Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Hanging Out with the Salsa Family ~ Great Wolf Lodge

This was the first time Hannah and I had been to a Great Wolf Lodge resort to stay and we had a great time!  (Hannah affectionately calls the one in Niagara Falls our potty spot as it’s where we often stop to use the restroom before crossing over the border on our way to the Buffalo airport. Smile)IMG_8125

Check~in was quick and we were soon on the way to our rooms.  We hadn’t wanted to be too close to the elevator as there is a game that the kids play there so we’d asked for rooms away from the elevator.  We laughed as we walked and walked…and walked to our rooms!  Can’t say they didn’t listen to our request!

Hannah and I had a standard room which was huge and more than enough for the 2 of us!  Auntie M and her family had a KidsKamp Suite and the girls had a ton of fun climbing the walls…literally!IMG_0949


After sharing some Canadian snacks with our friends (ketchup chips, all dressed chips, Nanaimo bars, Canadian Smarties (although this Canadian much prefers M&Ms)  and delicious butter tarts we headed to the water park.IMG_8131

The girls were standing on a part of the pool that slopes towards the water.  All the girls were measured on their way into the water park and the twins are both the same height.  Hannah measured in around 47 1/2” which means she still has a 1/2” to grow before she can ride Rock n’ Roller Coaster at Disney in September which is her goal…she thinks! Winking smile

The girls enjoyed their time there!  Although Hannah liked the slides, the wave pool was by far her favourite part of the water park!  (Please excuse the fuzzy pics.  I forgot the waterproof case for my camera so carried it into the pool in a ziploc bag.  Heh!)



After a swim and supper the girls enjoyed playing a game around the lobby and elevator area of a few floors.  It reminded Hannah a little bit of Midship Detective on the Disney Fantasy.

Our second day was full of more fun similar to the first and we had such a great time and visit together that I pretty much forgot to pull out my camera. 

It was SO good to see you M3 and I cannot wait to see you next summer when Hannah and I head west to visit you!!  Our time together flew by far too quickly yet it was such a treat to be able to spend time together and for that Hannah and I are thankful!

See you next year dear friends!  We love you!IMG_8137

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hanging Out with the Salsa Family ~ Butterfly Conservatory

Earlier this spring I was excited to receive a text asking if we’d be in town mid-July.  Ummm….YES!!!  I was thrilled to hear that M3 and her family were planning a trip to Ontario and Michigan and we quickly made plans to get together for a couple of days!

Monday we met up with our wonderful friends at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory.  It had been 2 years since we were together  but we quickly picked up just where we had left off.  I love friendships that are like this!!IMG_0947


The girls were excited to see one another too!IMG_0955

The conservatory had over 40 types of butterflies and there were more than 2,000 in the room.   What fun we had…especially our 3 budding photographers!


Between the 3 girls I think they took over 500 pictures!  LOL so thankful for digital cameras!  Here are some of my favourites that Hannah captured.




Some of the butterflies landed on us just as we were walking around.  On my head,IMG_4774

Rod’s armIMG_8102

and Ree’s back.IMG_8107

Hannah desperately wanted a butterfly to land on her and she did her very best to sit still and patient (as still as a busy 6yo can! Smile) and hoped that a butterfly would land on her.  She was adorable!!IMG_8096



As we were preparing to leave, one of the guides noticed Hannah’s efforts to have a butterfly land on her and she found one to share with Hannah.  She was in her glory!!  I am so thankful for this guide who took the time to share a butterfly with Hannah as she had been a pretty sad little girl having not held one in spite of all her efforts.  But that all changed!IMG_8118


If you have an opportunity to visit the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory we highly recommend it!IMG_8124

What a treat to spend this time together and the best part was that our visit had just begun.  It was going to be a quick visit but we were going to make the most of every single minute!!IMG_8111

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Pan Am Games ~ After Our Event

As we left our venue we walked outside to a light rain falling.  There were lots of activities at the venue we were at and we decided to enjoy them in spite of the rain!  We passed these large Muskoka chairs and stopped for a photo op.IMG_8031

By this time the rain had picked up and it was coming down pretty hard.  Silly me had trusted the weather forecast that said it wasn’t supposed to rain before 5:00 so I’d chosen to leave our umbrellas in the car.  At this point I was regretting this decision a bit lot! LOL!  Oh well, we decided it was all part of our adventure and made the best of it.  That’s the way we roll!  I could see numerous people wearing rain ponchos advertising 2 different locations so we went to each of them but unfortunately they were both out.  Oh well, we did pick up a free t-shirt to share with a friend. 

When it started to pour we decided to hang out in a vendor’s tent…with 200 of our newest friends.  People were in a festive mood and it was still a fun place to be in spite of the weather.  There was a great band that continued to play across the way and Hannah decided it was dancing time!

The rain would come and go but what it also meant was that many people left and we were able to enjoy the activities with little to no wait.  (That’s one thing we have experienced a couple of times this past year.  When we’re willing to wait out the rain it means we have opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities with smaller crowds.   The same thing happened at Blizzard Beach last year.) 

