I'm from Houston, not sure if that matters or not, but this was my first trip to Canada. My husband and I were only in Toronto for two days so my list of things consisted of attractions we could only experience in Canada. The Aquarium did not make my list. I figured if I've seen one then I must have seen them all and I'm more afraid of everything that can eat you in the ocean than interested in getting to know the different creatures.
Since this was a trip for my husband's birthday though, I gave him full reigns with our itinerary once we got there and had printed out a TripAdvisor list with the top things to do in the area while circling a few of my favorites. Although, the aquarium was on the list, it was not circled or researched any further. Once we checked into the Delta Marriott and made it up to our room, he noticed the roof of the aquarium and replaced the visit up the CN Tower with the aquarium. This was our first stop and I was hoping it'd only take thirty minutes because we had breweries and the hockey hall of fame (more fun things) to see.
Ha. We spent over three hours walking around and my husband ended up having to pull me along because I became mesmerized. I stopped at the vertical tunnel of fish swimming sychronized and was envisioning Finding Nemo as they made shapes together and I was taking videos of the shark exhibit from the entry because it looked so scary and shallow and I was glad to be on the other side of the building. I had no idea there would be a tunnel that would surround you with the sharks and sea life. They had interactive exhibits where you could pet sharks and get a manicure from shrimp. I had a blast and felt like a kid. I immediately wanted to fly my two nieces up there, so I could experience the bewilderment again through their eyes.
I thought Seaworld was cool until now...take me back to the Toronto Aquarium!
First love. Second chance? As the daughter of a hoarder, Phoenix Fuller had a tough childhood. So when the handsome, popular Riley Stinson became her boyfriend in high school, she finally felt as though she had something to be proud of. Phoenix was desperate not to lose him-especially once she found out she was pregnant. Yes, she might have acted a bit obsessive when he broke up with her. But she did not run down the girl he started dating next. Unfortunately, there was no way to prove her innocence. Now, after serving her time in prison, Phoenix has been released. All she wants to do is return to Whiskey Creek and get to know her son. But Jacob's father isn't exactly welcoming. Riley doesn't trust Phoenix, doesn't want her in Jacob's life. He is, however, ready to find someone to love. And he wants a good mother for his son. He has no idea that he's about to find both!
Published March 31st 2015 by Mira Book
This Heart of Mine can be a stand alone book and it stands alone. I've seen books incorporate a past love child as well as reconnecting relationships that didn't work out in the past, but nothing quite like this. This is a whole new spin on making it work. There is a rivalry among friends that leaves you guessing who she will end up with and I would have been truly fine with either candidate.
This story didn't focus on love, which was unexpected and made it so unique. It was centered on a woman's drive to rebuild her broken life and as she went along love just so happened to bloom. She has a handful of hard battles to face with the brother of the girl she supposedly murdered wanting to run her out of town, hopefully convincing her son and those around her of her innocence, and beginning to try to build a relationship with her son. She had not been able to work and barely even drove before going into jail, so she has a lot to make up for when she got out.
She is filled with a lot of self-doubt and hesitancy, which gets a bit frustrating at times how unsure she is with every situation she is presented with. This love story picks up right where it left off in its high school daze, but this time instead of listening to his family, he has the chance to stand up and defend his love which he does quite chivalrously.
This story has some love, action, suspense and mystery (even a murder), but mostly the drive Pheonix has towards her uphill battle is the most mesmerizing and memorable part of this story. She's not head strong and stubborn facing this town that despises her, but she has her way of still getting things done which made her more realistic and relatable. I gave This Heart of Mine four out of five stars.
This post is way overdo, but life has not been nice to me lately, so this is my first chance to sit down and not have the day over packed with commitments. I have four hours before our next commitment to tell you as much as possible and finally review some of our top stops on our weekend away. I'm going to break this post up into parts, and I'll post another part of our journey each Monday till this adventure run outs (Otherwise this will be one long ass post). So, let's begin with Shannon's Surprise Shindig: Part 1 - Our Crash Pad
I had booked this trip six months before his birthday and if I do say so myself, I did a pretty damn good job of keeping it a secret from him. I had enough time in advance to not be obvious when I said he needed to get his passport renewed and went as far as packing for him before he got home from work and driving us to the airport before he started to get suspicious. When we finally parked at the airport, he still had no idea what he was in for until we took the tram and didn't get off at my normal terminal but stayed on to the international terminal. We got there with enough time to eat before we boarded and I handed over the below little pamphlet I made for him with our itinerary and the top attractions to do in the area because I couldn't hold it in any longer with the bombardment of questions coming my way. I will say it was just as fun planning this escape and seeing his surprise as it was exploring this new part of the world together.
First time to Canada and the beauty of the city made both my husband and I consider never leaving. This weekend was a surprise birthday trip for my husband and a week before our stay, Katherine Leonard, with Guest Services sent us a personalized email noticing that this was our first stay with the hotel and asked if she could arrange anything for us. Her email made me feel welcomed before we even left the states. I responded back that this was our first time in Canada and my husband's birthday and she gave us a complimentary upgrade and had chocolate strawberries and champagne with a note waiting for us in our room on our first night. That started our weekend off perfectly. The hotel is in the perfect location and is beautiful. We went there for the Hockey Hall of Fame and my husband loved the hockey decor around the hotel as they were supporting the induction events happening that weekend.
We had access to the club lounge and the food and views were both magnificent. There was not a bad seat in the lounge with the wrap around floor to ceiling windows. We toured the hotel and the swimming pool, sauna, outside deck, and bar was just a beautiful as the pictures portrayed. This was a very clean, spacious, modern, timeless hotel and I would love to come back here soon. It ended up being a ten minute walk to the HHOF, then the Aquarium, CN Tower, and Steam Whistle brewery were just across the street. Convenient commutes to many top attractions.
Share and let me know what you think? Will the book be better than the movie or vice versa? Is this who you pictured playing these roles and do you think the sexual tension will be there?
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