About Me

My photo
Currently living the dream of moving to Toronto for 12 months for a Firefighter Exchange!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blue Mountain and Ottawa Winterlude

Unfortunately, our planned weekend at Wasaga Beach was 'whited out' which is kind of like rained out but only with snow.  We had been invited to Wasaga Beach to spend the weekend with Big Jack's two sisters and their families and we were really excited.  However, this is the life in Canada.....plans get shelved at the last minute due to the snow.   Instead, we spent a very relaxing and low-key weekend at home.   However, all is not bad....Troy got to go ice-fishing today with Big Jack's two brothers-in-law.    He can tell you all about it in our next blog.

On Tuesday, we went to Blue Mountain (about 2-3hrs from Toronto) for a day of skiing.  The weather was glorious - not a cloud in the sky and sun sun sun sun sun.   *sigh* how I love the warm sun. 
 Jack waiting patiently to begin

 Yep, love beanie hair!

 Am I going to break my neck??

 I still don't know how I managed to go first!

 Jack zoomed through like he had been doing it for years!

 Bob went ahead of us to take some photos of the view!

 Troy, Jack & Bob

On Friday, it was uncharacteristly warm here in Toronto.  The temperature got up to about eight degrees during the day!!  I wanted to go outside, skip, dance and run wild!  It was sooooo lovely.  I can't wait for spring to arrive.  I have since found out that this weather is just a 'teaser' and sure enough....the following day, the temperature fell back down to minus 5 (it went down to minus 16 in Ottawa, WITHOUT the wind chill).  Yep......winter is still here.  Oh and to top it off, we had more snow fall on Sunday night.

We travelled to Ottawa on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend with Pat and Melissa and Pat's parents.  We were able to take part in the Ottawa 'Winterlude' celebrations.   One of the big Canadian traditions is to skate on the Rideau Canal - the canal freezes solid in winter and you can skate the entire length of the canal (7.8kms).   Unfortunately for us, the Canal was closed on Saturday, probably due to the warm weather on Friday.   Instead, we spent the day doing a little sightseeing and shopping.   It was soooooo bitterly cold that day.  The wind was gusty and any part of exposed skin was numb in a matter of minutes.  It was so so so so so cold.  I can not even express just how cold it was.  My eyeballs were stinging, my forehead was aching and my nose - well I couldn't even feel that. 

Of course, we had to have a beavertail and it was worth the frost-bitten hand you got after eating it. 

 Mrs Hayter, Pat & Melissa

 The frozen locks - you might remember the photo we took in Summer of these locks.

 Troy carrying Jack - Parliament House in the background.  I heard about a stray cat colony at the back of Parliament House and decided it would be worthwhile to see.  Troy was so excited, you can nearly see him skipping in this photo! ha ha.
I figured that if I saw the famous Cat Colony in the ruins in Rome, then it's only fitting that I see the famous Cat Colony in Ottawa!  Right?  Yeah.

 View from the pathway.  This colony overlooks the river - they have the best view in the whole of Ottawa!

 I have now decided what I want to do when I retire....officially become a crazy cat lady.

 Pre-frostbite....waiting in the hotel lobby.

 Ice Sculptures at Winterlude.

 Entering the Canal to skate

 The ice was quite bumpy.

A long two days - Jack fell asleep for three hours on our way home to Toronto. 

Busy week planned for us.  Troy is playing in a Hockey Competition and I have to get things organised for Yvonne, Graeme, Margaret & Roger who arrive on Thursday!!  Yay.  Three more sleeps! xxx

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Well overdue update

It has been FAR too long since we last updated our blog.  We have been given 'feedback' from our family and friends and we promise this will not happen again :)

Jack is continuing his skiing lessons at Centennial Park.   He really enjoys these lessons and the week after arriving back from Mt Tremblant (our ski trip), he was put into the next level ski class.  He is now really excited because he gets to go down the big hill and up the magic carpet. 

Cyclone Yasi grounded us for a day or so here in Toronto.  We spent a whole day and night glued to the laptop - skyping, emailing, monitoring the cyclone, listening to news updates from Australia etc.  I think I got about 2hrs sleep in an entire 24hr period, which is probably more than a lot of our friends and family got back home.   I remember seeing the cyclone approaching Queensland in the week prior to it hitting, thinking..."Gee, I hope everything at the house will be ok".  As the system intensified and drew nearer to the coast with no signs of slowing down or changing direction, my thoughts quickly changed from concerns about property to concerns about our family and friends safety.  To hell with "stuff" - we were praying that everyone would just be ok!  We were very relieved that everyone came through it and that we only lost two trees in our yard back home. 

We went to Holiday Valley Ski Resort a week ago, which is located in Ellicottville in the state of  New York.   A friend from 421 Fire Hall was going with his partner and we joined them for two days of skiing.  The weather was really nice for the most part, except for the final afternoon where it started to rain.   We had a lot of fun and Jack and I even skied a blue run (intermediate)!!   We also went on the chair lift a number of times and I am proud to say that I didn't stack it once.  Troy was not so skillful and he stacked it getting ONTO the chair lift.  I still think it is irrelevant that he has to get himself AND Jack on & off the chairlift and I only have to look after myself.   

 Obviously, we had to cross the border into the United States.  The line up was terrible and of course Troy picked the SLOWEST lane which meant he spent most of the 20 minutes we waited bitching and moaning and pointing out the number of cars on each side of us that had passed us faster etc etc etc. 

 Jack, Teddy & Stripe the cat - all waiting patiently to cross the border.  Jack has certainly lost his Aussie tan!
 Mr Frustrated.
 The village of Ellicottville, near the ski resort.  Quaint little town - it has the CUTEST little houses!

 Jack and Troy getting all geared up to go go go! 
 Jack using the rope-tow to get up the small bunny hill.  Although the hill is a little boring for him, he likes the independence of being able to go up and down all by himself.

The drive back from Holiday Valley was HORRIBLE!   We had checked the weather prior to leaving Toronto and it was all clear.  However, a snow storm came through and we had to drive is amongst it.  Thank god Bob had lent us his car (with snow tyres) because it was a little hairy driving on the highways.  The roads were slippery and the visibility was terrible.  We are constantly amazed at how close people drive to each other in such terrible weather!  As soon as Troy would let a nice big gap in between our car and the one in front, another car would change lanes and jump in between us.   I was on edge the entire drive and my worries grew each time we passed a car which had flipped onto it's roof or driven off in the ditch.   I think in all, we passed about five cars which had run off the road and were in trouble.


The weather in Toronto is still very cold.  It is really strange though because it can go from zero degrees one day to minus 25 the next.   I am starting to get sick and tired of the cold weather.   Bring on the sunshine and warmth!!