First things first: follow the complete journey through pictures (especially the various versions of me gurning like a mental patient) by clicking here for the Bodester's excellent full photo album. Here are some highlights - this is episode 1, and I'll add some more when I can be bothered and see a nice spike in my readership (5 people whose surnames are not Freedman would do it...).
EPISODE 1 - TORONTO
Cousin Michelle's wedding to Tzvi (think Dr Green from ER but 1 ft shorter and with great taste in malt whisky) was awesome. Quality food (choc fountain), drink (whiskytini) and scenery (two gorgeous waksworks). Hanging out with lots of Landys, and yes, one of them really is called Randy Landy. You just can't make this stuff up. But she has impeccable restaurant and bar knowledge, as do the rest of the family.
Culinary top moments included great Thai followed by superb ice-cream, excellent chicken wings on Toronto's equivalent of Golders Green Road, a mahoosive plate of perogies (think breaded, fried ravioli), creme caramel flavoured Diet Pepsi, visits to Cafe Nervosa for Yukon wholemeal and potato pizza (good recommendation Josh) and numerous other bits of nosh. Here is some "Jif Pie" at Chicken Nest:
For some reason there are no photos of the wedding to share, but here's one of me and two friends I picked up:
And here is one of Helen with a native Canadian moose (and a brown animal statue of some description):
Toronto is best described by Peter Ustinov: "New York, run by the Swiss"... it's not the buzziest place in the world, but it works nicely, has a laid-back atmosphere and is generally inoffensive and pleasant.
It also plays host to the Bata Shoe Museum, which is great to take the ladies to, as it allows them to indulge their fetishes without damaging your credit card. You can even visit their online exhibition, All About Shoes. Here's me crushing my feet into some clogs:
It's also home to the black squirrel, otherwise known as the bushy-tailed black rat:
Then we went on to Niagara Falls by train, stopping off for a Cinnabon each at Union Station. More to follow in episode 2...