OUR TRIP to Niagara Falls and Toronto

Dear Readers,

Jason and I really started 2019 the sweetest and most romantic way. We spent 5 days and 4 nights in Ontario, exploring the busy streets of Toronto and getting lost at the natural beauty of Niagara Falls. Since this short little vacation is our first trip of 2019, I wanted to share every single thing with you all.

Before we start, here is our detailed trip schedule in PDF for those of you who literally want to copy EVERYTHING we did on this trip. (There were only a few variations on this schedule that we actually ended up NOT doing, and the biggest one had to be that we never made it to our Momofuku reservation. We ended up doing something else.) 

CLICK THE LINK TO VIEW THE PDF BELOW:

Toronto TRIP – SCHEDULE (1)

As you can see from the schedule attached above, I was very, very, very organized with this trip. Every single day was planned out because I wanted to fit everything that we wanted to do in Toronto with the little time we had. Most of the restaurants we went to were recommended by my Instagram followers, and after searching up their menus online, viewing their Instagram accounts and conducting all these research for each restaurant, I made my final selections and reserved my way through as it fits our schedule.

But yes, despite my thorough organization, there were still times wherein we didn’t follow the schedule note for note… sometimes, the best way to enjoy a trip, is to simply, “go with the flow”.

Side note: As already  mentioned, we never went to our dinner reservation at Momofuku – instead we went to Chinatown and had fried chicken at Gdous Juicy Chicken House. And yes… we had scheduled to explore Chinatown in the plan too… if you haven’t noticed yet, on the schedule Ripley’s Aquarium was also scheduled for Day 3… but all that had to be cancelled and moved around because Jason got too drunk at PAI, and we ended up going back to the apartment instead of walking around Chinatown… and because of that, we cancelled on Momofuku and explored Chinatown/the rest of the city on our last night.

Another note: I was getting mass questions about the place we stayed at while we were in Toronto. So here is the link of the place: TORONTO APARTMENT

Now, let’s slowly break down what we did in our 5 days – 4 nights trip to Niagara Falls AND Toronto.

DAY 1 

Left Calgary at 7:00 am (Calgary time) and arrived at Toronto around 1:30 pm (Toronto time).  Calgary is 2 hours behind Toronto.

This flight was actually a growing concern for me beforehand. The forecasted weather in Calgary for the day of our departure was just not looking great… we were expecting heavy snow and freezing temperatures, which could ultimately mean our flight could be cancelled or delayed.

Luckily… and surprisingly, our departure flight was right on schedule.

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After landing in Toronto, Jason and I took a Lyft ride to our apartment. Our check in time was supposed to be at 3:00 pm but we arrived there at 2:00 pm and our room was not ready for us yet. So, we left our bags and started exploring the vast city of Toronto. Our first food stop was Chipotle!!!

After Chipotle, we headed back to our apartment and checked in. We were so exhausted and just slept through most of the afternoon until around 8:00 pm and went out for dinner.

One of my favorite things about our apartment in Toronto is that the location was just spot on. The place we stayed at was super close to a grocery store, a ramen restaurant, a Tim Horton’s, a bubble tea place, and many other neat places that are completely within walking distance. Other than walking around, we took advantage of our convenient downtown apartment location, and took Lyft rides around the city for most of our trip. OHHHHHH… and may I add, the apartment we stayed at also gave us free and complete access to the building’s gym facilities and pool!

DAY 2 

For me, Niagara Falls was the highlight of our trip.

On our second day, we slept in and made our way to Greyhound’s bus stop to catch our bus that would take us from Toronto to Niagara Falls and back. The drive to Niagara Falls from Toronto, would only take about one hour and twenty minutes, but since we took the public bus transportation which made about three stops along the way, this delayed our arrival time by a little… so in total, our journey from Toronto’s bus terminal to Niagara Falls was about two hours and ten minutes.

