Country mouse meets big city lights of Toronto – 2

It took me awhile to come up with the words for this series. So much transpired, it was completely overwhelming.

I think you know me well enough by now to realize I can’t possibly write about an experience like this in just one short post. I want to take you with me… so here we go!

Toronto bound for Blogpodium /

Visit Part 1 HERE


Back when Jen asked me to be a keynote speaker for BlogPodium, I double checked the To and From area of the email. This can’t be right. She can’t be serious. It must be spam. 🙂

Well, it wasn’t. They wanted me. Donna Williams. That Funky Junk girl that decorates with pallet wood as her life’s jewelry, wears flannel and lives in a small town with one 3 way stop (with no traffic) as the main intersection.

Arial view of Toronto bound for Blogpodium /
Country mouse meets big city lights of Toronto – 2

Once I came down to earth, I was off it again in a jiffy. Me ‘n my lap top with a backup copy of my slideshow presentation, that would carry me through the speech.

I’m going to throw out a major shoutout to West Jet. This was the smoothest flight I’ve ever flown. It truly was like sitting in your living room in a cushy chair. No turbulence. No sound. No tight squeeze in the seats. No true first class section (I checked LOL) except for more leg room. But it wasn’t needed. I was comfy as ever and had the best flight to date.

Arial view of Toronto bound for Blogpodium /
And then in 4 short hours, there it was. Hello there Toronto! So very nice to meet you!

At this point, I should be getting nervous, right? I mean, keynote speaker? In front of EVERYONE first thing?

I kicked that fright thing to the curb like a bad junk find. No! Not going there. This was going to be fabulous in every way. THIS!!! Is why I’m doing what I’m doing and I have no doubt in my mind. If you’ve read my story, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

Mirror framed mirror at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto for Blogpodium /

Oh Toronto, how you greeted me! I was picked up at the airport and brought to the Fairmont Royal York.  And that’s when I quickly knew I was no where near that little country 3 way stop.

Fairmont Royal York Toronto for Blogpodium /
All I could do was walk into the room and GASP. Glamorous to the hilt. A Keurig coffee machine even. (hello!!) And quiet! So very muffley quiet on the 8th floor.

When I talked to the Royal York on the phone prior, they asked me which view I desired to have, the city or the water. 

“How about half my stay city and half water?”

“We think you’re going to be very happy in one room the entire time. Let us take care of that for you.”

Fairmont Royal York Toronto for Blogpodium /
And as soon as I walked into the room, I figured out their little plan… which was far better than my own.

CN Tower in Toronto for Blogpodium /
City lights in Toronto for Blogpodium /

They gave me a corner room (two windows!) with a view of both city and water. (you can barely see the water in the above pic but that’s ok.. it was gorgeous anyway!)

So waiting for my luggage to be brought up (yes I did that this time!), I spun around, wide eyed, and peered into every nook and cranny.

Fairmont Royal York in Toronto for Blogpodium /
The bathroom was just stunning! Right down to the fancy makeup mirror to the puffy white bathrobe. Even a closet lit up when you opened it.

Welcome gift at the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto for Blogpodium /
Before I had a chance to get a handle on everything, a few knocks on the door transpired.

One was to bring the luggage.

One was to bring 2 bottles of water and the offer of ice.

One was a lovely welcome gift of something wonderful to nibble on. And the offer to turn down my bed.

I declined the latter. I think I must have stammered with something like… “Uh, wow. Um, thanks! I’m not ready to turn in right now but thanks anyway…”

How do you answer that?! And what does it all involve?!  I should google it… 🙂

Regardless, I felt very Downton Abbeyish, very welcomed and appreciated.

I will say this. The Royal York staff always meet you with a smile, turning all their attention towards you as if you’re the only one in the room. This goes for anyone at the door, behind a desk or even the cleaning staff. And I let them know how amazing that was.

This little country mouse in this big city was doing just fine!

I couldn’t find any bloggers as I walked the lobby, so I decided to venture out the front doors to check out the big city for a quick meal nearby.

Coke bottle chandelier at Jack Astors in Toronto for Blogpodium /
My hope… something with style, funk, and hopefully good food. And that’s where I found Jack Astor’s with THIS fabulous coke bottle chandelier. Seriously!!!!

And then turned around and there were bloggers! Now we’re rollin’! Food and company… both perfection.

But it was getting late, and time to hit the hay. The morning would come early with a big task at hand. VERY big.

As night took over, so did the big city lights. But what I saw next totally stunned me. 

I quickly turned out ALL the lights, so I could lay on my feather pillow and take in the splendour of the CN tower in full motion. The most wonderful nightlight in the world.

I’ll just never forget falling asleep with this as my view.

Morning sunrise in Toronto for Blogpodium /
The next morning, I didn’t have to rely on my alarm. I woke up with the Toronto sunrise, right before all the black suits and briefcases filled the streets below.

Oh my gosh. Today was THEE day… could I really do this?! My stomach did a small flip.

It was time to reach for that Keurig machine and find out…

Part 3 coming soon…

Read all the Toronto adventure series to date HERE.

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15 thoughts on “Country mouse meets big city lights of Toronto – 2

  1. This recap is almost as good as your presentation. I can feel your excitement and joy and enthusiasm.

    You may not remember but you took a few minutes to chat with me and your words are still echoing in my head.
    “so what if I fail?”
    I am gonna pack up all my fears & chuck them in a big garbage shute. That way I can’t pick them up again.

    looking forward to the next part of your awesome trip.

    • Margaret, you just made my night. That those words stayed with you?

      Funny thing… I say them all the time to others. But sometimes my advice is a little hard to follow… for even ME. haha

      So glad we got to connect! The day whipped by much too fast.

  2. I would bet the ranch you were just fabulous. I live in a very small town, which compared to where I previously lived is like a small city, we have a stop light, our only claim to fame is this is where Abraham Lincoln was born, but anyway I drive to Louisville about once a month and it is really intimidating at times, especially if there is road construction and I have to detour, (panic). That room was gorgeous and it gave me a great Idea what to do in our tiny guest bathroom. Isn’t it wonderful to stay somewhere where the staff is so nice and accommodating, and treat you like you are the only guest they have. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story.

    • It really is. When you travel on your own and you are far, far away from all that is familiar to you, this place made me feel ok with that.

      The room was amazing which made it even more ok. 🙂 I love taking shots of pretty hotel rooms. May seem strange to some, but they always offer something one may not have thought of. To me, well done hotel rooms provide all things comfort and elegance, something we can totally have in our own homes. Glad it inspired you!

      Sidenote: the console in front of the bed had the Keurig coffee machine sitting on a slide out drawer. What guest room wouldn’t love that!

  3. I am so happy you enjoyed your brief visit to “the Big smoke”, “Hog Town”, “T-O” or however Toronto is referred to. I love the Royal York and the history it represents. If I need to meet up with someone or have time to kill before a meeting, I often just sit in the lobby and drink in it’s historical beauty.

    I was at Blogpodium and enjoyed your keynote speech. You were fabulous and so authentic. Congrats!

    I hope you were able to enjoy a few other Toronto sites but if not … come back!

  4. Donna, All I can say to you is, please write a book. I am hanging on here by a thin thread to read part 3. The above was written so interestingly that I just want to finish Toronto now. I can’t wait.


  5. Have fun and try to take lot’s of photo’s please? I have never made it to Toronto, so I need the armchair tour.

    • Laurel, I personally think we need to hook up and get a bunch of nice hotels during the World’s Longest Yard Sale. I’ll make sure and order NO bunk beds! But with that heat you’ll probably wish they had a water park. LOL

      (your comment so made me laugh)

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