This morning we woke up and found ourselves in a strange situation. We didn’t have anything planned during the day. We had a movie booked for later this evening but nothing to occupy the time between waking up and seeing the film. The sun was shining and the sky was clear. It didn’t look too bitterly cold outside. So we decided to go to the Toronto Islands.
We packed a bag with a long-sleeved shirt for me and a jumper for Glen, thinking we might need them but our tanktops and shorts should be fun. We were planning to go cycling around the islands so surely that would keep us warm.
Luckily we brought the extra clothes with us.
To be fair, the ferry ride over was the coldest part of the trip. Once we were on the island we seemed to be well protected by trees and as we were walking around we warmed up enough. We did have to wear long sleeves at some point but thankfully we weren’t shivering.
Once we got off the $7 ferry we walked straight up the middle to the bike hire. When we got there, however, we looked at the map and figured that if it had only taken 5–10 minutes to walk from the ferry to the bike hire on the other side of the island then walking to the east and west points wouldn’t be much of a trek either. So we set off.
Within about twenty minutes we were wishing we’d hired the bikes.
We walked along the southern part of the island, along the boardwalk, where we saw two stoat/weasel/ferry things rubbing themselves against the rocks and eating fish. Wildlife! They were very cute. We then had brunch at a cafe where bees and wasps buzzed around us trying to get at our food (we had french toast with maple syrup). It was a highly stressful meal.
More walking back to the centre of the islands (there are multiple islands connected by bridges but the whole thing is so small that it kind of feels like one big island with canals). The walk back took about 40 minutes. We then stopped for lunch at the Carousel Cafe and had burgers (Glen had a hankering) before hiring a tandem kayak for an hour.
I sat in the front while Glen sat in the back. Each of us was adamant we knew best how to paddle and keep the kayak going in the right direction. Glen’s way (let’s call in the wrong way) didn’t get us very far and my way (let’s call it the right way) didn’t get us very far either because Glen kept trying to use his (wrong) way. We zig-zagged back and forth across the water, in front of the paths of oncoming boats, as we became increasingly annoyed with each other.
We managed to go some distance before we decided we should turn back. More zig-zagging. We saw plenty of birds, geese and swans mostly, yet no snapping turtles. I don’t seem to be having much luck for seeing interesting wildlife. We arrived back at the hire place bang on the hour and disembarked. It took about fifteen minutes for us to start speaking nicely to each other again.
Next time we’re hiring separate kayaks.
We then walked to the west of the island to the other tip, walking past the lighthouse and the nude beach. There were people on the beach, about two of them nude. It was windy and cold. Couldn’t quite fathom why anyone would want to go there when it’s not actually warm but I think people here are so desperate for sunshine and so fearful of the approaching darkness that they’ll take what they can get.
Luckily there was a ferry running from Hanlon Point so we could take that back to the mainland without having to walk all the way back to Centre Island and catch it from there.
The trip over to the island was like a mini-holiday. We felt totally removed from Toronto, in another world really.
Oh, and I made two awesome dad jokes during our time there.
Joke Number 1: As the ferry was pulling into the island, we were looking over the edge and saw a post in the water with a big seagull on it. I turn to Glen and say the seagull’s name is Steven.
Joke Number 2: An orange and black butterfly flew past and I called it Queen Elizabeth. When Glen asked why, I said, “because it’s a monarch butterfly.”
Gold, Jerry! Gold!
Back in town we went and bought groceries from Loblaw’s and carried three large shopping bags home on the subway. For dinner we had homemade pizzas again (it’s turning into a regular weekend thing).
We’re off to the movies again tonight to see a film called Bad Words. It’s part of TIFF. I’m really tired. Glen’s gone for a nap but someone has to make dinner and then we have to go. Such a hard life. Tomorrow I want to sleep in.