What to do with Eight Hours in Toronto

On our trip last month to London we had an eight hour layover in Toronto on the way out. I had never been, so we really wanted to get out and walk around. Here is how we got downtown with relative ease! 

After we landed in Toronto we took a little train over to terminal 1. From there we bought tickets to ride the UP Express. It’s a train that takes you right into downtown Toronto. It was $24 for two adults, round trip. (They also offer different rates for children and seniors). The train itself was clean and it only took us 25 minutes one way. They run a train every fifteen minutes so there is hardly any delay. We lucked out and walked up right as the train was loading both times. It was so easy to maneuver and to get there. Once we got out at Union Station (there are literally only like 4 stops total) we just walked straight out the main front doors and turned left. We stayed on that street for majority of our exploration! There were several restaurants and pubs along the way.  

One thing I loved was the sidewalks. It was relatively clean and I felt safe! We walked along one path until we decided to head back to one of T he first sports bars we saw, the Loose Moose. At first I was definitely intimidated by the noise. There was a Blue Jays game on, and they were winning. The whole room was a constant stream of screams, chants, and intricate clapping celebrations. It was actually pretty cool, once you got past the bleeding eardrums. 

We ordered Michael a dish of the Fully Loaded Poutine. It was composed of French fries, Cheddar cheese curds, and gravy. Then they topped it with sour cream, green onions, and bacon. He LOVED it. I order a Grilled Mac and Cheese Sandwich. The caramelized sourdough bread it came on was AMAZING. (After tip, drinking only lemon water, our total was $33.27. So not too bad!)

When we were done we slowly made our way back to the station. Then we just showed the attendant our ticket and got back on. The train dropped us back at the airport, we took an escalator, turned a corner, then just went back through security with our already printed tickets. It took us about thirty minutes to get through security and to the waiting area for our plane. It was totally simple. I am so glad we decided to try and explore a little! 

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London: Day One

Wow it has been a crazy past 48 hours! We took off Friday morning and about three hours later we were taking a train into downtown Toronto (But more about that later)! We finally landed in London at 9am local time Saturday morning. The flight was definitely rough, I was freezing cold and my stewart told me there were no blankets available. (There were enough blankets for the couple in front of us being helped by a different stewardress, but i’m sure he wasn’t just being lazy…)

Once we touched down my Aunt and Uncle picked us up and drove us back to their house. It is the cutest home ever! The house has five bedrooms, a gorgeous courtyard with a water fixture, and one of the best kitchens I have ever seen. I seriously wish I could live here! It is beyond amazing. We were greeted by a swarm of hugs (and squealing from Sabrina). After Michael and I had showered we set off with the whole family. We loaded up the oyster cards (a serious sightseeing must have) and took off! We started by going to the Natural History Museum of London. Michael was beyond thrilled with the dinosaur exhibit. We had a great time. I loved all of the exhibits, but what I really admired was the architecture of the older pat of the building, both inside and outside. It was absolutely beautiful. Once outside we shot a few pictures and then played a few rounds of tag and foot races with the girls.

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Next we walked about twenty minutes straight down Brompton Road to Harrods. Harrods was absolutely beautiful, as well as a little over stimulating! We explored the pastry and chocolate sections then headed up to the forth floor to have dinner with the kids at Disney’s Wild West Cafe. It was a Toy Story themed restaurant. The setting was actually really fun and we all enjoyed our food. Then we walked around the corner to the Disney Store. Then we went down a level to the giant Toy store- that is where it became completely chaotic! There were so many amazing toys and gadgets. We couldn’t decide where to look. I would say we spent at least in hour in there and did not notice. It is now one of my goals to bring my future children here. I loved seeing all of the kids in the store laughing and smiling. They were all totally enthralled! Finally, we grabbed dessert in Laduree. The macrons were so fresh! Michael got a coffee, a pistachio, and a chocolate flavored macron. I choose two coconut and one vanilla. The vanilla was absolutely breathtaking. However, I was incredibly fond of the coconut. Not because it was of poor quality, I just didn’t realize that it would have actual coconut shavings, a texture I really do not like.

After that we took a line down to the Piccadilly Circus area. It was absolutely crazy! There were street performers everywhere, hundreds of people swarming the streets, and lights every direction you could see. The architecture of some of the buildings was totally gorgeous. I loved looking at everything as we walked! We stopped in a few stores, including the M&Ms store. That was the most crowded experiences of London so far! We only stayed a few minutes because i literally could not move. We all were quickly separated and overwhelmed! Attis point the lack of sleep was kicking in so we took a train to our district then took another line back to the house. We decided to ride the “double layer” bus (as Sabrina calls it) home, even though we only rode for maybe four minutes, just so Sabrina could show me “how fun it is to sit at the top.”

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When we got home Sabrina put on a few dance performances with the help of her sisters, we ordered a pizza, and started to unwind. The night ended with Sabrina running around in her Queen of Hearts costume pointer her scepter at whomever was closest, yelling “off with your head!!” We soon got ready for bed, concluding our first day in London. What an awesome experience! I am so thankful we get to be here!!

** Just a small note. For people looking for fun things to do in London, but are on a budget, all the things we did toady were “free admission” as long as we didn’t purchase food or items (which we did, but you don’t have too)! So keep that in mind if you are looking for ideas! **

Jacksonville, Florida 

Ah we made it! We drove the 600 miles from Nashville to Jacksonville. We started Thursday morning 4:38am. Only 8 minutes behind schedule so YAYY!!! When we got in we explored our AirBNB then headed to the grocery store to stock up on snacks and breakfast foods! Michael and I also got stuff to make sandwiches. We hauled them home and unloaded then set off to get dinner! We found this little Mexican restaurant. It was pretty good food, not my favorite, but by no means bad. 
We unanimously decided to spend our first evening at the house just playing games, baking cookies, and hanging out. It was a crazy fun night! We all crashed pretty early so we could be ready for today!! 

This morning we slept in and then Sophie made biscuits and gravy! She’s so awesome. We showered up and headed down to Jacksonville Beach. Along the way we stopped at Bold Bean Coffee. It was super cute and trendy. Michael and Sophie grabbed coffee and we were on our way! Currently we are laying in the sun on the beach. Try not to be too jealous!! 


Photo Cred: Sophie 💕