Mum and I recently visited Toronto to catch up with my Auntie, cousins and their new families.
Since our trip to Greece for Cara's wedding, Lisa has married and both Lisa & Cara have had little girls, so mum and I decided it was time to pay them a visit while mum was still fit to travel.
I had my birthday while I was there so we all went out for a lovely dinner and Cara's little daughter Scarlett joined right in with us
One of the dishes on the menu was a seafood stack and when I asked the waiter what it was, he described it as a stack of seafood about 10 cm high....the way he described it to us....it sounded like a vegetable stack only with seafood. So I ordered it and imagine my surprise when this came out!!
After dinner we took the rare opportunity to get an extended family photo given that we live worlds apart.
We had planned to travel for an overnight stay to Niagara on the Lake with Sharon, Lisa and her daughter Brooklyn. Unfortunately Lisa had to return to teaching earlier than expected so could not join us. Sharon mum and I still had an enjoyable trip away...my third visit to the Niagara falls but my 1st in daylight.
We visited the butterfly conservatory... there were so many beautifully butterflies
We stayed in the Charles Inn in Niagara on the Lake, strolled the shops and had dinner at the Golf course restaurant overlooking Lake Ontario and looking over to the USA. Both Canada and the USA border the lake and share its resources. To end a lovely day, the night was capped off with port and chocolates on the hotel balcony.
The next day the included breakfast was truely different; a lovely breakfast platter full of yummy morsels to eat. We did a spot of wine tasting; unfortunately I found the wines way too sweet especially the iced wine. However we did find a lovely Late Harvest wine which reminded me of the lovely ones we get back in NZ and Aussie.
We had a lovely day out at the markets in Toronto and visited the Distillery District (an old distillery now full of boutique shops, galleries and eating areas) with Sharon, Glen and Cara.
Found a new way to raise funds for the local councils...start charging for stroller parking .....although I think the child welfare agencies may have something to say about it if the babies are left in them lol
We enjoyed a lovely BBQ at Glen & Lisa's house - it was a lovely summer's day where the kids played and we sat around catching up with years of missed chatter time.
Sharon decided to take us on another adventure, where we strolled through little towns,
found a beautiful wild flower patch, spotted a few squirrels
Saw how much damage the Woody Wood Pecker can do to trees...eventually killing them!
Tasted our first maple butter tart but definitely not our last as they were so yummy, had the best maple fudge and oh did I mention storm chasing or was that Tornado chasing. We were going to stay away for the night but as we drove further into the country side the worse the weather became so we decided to return home. We made it home safely much to the relief of Mum. Luckily for us the Tornado touched down some 30 kms from where we had been.
We visited Marsha and Sharon's mum's place who both provided us with beautiful food and a wine or two.
On our last evening we had a lovely BBQ at Cara's place where Scarlett was in her element and obviously enjoyed desert!
As you can see this trip was all about catching up with family...and we had an awesome time. Since our last visit to Toronto, everyone had moved so it was lovely to see everyone's new homes and now we can imagine them there as we correspond via emails.
It was sad to say good-bye knowing that it will probably be years before we see each other again but we left with many happy memories and an extra kilo or two around the tummy. Thank you to everyone for making this such a special trip.