Regardless, the bus ride was the best way to get to Niagara Falls from Toronto in terms of the “cheap/affordable” aspect. In total, Jason and I only paid $80.00 for BOTH of our tickets (2 person – return trip Greyhound tickets). Not too bad if you ask me.

As soon as we arrived at Niagara Falls, Jason and I wasted no time and took a Lyft ride to Skylon Tower. We then had lunch with a view… the Niagara Falls view.

The view from up there was soooooo stunning. We were able to see both the American side of the falls, as well as the Canadian side. Of course, and without further questions, the Canadian side of the falls was the best view of Niagara Falls!

After lunch, and after taking about 100 pictures from Skylon Tower, Jason and I walked down towards the falls’ pathway. As we strolled around this path, I found myself so amazed by the gigantic size of the falls. The closer we get, the bigger the falls become. The sound of the water rushing down was so calming, and the sun blessing us with its sunshine painted my dreams to life. I used to only dream about seeing these falls, and I couldn’t believe I was really, really there… looking right at it… and on top of that, I was sharing that beautiful moment with someone whom I love with all my heart. That moment… that day… was pure magic.

A rainbow even came out of the blue, just to sparkle some more magic to what was already a magical sight.

After countless hours… that seriously felt like 10 minutes to me… we headed back to the bus terminal to catch our bus back to Toronto.

Nevertheless, the beautiful sight of Niagara Falls will forever be engraved in my memory.

DAY 3

The third day of our trip composed a lot of touristy things. The biggest highlight of this day was going up to view Toronto’s downtown from the CN Tower and witnessing Jason get drunk at 4:00 pm on a Sunday. It was great. 

One really cute and funny thing about Jason is the fact that he’s genuinely scared of heights. The whole time we were up there, he was pretty much tripping out and getting scared each time we looked straight down from the viewing deck or got too close to the windows. It was so hilarious, I wish you all were there with me to witness how my six foot one boyfriend is terrified of heights!!!

After our city viewing at CN Tower, Jason and I made our way to Pai and had dinner. We scheduled our dinner a little early, since I couldn’t reserve us a table at Pai for a later time… 4:30 pm was their only available slot, so I took it.

AND THIS IS WHERE IT ALL GOES DOWN.

Jason being Jason, had a little too much Sapporo beer and was getting a little drunk by the time 5:30 pm hits. After our dinner at Pai, I originally scheduled us for a little walk around Chinatown AND to check out Ripley’s Aquarium. Ultimately, given the unseen circumstance of Jason drinking a little too much, that plan was cancelled and we went straight back to our apartment. Regardless, I wouldn’t had wanted that day to end any other way. Seeing Jason drunk at a tiny Thai restaurant in Toronto was just the funniest thing… just imagine what his convo with our Lyft driver was like (bless his heart for dealing with Jason’s drunk ass). This tale is one for our books.

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DAY 4

Originally, we were supposed to see Ripley’s Aquarium in Day 3, but given that Jason got a little out of it… we ended up doing the aquarium tour in Day 4. Ripley’s Aquarium was big and fascinating but it wasn’t my favorite part of trip. I found the place a little too over crowded with tourists and kids. Plus, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the children really did, which made me wish we had a kid with us… I was telling Jason the whole time, “babe, I wish Aurora was here” – for those of you who may not know, Aurora is my three year old cousin, who is the closest little girl to my heart… she’s the closest thing to my own kid right now, and I love her so much.

At the aquarium, I was daydreaming about our future kids being fascinated by the sea animals, rather than me being fascinated by the sea animals themselves. I can’t wait for the day to come, wherein Jason and I are travelling with our own kids, visiting foreign zoos and aquariums and just growing altogether as one big, happy family. One day it’ll come, and I’m sure, it will be just like as I imagined it to be.

If travelling to Toronto with children, this aquarium is a definite MUST SEE!!! This place is so family friendly and the kids will surely rave about it to their friends back home.

