on the island, towards the end of the summer, I've seen the signs for Old Home Week. But I never really understood what it was.
This year, however, an opportunity presented itself, and now I know what Old Home Week on PEI is!
Last Friday, we dropped a friend off at the airport around 5 p.m., and had several hours to kill before picking up my girlfriend, who was just coming down for the weekend, but on a later flight. So rather than drive all the way back out to the house, Alex and I decided to check out this Old Home Week business and see for ourselves what all the fuss is about.
Turns out it's a bit like the CNE in Toronto, but on a smaller scale.
One similarity to Toronto' exhibition is the opportunistic parking business that springs up around the fairgrounds during the week: Just like in Toronto, Ch'town locals with homes backing onto the street adjacent to the fair put up hand crafted signs inviting people to park on their lawns -- and they pack those cars in! Alex and I estimated that on one lawn, there must have been at least fifty cars, which -- if they turn over 2-3 times a day -- garner the property owners a cool $5-6K in cash each year!!
As it was already quite late at night, the line ups were long, and Alex was pretty tired, we elected not to go on any rides. And although we did throw away $20 on one of those unwinnable ball-in-the-milk-crate carnival games, we spent most of our evening in the farm animal building, admiring the award-winning cows and alpaca, and trying our hand at some brain puzzles.
We also stopped to check out the horse races (but didn't do any betting).
Soon enough, it was time to hunt down our car and head back to the airport to collect our next visitor.
As Alex remarked, we were glad to have gone to check it out, but Old Home Week is one of those things where once is enough.
So, sleeping in an 8x8 "room on stilts" with two silly, kicking 12-year-olds was perhaps not my most brilliant plan ever, in terms of relaxation techniques while on vacation. Though in fairness, one cannot say it wasn't an adventure!
Perusing the AirBnB listings on PEI recently, I came across a budget listing for a no-frills "treehouse" in Crapaud, near the lovely, little village of Victoria-by-the-Sea.
Knowing the boys would love it, I booked one night.
After camp on Monday, we set off for Crapaud, making a brief stop en route to pick up a giant pillow which I had scored on Kijiji for the boys' playhouse which was due to be delivered to our property in St Peter's Harbour later in the week.
I had forgotten how hilly the south-west part of the Island was, and I enjoyed the scenery while the boys slept in the car, tired out from their first full day of camp.
The lovely thing about PEI is that everything is pretty close, so within about 40 minutes, we had arrived in the general vicinity of the treehouse, and as the boys woke up from their powernap, I tried to divine the somewhat sketchy directions included with my reservation.
We soon found the property, and sure enough, there was the treehouse!!
A Japanese exchange student staying in the main house checked us in and showed us the 2-piece washroom we could use, and then we climbed up the ladder to our room for the night.
The boys eagerly set about arranging the room: Organizing sleeping bags, pillows (including the new giant one we had acquired earlier in town) and various personal belongings they had brought with them for the night on the hooks and little "shelves" that lined the inside of our rustic hut amongst the trees.
We also had a little kitten climb the ladder and visit us. (After some petting, she just curled up outside the cabin door.)
Once out stuff was arranged in the tiny room to everyone's satisfaction, we drove 4 minutes to the nearby fishing village of Victoria, and enjoyed a great dinner (even vegetarian protein available!!) and excellent service at the Landmark Cafe, following which we picked up some ice cream on the wharf and sauntered around the lighthouse and antique market, taking silly selfies and admiring the imposing clouds in the evening sky.
We also saw PEI's oldest tree ("That's nothing compared to the trees we saw in Buenos Aires, right Mom?", Alex was quick to point out).
And then it was back to the treehouse.
We read a few chapters of our current read-aloud together (Deborah Ellis' Sacred Leaf), and then attempted to sleep.
I will say that the mattress itself (a reasonably roomy, high quality, inflatable affair) was considerably more comfortable than I had anticipated. It was my two restless bedmates who were the problem. Every time they moved, the mattress squeaked.
