Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Toronto, Ontario, Canada and Thereabouts

So in usually high drama, the third week of October our elementary school was shut down.  First for the day, Friday, and then for the next week.  It turns out that after being viewed by an engineering firm in preparation for a remodel and addition next year, it's structurally unsound.  A second firm has confirmed the first's assessment and so long term, much is to be determined.  But back when school was first shut down, I was sitting around with four children for a little over a week and not much to do.

Travis was supposed to go on a business trip to Toronto.  I was to go with him for an adult vacation of sorts, but that week at school was Book Fair and I was the chairperson.  So with Book Fair cancelled as well as school, I was ready to hit the town with Travis, the town being Toronto.  We put the two foster kids in RESPITE (mid-term foster care babysitting) due to leaving the country, the two middle school children stayed with friends because they didn't want to miss school and they were still very much in session.  So the two youngest and Travis and I left.

It was a great vacation.  It was a little over 6 hours to get there.  We were staying in a small town outside the city, where the company was based.  He had meetings through most of the days.  So the kids and I explored the small town and surrounding area.  But eventually we headed off to the "big" city, fourth biggest in North America - pretty similar in size to Chicago.  And the similarities don't end there.  They are both cities that sit on Great Lakes with beautiful lake side roads weaving around the cities.  But all that being said, Toronto is pretty awesome.  The traffic is way less than NY, LA or Chicago.  Downtown is super navigable.  I would guess because so many use public transportation.  The city is very clean, has great incorporated parks and free space, not skyscraping high adding to the open and not overly crowded feeling.  I'm a total fan.  If you haven't gone to visit - go.  It has all the major attractions that big cities do and tons of small time fun too.

On the way home after all our fun we stopped at Niagara Falls, just for a short bit.  We've been before, but I always worry that Kody forgets so much, even Issac, because they are the youngest.  And so to solidify in their brain, we hit it again.  Neither was that impressed, but it may have just been because of the first bits of cold in the season, made them want to stay indoors.  Regardless I love mini-vacations or major vacations, planned or unplanned.

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