like this (though I’m sure they do it often, I don’t hang out with them very frequently!)
And now let’s just bask in the amazement that is the creatures in the world…
This isn’t the clearest photo, but I love that this dude looks like it’s smiling and waving to me!
So despite my initial concern that the cost might not be worth it, it absolutely was. If I had, had the whole day free I would have spent so much longer there, but my short visit was absolutely amazing, and I highly recommend visiting it (especially if you have kids) if you are in the Toronto area.