And also I had to pee. And I was not going to haul my corpulant, over-40 self down a rickety old ladder at 11:57 p.m. And 2 a.m. And again at 4:38 a.m. No way, no how. (Fortunately, I had anticipated that particular problem, and had done some advance planning accordingly, the details of which I will spare the reader.)
And there were mosquitos. (Not a lot, but enough bother a finicky sleeper.)
I debated whether or not to fish around in the catch-all bin we had brought with us for some mosquito repellent, and opted for some ear plugs instead, pulling the sleeping bag up over my head.
In between tossing and turning, I surfed Kijiji for deals and posted random photos with uninspired hashtags on Instagram.
Finally, blessedly, the morning arrived, another beautiful sunshiny day o PEI, and I roused the two sleeping bunnies to pack up their gear and get back in the car for the ride back into town for Day Two of Art camp. But not before using the real washroom, in the main house!!!
The ride back to Ch'town was uneventful; we enjoyed watching the pastoral scenery out the window while munching on cut-up peaches and strawberries and little boxes of dry cereal I had prepared ahead of time as a sort of en-route breakfast.
I wouldn't do it again, I don't think, and I am desperately looking forward to my real bed tonight. But my one night in a treehouse was worth it: A fun and affordable mini-adventure for all!!
You know you need to work on work-life balance when your personal blog that's supposed to be a fun, regular hobby has sat idle over over a week, and your IN box is overflowing with more than 600 emails -- ugh!! Ahhh, but summer, and PEI. Time.... time to relax, time to catch up, time to daydream...
From the first glimpses of the red, green and golden beauty from the sky, I could feel my muscles relax and my blood pressure lowering!
This beneficial effect was quickly enhanced by land therapy via open fields, children playing, our beautiful old lighthouse and the stunning colours of yet another unique sunset, all of which I availed myself as soon as possible after landing.
Indeed, whether it's watching my not-so-little-anymore kids running in the open field behind our house, and commenting on how tall the trees are growing ("Mom, I remember when they were this small!", remarked Simon, amazed), or catching a glimpse of no fewer than 4 red foxes on the way to the drive-in theatre, or enjoying an instagram-worthy brunch at a neighbour's house, spending time on PEI is time well spent.
And then there are the adventures, like spending a night in a tree house in Crapaud, or "biking" through the washed-out road down by the Harbour to the farmers' market in Morell...
The serendipitous connections that the island seems to foster are also fun: Two weeks ago I spent a few days in Fonthill, Ontario, facilitating an assessment workshop for teachers there. This week the B and B owners I stayed with flew into Cable Head and delivered my nightshirt, which I had accidentally left behind -- turns out they are both pilots, and, stumbling across the website I designed for the airpark owner a few years back, decided to fly down and check the place out!!
We enjoyed a (veggie for me) burger together at the BBQ on site later that afternoon, and joked about the excellent service provided by the BnB pyjama deliverers!
My "Office" in Town
But it's not ALL play and no work; one of my favourite weeks on PEI is the week the boys go to Art Camp at the Confederation Centre in downtown Charlottetown. (TB to 2013 here!)
In addition to being super fun for Alex and Simon, the week also affords me the opportunity to spend several undisturbed hours at Beanz, a pretty great little coffee shop (with the most amazing and delectable assortment of homemade squares!!!) a hop, skip and a jump from the Arts Ctr.
And hey, speaking of Beanz, check out the swank new outdoor seating in the pics below -- Beanz patio got a facelift!
Installed in my mobile office along with a tasty double fudge cream, choco-- oops, er, I mean, a nice, healthy salad, I spend my precious wifi-accessible hours doing some professional reading, taking online courses (Jo Boaler, here we finally come!!), or catching up with emails. (The backlog and overflow has gotten so rediculous that I recieved a notification from my provider the other day that they were going to stop sending new mails if I didn't get things under control soon!!!)
When not slaving away at my laptop, I stroll the streets of Charlottetown, enjoying this year a new sense of inclusion in the capital city of this once fairly homophobic province while running my errands or just sauntering around this picturesque Birthplace of Confederation.
