Archive for the ‘Toronto’ Category

Catching Up

For starters, here’s my outfit all finished and on a real person and not the hanger.  It was crazy sunny.  I’m not happy with the skirt.  The material is too soft (like a gaberdine), but it was all that our Fabricland had the day I was there.  The blouse is too big and the sleeves too long.  To be honest, I knew about the sleeve issue but thought it would just make them more puffy.  It didn’t, it made the cuffs slide down my hands all day.   I can actually take off the blouse without unbuttoning it, so I need to fix that too.  I may actually make short sleeves, I’ll get more wear out of it that way.  It was so warm in Scarborough last weekend.  I didn’t wear a coat the entire time (keep that in mind for the end of the post).

Look what Uncle Stefan did!  He shaved his beard and his head so he could be King Pin to go with Ella’s Black Cat!!

And who was the first person we saw?  Black Cat!  She loved it when Ella told her she was ‘Black Cat as a tween’.

Ghostbuster’s car, unfortunately we missed meeting ‘Winston’.  We did get to meet Karen Allen at the meet & greet section.  She may have been ‘Marion’ in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” but I wasn’t forking out $40 for a signature.

Lots of Star Wars folks wandering around.  Including R2D2 and his entourage of Storm Troopers.

Uncle Stefan was such a hit.  So many people stopped him to take pictures.  Even the Green Arrow needed one.

Ella found a really friendly Thor.

We even found a Spiderman (Black Cat’s on again-off again boyfriend).

I couldn’t get a good picture of this guy, but boy did he ever look like Obi Wan Kenobi (Sir Alex Guinness).

Great time at Comic-Con but we’re ready to head home.  Definitely a smart idea to go in the morning.  The crowd got really big after lunch and it was getting overwhelming for Ella.

I love this picture of Ella.

Sunday morning we hit the Science Centre.  Again, morning is the best time to go.  Seems Toronto people don’t ‘do’ mornings.  I think this is Ella’s favourite exhibit.  Every time we go to the Science Centre she has to play in the interactive koi pond.

The main reason we went was to see the Mammoth exhibit.  Wow, look how big that thing is!!  Uncle Stefan isn’t a short guy and he’s dwarfed by it.

Wouldn’t want to run into this guy either!

This time Ella had the perfect hair for the static ball.  She also answered most of the ‘scientist’s’ questions too.

And of course, it wouldn’t be a trip to Scarborough without a stop in to visit with Great Grandma.

Oh yeah, remember all that nice weather last weekend?

It rained ice balls all day long on Thursday.  They really piled up outside the door (just the way the roofs meet).  Daisy was less than pleased.

It was like picking up a handful of sugar.  Really, really, cold sugar.

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Scarborough Fun

We were planning on going to Black Creek Pioneer Village.  I love it there and I haven’t taken Ella yet.  It was so hot the last time we were down, we decided to wait till the kids went back to school and things cooled off.  Unfortunately it was too cool on Saturday.  Well, it would have been OK if Ella had a fall coat.  But we decided the breeze would be too cool with just a sweater.  So what to do?

We went to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) to see their Pompeii exhibit.  Apparently ( I didn’t know), Ella had said to Daddy that she hoped we could see the Pompeii exhibit.  So it wasn’t hard to convince her to do the ROM instead of Black Creek (we’ll do that one in the spring).

This is the same dinosaur as the bones above.  He always ‘hangs out’ in the lobby of the ROM.

We were lucky because Auntie B is a member, that meant Ella got in free!

An easy date to remember to put on our timeline.

Actual rock from the volcano.

The most famous victim.  The guard dog left chained at his ‘post’.  Ella thought it was terrible.  I reminded her that if you were running for your life, it would be easy to forget to unchain the dog.

Perfectly preserved gold and emerald necklace.

Wall art of a bakery.

Bread that got a little too toasty.

Some cool armour.

Gladiator Ella.

At the market.

Ella was very impressed with all the wall paintings.

A typical home in Pompeii.  The number 7s are the bedrooms.  And number 5 is the kitchen.  There was a very definite difference between the public rooms and the private rooms.

Ella couldn’t believe that any glass would survive.

A lady with some of her original colour.

Ella had fun making her own mosaic.

This is what Ella expected the glass in Pompeii to look like.  But guess what?  This didn’t melt because of the volcano.  They think these were in a cupboard over an oil lamp that spilled and caught fire.  The volcano didn’t cause temperatures hot enough to melt Roman glass -who knew?

