G and I offed to London for Christmas and enjoyed some wonderful downtime at Riverside with my folks, sister and family. This was the first year in many that G joined us as he is often travelling elsewhere at Christmas – Mexico last year; China the year before; Las Vegas the year before that one.
Mom had Riverside decked out to the nine’s with holiday cheer. It was beautiful. Christmas Eve dinner was at Riverside and Christmas dinner at my sister’s home. It was an all-too short visit as – sadly – I had to dash back to Toronto to work the midweek. More sadly, the pictures taken at sis’s place vanished off my camera. Note: must add new digital SLR to my birthday list.
Upon our return we booked a night at the newly renovated Hyatt Regency (formerly the Holiday Inn on King – an often winner of a Toronto Pug Award [formerly the Puglies] for the city’s best and worse architecture). The team at Hyatt did a great job on the renovation, and the hotel – the elevators aside – have a thoroughly modern, contemporary feel now. The food, however, remains second rate, at best.
We scored a suite that faced southwest and enjoyed a great evening watching the city lights, and figure skating.
5) the sitting room at our suite at Hyatt Regency; 6) the view looking southwest
7) our bedroom room had a view of the “T” in Hyatt on the building; 8) T at night
On the in-between
evening, we had Cousin Richard over for dinner and some Wii He kindly
brought a bottle of Henkell Trocken bubbly, which was perfect as the
LCBO holiday magazine listed a number of holiday drinks that we wanted
to try out, including: a ‘Black Velvet’ (bubbly and Guinness –
excellent drink with the Guinness and bubbly acting to soften each
other) and ‘Death in the Afternoon’ (reputedly a favourite of Ernest
Hemingway) (bubbly and absinthe – with the bubbly doing nothing to mask
the taste of the famed green fairy).
10) Cousin Richard gives his thumbs up to a Death in the Afternoon; 11) preparing for a Black Velvet
In fact, we loved the
place so much, we returned a night later and stayed a second time …
trying out a suite on the southeast side which looked straight up King
Street and the new Bell Lightbox Centre and Condo (soon to be the new home of the Toronto International Film Festival).
13) our bedroom: night two; 14) the sitting room: night two
15 & 16) different night, different “T”
17) the bathroom; 18) the view from our bedroom looking up King Street – Lightbox on left
As an aside, I received a nice New Year email greeting from Col Needham, the CEO and Founder of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) thanking me for my contributions to the site in 2009 – some 250 of which were approved by the data management team. Woohoo me!