Thursday, June 01, 2006

Our Recent Travels

We're back from our travels.

First to Toronto, then we headed off to Brainerd, MN for Memorial weekend. Phew... a bit tired. And now we're gonna head over to Moorhead for a nephew's graduation party. Wahoo... he's done with high school! We're happy for him.

Well,,, Toronto, lets see. We first headed over to Niagara. Tim picked up the rental car and we drove over. Here's what I wrote as we headed out of Toronto enroute to Niagara.

"As we start our journey, I reach for a little music to calm everyone's nerves, (you know, those driving on an interstate, not knowing where to go nerves) what do I first see in Kyra's cds? Hanna's music disc 1 ! :) So perfectly timed we have Bob Marley singing "three little birds" ~ "don't worry, about a thing, cuz every little thing's gonna be alright" Nice, thanks Hannah!"

So,,,en route to Niagara,,,, we see beautiful countryside, some little towns and Vineyards! Or "Vine-yards" as Alec would say. ;) He starts this amazing interesting conversation about the word "vineyard" lol. Why is it pronounced vin-yard, not vine-yard? He so blows my mind, I've never thought about that, never heard anyone else ask about that. I guess I just always accepted what I heard and that was that. Not Alec, always asking, always inquiring,, awesome! That's why we had to get him out of school so he kept asking those questions!

OK, so we talk about pronunciations, different language origins, French, (because of vin=wine). Nice. I never knew there were vineyards in this area of Canada. Learning all the time :D

Got to Niagara Falls, stayed in a nice hotel right next to the falls. "Look, I can see the falls from my tub!" is what I exclaimed when we walked into our room. Abbi seemed the most amazed by the falls, Alec didn't think they were "that" great, he thought he'd seen others, but I'm not sure what ones. We were a bit miffed at the whole touristy thing there. I know they have to make money though. One example that we were aggravated with was here we were right next to the falls yet we had to pay to actually get down to the falls! There weren't any stairs to just walk down the hill to the viewing areas. Yes we could walk blocks down to a street but no stairs to be able to just walk down there some way from the hotel area. Oh,, yeah, you can pay to ride a lift, but oh, if you go after 6:00 pm you're screwed cuz its closed. :P

We toured behind the falls and Alec did concede that that WAS cool. lol Getting to feel the water on your face was amazing, we opted out of the boat ride near it. Kids were still a bit leary of waves since our whale watching trip in MA.

The next day we left Niagara and decided to check out Niagara on the Lake on the way back to Toronto. That was a really cute little town and we got to drive right by some more vineyards on the way. Stopped at a cute little shop that was selling their wine and had to pick some up for us and friends. Felt a bit like "Sideways" and decided that we should make a trip to CA to see those vineyards too.

When we got back to the Toronto area we e-mailed Pam L. , got directions to her house and headed out to visit her the next morning. :D

Ahhhhh,, what fun we had visiting with them. Its always so awesome to visit with another unschooling family. Our families just mesh together. Smooth is the word that comes to mind when we get together with these wonderful of families. :) Its so nice to visit and spend time with people that actually see their children as whole, wonderful beings. And the kids are so happy. Alec and Joseph and Michael did the gaming thang and the girls hung with Alyssa doing their thang. All had a blast,,including moms and dads too. :D

The kids had such a great time that they didn't want to even go to the hotel with Tim and I, so they spent the night with Pam and her family and Tim and I had a night together! Wow, and it was our 16th wedding anniversary! Coolies~

After Pam's house, we thought we would go to Wonderland, go to the zoo, go to a lot of museums while we were in Toronto, but those things didn't happen. The kids were happy with site seeing on our own and hanging here and there. It was a bit hard because we went with Tim so he wouldn't be alone, so we didn't want to leave and miss him when he got off each day. That cut into our touring a bit but that's OK, we learned that we really like to be together and don't want any of us to miss things! :-D

We did get out and see the CN tower and that was really interesting. Before we got there earlier in the week, the girls and I had been out doing something and came back to find Alec reading all about "tallest buildings in the world". Very cool that we had a laptop with. He informed us about the fact that there are lots of locales that claim to have the tallest building. He went on to show us the different characteristics in buildings/towers, freestanding and not. Never knew all that! OH! And found out that THE tallest structure right now is KVLY's tower, one of Fargo- Moorhead's TV stations! So we got a laugh out of that. Here were are in Toronto Canada, thinking we're gonna see the tallest structure and right back in North Dakota it stands! lol

But,,,,, that isn't freestanding ;) (Alec would remind me of that!)

That conversation also lead to a discussion of the 2 towers of NY also, since they were among the tallest too.

We also visited Chinatown while there. Amazing how far something is when you actually start walking there! (Didn't look very far on the little downtown map! lol) But it was worth the walk. The girls and I explored on the way, got a bit lost. But found a cool part of town that was very thriving,, kind of up townish but wasn't up town. Found a Baskin-Robbins for Abbi and sat in a little park area in the middle of a apartment area eating our treats. Kyra found a black squirrel to visit and play with and of course the numerous pigeons to converse with. :)

Chinatown had a lot of shops and a lot of people. Found some cool things, Kyra got a big parasol, like an umbrella you'd put in a drink but about 4 feet long. :D Got some new chopsticks to eat our Ramen with, enjoyed all the Chinese writing everywhere, enjoyed a fry bread type of snack that kind of tasted like warm fortune cookie but looked like little packing bubbles. Oh and found some cool things for Diana and Hayden. We kept saying,,,"ooh, ooh,, Hayden would like this",, or "Diana would like this" lol

We were tempted to go to see the Lord of the Rings play but it was SO expensive and thought we better not. We heard its gonna be in London too so we're hoping to see it there when we go there. Maybe it will be less $$,,, maybe, maybe not. lol

When we got back to Bemidji, Thursday, our stay at home was brief. Next day we left for Brainerd and Grand View Lodge, the Traaseth family reunion was beginning. Tim's family gets together every Memorial weekend. Courtesy mom and pop Traaseth, we get to enjoy a resort. And oh what a nice resort! And we actually got to stay right by the lake this time, Gull Lake. Wahoo!

It was a beautiful weekend warm and relaxing, probably drank too much wine but it was nice. Just hanging, relaxing, and lots of playing- in the sand, pool, cards, video games and visiting.

Now we're home for another day, phew, and gonna leave tomorrow to head to FM for the grad party I mentioned earlier. We might get to see Hayden and Diana, we'll for sure get to see Grandma and Grandpa S. And lots of Tim's family.

Off to pack once again. :)

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