Road Trip to Canada

September 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

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I don’t know if you noticed, but we were away in Canada at my parents’ comfy cottage last week! Here’s some photos and commentary if you’re interested in our first road trip with Henry…

After renting a car from Laguardia airport, we left our apartment Friday morning to do the first half of the 10 hour drive. Henry hadn’t been in a car since December and was pretty much horrified at the thought of getting into his car seat. After much encouragement from us and even our doorman, we gave him some cheezies to munch on and he gave into a nap.

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We stopped in Syracuse for the night and met up with our friend Matt, who took us to the State Fair that evening. Henry got to see goats, llamas, pigs, and chickens, and run around the bright lights and giant stuffed animals. He was very excited about the blimp floating over the fair and got to eat salty, deep-fried chicken fingers (probably much more delicious than the multigrain breaded organic kind from home ;)).

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We left our hotel Saturday morning and arrived in Oshawa for my twin niece & nephew’s first birthday party that afternoon. It worked out very well that we got to see my sister’s family before heading to my parents’ and Henry got to enjoy running around with other kids (and toy cars) before spending another 1.5 hours in the car. P1030849

Henry seemed to settle into the cottage faster than ever once we arrived, even playing us some guitar and enjoying our applause.

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Since we were on vacation, we let Henry stay up late and in turn, he’d sleep later than usual in the mornings. One day, he even slept until 10:00! (He was up for an hour and a half in the middle of the night, BUT STILL.)

Our days at the cottage were glorious. Grandpa cuddles…

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Enjoying a new selection of toy cars and tiny plastic animals… P1030853

Feeding chipmunks and blue jays peanuts…

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Visits from family…

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Cousin craziness…

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Serious sandbox time…

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Visiting Fenelon Falls’ beach and ice cream shops…

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Boat rides…

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And one day, my dad arranged for us to visit the local fire hall. Having a grandpa on city council has its benefits!

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A huge thank you to my parents for taking care of us for a week! And thanks to all my family who came for a visit. It was so great to see you!

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Now to plan our Christmas road trip…

Grandma’s 80th Birthday Party

July 29, 2014 § 2 Comments

This year, my Grandma is turning 80! My parents were generous enough to offer their beautiful home as a venue for all my family to get together for a giant party to celebrate her. Nick, Henry, and I were so happy to be able to come too!

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We arrived Wednesday evening and despite a rocky start with sleep, Henry had THE BEST TIME.

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He loved being outdoors, seeing too many trees to even try to touch them all, the river, boat rides, and having so much room to crawl.

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And of course he loved spending so much time with family.

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We spent 4 days at the cottage and 1 day in Oshawa with my sister. Unfortunately, we had no time to get to Toronto to see friends, but I was so happy to have a visit from my friend Sara! (Also pictured: my cousin’s cute and friendly son, Kieran.)

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Sara and I have been friends for over 10 years, but she moved to Scotland about 6 years ago and got married last year. She was in town visiting her parents with her husband, David, and friend, Hana. It was so great to catch up and enjoy her new Canadian-Scottish accent ;)

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Later that evening, we had a campfire, complete with Grandpa selfies.

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The next day, Henry had his first ride on my parents’ pontoon boat. I didn’t think I’d be able to put his robot costume-sized infant life jacket on him without a fight, but he didn’t care – SO MANY TREES!!!! For the rest of the day, all he wanted was to go down by the river and look at everything. He is already more outdoorsy than his parents.

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Soon, more babies arrived! New parents Jeremy and Gioia brought an adorable 3 month old Dante.

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Henry continued to love life, chowing down on PC baby food (added sugar! woooo!) and yelling to join the dinner conversation.

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We had dinner at the longest table, sitting about 32 people. We enjoyed heartfelt tributes to my Grandma by my mom, aunt, and uncle. Tears were shed!

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Then the cupcakes came out. Of course, the great-grandchildren that knew how to blow out candles lent a helping hand.

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It was a really great weekend, filled with family. Unfortunately, we were missing the Martin family – my sister is too pregnant to travel that far away from her hospital. Twins come quickly!

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So on Sunday morning, we packed up and said our goodbyes so we could say hello to Jenn and her family. And one great big HELLO to that BELLY!

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I don’t know how she is doing it, but she looks absolutely fantastic and is still up and moving!

Henry is just about old enough to actually play with his cousins. It’s a pretty heartwarming sight. Of course, he is still a baby so at one point Jillian declared “I’m bored of Henry now.” I’m both looking forward to and dreading that honesty once Henry can talk. haha.

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What a great trip. I wish it was longer, but we were very happy to get home yesterday. Happy birthday to my Grandma and lots of love to my whole family!

A Visit + A Baby Shower

June 24, 2013 § 1 Comment

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Last week, I flew up to the Toronto area to spend 6 days with my family. This was my last long trip to Canada, while I’m still allowed on planes.

I spent two days with my sister and her family in Oshawa, and the second of those two was my first ever shower (besides, you know, the kind with water)! Jenn and my Mom threw me a baby shower where a few family members and some of my best friends came to play games, eat food, and visit with me. Since I don’t like being the center of attention, I wasn’t sure how it would be, but I loved it. It was so great to have some of my most favourite people all together in one room to celebrate my baby-to-be.