And then we got to the sad part of the exhibit.

This man must have been asleep when the pyroclastic flow hit Pompeii because he is so peaceful.

This one made me cry (as Ella expected).  It’s a family trying to escape.  She just doesn’t ‘get’ that loosing her is my biggest fear.

We checked out the Chinese/Korean exhibit too, but then we were pooped.  Turns out Ella was starting with a head cold but we just thought she was tired.

We parked beside Varsity Stadium and watched a bit of the girls practicing lacrosse.

Woo hoo!!  My sister has finally gone back to being blonde.  Well, she’s working on it.  It’s still a bit red, but it’s much more natural on her and I’m glad.

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Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real this week comes to us from our visit to Toronto.  We were in the city for the 110th Santa Claus Parade.  It was a bit chilly but not bad -at least not until half way through when the wind shifted and it got cold.

We got our favourite spot -Bloor and Spadina, just down from the ROM.

Down Spadina Ave is the CN tower.  A few flakes were falling.  Nothing much but add to the atmosphere.

Hurray!  Uncle Stefan was able to come too this year.

I need to save this one for her wedding.

Toronto mounted police unit.  I was surprised, they were the only horses in the parade.  Grandma loves the dappled one.

Dinosaurs from the ROM.

Treehouse and Dora, a favourite with Ella especially now that they have made Dora older.

The big surprise was the Corner Gas folks.  That was such a great tv show.  One we could all watch and I didn’t have to worry with what they would come out with.  Also, even though it was set out west it was SO Cobden!!

Disney princesses!!

University of Western Ontario’s band.

A ‘float’ for Daddy.

The best seats for the parade.

Road Kill!!

Grandma’s just a ‘little’ bit cold.  Even Auntie Belinda had to borrow one of our extra scarves.

Ella’s very excited about the upcoming Penguins movie, so this float was quite popular.

And of course the LEGO float!

And of course, the star of the parade!!

And a view of Casa Loma on the way home.

Even though it was snowing we stopped for a short visit with Great Grandma.

A very Happy, Fun visit to southern Ontario.

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When we were in Toronto for the Easter weekend, Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan took us to the Evergreen Brick Works.  It’s a rather cool spot -though you do have to look past the ‘trendy’ people (ha ha).  The bricks made here have been used for many of the old landmark locations in Toronto.

A lot of the infrastructure remains in the various buildings.

This is one of the very long brick ovens.  There were 4 of these.  I can’t even imagine the heat in this building back when these ovens were going full blast.

This is what the site looked like ‘before’:

A great big open-pit!  Now it’s got lovely ponds and walking paths.

It is even home to a muskrat or two.

Always fun with Uncle Stefan

We love hanging out with Auntie Belinda too.

This food truck has a great message.  But once they opened and I saw the menu (and the prices) there was nothing on the menu that my Farmer would have eaten.  Speaking of farmers, there was a small farmers’ market going on in one of the buildings.  There was an ‘organic’ pork guy so I went over to have a look.  Wow, we would have gone out of business selling meat like that!!  The pork chop was so small and so fatty.  Between the giant bone and all the fat, I would have to cook two to try to feed Colin.  And the price…

One last funny picture Ella wants me to share with you:

Water fountain, for adult, child AND doggies!

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Great Wolf Lodge has some great themed suites.  We just got one of their plain family suites

Two nice big queen size beds, kitchenette (microwave and fridge), 2 tvs, and seating area.  I’m taking this picture from in front of the fireplace.

There was so much to see and do.  All these animals and the tree move and talk.  Ella was a little uncertain about all this (it was loud).

Ella even found the hall ways fun!  This is how she walked down the hall every time.  Sometimes just stepping on the leaf squares other times stepping on the animal squares.

Once you are water-logged, the kids (and grown-ups) can have hours of fun on the many magical quests.  Following clues and their wands, the kids wander around 4 hallways and 2 stairwells to collect runes and complete the quest.

Uncle Stefan and Ella went questing the first evening.  Grandma even got in on the action our second evening.  And what does Ella look like after a day of travel, water and questing??

It’s amazing how much bed a little person can occupy.

Ella tried to convince us that we didn’t need to leave the hotel.  I told her we weren’t going all the way to Niagara Falls without actually seeing the Falls.  You can’t see it in this picture, but there was a beautiful rainbow over the Falls.

