Hello and happy Friday! Just a reminder that ONE WEEK from today, our House Hunters episode will air at 9pm cst on HGTV! Set your DVR and spread the word!
As you read this, I am en route from Toronto back to Austin. I was in Toronto for a Microsoft event for work since Sunday and I am more than ready to get back to my hubby and Chunk. Traveling for work for me is incredibly busy and go-go-go and I am looking forward to jumping back into normalcy (until my next show at the end of August).
Lack of sleep=hello bags!!
So here are my thoughts on Canada, specifically Toronto
- It is incredibly expensive. I stayed in a crappy-ish Courtyard Marriott for $400/night. Granted, it was a 16k person event but still! It needed some major updating. And not just lodging but food and drink was very expensive...I ate $15 breakfasts, $30 lunches, and $60 dinners.
- Speaking of food...there were so many delicious steakhouses! When you travel with businessmen, you eat steak, and I ate enough steak for the entire year. I highly recommend Tom Jones Steakhouse if you are looking for a delicious (and very intimate, quiet atmosphere). Panorama Lounge was also great...mostly because it had a panoramic view of the city from the 51st floor.
- There are lots of gay people which I DO NOT have a problem with...just stating it. I think we missed Pride Week by a few days but it is just something I noticed
- It is like a clean New York City to me. But weird because lots of homeless people which is weird for me to say, coming from Austin. They are different than the bums in Austin too. The city seems very safe
- Also a lot of foreign people but that is expected because the show was Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference so I met people from Mozambique, Argentina, India, Denmark...pretty cool. But as far as Toronto residents, lots of French (obviously).
- The weather was perfect!! I couldn't really keep track of the temperature because they measure in Celicius but it was sunny, breezy and probably in the 70's the whole week (and of course it rained all week in Austin when I was gone!)
- Lots of smokers which really sucks. Austin has great laws that ban smoking pretty much everywhere so I am not used to being surrounded by it.
- International phone plans suck. I paid $5 to have my phone calls be $.59/min rather than $.79/min and also $30 for 200 texts. Data was ungodly expensive (for example my coworker forgot to get a data plan and racked up a $2k bill in 8 hours). I turned off all data and relied on Wifi for iMessage and FaceTime...thank God for iPhones!!!!!
we tend to put the word "face" at the end of all nicknames...
- Netflix here sucks. No Pretty Little Liars, no 30Rock and lots of movies in French. Also, no Pandora!
- Fun restaurants, bars, clubs, entertainment. One of the best part of huge tradeshows (specifically in software) is the people watching...computer nerds letting loose :-)
(did a little Forever 21 shopping in Dundas Square, $10 necklace baby)
(Target shoes rule...can I get an amen?)
(thank you for the compliments on this dress, it was a hand-me-up from my little sister hehe)
- Taxes are 13% and healthcare is free. It was interesting to talk to a girl my age about the good and the bad of that.
- The accents are cute but not too noticeable. "Parliament" and "about" were my favorites to hear. I heard lots of other accents this week too.
I wish I could have met up with some of you fabulous Toronto/Canadian bloggers but it didn't work out :-(. Not sure if I will be coming back to Toronto and I wish I had time to do a tour of the city but what I did see, I liked.
and you still have a few days to enter my group giveaway!