Now it seems "we love you LGBTQ folks" rainbows are everywhere. Amazing what an openly gay leader can do for place's climate of inclusivity!
At 3:56 p.m., I pack it up and hustle off to pick up my babies, and then it's off to the beach, or the lighthouse, or tonight, a treehouse on the Island's south shore!!
The days pass quickly while drifting slowly along -- I feel very blessed to have this place to come to at regular intervals throughout the year.
Every small town, though similar to its neighbour in some ways, has its own unique quirks.
Sitting in the diner at a corner of "downtown" Fonthill waiting for my dinner this penultimate evening of my three day assessment workshop for teachers, I have opportunity to reflect on the peculiarities this particular small town offers. (I guess technically the small town in question here is Pelham, and Fonthill is… what, a village within the town? But I digress…)
Let's begin with the suddenly-ending sidewalk that brought me here, the sidewalk that begins at the main road and continues, rising up, up, up, three quarters of the way up the hill, and then suddenly coming to a stop at someone's driveway.
I don't get it: I'm supposed to walk along the sidewalk, and then just suddenly jump down into the road or what?
On the other hand, let it not be said that the people of Fonthill are unimaginative; the unique and undoubtedly hand-made plumbing-inspired structure in the washroom of last night's restaurant featured no fewer than six toilet paper rolls, five of which I was able to capture in one photo frame on my trusty iPhone:
No, creativity is alive and well here in this tiny village in the Niagara region... Undoubtedly the locals have tremendous time to cultivate their prolific arts in the many hours they have off work; it seems every place around here is constantly closed.
Arriving in town two days ago, I was eager -- after setting up for my workshop and checking into a local B and B -- to check out some of the cute little shops I had seen on my drive in. Alas, everything had already closed for the evening, bakery, gift shops, chocolaterie, cafe...
It was about twenty to four in the afternoon.
I especially like the sign on this shop:
Srsly, dude! With working hours like that, who's going to laugh at government jobs anymore?
On the plus side, the local bank (when open) has specialists to meet the needs of the local community:
(What the hell does an "agricultural specialist" do, I wonder, at a BANK??! I mean, isn't agriculture more about planting corn than planting dollars? But what do I know, I'm just a city slicker.)
And then let's talk about the road I had to drive along to get from my B&B to my workshop each morning. It's called... Wait for it… "Effingham Road".
Yes, that's right, say it again, let it roll around in your mouth, say it out loud, kids -- it has to be heard to be fully appreciated. In fact, I heard it before I saw it spelled out myself, when the son of the folks who run the B and B where I'm staying said it out loud in a series of directions he was giving me… Honest to God, I seriously thought at first that he was saying "f--ingham", and it took every effort on my part to not burst out laughing!
And then I saw it written out on a street sign as I drove along.
So there I was, muttering "fuckingham" out loud to myself for the next three days, and succumbing to periodic fits of internal giggling, which had some observable symptoms, and which I hoped none of my workshop participants would notice, for I'm sure they already thought I was weird enough! (But really, people, who names a street -- or anything for that matter -- "F-ingham"?!)
I will mention two noteworthy redeeming features of this little spot on the southern Ontario rural map, one being the Picard Peanut outlet store on Hwy 20, which offers the company's world-famous chip nuts and a host of other goodies for purchase (I bought several packs as prizes for my workshop, and a few more to take home for family).
The other great thing about Fonthill and pretty much every place around here is the fact that it's located in the Niagara region, which means it has an abundance of fresh, juicy, tasty fruit.
In fact, as I'm typing this, I'm devouring a bowl of fresh peaches, picked this morning!
So there you have it, folks, another great small town adventure in Ontario, yours to discover!
For avid cyclists, it's no secret that finding the ideal fit in a bike takes time and experience. When I was lucky enough to have Silver bestowed on me by a generous friend a few years ago, I was still new to commuter biking, and not entirely sure that new, sporty steed was the right fit for me. Nevertheless, I rode it to work weekly, and rode around elsewhere, too, trying to get a sense of what it was to feel truly comfortable on two wheels.