After our quick one hour stop at Ripley’s Aquarium, we went to Toronto Eaton Centre to have lunch and buy Jason’s basketball shoes. For those of you who may not know, Jason likes to buy basketball shoes, especially Lebron’s and Jordan’s. However, the shoe Jason ended up purchasing was not Lebron’s or  Jordan’s and trust me, just getting our inside connections to secure us a pair was tough in Calgary… so Toronto was our last and best bet at getting those shoes. Apparently this pair of shoes are super major and fire, because he clearly believes these shoes are going to be worth a lot someday – it’s really an investment piece for him…. along with all the other shoes in his closet that he has never worn out…

and ohh… I’m talking about the Kobe 4 Proto Draft Day Edition click here for pic. 

After securing the shoes, we ate at the food court and had Jollibee later on that day.

DAY 5

Just like that… our trip came to an end.

Left Toronto at 4:20 pm (Toronto time) and arrived at Edmonton around 6:45 pm (Edmonton time). Left Edmonton at 9:45 pm and arrived Calgary at around 10:35 pm (Calgary time). Our flight from Toronto to Edmonton was fine, no delays… but our flight back home from Edmonton to Calgary was delayed by 2 hours… and I had work at 8:00 am the next day too… tiring, but it was all worth it.

I was genuinely sad about leaving Toronto while we were on our flight to Edmonton. The only thing that kept me sane was the wifi we bought on flight and the fact that no one was seated with us in the row seats of the plane. Jason and I were booked to have the window and middle seat, and no one sat with us on the aisle seat. That gave us so much more freedom to move around in terms of washroom breaks and lounging.

Just a quick note: I didn’t really dive in too much about the food we ate, since I am planning on releasing more content about where we ate in Toronto and our fave Toronto food joints. So stay tuned for that 🙂

Thank you for all the love and support. This trip was a dream come true for both Jason and I, and we only look forward to the future travels of our lives.

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Love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio and Jason Yang

My Take on Being a Social Media Influencer

January 16, 2018

Dear Readers,

What does it mean to be a role model and social media influencer?

This is a question which has been circulating my mind for the past few days. Today, this question wouldn’t leave me alone. Here are my thoughts on this particular topic:

Shockingly, my blog has readers who truly commit and follow my story… every inch of the way. I am thankful for all of you. In fact, a friend of mine from university told me a story about how she came across two girls at a party who recognized her because of me. My friend, let’s call her “El”, was at a party with her boyfriend “Marv”. At the party, two girls approached them and asked, “do you know Dez”. Without further hesitation, El responded with a strong “yes”. Out of all the questions in the world to ask, the two girls managed to connect my friends to ME as DEZLEIGHH. After being questioned about their relationship to me, El and Marv were wondering how the two girls recognized them through ME… without a doubt, even I got curious too.

As it turns out, the two girls recognized El and Marv from my social media stories and posts. The two lovely ladies are my followers on Instagram and readers of my blog. It’s amazing how my life’s stories touches and reaches so many people. I can only imagine the look on El’s face when those two girls approached her asking about ME, like I was some sort of celebrity… like some girl who seems unreal. The two girls even told El how much they can relate to my story, and how much they enjoy my content and posts… they complimented me so much that it touched my soul and heart just listening to El telling me all about it. It made me feel like I’m living in a fantasy, a surreal moment that I never could imagine to be true. But to be honest, I am real and my friends are real, and my boyfriend is real, and my family too! EVERYTHING YOU’RE READING ON HERE, IS THE MOST GENUINE VERSION OF ME YOU CAN EVER GET… and that’s a fact.

It is the sweetest form of compliment and endearment every time I hear people praise my blog. Those who has supported me throughout my whole journey as a blogger will see my own growth as a writer, and human being. Back in the older days, my original readers would recall and notice the difference between my lack of “proof-reading” and insufferable grammatical errors – to my now, more refined works. Even I can tell that I had grown so much as a writer throughout the years, and to be appreciated by the community is the best reward!

