Sunday, March 29, 2009

Niagara Falls - Our Hike

After the butterfly conservatory we hiked down to the whirlpool. The trail guide said there was about 300 steps. Connor stopped counting at 131 when the stairs disappeared (disintegrated) after that it was just down, down, down. There were a few bridges and a little stream. It was kind of ironic that we had just come from the Butterfly Conservatory because there were native butterflies flitting all over. In March! At the bottom of the hike this is the view we found. It reminded me a bit of being in the Rockies at Mt Edith Cavell. The water colour and the floating ice chunks anyway.

I took lots of pictures of the ice. It was kind of like snowflakes. Each chunk had it's own pattern as it melted in the sun.

A pretty rock.

Part of the trail as we headed back up.

After the hike we headed to Baskin Robbins for a reward. The kids had never been to a Baskin Robbin's before so we all enjoyed the treat. Kevin and I went to the IMAX movie about the Great Lakes. It wasn't what I expected but it was very good and informative. So all in all it was a good weekend. The weather was beautiful and warm except for Sunday morning when it rained. Now we are back home and have to get back in the habit of eating regular meals at regular times. I start work tomorrow so I won't be blogging nearly as often.

Niagara Falls - Butterfly Conservatory

On Saturday morning we made sure we were at the butterly conservatory when it opened as we had been told that was the best time for viewing. We stayed for about 2 hours and took lots and lots of pictures. It was enjoyable. I bought some books so I could identify all the tropical butterflies and the native caterpillars and butterflies I run into while I am gardening. The first two pictures are just of plants that I thought pretty.

Now the butterflies!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Niagara Falls - Day 1

We went to Niagara Falls on Friday. The above flowers were in the area I like to call "the grotto". I don't know what they are called but it sure is nice to see the signs of spring. The crocuses and snowdrops were blooming too.

We went on the journey under the falls (we haven't done that since our honeymoon and the kids have never been). Then we had dinner and a swim in the very small hotel pool. Then we got all dressed again and headed out to ride the skywheel. The first picture shows the skywheel from our room.
The lit up blue box is one of the waterparks from the top of the skywheel.

The Falls!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

End of March Break

This afternoon Kevin, Connor and I went to a sugar bush owned by a friend of Kevin's from the photo club.  I learned a lot!  Way more than when we went to a public sugar bush display years ago.  Here are some random pictures that I took.  Kevin didn't even leave the fire.  He apparently has lots of fire and bubbling sap pictures but that bores me.  I like exploring more.

At the end of the day Connor and I helped them empty the pails.  He has wanted to move to the country for years so he can have chickens.  Now he wants chickens and a sugar bush (and an area he can do stunts on his bike and shoot airsoft and maybe a dogsled team and a pond and .....)

Monday, March 16, 2009

First Day of March Break

Today the boys and I went to Barrie to see snakes.  They were an educational display put on by Sciensational Sssnakes!!

Connor is holding a black Eastern Rat Snake.  It is native to Ontario and is considered threatened.

This is Alec showing his happy face and holding an Everglades Rat Snake.  He is home for March Break.  (Alec - not the snake)

Before we left I bought a rebounder.  I went to a seminar about rebounding months ago and found one today (I wasn't looking).  It is really good exercise, way quieter and cheaper than other in home exercise equipment and excellent for your lymphatic system.  No pictures until I lose weight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


A few days ago a friend called and asked if I would be interested in helping a team re-merchandise the hair care section at a large pharmacy chain.  I haven't done merchandising since I helped in the renovations at our local HH 5 years ago but the money was good and I had no other plans so I said yes.  We were at SDM from 9 am until 8:15 so it was a long day.  At HH I worked 7 to 7 and that seemed shorter.  By the time I picked up groceries, drove home and ate supper it was bed time.  We have one more store to do on Monday.  Caitlin is going to come too so we should be done earlier.  I do not spend a lot of time on clothes and makeup and very limited time on my hair.  I found a few shampoos that smelled really good and was amazed to find out that they now have colour specific hair spray.  

Today was the last ski day with Connor's school.  The trails were icy and patchy.  I hate it when you are skiing along and suddenly the snow changes and you come to a standstill.  They have races at the end of the last day.  Today's prizes were fruit - kiwis for the relay winners and 3rd place individuals - mangos for 2nd individuals and the first place girl got a watermelon, the boy got a pineapple.  And no one had a camera!  Then the kids walked back to the school - 2 or 3 blocks.  I would love to hear what the people say looking out their windows as the kids parade by with their produce.

Between bending and stretching and climbing stepstools yesterday and skiing today my thighs are sore today.  You know you get reminded of those activities every time you get up from a sitting positionl

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Our Weekend Getaway

Since moving here we have made frequent visits to Grand Bend where one of Kevin's friends has a cottage she lets us use.  It may seem strange to drive from once beach town to another but the cottage is free and we always have a very quiet, relaxing weekend there.  We used to go every year, sometimes twice but her guest book indicates we haven't been there since December 2006 so we were overdue.  We left here Thursday.  The drive was good and the weather beautiful.  As is our habit we stopped at The Yarn Factory Outlet in Listowel to stock up on yarn for my knitting projects.  We dined on a whole grocery store chicken (we always do that then we have enough leftovers for sandwiches) and spent a quiet evening watching movies.  Friday morning Kevin woke up cold (very unusual).  The cottage is roughly 400 square feet plus a sunroom and the propane fireplace - the primary heat source - had gone out.  Kevin had a hard time getting it going and we had to use the electric space heater and call for the repair guy.  Jason (the service guy) replaced the broken thermal coupler and the high pressure regulator (just in case), cleaned the orifice and poured boiling water on the tank top to make sure it was thawed.  He didn't like the look of the pilot light and the fireplace kept going out if the thermostat was turned below 6 (outof 7).  And whatever he sprayed on the fireplace glass to clean it triggered the smoke detector and we had 8 hours of it going off.  We spent Friday and Saturday alternating between firepace off and on full bore.  From one extreme to the other.   Last night it was more than 84 degrees in the cottage before we went to bed and I was dripping sweat.  Jason came back early this morning and injected methanol into the propane tank (something to do with absorbing water vapour), adjusted the low pressure regulator, took the whole thing apart again and cleaned it all again.  The pilot light was finally straight and fat and blue and the fireplace stayed lit!  Then we left. 

We went swimming Friday night at a motel indoor pool but mostly just relaxed.  If any of you ever go through Grand Bend you have to visit Grandpa Jimmy's Scottish Bakery.  We went 3 times!  They have great whole wheat bread with no sugar and yummy cherry loaf and shortbread.  We had their cinnamon buns and rhubarb fritters for breakfast and turkey pies for supper.  My favourite though was the millionare squares - a thick layer of shortbread covered with a layer of caramel and chocolate topping - heavenly.