Fast forward four years, and I knew for sure that I needed a longer frame and a more aggressive geometry. My partner and cycling muse, a long-time bike commuter and former Can-bike instructor with the city of Toronto who currently rides 40 km a day to and from work on one or the other of her two bikes had also been urging me to consider drop bars, which I was not previously ready for, but which I had finally become more open to.
And so, on a recent summer day, we replaced Silver with Kermit*, an Instagram-worthy touring hybrid with drop bars and fancy new disc brakes.
Our first stop after introducing the two to one another was to take Kermit and Stevie geocaching, which we did along the Lakeshore last Sunday.
Sam Smith park afforded the first new cache we'd found in those parts in a while, and Stevie and Kermit waited nicely together in the cedars while their humans went hunting around in the dirt, eventually finding the cache and harrumph-ing at the silly jokes listed in the logbook.
After returning the treasure to its hidden home, we continued a little further west, along the waterfront...
Bikes locked up to one another and the slat of a gazebo, Tats began digging around on the beach while I pulled out some sustenance and set up shop on a lpicnic table nearby.
We did not get to lunch for very long, however, as Stevie's owner was determined to find one final cache before taking Kermit's owner to a little Austrian cafe on Lakeshore for "Kaffee und Kuchen". (Well, tea, in my case.)
And so on we rode, further west still, and leaned Kermit and Stevie against a tree one final time.
Once more Tats went tripping along the beach with her GPS while I snapped a few pics for the blog before joining her in the hunt.
All three caches on the list signed and logged, we hopped back on Stevie and Kermit, and headed back east a little, to Sugar for my Honey, to enjoy the promised cake and tea, and have a conversation in German with the owner there.
Still tweaking a few little details on Kermit (I think a slightly longer stem would be helpful), but overall, loving my new ride, especially the drop bars!!
*Naming my bikes is a habit I picked up from my partner, who had adopted the practice long before we met, from a cycling friend of hers.
Extended workshop facilitation affords me the opportunity for self reflection.
This latest stint, in Fenelon Falls, brought me two insights; first of all, that there are some damn fine butter tarts to be had in Ontario, and secondly that I am super lucky to have come into contact with certain people at just the right points in my life, to encourage me and move me forward in my growth mindset.
Where to get Ontario's Best Butter Tarts
So it turns out the best butter tarts do not reside – – as I had hitherto suggested – – at the Lindsay airport, nor are they found in the previously written about Chelsea bun bakery, nor even at my local farmers market where there are found to be for sale some excellent home-baked goods.
No, indeed, the world's best butter tarts come from a little place called Erin's Little Bake Shop, as discovered by the half dozen samples that were generously brought to me by one of the participants of my workshop this morning, on Day Three of our three days together.
Sticky, sweet, delectable interiors of Erin's little Bakeshop butter tarts are ensconced with the perfect butter tart crust. (It has always been at my firm belief that entirely too much attention is paid to the centre of the tarts, and not nearly enough to the crust. The ideal butter tart crust, in my opinion, is somewhat flaky, somewhat crispy, somewhat chewy; the perfect marriage of all three of these qualifiers is what makes a crust "good".)
Of the half-dozen that the dear girl brought me, only two made it home this evening, the rest having been gobbled down ravenously by the same culprit who devoured the Chelsea bun from the previous blog post, as she was stuck in this wretched vehicle in slow moving traffic on first the 401, then the Don Valley Parkway, and finally the eventually-opening-up pavement of the QEW tonight.
But enough about butter tarts already!
Watching the open-mindedness with which some of the participants embraced and wrestled with new learning over the past three days (and marvelling at the ease with which others did not), caused me to reflect on my own journey as a learner in general and with technology in particular.
Over the past two years or so, the latter journey has taken place primarily in the classroom. But as I was driving home this evening, I considered my own resistance to adopting a new technologies in the past, in realms of my life beyond the classroom.
