What an incredible vacation Morgan and I enjoyed together up north – Toronto, Niagara Falls and Erie, PA. Last week I wrote about the start of our vacation, Traveling Healthy – Toronto (Part 1). I like to share how it’s possible to travel healthy without sacrificing a thing. I believe it comes down to priorities. For me it’s important I exercise, eat healthy and spend quality time with my family and friends. This combination gives me life. I did all of these on this vacation. Most importantly I get one-on-one time with my girl…how does it get any better than that…
Picking up where I left off in part 1, Tuesday began with a run on a trail that hugs Lake Ontario from outside of downtown into the city. It was a quite spectacular view. The timing worked out great as I’m an extreme morning person. I got my run in…quite rough on this day from I believe lingering effects of jet lag. Nonetheless I got my miles in and it was a great mental test as all 11 miles were a struggle. When I got back to the hotel Morgan and I got ready and headed to Starbucks. One additional priority for this trip was finding Morgan study time for the Law School Admissions Test upcoming. While at Starbucks she studied and I worked on training plans.
We then headed into the city and had a fantastic lunch at Fresh Plant Powered. This was near the Hockey Hall of Fame which we visited next. We had a fun time there where we got to take a picture with the Stanley Cup, enjoyed an exhibit on Wayne Gretzky, watched a movie, and marveled over the progression of goalie masks from when they were introduced to current day…I felt sorry for the goalies back in the day with lack of protection…geez.
Wednesday morning started off in similar fashion, I ran the same scenic 11 miles along the lake and on this day the body felt so much better. I ran with much more efficiency as I shrugged off the jet lag and it also felt good to run on back-to-back days. While I was finishing Morgan was studying. We headed back into town for lunch where Morgan found pizza at Virtuous Pie, I think her favorite meal of the trip.
We then walked to the CN Tower to explore the city from above. Morgan wasn’t phased by the quick rise to 147 stories above the city. It took me a few minutes to get comfortable and then I settled in. What a spectacular view of the city as we were looking down on skyscrapers and across from what seemed to be forever. Right before we were leaving they began to open the roof of the Rogers Centre where the Blue Jays baseball team would play later in the day.
Dinner followed our visit to the CN Tower at Parka Food Co. Another amazing plant-powered meal loaded with mushrooms, potatoes and veggies. Throughout the day we had snacks we picked up from one of our two visits to Whole Foods that bridged us from meal to meal.
Thursday was our final day in Toronto. I started with my run again along the lake enjoying every step. It was so important getting my time, doing my thing, and simply appreciating being healthy again. After cleaning up and gathering our things we ventured into the city for the final time. We grabbed tasty breakfast bowls at Kupfert & Kim.
We left Toronto mid-morning and headed to Niagara Falls, meeting my brother, Brian, and sister-in law, Linda, for the adventurous Voyage to the Falls Boat Tour. The power of the falls was breathtaking.
Back to the U.S. it was as we headed to Erie and explore the city where my brother and sister-in-law moved to from the D.C. area….quite a change. They live right off of Lake Erie and a beautiful state park, Presque Isle. This is where I ran the next two days. Friday morning I did a light run in the park saving up for a big effort Saturday. It has a trail that lines the peninsula. After my run Friday morning we set out for a lunch at a local market, Whole Food Co-Op, where they had a cafe serving various plant-based and gluten-free options for us. It was fantastic!
We then took a boat tour around Presque Isle into Lake Erie. The weather was beautiful as we took in the history of Erie and scenic coast line. Friday evening Brian and Lina prepared homemade black bean burgers, corn, and we grabbed fries from a local restaurant. It was a nice change up as we had eaten out for our lunch and dinner the entire trip.
Saturday I got up extra early to go out for a long run in Presque Isle and it was a confidence building run for me. Coming off my recent knee injury I have done everything in my power with rehab and progressing by plan to this point. I set out for 15 miles and by the time I got to 7-8 miles I began to feel the legs tiring. Then my body fell into the hard to describe running numb zone.
My planned cut down paces were feeling better and better and as I got to the end of mile 12, my last planned effort mile, I decided to go one more at effort. That happened again at the end of mile 13 and by the time I ended my fastest two mile splits of the 15 mile run were miles 13 and 14. I was on cloud nine! There was no pain in my knee. My quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves were cursing at me but overall I felt like it was a major milestone. The next big test would come Monday when I attempt bridges on the bike….
After showering up, I met Erie’s Plant-Based guru and owner of Vegan Cheers, Lisa Rose, for a tea where we shared how our pursuits to help our community are progressing. She is full of energy and doing so many incredible things in Erie and surrounding areas. It was an uplifting conversation and motivated us to stay connected and push each other to do more. While I was doing this Morgan was of course studying…so determined!
I then met up with family for lunch and then headed on a tour of downtown Erie and surrounding areas. Linda grew up west of Erie and went to school at Edinboro University. It was a nice leisure afternoon before we headed back to eat dinner from the Whole Foods Co-Op again…it was so good…worth repeating. We ended the evening taking a few innings in at the local minor league baseball park home of the Erie Seawolves.
I want to thank Brian and Linda for being great hosts for our first visit to Erie. As captured here, it is possible to eat super healthy (and tasty!), exercise, and spend quality time with loved ones all in one trip. These summer vacations with Morgan have been priceless. There is nothing that can replace these experiences together. Material things are just that but this time together and with family will be my fondest memories…
– Add Health to Your Life