The neat thing is that the events that were available in this location were free as are many things throughout the city in celebration of the Games.  Quite a treat!!  While we waited out the rain Hannah enjoyed a free ice cream IMG_8033

and then we waited in a short line at a Coke kiosk that was giving away personalized cans of Coke that we labelled ourselves.   There was still a bit of a line for this in spite of the rain so I asked the guy helping us what the crowds had been like at other times when the weather was nice.  He shared that on the weekend their line-up averaged 2 hours!  Yikes!!  I know we wouldn’t have waited 2 hours in spite of the neat treat at the end.IMG_8040 - Copy

We had the opportunity to pose with a Pan Am torch.IMG_8037

While I took advantage of a phone charging station and watched the games on a big screen,  Hannah played in their kids activity area below the screen IMG_8038

and then coloured for as long as she could.  She was here for more than 30 mins and would have stayed longer if we hadn’t wanted to catch an upcoming train.IMG_8041


(LOL – funny story here!  At one point Hannah had to go to the bathroom so we made our way to the line-up of porta potties.  After she went I said we needed to go outside to use the portable sinks that were set up there.  Her comment was, ‘Mommy, we can just use that sink behind you!’  NO!   I had to quickly let her know that that wasn’t a ‘sink’.  You can tell she’s never had a dad to take her into the men’s room.  Heh…sure am glad I didn’t send her in there alone!!!)

We had a great time at the CIBC Pan Am Park and created many wonderful memories during our dance in the rain!IMG_8035

Since we hadn’t had much for lunch and it was almost suppertime we decided to hop off the train after 1 stop and go to one of our favourite restaurants for supper.  Mmmm…Lone Star!IMG_3971

When we left the restaurant I snapped a picture that just made me giggle.  You need to know that due to the games traffic routes and parking changes are in place all over the city, and I think they’re taking these changes really seriously.   This is a Brinks truck that I watched be given a ticket by a local law enforcement officer because they were in a ‘no stopping’ zone.  I thought those things could stop wherever they wanted but I guess I was wrong!  At least we know they have the cash to pay the ticket! Winking smileIMG_3972

We took a round about route back to the train station as I’d heard the Pan Am flame was located somewhere near the CN Tower.  Sure enough it was!  IMG_3974

As we began our walk back to the train station a local pedi-cab was offering free rides, another promotion being offered by the Pan Am organization.  We decided to take advantage of this fun treat and ride in style the few blocks back to the station.IMG_8047

We had a great day from start to finish and loved all the time together.  Our ride home on the train was one filled with reliving the day and sharing stories together with my sweet, amazing girl!  We are loving our vacation time and all the together time it offers.  So thankful for my job which allows me lots of time off with my girl!IMG_3973

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Pan Am Games~Rhythmic Gymnastics

Toronto is privileged to host the 2015 Pan Am Games and Hannah and I are loving it!  Yesterday we travelled into Toronto to see some of the Rhythmic Gymnastics competition.  It was an early start for us during our week of vacation where we’ve quickly got into the routine of staying up late and sleeping in until 9am but we were happy to get up early for a day of new adventures!IMG_3956

All public transportation in the city and surrounding areas is free for those holding event tickets so it was an easy decision to take the GO Train to our venue.IMG_3959

Hannah asked if she could take a couple of furry friends along and chose the little clear bag above to carry them in.  It ended up being perfect as we gathered treasures throughout the day and they all went into her little bag. 

I found it quite funny on our way in how even though we cleaned off adjacent seats to us each time we stopped to pick up new passengers somehow Hannah and I ended up with 4 seats to ourselves.  I’m guessing on a busy Friday commute into the city, regular passengers on their way to work weren’t feeling the love of sitting near a cute but busy 6yo! IMG_3960

When we arrived at our venue we were excited to find out that we’d received a free upgrade and had been moved to a more central section and had seats in the 3rd row!  Hannah saying ‘thank you’ to the man from Ticketmaster who was giving us our new tickets.IMG_3961

Great seats!IMG_3962

The competitions we saw were hoop,IMG_8015 and ball. IMG_8020

The Canadian girls are in 5th and 6th place after the first 2 events.  The remaining events are taking place today and tomorrow.  IMG_8024

The final event was really exciting and I only wish there had been more teams competing!  It was team ribbon and it was stunning to watch and beautiful!  The funny thing was that during the first team, each time the girls threw their ribbons into the air at the same time Hannah would call out, ‘Fireworks!!!’  She had myself and all those around us in stitches!  This is the US team who ended up in 2nd place. 

After the competition one of the Canadian athletes, Carmen Whelan came into the area we were sitting and was happy to pose for pictures.  Hannah thought it was pretty neat to meet her! IMG_3964

After we left the competition we found lots of other things to participate in but I’ll save that for another post.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Strawberry Picking 2015

A few weeks ago after a rainy, rainy weekend Hannah and I woke to a bright, sunny Monday morning.  It was the first week of her summer vacation and a flex day off for me ~ the recipe for a wonderful day together!!


Since it had rained for 30 straight hours the 2 days before we went strawberry picking I was concerned the fields might be a sea of mud but they weren’t and the berries were plentiful.IMG_7796





We picked lots of delicious berries and turned them into strawberry, apple rhubarb crumble; strawberry pretzel salad (In honour of my UT friends!); and strawberry jam!!IMG_8010

A great day from start to finish!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...