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I was so happy to finally meet my friend Joe and Dori’s adorable son, Rowan…

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…who was, strangely enough, dressed exactly the same as my nephew Ben.

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Thanks to everyone who came out, especially the boys who hung around and waited for the BBQ to start!

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Of course, Julia couldn’t leave without us taking belly photos. I can’t believe she only has two months to go!

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I spent Monday to Friday at my parents’ cottage in Fenelon Falls. It was mostly pretty chilly, but we had a few nice sunny days (perfect for building chipmunk houses with Grandpa).

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My Grandparents came to visit and stayed for a campfire and sleepover. My Grandpa got wild and spit sambuca into the fire. My Dad called him Gene Simmons.

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My family really is the best. Thanks for a great visit, everyone!

March in Canada

March 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

I flew up to Toronto on Wednesday to spend 5 days with some of my favourite Canadians!

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For the first time since I moved to New York, I stayed with my sister for the majority of my visit. I was happy to get in so much time with her and her adorable family. I was reminded how much work it is – and how exhausting it is – to take care of two tiny ones all day long for three days straight. Oh, and did I mention they have a seven week-old puppy?

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I mean, geez. How could I have missed Biscuit the puppy’s cutest month? I couldn’t. It was great timing for feet-biting cuteness.

Wednesday night, we had a bit of a party at the Martins’ in Oshawa. My parents and brother Ryan and his wife Suzanne came over for dinner…

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…We had birthday cupcakes for Mom…

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…and we played in the park afterwards.

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Look at Jillian’s hilarious little face and firey hair. You need to zoom in on this one – she’s having the best time!

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It was so nice to get to see so much of Jenn. I love spending time with the kids, but my favourite parts of the visit were at night when they’d be in bed and we’d drink wine and talk. She’s so strong and is such an amazing mom. For those who have been asking, she’s doing much better than you’d ever think after the worst thing happened last month.

After spending a “girls’ night” with Jenn and my Mom at the cottage on Friday night, I said goodbye to family and took the train into Toronto for the weekend. I stayed at Julia and Jay’s place, but since they were at a wedding Saturday night, I spent the evening (and night and early morning) with two of my favourites, Sarah and Karen.

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We went to Woodlot, a tasty and extremely popular new Toronto restaurant, and then a few bars on Dundas Street. Guest appearances by Rob Blyth, Tami Noa Levy, and Stephen Bowles happened then we ended up at Sarah Townson’s house for St. Patrick’s festivities with Amy, Emillie, Damian, and Bettie! I stayed out way past my bedtime, but it was so nice to see everyone! Don’t you love it when you don’t have to sit and catch up, instead you embrace the moment and laugh and joke like old times? I sure do.

 Toronto, you are the best. Please never change so I can come back every few months and love you again!

 Now what you really came for… OBLIGATORY PUPPY PHOTOS!

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Summertime visit to Canada

July 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Last Thursday, I flew to Toronto to visit some friends and family. The last time I was there was March, which was extremely cold, but this time, it was incredibly hot – Thursday the 21st was declared the hottest day in Toronto’s history! After spending the last 4 summers in New York, I thought to myself “how much hotter could it really be?” and decided to do the 20 minute walk from the island airport to Julia’s office to drop off my suitcase instead of getting in an air conditioned cab. Boy was that the wrong decision – by the time I got to her office, my head was pounding from the heat. It was about 50 degrees Celsius at that point (I think about 120 F) and I decided to drink some water and have a tour of her office before I went outside again.

My next stop was Sarah & Stephen’s house. After stepping out of the air conditioned subway, I picked us up some popsicles and we all sat in their living room – their only room with air conditioning. It was actually really nice to just sit and talk with them for hours, while eating watermelon, popsicles, and gatorade.

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That evening, my Toronto ladies got together and tried out Frank‘s Summerlicious Menu at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Luckily, it wasn’t very busy so we ate and ate and then hung around for a while after, catching up. It’s always so nice to see them!

Friday morning, I met Eli for breakfast, USS for a pre-lunch drink (non-alcoholic, don’t worry!), and then Nick flew in so we could celebrate our first wedding anniversary together.

We both agreed it was very suitable that we spend our anniversary in Toronto since we initially divided our time between the two cities so well. We spent our day eating lunch at Fresh, walking around, and then went to Enoteca Sociale for a real Italian dinner full of food and prosecco. Nick also ate his entire 24 oz steak just to show our waiter he could do it!

Saturday morning, we met up with my brother Ryan & his wife Suzanne at their new condo and we all headed to my parents’ cottage in Fenelon Falls.

My sister, her two kids, and my grandparents were already there, so it was a full house of 11 people in total. It was so good to see everyone though.

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We sat outside, talking and snacking

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Went for boat rides

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Swam in the river

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And each night we had a campfire. I realized hadn’t had a roasted marshmallow in years!

We headed home on Monday morning, or at least tried to – our flight suffered some horrible delays from weather in Newark among other things – but let’s not talk about that because I want to remember the visit for the great time it was.

See you again soon, Canada!

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