canada and 40th anniversary celebrations….

Back “home” now after a lovely 2 weeks “at home”…. Does that make sense? 😉

So lately when I go away, I try and write down in my little notebook the main things we did…. and then that gets followed up with a best of/worst of list.  For blog purposes, I usually provide an editted/summarised version with various additions and modifications.  This time, though, you’re getting it virtually “raw”!  (With the exception of comments written in parentheses which have been added later for explanatory purposes.)

Fri Aug 21st

  • Landed.  Collection at the airport by my parents. Back to Alliston around midnight.

Sat Aug 22nd

  • Shopping in Alliston for food and drink.
  • “Bear” (Paul thought that because the Canadian $1 coin is called a Loonie due to the picture of the Loon on it, the $2 coin should be called a Bear due to the Polar Bear featured on it.  I explained the (non)sense of the fact that this coin is actually referred to as a Twoonie!)
  • Janet arrives home.
  • Potluck BBQ with friends from work, high school and university – 27 of us altogether.  Rain at 4pm.

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Here’s a picture of Melissa and Dan looking a bit bemused at the wrestlemania that took place in my parents living room once we all came inside because of the rain.


  • Church.
  • Tim Horton’s Tim Bits & Coffee. (Paul’s first taste of “Timmy Ho’s”.)
  • Walk in Earl Rowe Park.
  • Champagne anniversary toast.
  • Dinner at the Globe, Rosemont with my parents friends Pat and Ewart.  Lovely food. Excellent service.


Mon Aug 24th

  • Skating rinks and hockey practice. (Things have come a long way in Alliston since I was a resident.  When I used to skate at the town arena, the ice was taken out in the summer.  Now there are year round ice rinks in a new, fancy facility.  We checked them out on the way through town.)
  • Cookstown outlet mall – cheap Levis!
  • Tim Horton’s for lunch – again!
  • Alliston bank and main street.
  • Afternoon in the sunny garden.
  • BBQ with fresh corn.

Tues Aug 25th

  • Leather shops in Blythe.
  • Goderich. Swings! (Video evidence later shows that Dad was definitely the highest “swinger”!) 
  • Picnic and swimming in Lake Huron

Wed Aug 26th

  • Drive to Oakville. Lunch and shops with Katrina and Andrew.
  • Mia liked the sheep and looks very cute in her LFC dress!
  • Dinner at Katrina and Andrews and walk to the park.
  • Skype with Nadine and Paul (and Justin and Alyssa for a little bit) in Halifax.

Thurs Aug 27th

  • Niagara Falls.

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  • Lunch on a patio at Niagara on the Lake.
  • Powerboat ride.  Very wet. Teeth. (One of our fellow powerboaters false teeth were knocked out with one of the big waves that came over the boat in the rapids.  They did warn us not to take things onto the boat with us like sunglasses, cameras that we might end up “donating” to the Niagara river…. Teeth weren’t specifically mentioned though!)
  • Stop at one of the Niagara Wineries on the way home – Pellitteri

Fri Aug 28th

  • The Schmidt’s cottage, Go Home Lake, Muscoka.
  • BBQ lunch.
  • Lauren and Darryl’s visit and catch up.  Good to see them both.
  • Canoe ride.

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  • Hedbanz

Sat Aug 29th

  • Rainy morning.
  • Port Carling.  Shops, lunch.
  • $1 million cottage on the lake.  (We checked this competition prize out as part of their open viewings.  Very nice but we agreed that if we’d spent that much money buying the cottage, we would want a lot more for our money!)
  • Boat tour of Go Home lake including two separate sets of waterfalls.

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  • Canoe ride #2.  Paul in control!
  • Teaching Mia scouse, “Hiya”…. (Sorry Katrina and Andrew! 🙂
  • Pictionary.  Bite the Bullet.  Funny.

Sun Aug 30th

  • Gray and rainy morning.  Drive back from the cottage.
  • Dairy Queen Blizzards.
  • Walk around the Nottawasaga Inn & Green Briar.  Bit wet.
  • Swiss Chalet for dinner.

Mon Aug 31st

  • Posted a box of goodies back home.  (This was a cheaper option than paying an excess baggage charge for all the stuff from Mum and Dad’s I wanted to bring back.)
  • Bus from Newmarket to Toronto.
  • Gym at the Hotel – nice hotel.
  • Dinner with Melissa and Dan.  Wayne Gretzky’s.

Tues Sept 1st

  • Walking day: Eaton Centre, Queen Street West, Harbourfront, St. Lawrence Market, past old apartment etc. etc.
  • Steam Whistle Brewery Tour.
  • Drinks at Hard Rock Cafe in Roger’s Centre – view of playing field.
  • Dinner up the CN Tower.

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Wed Sept 2nd

  • Walk through University of Toronto.
  • Lunch with family at the Hotel.  Goodbyes…
  • Distillery District, Beaches – ice cream by the lake.
  • Street car back to city centre.
  • Pizza in the room!

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Thurs Sept 3rd

  • More walking: Yorkville, Annex, University – again.
  • Poutine
  • Casa Loma
  • Flight delayed by 4 hours…. 🙁

Best of/Worst of List

Best news Finding out Melissa and Dan are expecting a baby girl.
Most impressive natural wonder Niagara Falls.  Seeing it for the first time as well as seeing it again were equally impressive.
Favourite activity Getting wet – Swimming in Lake Huron & Powerboating at Niagara
Favourite new skill Canoeing
Favourite meal Potluck BBQ.  Everyone brought really nice salads, snacks and desserts
Favourite snack Timbits!
Favourite Canadian Beer Sleeman’s Honey Brown. *Paul’s choice, of course, but I also agree!
Favourite local produce Fresh corn picked while we waited
Best deal Super cheap Levis
Biggest disappointment Not seeing everyone I would’ve liked to see and not being able to spend enough time with the people we did see!
Biggest food disappointment Poutine.  The gravy was good and salty but the cheese just didn’t melt!
Biggest frustration Flight delays there and back but it could’ve been worse, I guess!

This weekend we’ve been chilling out and getting sorted for work the coming week.  Trying to get back onto British time too….  The whole trip went so quickly.  It was great to see everyone for me – and for Paul: he can now put faces to the names of all the people I talk about all the time!

Thank you to everyone we saw for the visits, hospitality, tour guiding and just general good company when we were home.  For those of you we missed, I’ll keep you posted on our next cross-Atlantic travel plans as soon as they become available…. and of course, there is always room for visitors here too!