My first trip to Toronto was for Christmas in ’98. The next time we went was last October. Both trips were a lot of fun but really just made me want to visit in June because I just knew it would be awesome in June. Sort of like Vancouver. Where I am still trying to get back to.
So, this year we finally did it. And it *was* totally awesome. Flights were uneventful other than a delay in Detroit which worked to our advantage because our incoming flight was late and without the delay I think the likelihood of our bags joining us in Toronto on our arrival would have been rather dismal. Also, without it there would have been no time for potty breaks for the small people – I really prefer to avoid attempting to assist a 4 y.o. in that broom closet of a bathroom found on most planes. Also, I had a deal pending which makes me crazy when I am up in the sky and out of reach. I managed to close it on the ground in Detroit in the boarding lounge. Oddly, this happened in February on our return flight also. It stresses me out. Totally. Oh, and best of all, the short delay meant missing rushhour in Toronto. SIL and BIL had some really good food waiting for us – he is a bit of a foodie which was all the better after subsisting on snacks all day.
The next day we took a ferry over to Center Island and spent a good part of the day at the amusement park – Centreville, I believe. The weather was just spectacular – exactly where I like it temperature wise (mid-70’s to low 80’s), clear, sunny… just perfect.
The first ride we all went on except for SIL – and I understood her fear of it 3 seconds after I got on – was this gondola thing. I rode with DS1, BIL with DS2 right in front of me and DH with DS3 in front of them. Well, 5 seconds into it I think I’m going to puke. There is one little bar across the front of this thing and it’s about 2 feet out. All I can think is plenty of room for a squirmy 4 y.o. to slip out. In fact, I feel like puking again just writing this. The whole time I am attempting to appear calm and reassuring to DS1 who is only slightly freaked out beside me and distracting him with the great view as we go higher and higher above the ground. Meanwhile, all I’m really doing is watching DS2 (the one who can’t sit still for 30 seconds, generally) like a hawk, ready to shriek out like the maniacal, control-freak mother that I am to BIL to hang onto him should I see him move in any way.
Then we went over the water. I couldn’t decide if this was better or worse. Softer landing so a chance of avoiding instant death. Good. But, of course, there is that drowning thing. Bad. Finally, we all had our feet on land again. I was never so happy.
All of this makes me realize how much my risk tolerance has swung from one extreme to the other. Louise (name changed to protect the guilty 😀 ) and I did many things that were, arguably, risky. It barely ever occured to us to think what *could* happen. Now all I see is the risks. That sky-diving thing on the Life: To Do list might have to wait (till my next life), I’m thinking.
The rest of the rides were fun. DS2, who is the fussiest eater on the planet, was completely devasted when he was too short to ride one of them but DS3 (his twin who is significantly bigger and taller) was big enough. We’ve been getting significant mileage out of that at mealtime. Although, the effect is wearing off now – a week and a half later.
The kids also went into this maze of hedges. It was cool. Well, it was cool for them – they seemed to enjoy it and DH went running through it with them. I enjoyed the park bench at the front entrance with SIL. And the breeze and the view. And the peace and quiet. Then we found the playground to make sure they expended every little bit of energy they had left before we took them back home.
The next day we took them to High Park. Dang. That is one big park. We had a great time on the lawns with some toy helicopters, a crazy ball and some bubbles that SIL / BIL had gotten for the boys. It was so wonderful (like, really really wonderful) to be in a park in summer with beautiful weather. I told DH that is what summer is supposed to be. He doesn’t seem to think the tradeoff with cold winters is worth it. Before heading back, we let them wear themselves out at this really cool castle playground and then took them on the trail through the woods back up to the parking lot.
That afternoon we headed out to suburbia somewhere to meet a bunch of inlaws I’d never met. Actually, I don’t think DH had met most of them either. Or any of them. They were wonderful people and we had a great time. Sometimes you meet people who are instant friends.
The boys had a blast also. There were some big cousins there who took the boys down to the gym and let them “workout” on the exercise equipment and lift weights etc. So, that was just the bomb, as far as they were concerned.
That was a first for me, actually. Letting them go off and play, unattended in someone else’s house. It’s a wonderful feeling of getting my life back and realizing how much easier the boys really are now. It helps to have responsible big cousins about, too!
Sunday was Father’s Day. I gave DH his Tom Petty racing thingy. He was suitably excited. We’ll do that in the fall sometime when it’s a lot less hot. We spent that day at the waterpark somewhere out of town. Of course, waterplay is always a big hit. This is a great water park. The boys even went down some of the biggish (but slow) waterslides (with me to catch them at the bottom. It was “super cool” in their words. There was also a lazy river and a wave pool. Reggae music over by the big swimming pool. Watching the boys dancing around in the lazy river launching area to the music was some of the best entertainment I’ve had. Too bad I was too paranoid to bring my camera or video camera to the waterpark.
The last day was lower key. We went down to the waterfront, spent a little time letting the boys play in a green space. Took a harbor cruise that was nice but really, realy cold, on top so we went on the lower deck and watched through the windows. Lunch on the waterfront, let the boys each buy a little souvenir with their Canadian spending money from Grandma. Of course, I did this one at a time while SIL / DH plied the other two with M&M’s outside. I want to pull my hair out if I go into one of “those shops” (you know the ones, where the merchandising is just a disaster waiting to happen at the touch of a 4 y.o.) with more than one child at a time.
That evening, DH left me to get some quality me time and took the boys to a great little park just up the street. I just love that lifestyle of being able to walk to anything. Of course, that comes with living in a condo with no yard to which to send the
testosterone factories boys to play. Since that would be complete mental-breakdown-making for me, that lifestyle shall have to wait.
I had a short nap (bliss) then coffee at the Second Cup (dare I say it – better than Starbucks). Again, just a hop, skip and a jump up the street. Actually, it probaby best that I don’t live a 2 minute walk from large vanilla lattes. That would have a significant and negative impact on my wallet and my efforts to not grow out of my clothes at the same rate as the kids. Then I walked over to watch the kids play at the park. DH looked at me like I was crazy showing up when I was on an official mommy break. But it was so nice out and I was glad I went. There was a merry-go-round at the park. Something you *never* see here anymore. The boys had such fun on it. They were playing that it was a train and cracking me up with the geography bit. They were going to Alaska, Missisippi, Jamaica (on a train – imagine that!), Texas, Kansas, Detroit etc. etc. Of course, DS1, being the entertainment director that he is, was orchestrating this.
And that was pretty much it. The flight home was uneventful. I enjoyed a moment when a woman walking behind our crew commented on how I was “surrounded by such handsome men”. The boys slept most of the way which is generally my goal.
So, SIL and I have decided that it would be an excellent idea for us to make this an annual thing. I wonder if I could get a guarantee of the same spectacular weather each time…