Our room also came with a pass for Ella to the Cub Club.  She got to ‘paint’ her own souvenir t shirt.  She did a great job colouring in ‘Violet’ the wolf.

And of course, some pictures from the back seat.

This trip was so much fun.  It really was the trip of a life-time.  Thank you so much Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan.

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I have the best sister and brother-in-law.  Not only did we get spoiled at Christmas, but they decided to take us to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls.  We booked the start of February to kind of make it a birthday present for Ella too.  Somehow we managed to keep it all a secret.  All she knew was we were going to visit Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan -nothing else.

We headed out Sunday and stopped in Bancroft for a great visit with a high school friend of mine.  It was so much fun visiting with Michelle even though we haven’t seen each other in years.  My poor unsocialized child (can you hear the sarcasm) had a great time playing with her boys -even though they are older.  We’re definitely have to get together more often!  Then we went to Scarborough to pick up Auntie B and back to Bowmanville for the ‘February party’.  Back in ‘the day’ we had 5 or 6 birthdays in February, so we always got together at Grandma’s for one big party.  Birthday people come and go (like my Dad) but there is still a bunch of February/March birthdays (including 2 great-grandchildren).

Two of the birthday girls at Great-Grandma’s.  Ella was happy to receive a lot of birthday cash this year.  She had big plans for it.

Monday we went to The Beach area of Toronto to a fabulous toy store, Mastermind Toys.  If you are ever in the GTA, check this place out!  So Ella brought her birthday money and outfitted her Calico Critter house.  My one complaint about CC is that a lot of the accessories come with Critters so now she has a houseful.

Tuesday we headed out.  Ella was a bit confused because we took our suitcases  🙂  Luckily it’s only 2ish hours to Niagara Falls from Scarborough.  Our first stop was the Butterfly Conservatory.  What a cool place!  Fancy Nancy goes to a similar place, so we’ve been reading Bonjour, Butterfly leading up to our trip.

First was the butterfly nursery.

Then we came across some butterflies having their lunch.  You really have to watch where you are going.  The butterflies were everywhere.

Auntie B the butterfly whisperer!  This butterfly (which has the most beautiful blue wings when open) hung out on Belinda’s back the entire time we were at the conservatory.

This little one thought Ella’s dress looked interesting.  Ella wasn’t so sure.  She was fine with them on her dress, but didn’t want to hold one.

And then on to our final destination!  Even here Ella has no idea what lays ahead.  Even when Uncle Stefan read the name, she didn’t know what a Great Wolf Lodge was.

Now she knows!!

Ella was 2 inches too short to have free range of the water park, but there were lots of things she could do.  Even more if Daddy had come along or if Momma were braver  🙂

Our room came with the supper buffet.  Ella had so much fun making her own ice cream sundae.  Which is about all she ate because, apparently, she only like the food I cook.

Well this post has rambled on long enough, I’ll post part two later.

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Last Friday the Farm Girls (and the small town Grandma) hopped in the car and headed for Scarborough.

It was bright and sunny when we left Cobden, didn’t even have a coat on.  In Bancroft (2 hours south west of home) we found this:

Yep snow and a fair bit of it.  It was even trying to snow as we drove through town.  Certainly not the early fall conditions we left at home.

We had a great drive down and actually made good time.  Our usual stop at Pizza Hut for lunch and then off to Great Grandma’s and shopping at Tina’s.

Saturday we had some errands to run.  First stop was The Purple Purl, a really nice little yarn shop in Toronto.  I was lucky and the store was across the road from a great play park.  We left Ella and Uncle Stefan at the park and went shopping.

It’s located in a cool neighbourhood of Toronto called Leslieville.  It’s one of those ‘up and coming’-type neighbourhoods that are fun to visit for a short period of time but I wouldn’t want to live there.  We also found the new location of Gold and Shamrock.  Turns out they are just down the street from the Purple Purl.  At this stage in Ella’s dancing career, it’s ok to buy her Irish soft shoes which are a bit cheaper.

Unfortunately, Ella woke up Saturday with a wicked sore throat and a nose that wouldn’t stop running.  We kept our fingers crossed but she woke up even more miserable on Sunday.  Ella decided for herself that we should stay home from the parade.  Too bad because it was the most beautiful day for the parade.  So she had a pajama day and played some video games with Auntie Belinda.