I clearly remember my hesitation when a much younger friend of mine insisted I move my 400+ CD collection that was consuming various parts of my living and dining room onto a magical little box with the dial in the middle that all the young kids had begun using, about the size of a deck of cards, called an iPod, some years back. I have written in the past about how this friend convinced me to get over my mental hurdles, and how I finally succumbed to his pleas to let him transfer my music collection to this small and marvellous digital device over a series of several nights – – he was a student in the jazz program at Humber at the time, and we delivered homemade lasagna and brownies to him while he worked his magic with a computer and my newly acquired iPod – – and changed my life!
Truly, that experience was the beginning of a whole new journey with technology for me, and a recognition that I was getting old, and perhaps more importantly, that if I was not careful, and did not keep up with the ever-changing world around me, I would become one of "those teachers"!
My digital music playing device is now in its fifth incarnation since the lasagna and brownie escapades that my not-so-young-anymore friend had inspired, and while there have been a few bumps along the way, I can honestly say that I don't miss the cumbersome nature of my previous way of listening to music one bit.
It was the initial resistance, however, to try something new, that cost me considerable and unnecessary delay in moving forward with technology both then, and at other times since then. And while a little healthy caution can be a valuable lens through which to approach new ideas in general, I do feel that my lack of growth mindset has at times held me back in ways that have not been beneficial to my learning and my practice.
Thank goodness people like my technical and musically minded friend have been courageous enough to speak up and force me to consider different perspectives.
Good Friends + Good Food = Gratitude
As I devour the last delicious butter tart that I swore I wouldn't eat while dictating this blog post hands-free into my iPhone on the final leg of my drive home in this week's rental car, I realize how lucky I have been with the people placed in my life at just the right times. I am grateful not only for my music/techie friends, but also for others who have walked with me and moved me forward in my thinking when closed mindedness or resistance tempted me, or who have encouraged me to continue learning when I have felt tired or overwhelmed.
I owe them my growth mindset, and my willingness to take risks and to persevere.
For them (and for the butter tarts) I am truly grateful!
As a teacher with some experience facilitating workshops over the years, I have the opportunity to do a little traveling within the province. Typically, ETFO Provincial will send me to some small town or other to in-service anywhere between 10 - 40 teachers at a time, depending on dates, location and topic.
Although it consumes a tremendous amount of prep time and mental effort, It's an adventuresome perk of the job I have enjoyed tremendously these past several years, and one I hope to carry with me into my next version of public educator, when I leave my current post as a Teacher with my school board, and begin working full time as an Education Officer with the Ministry of Ed next fall.
This week, my rental car took me into the Kawarthas, home of the butter tart rivalries, to Fenelon Falls.
Reflections on Car Rentals
For most of my travels this past year, I've managed by public or commercial transit, or a combination of both. But there is no commercial flight to Fenelon Falls, and the bus from Toronto only goes as far as Peterborough, so I had to bite the bullet and rent a car.
I must be getting old. And also, cars are evil!
I've been car-free since 2013, renting only when necessary, mainly on PEI each summer to transport my kiddies back and forth between our pastoral north shore retreat there and the bustling city life in Charlottetown, a half hour's drive from our house. And to drive to lobster dinner in New Glasgow. And to the North Rustico Bakery.
But I digress.
So, I haven't been in the driver's side of a car since last summer, and now, suddenly, there I was, turning left onto a busy Toronto street in a rental car, and then out onto the highway, and there were BIG TRUCKS everywhere and it was fast and busy and crowded and it just kept racing along with me in the middle of it!!
Needless to say, I felt a little overwhelmed.
Taking public transit has -- for me -- been hugely convenient. I've become accustomed to relaxing and reading the paper most days while someone else pays attention to the road. I also get a lot of email and organizational work done on route. And biking to work when I am not taking a bus, plane or subway is such a viscerally rewarding way to experience the grittiness of the city streets.
