Author Archives: melanie

Toronto weekend

A few months back, we decided we should book of one weekend. Just one weekend where no one would be working, and we could hang out the whole time as a little family. After looking at the calendar, we decided on the July 25th weekend. We’d take a road trip to Toronto for my brother in law’s birthday!

So we did.

I had these grand ideas of taking the entire day and making lots of stops, checking out all the funny sounding places you see on the road signs along the way, but I ran out of time to research. So we just stopped at one, for lunch – a little place quite far off the beaten track called Hell Hole Nature trail. Intriguing, right?

401 wildflowers

hell holes nature trail

When we got there, we found out it was just a quiet picnic area with a playground, mini-golf, and a view. You could pay $7 each to walk down the trails, but it sounded too difficult and dangerous for a 2 year old. So we had lunch and a good long play at the park and around the golf holes.

hell holes mini golf

hell holes

hell holes park

Then we headed back towards the 401. It’s funny, before the trip one of the things I was looking forward to most was time in the car to actually talk and relax, but as the cars turned into a crawl, we realized something was wrong and it took us hours to find out what it was. We finally got off in Port Hope to find that the highway was closed, and we all had a good long stretch and some water. We got back on a ways down, and the normally 4 hour drive took us closer to 8 hours, maybe 9. Brutal!

But we made it, and it was great to see Ali and Justin and their new puppy Rupert! Baby J loves their cuddly cat, Fenton, and was obsessed with petting him all weekend.

Saturday was a day for playing at the park, for eating freshly baked cheese and chocolate croissants, for shopping on Yonge street, and walking and napping. We also took Baby J on the subway for the first time (he hated it and asked to get off at each stop) and then a barbecue. We made some new friends and celebrated the birthdays with cupcakes and a kiddie pool full of drinks. There was another 2 year old there to play with, a dinosaur hiding in the garden, dancing to do, and hot dogs to eat.

dog

barbecue bday

balloons

pin the sticker

Sunday morning we decided to head over the Sherwood park and enjoy the weather. It’s got a great off-leash are for dogs who love to climb (steps and boardwalks) as well as a massive playground area, picnic tables, and water park with shower-like spray. Of course, all my little guy wanted to do was climb up and down these bars outside the washroom while softly singing “Spiderman” to himself. He did get on the teeter totter for awhile too, and check out the water briefly.

Sherwood rock

sherwood climbing

We had a quick lunch from Burger Priest before packing up to say goodbye. Toronto isn’t so far but it feels far when the time there flies by in an instant, when the tickles and barks and funny moments get tucked away again until the next time we can see each other in person.

The drive home was much more textbook, 4 hours of napping and talking, of watching a movie and thinking about the days and weeks ahead while also just feeling the warm breeze rush in through the windows on the open road.

Wiped out

Nothing like a full on family stomach flu to knock you off your feet and blow your routine. Phew!

We were lucky to have a lovely 2 cottage weekend recently. First was Friday – Saturday with cousins, lovely big-little girls who are wonderful at playing with a silly toddler, patiently spotting as he climbed the bunk bed ladder over and over. We swam, ate watermelon, relaxed a little, and enjoyed the weather.

eating

boat play

Sunday we dropped Tyler off at a friends cottage for the week. He’d been hoping to get some alone time and do some songwriting, and it was the perfect chance. We hung out for the day, splashing on the little beach, bouncing on the trampoline and then eating burgers, before parting ways and heading home while he stayed to watch the sun set.

Little did we know that by Monday afternoon, one after another, all 4 adults and 1 small child would be rushing to the bathroom for hours on end. Baby J had been at Tyler’s aunts for the day, and I asked my inlaws to keep him overnight while I recovered.

As the evening wore on though, and my friends were reporting symptoms too, I called and found my little fella had been sick for an hour too. Even though I felt awful, I had wanted my mommy (she thoughtfully brought over crackers and gingerale for me) so I had a feeling he would too. We spent the next couple of days huddled together, hoarding crackers and watching all the movies in between bouts of flu.

Poor Tyler had it up at the cottage as well, and soon enough our helping hands (my mom, his dad, and my friends’ mom) all got it too. It was awful – maybe the worst flu I’ve ever had. And seeing my kid so miserable makes me thank my lucky stars that in general (this past week aside), we’re healthy.

Quite a week! Looking forward to more regularly scheduled summer programming.

Summer bucket list

I love summer. It’s maybe not fresh and exciting like spring, or cozy and comfortable like fall, but it’s easy to feel happy when the days are long, hot and sunny.

I’ve been thinking about making a summer bucket list. I feel like too often I don’t plan ahead enough and miss out on some of the neat things summer has to offer. It’s walking the fine line between fun and doable – I don’t want to set my sights on several Pinterest picks that are just out of my league, time and perfection wise. I do want to make sure we enjoy each day as much as we can and I want to get outside and do things we all like.

Luckily a few of my bloggie buddies here in O-town have been doing this for years! I checked out their lists (Lynn at Turtlehead, and Kamerine at Life of K – do the same, especially if your kids are a bit older than my 2 year old!)

I also Googled a bit and perused a book I picked up recently called 150 Screen Free Activities to come up with a list of summer activities for toddlers. Here goes!

Summer bucket list

Strawberry picking
Splash pad
Farmers market
Burnstown beach
Swim at an outdoor pool
Spray sidewalk chalk
Paint outdoors with foam paint
Homemade ice cream
Wash the car
Fire Station visit
Picnic at Andrew Haydon Park

red head red car

I have a few other things I want to tackle, for me:

New blog design
Make 5 new recipes
Try 3 new restaurants
Take photos downtown
Redo my office space
Make our tiny backyard better for playing

Think I’m overestimating what I’ll be able to pack in? You’re probably right. Especially since it took me until July to come up with my list! But I won’t feel bad if I don’t get to it all, so there’s no harm in trying. Happy summer days to you!

kabobs