CTV had the parade on at 4:30, so Ella got herself all set up on the chesterfield and enjoyed the parade nice and warm, with munchies and a handy bathroom  🙂

And it wouldn’t be a trip post without my usual Ella passed out in the back seat picture:

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We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming, there won’t be a Farm Girl Friday post this week.  The farm girl has melted and is trying to find somewhere cool.  What kind of crazy province goes from -45C to +48C (118F) with humidity???  These are about the only times I miss working, our office was so nice and cold in the summer -sigh!

We had a fabulous visit down to Scarborough.  Auntie Belinda is really making the house look like a home.  She has a perennial border down either side of the front walkway.  In a couple years it will will fill in and be gorgeous.

Sunday we dunked Ella in the sunscreen and headed to Centreville on Toronto Island.  Even though we lived in Bowmanville all my life, we never went to Centreville.   Ella is the perfect age/size for Centreville this year.  There was only 1 ride she could not ride.  A few required an adult to go along, but that wasn’t a problem.

A favourite ride was the antique carousel.  This turn around Ella tried out the ostrich.  Ella had so much fun on the roller coaster.  I finally have someone to go on the wild and crazy rides with me and now I don’t like them so much any more.  I was is a bit of a car accident in university and since then my balance isn’t what it used to be.  So getting spun and tossed around isn’t the fun it used to be  😦

Waiting for the ferry.  The crowd on the island was fairly large, there was an India Festival going on.  But the crowd at Centreville was perfect.  Ella got straight on every ride or only had to wait one turn.  Unlike Canada’s Wonderland, we didn’t have to wait for hours.

I would definitely recommend Centreville for anyone in the Toronto area with little people.  You’ll have a blast.

The main reason for going to the city this time of year is because it’s Great Grandma’s birthday at the end of the month.   We usually come early because we can’t leave Daddy alone during sweet corn season -just too much work for one person.  We got Great Grandma a pretty stain glass hummingbird wind chime.  She loves hummingbirds (Great Grandpa did).

Not only did I pick up my supply of yarn but we also went to St. Jacob’s Market and the fabric store.  I got a nice pile of material for Ella and I and we picked up some gorgeous fresh peaches and yellow plums.  It’s still early for peaches so I was only able to get a small basket, not the big bushel one that I was hoping to get.  Though with this heat I’m glad I don’t have to be canning a bushel of peaches.

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As you may have noticed, Ella and I went to Scarborough to spend Easter weekend with Auntie Belinda and Uncle Stefan.  We had a wonderful time.

We stopped by Peterborough on the way to Scarborough.  Grandpa Jim and Grandma Linda took us out for lunch at East Side Mario’s.  It’s Ella’s current favourite restaurant.  We had a nice visit and I’m glad Linda had the day off.

Auntie Belinda decorated the house for our birthdays (Grandma and I).  And no, the walls aren’t quite so yellow in person.  It’s more of a pumpkin and looks quite nice (for her house).

Uncle Stefan and Ella had a great time playing all weekend.  Ella loves having someone who loves video games as much as she does.  Uncle Stefan won the favourite uncle award this weekend with his castle creation.  This castle has everything a good castle needs, including a working drawbridge and secret entrance (don’t tell).

Sunday we were able to go to church!!  Easter service at St. Mary Magdalene is always wonderful.  Ella and her new bunny spotted the Easter garden.  Ella did really well making it through the 2 hour service.  Our local church is only 1 hour, and even St. Barnabas in Ottawa is 1.5 hrs.  Grandma forgot snack, but Momma had a couple Easter eggs in her pocket that got Ella through the service.  I wanted to take some pictures of the inside of the church, but as usual, Grandma made a bee-line for the door and I had to hurry along.

It never fails, regardless of when Easter falls, Easter Sunday is nearly always unpleasant.  This year was no exception.  You can’t see our new dresses because we had to wear sweaters (or poncho in Ella’s case).   This is the park behind church.  It used to be the location of the convent and school.  My Grandma Rees was raised by the sisters at the school when her parents left her behind in Toronto when they went to Winnipeg.  One of my favourite pieces of jewelry is the crucifix given to Grandma by one of the sisters when she finished school.

Ella came home to find quite a change in our Easter garden.  The stone is gone from the tomb, the wheat is growing like crazy, the lilac branches are even trying to bloom!  Ella really loved the eggs hanging on the branches.

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