None of these realities was mine as I tried to just keep moving and merging and stepping on the gas in the not-so-little and gadget-bespeckled black Nissan which the good but perhaps somewhat naiive people at Enterprise had entrusted to me.
Thankfully, driving is a bit like riding a bike; once you get going again after a long break, your muscle memory takes over, and soon it's all good again. I managed to make it out of Toronto unscathed, and within approximately one hour of driving, the busy highway scenes had been replaced with a more tranquil Vista...
I began to relax a little, and just enjoy the forced focus that driving demands, without the incessant checking of emails and calendars and Instagram.
Music and Big, Open Skies
Somewhere between the 404 and Richmond Hill, I had managed to fish my iPhone charger out of my bag in the back seat, and had figured out how to plug it into the car's stereo system (turns out most cars now have a USB charger built in -- standard. Who knew?!), though discerning how to select specific music from my playlist remained a mystery, and I was compelled to enjoy any and all songs on my phone in alphabetical order only.
While I awaited the mercifully-close-to-the-beginning-of-the-alphabet Bach I had been hoping to cue up (the country driving had inspired in me a hankering for a little listen of his aria, "Bist Du Bei Mir" ), I was treated to Malosetti's Acampantes and Nina Simone's Ain't Got No -- I Got Life (a stupendous Pop-Soul medley that inspired a rap-over by Lauryn Hill not so long ago!) The first several bars of Rush's the Anarchist also made it to my eardrums before I pressed the FF button when the lyrics came on (I so love that band's groove; the singing, not so much!!)
Then it was on to the B's, but I got no Bist Du until I had first dealt with Baby Beluga and Disney's Bare Necessities, as well as Louis Armstrong's Be my Life's Companion and Michael Jackson's Billie Jean (two versions of that one, my friends!) Then I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard at the "two slightly sampled electric guitars" and "the Venetian Effect" of The Bell (from Mike Oldfield's classic, Tubular Bells), which I had not heard in AGES!!!
Almost alone on the wide, open country roads, I drove confidently now, humming along to my alphabetized playlist, and marveling at the magnificent skies that rural Ontario offers.
After some time, the novelty of the pastoral scenery (and its accompanying iphone track) wore off, and my hitherto gentle hunger pangs turned into an incessant gnawing in my tummy. I'd had enough of cows, horses and endless farmers' fields, and was more interested in finding something to eat, preferably a beautiful thing like a Harvey's veggie burger with cheese.
I began to curse myself for not having stopped at the roadside stop-and-eatery along the 401 earlier.
Saved by Butter Tarts
Blessedly, I finally came to a small town, one with a bake shop that also made sandwiches to order.
Having procured a cheese, lettuce and tomato (with black pepper and a smidgen of mayo and dijon) on a kaiser, I elected to also purchase a delectable-looking Chelsea bun, thinking it would make a nice hostess gift for the location manager at my presentation site. (Alas, that caramel and walnut-encrusted baked good began calling my name soon after I got back on the road, and fully one third of the decadent object succumbed to the gastric desires of the ravenous driver in my car, for whom a custom built sandwich and the final arrival of Bach's long-awaited aria were simply not enough.)
Not long after the bakery bun debacle, I found myself in the quaint town of Fenelon Falls, home to Lock 34 on the Trent-Severn waterway, and the site of my impending workshop.
The school where I was presenting lay within walking distance of my hotel.
Indeed, everything was within walking distance in a town this size, including the restaurant/bar where I requested a take-out meal after having set up for my workshop and checked into my unremarkable roadside motel.
Disenchanted by the noisy and incredibly annoying early evening power drinker at the bar, I had decided to take out my meal, and found a nice spot to sit and eat outside in the sun, near the falls.
Later on in town I saw a fellow out walking a pig down the street. It was cute, the little piggy; I didn't stay to pet or photograph it though. I had bigger fish to fry: My 3-day workshop, while richly planned out in my head, had yet to find its way onto any actual PowerPoint slides, and so my laptop was calling to me in painful refrains from my dingy little hotel room.
