At the end of June, my sister Camille came to visit.
She stayed for almost 2 weeks.
We had a good time - we went to Jersey Boys and Bluesfest, took day trips to Montreal and Carleton Place, went downtown for Canada Day, on walks around the neighbourhood, and drove out into the country to buy saskatoon berries.
She left last Monday.
On Tuesday, my mom and my niece came to visit.
Wednesday morning we got up bright and early to take the train to Toronto. (Via was having an awesome sale.) It took us 3.5 hours to get there.
We checked into the Fairmont. My niece was thrilled - apparently, Selena Gomez stayed there, although I have no idea how B knew that.
Once we dropped the bags in the room, we took the subway to Yorkdale Mall to go to the Rainforest Cafe. (Were Toronto subway cars always open so that you can walk the length of the train as it's moving, or is that new?)
We ate lunch, then went back downtown and walked around a little. We went to the CN Tower, and B and Wanda went to the top. (I was too cheap to go - it was something like $34.)
Then we met my cousin for supper, and B and I had the following conversation.
B: I want to go swimming at the hotel. Auntie Wanda can come with me.
Me: I don't think Wanda brought her bathing suit.
B: Then Grandma can come.
Me: I don't think Grandma wants to go swimming today.
B: Then I'm all out of options.
B and I left the others at the restaurant and went swimming.
The next morning, we all got up and took public transportation to the zoo. It took 2 subway lines and a bus and took a while, but it was very straightforward.
We saw the pandas first - I'd heard stories of 2 hour lines - and didn't have to wait long at all.
|B, Wanda, and the back of a panda|
After the pandas, we saw the other animals in that area (including kangaroos and the komodo dragon), then went back to the main gate to catch the zoomobile.
We took the zoomobile over to the Africa section and saw giraffes, a hippo, white lions, and ostriches. We stopped for lunch, then went back to the main gate again. We took the zoomobile through the whole zoo (note to moms - if your kid doesn't want to say "choo choo" every time the zoomobile starts moving, you don't have to do it yourself). The zoomobile actually goes through a few cages, which allowed us to see some animals we wouldn't have seen otherwise.
By that time, we were tired, so we made the trek back downtown, went for supper, and picked up our bags for the return trip.
Friday was a quiet day, since we were all tired, but we did do a few science experiments.
|The vinegar and baking soda rocket|
By Saturday, we were ready to leave the house again. We went to Despicable Me 2 (the first one was better, but it was still good) and even went for a walk in the woods which was the worst idea ever.
As you can see, my niece had a terrible time.
|She had fun. And if she hadn't had to go to the bathroom, we would have stayed longer.|
Sunday, we went to Brittania beach. Again, I was the one who got to go swimming with her. We went out to the end of the swimming area, and I had the task of picking her up and throwing her in the water.
To be clear, she's almost as tall as I am - the top of her head is just under my nose - and solid. Which is why the following conversation happened:
B: Throw me farther!
B: Weaking! Weakling! You're a weakling!
Me: You're not as small as you used to be.
B: Look at that guy! He knows how to throw.
B: This is why you're not my favourite auntie.
And Monday, we went to Calypso. Yes, the day before the report of dozens of safety violations was released.
We actually went on very few slides - it was hot, and the water-to-standing-in-line ratio was low for the slides - but we went on the Jungle Run many times, and on the new Kongo Expedition a few times. (Lines were long for that one in the early afternoon, but it got better around 5.) On the Kongo Expedition, you lie in a tube and the river carries you past a bunch of things (elephants, buckets, etc.) that dump water on you. There's an indoor part in the dark, as well. Near the end, you go into a wave pool area which takes you past more opportunities to get wet. It's fun, and the only downside is the wave pool part - if you end up trapped behind a bunch of people hanging on to each other's tubes, you're going to get stuck.
And yes, we got a little sunburn.
Me: B, go to bed.
B: You're scary.
Me: If you think I'm scary now, just wait until I get to three. Two.
B: If you don't want to get to three, just stop counting.
Yes, she's a bit of a smart alec.
All in all, it was a fun visit.