Tag Archives: travel

Ripley’s Aquarium, Toronto

More than just a place to see fish

We spent a few hours here on a cold spring-break day. We had fun and learned more than we thought we would. It’s more than just a place to see fish.

When you enter, they kind of force you through the designated path – Canadian freshwater, Pacific Kelp, a tropical reef, Dangerous Lagoon, Ray Bay, jelly fish tanks etc. We sneaked to the shark feeding session right above the start of the exhibit – outside the souvenir store, where the self guided tour ends. Do it! The shark feeding is exciting to watch. Schedules are available at the door.

sharkThe Dangerous Lagoon, with a variety of sharks, is extraordinary. The people-mover conveyer belt on the floor ensures you move through and don’t dawdle. We got off and gaped at the glass tunnel we were in – sharks swimming above and beside us. Nothing ordinary here. You can even stand in a glass bubble in the shark tank.

There’s a play area and rest area with snack shop, benches and rest rooms right after the lagoon. This rest/play area marks the half-way part of the exhibit – more or less. Part two starts with jelly fish. Some are back lit, iridescent or florescent. This space is very psychedelic. No wonder the aquarium is open until 11 pm some nights! We read that jazz nights are also held weekly in this section. It must be a real trip.

At Ray Bay, we saw the dive show. The Rainbow Reef offers the same. The show is short. A facilitator explains what’s going on in the tank. Things I learned today: Old male octopuses usually go senile; in some shark species, the dominant offspring eats its siblings while in utero; and my fav, after copulating, the female sea horse drops her fertilized eggs in the male sea horse’s pouch and weeks later, powerful contractions expel up to 100 live sea horses who swim away.

You’ll love this place. Allow a min. of 2-hours if you like to rush through these types of places. We were here longer. It’s expensive. It cost $127 for three adults and one teenager. So spend the time to make it worthwhile.


Remarkable Restaurant Names Part 2

In the first RRN post, I posted photos of some of the quirky and fun names of restaurants I spotted in San Diego, California and mentioned that Halifax, Nova Scotia is right up there with San Diego in terms of memorable restaurant names.

Well folks, I’ve dug up pictures from my last stay in Nova Scotia and the words ‘businesses that serve food’ are more accurate to describe what I saw. The make-me-smile names belong to food trucks, cafés as well as restaurants and bars.

The one picture I didn’t take is of a bar called My Apartment. I wish I had. Imagine meeting someone and asking them if they would like to go back to ‘My Apartment’ to continue talking! The fun you can have with words.

If you’re reading this in Halifax, and My Apartment is still in business, send me a picture and I’ll post it.

Here are photos of creatively names places to grab a bite in Halifax, Nova Scotia. They are: The Daily Grind (coffee shop), Alfredo, Weinstein and Ho ( a multicultural buffet) and Bud the Spud French-fry food truck.


Remarkable Restaurant Names

We’ve all been to memorable restaurants. Usually, it’s the food that sets the place apart but sometimes it’s the quirky, fun or original name that stays in our memory long after an unremarkable meal.

In my travels, I’ve stumbled upon some truly notable restaurant names. Two cities stand out in terms of the sheer number of remarkable names – Halifax, Nova Scotia and San Diego, California. One city is on the East Coast of Canada and the other on the West Coast of the States. They are worlds apart in climate, topography and culture but apparently not in naming restaurants!

In part one of Remarkable Restaurant Names; I’ve selected my most memorable restaurant and pub names in San Diego. They are: The Tispy Crow,  Bite Me, The Hopping Pig Gastropub, and Sogno di Vino (I dream of wine), which was also memorable for its fresh and local cuisine.  I passed on dining at the gastropub. Have you skipped a restaurant based on name alone?  Share the best and worst restaurant names you’ve seen on your travels!

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Awesome Bridges

Following up my awesome drives post, there are awesome bridges that add up to spectacular drives.

The most incredible drive I’ve made on a bridge is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. On a sunny day, the view is glorious. Second is the Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 in California. It’s short but it spans a craggy chasm on the edge of the ocean and on a windy and rainy day, it will steal your breath. Thankfully, it doesn’t swing.

Closer to home, the Confederation Bridge to P.E.I. has to be the most challenging bridge to drive and is nothing short of an engineering wonder. I haven’t driven that span yet but I have my sights set on it in 2016.

What are your favourite bridges?

Image from Shutterstock

Image from Shutterstock, Bixby Bridge


Thinglink image

Thinglink image, Golden Gate Bridge

Selfie on the bridge

Selfie on the bridge

Even in cloudy weather, the Golden gate Bridge is beautiful

Even in cloudy weather, the Golden Gate Bridge is beautiful



Awesome Drives

Every new year starts with lists and I’m going to add another list to the growing list of lists.

Yesterday, we were at the car show where we spent five-hours getting in and out of the latest and greatest automobiles. That exercise got me thinking of all the gorgeous, long drives I’ve taken so far. I don’t mean run-of-the-mill sunny Sunday drives. I mean those once-in-a-lifetime, jaw-dropping, absolutely heart-stopping drives. Here then, is my list of the best drives so far:

  1. The Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
  2. The Hana Highway ( the road to Hana) in Maui, Hawaii.
  3. Highway 1 in California.

What are your awesome drives?

cape breton highway first cape breton highway second

Cape Breton Highway

Cabot Trail, Cape Breton










hana highway 1 hana highway 2

Hana Highway

Hana Highway, Maui

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Highway 1 in California

Highway 1 in California