Hanging out with Teachers in Summer
The first day of the workshop was relatively uneventful: 32 committed educators appeared the next day and played nicely while we talked about assessment, evaluation and reporting in an equity context.
The prize table was, as always, a big hit, and people looked forward to winning a little something to take back to their classroom, if nothing else.
I was somewhat glad I had not completed all aspects of my three-day presentation, as my interactions with the participants during Day One allowed me to head "home" to my hotel room at the end of the day and customize tomorrow's gong show a little to meet their needs as perceived during today's informal diagnostic and formative assessment: I practise what I preach!
A quickly cooling take-out tea from a local diner, and a generous slice of peanut butter cheesecake -- while not as decadent as yesterday's Chelsea bun -- offered some sustenance while I worked on preparing Day Two of our Assessment Workshop here in Fenelon Falls.
The memory of butter tarts from yesterday's sandwich and bun bakery, and the promise of bringing some home to Toronto after Thursday's session is complete and everyone's been sent away with a hundred new assessment templates and ideas, are my inspiration for the next 48 hours here in rural Ontario.
If you are a pilot and southern Ontario, it is customary, when flying to the Lindsay airport, to eat some of their famous butter tarts, and to pick up a few for the folks back home.
Having never flown to Lindsay myself, I decided to finally make the pilgrimage this past weekend, with my partner and kids.
In order to give one of the boys a chance to set up front in the Captain seat, I elected to sit in the back of the Cessna172 we'd rented for a few hours, with the other boy. It was an interesting vantage point; typically when I am flying or co-piloting, time for photos and reflection is understandably limited. Sitting in the backseat, with no navigational or pilot obligations allowed me to contemplate the southern Ontario landscape as we exited the CYT Z control zone, and flew east along the shoreline and then north over Lake Scugog to Lindsay.
Once on the ground and Lindsey, we hurried to the restaurant to get our take-out butter tarts, so that we could hop back in the plane and get back to Toronto on time. We needn't have rushed; our flight plan was shot to hell by the fact that another pilot, one who had landed just after us, had a flat tire, and needed to be towed off the runway!
While waiting, we devoured a few of the butter tarts not ear-marked for others, and the boys took a washroom break and worked their sillies out before making the trek back to the city.
Alex also got into the spirit of things, and helped Tats check the fuel before take off…
And then it was time to head back to CYTZ.
It was a beautiful day for flying, and we encountered a number of other small aircraft on the radio. Happily, everyone made good position reports, and we avoided any collisions!
Before too long, the familiar Toronto skyline came into view...
we woke up the children, who had fallen asleep, and Tatsy made a smooth landing (as always!) on runway 26.
The butter tarts were great, and so was the flight!
If you live in Toronto, hot summer days call for hopping on the ferry to the island.
After Alex's art class this morning, we grabbed our scooters and headed downtown to catch said boat.
First stop: Climbing the tree at Centre Island!
after doing a little geocaching in the William Meany Maze...
...we headed over to the Franklin Garden to catch up with some old friends!
Then it was was time for a beaver tail and some frozen yogourt, which we devoured in the shade before scootering on to Wards Island to swim at the beach there.
We ended our island adventure with dinner at the Wards Island Café, where a Calypso band entertained us while we enjoyed our food, and the boys scootered around the ramps at the nearby "pirate ship playground".
Here's to another beautiful day at the Toronto Islands, one of my favourite places in the world!
After writing for several teacher and multiple birth publications, including ETFO's Voice Magazine, Multiple Moments, and the Bulletwin, Vera now focuses most of her written attention to prolific blogging, including BiB, "Learn to Fly with Vera!" and, more recently, SMARTbansho and Homeschooling 4. Contact Vera by clicking the photo above.
The views expressed on this blog are the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the perspectives of her family members or the position of her employer on the the issues she blogs about. These posts are intended to share resources, document family life, and encourage critical thought on a variety of subjects. They are not intended to cause harm to any individual or member of any group. By reading this blog and viewing this site, you agree to not hold Vera liable for any harm done by views expressed in this blog.