Another amazing “reader/follower” interaction I had come across to, was way back in the summer of 2017. At the time, I was out in Banff with my family and Jason. We were taking a lovely walk at the Fairmont Banff Hotel when this young girl, with beautiful blonde hair stood excitedly, waving and smiling at me. At first, I was trying my best to remember or recognize who she was. She hurriedly approach me and I suddenly realized that this girl is not someone I know… and as she got closer to me, she said with such excitement and joy, “Hi, you’re Dezleigh, I follow you on Instagram and I read your blogs”.

I will never forget that girl. She was the first girl who had the honesty, courage, and spirit to compliment my blog in person and showed me her support and encouragements. Her lovely greeting was my reality… it was at that moment I knew that I want to keep inspiring people through my stories… through my words… through this blog. Even Jason was quite astounded by her reaction upon seeing me… we were fairly a new couple at the time, so he didn’t really know just how big my blog was… to be honest, even I didn’t know how big my blog was too… or how big my blog will become… But you guys never fail to remind me, that I will always have an audience willing to listen and willing to understand my story. All I have to do, is to write and share it.

BUT, what does it mean to be a role model and influencer?

I now understand that I have an audience who actively reads my blog. My life impacts theirs, and my stories are an influential aspect in their lives. I feel like I have a personal responsibility of due care to these readers. I am their role model… the person whose words and stories have a significant or perhaps minimal impact on their lives. Despite the level of reach I have, at some point my readers will learn a thing or two from me… and I must make sure that the lessons I teach are to be proud of. At the very least, I want my stories to stem a source of inspiration for everyone.

I’m in no means a “perfect person”. I think that my irregularities and different view of the world is what makes my readers stay and attract more readers. I truly view life as a learning process… I learn knew things about myself everyday. The people who are the closest to me cultivates the way I grow, and the inner voice inside my head helps me to understand that I have so many flaws I need to work on. “Perfect” and “role model” are perhaps two concepts that truly doesn’t define me.

The concept of me being a “role model” is actually quite heavy. I know that most of my readers are learning a lot from my own relationship failures all the way through my personal lifestyle… but that is not enough to make me a role model. A role model is someone who has impacted the world to such an extent that is revolutionary. A role model is someone whose actions had shed a positive light to millions and millions of people. “Role models” are those individuals who are so close to being perfect human beings, if perfect human beings ever existed. A “role model” are the likes of Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Steve Jobs, and even Béyonce. I am nowhere close to these individuals.

I prefer to think of myself as an influencer.

As an influencer, the title is less serious than a role model… which gives me more breathing room and freedom to make mistakes. I am now starting to understand that my blog has an influence on people… and that I must protect my influence through writing stories that are genuine, and uniquely about me. I only want to inspire people and teach them a thing or two about life. In return, all I really want is for you to read my content with an open mind.

I want to impact people’s lives in a positive light. At this time in my life I had grown to understand that my mistakes and struggles can help someone else in dire need. To those who are willing to search for a helpline, a person to talk to, someone who will listen, or someone who will never judge them, then that person is ME. This is not a joke when I say, “I will always be there for people who needs me”. I honestly check my DMs on a daily basis and I will always reply… I always get DMs from randoms and strangers who just want to vent, share their problems, and ask for my opinion. I’ve had read the most outrageous DMs to the most touching DMs – and to my very best, I will try to shed some light into your darkness, but at the end of the day I am not perfect. My opinions and advices can only go for so long and eventually, your life is still yours to live.

It is often a struggle finding what stories to tell, what content to post, and what ideas to promote. I started this blog with 100% authenticity and I want to maintain my integrity as an individual. Thus, my desire to be a real person in the internet and sharing only what I feel is genuine is what I want to do and nothing else. I want to keep influencing people in a way that is positive. I will make mistakes, and that is fine because I’m human too. But the most important aspects about my mistakes are the lessons I learned.

In all, I just wanted to say “thank you so much from the bottom of my heart”, for still reading my blogs. To more stories to tell and lessons to learn in 2018!

With love,

Mary Dezleigh Teodosio.