Let’s go to the EX

It is that time of year again – the CNE is town so off we went for a day full of fun.  And it certainly was a very full, aka long, day.

We started in the kiddie section.  Big news this year, Elspeth (at 38″) could go on rides without an adult…well, at least some of them. She was thrilled.

I felt so ill by the end of this ride.  Ugh, spinning.
I felt so ill by the end of this ride. Ugh, spinning.
This time we made them go on themselves.
This time we made them go on themselves.

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From there we headed to the shows.  As usual, Superdogs was amazing.  Those dogs are really something.  They never fail to amaze me.  Elspeth enjoyed the cool air so much that she…fell asleep.  Woke up in time to see the sand sculptures and floral displays before heading back to the show area for the acrobatic show which again was amazing.  Elspeth would call it “daring”.

 

 

Baba is good for napping on.
Baba is good for napping on.
The girls loved this sculpture.
The girls loved this sculpture.
Childhood flashback
Childhood flashback
This was the other side.
This was the other side.
Floral wind chimes.
Floral wind chimes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After some dinner it was time for the parade.  Katrine was a superstar big sister because she gave a string of beads to a rather disappointed Elspeth.  The highlight of the parade was the Elsa / Frozen float that blew out snow to the delight of the watching children.

 

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Then we explored the displays (one of my favourite parts) before a few more rides.  I got to ride the sack slide about four times.  Elspeth would have gladly gone more but I refused to carry her up to the top.  I love sack slides.  Such a simple ride but so much fun.

The girls' favourite.
The girls’ favourite.
I love this guy "Spaceship"
I love this guy “Spaceship”
Lego was definitely a theme this year, even in butter.
Lego was definitely a theme this year, even in butter.
Look, I can share with my girls now.
Look, I can share with my girls now.

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We ended the day with a fireworks display.  Glenn and the girls were on the Skyrider for the fireworks which was a treat.  Where was I?  Sensibly on the ground of course. I really don’t like being on things that I can fall from (yes I know it is not logical but fears rarely are).

 

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Back to the Cottage

With a cottage this beautiful how could we resist stopping by for a summer visit?  (Thank you Karen.)

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We say a loon which delighted Elspeth.
We say a loon which delighted Elspeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This summer has been full of rain so mushrooms were out in full force.  Katrine was thrilled to be able to share her interest with Elspeth.  Last year Elspeth could take them or leave them but this year she began to get into it – the colours, the hunt, the spore prints.  It was quite fun to go out walking with them.  We had tried to go out geocaching with them earlier in the day and were met by a wall of bugs so this was a welcome change.

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The pair of them also went on an acorn hunt and came back to the infamous candy bags.
The pair of them also went on an acorn hunt and came back to the infamous candy bags.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though it was a cloudy few days, we took advantage of the lake.  Swimming, fishing, wading and riding in the paddle boat.  The first time down to the lake the girls went prepared with their willies.  Well, Elspeth is not so good on depth perception with water and she flooded her boots.  Had a wonderful time nonetheless.  Both girls actually managed to catch a fish so they were quite happy.  On our final day a neighbour invited us down to his beach, much to the girls’ delight, and they dug and waded to their hearts content.

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So very proud of her wet pants.
So very proud of her wet pants.

Then we topped it off with an ice cream stop.  Loving cottage days.

 

Dim Sum for Everyone…including stuffies

The girls got a bit bored with the ordinary tea party so they suggested that we should do a dim sum party instead complete with food on carts.  So we did; although it was a touch more picnic style than traditional restaurant style.  Berries became dumplings, cheese stringers became tripe, crackers became taro cake.  Their creativity was limited only by the number of small snacks that were available to fill the small plates.  I was elected to be the server who refilled the teapot and pushed the chair, sorry cart, full of dishes for them to chose from.  Even the stuffies appeared to enjoy themselves.  One moment their little plates were piled high with dumplings, rice cakes and assorted goodies and the next they were empty.  No one complained about the bill either and this here waitress got some hugs as a tip so everyone left happy.

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With a Flourish

Elspeth has been enjoying her drumming and making good progress (says a proud mom).  She was recently given a pair of snare drumsticks in addition to her tenor ones (the hot pink ones have gone away and she has moved on to real sticks).  She has been having a lot of fun.

IMG_2746http://youtu.be/jDOcjj2DBO0 – just playing with her snare sticks

 

http://youtu.be/mEefJBBXOIo -doing some flourishing with the band

Double Flip

Katrine had to settle for ice cream this time though as all of the close yogurt places have closed and Elspeth was fading fast.

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Katrine and coaches have been working hard this summer and have all earned a well deserved break.  She has done her first two Pre-Juvenile competitions yet I have never seen her solo in person.  You see, I was voted out of the competitions in favour of Baba.  Apparently he makes her less nervous so how can I argue?  She has worked hard and is gaining confidence.  At the end of the day, that is what is important.  Proud of you!

Making Bread with Grammy

This year we were lucky to have Grammy come for a visit on her birthday.  While she was here, we picked her brain on making bread.  Way back in my previous gluteny existence I could make cake, pastry, cookies with the best of them.  I never made gluteny bread though.  When I began baking gluten free it was a whole new ballpark for those things that I was good at previously so I never tackled bread.  Recently I was asked by my sister in law if I knew of a good gluten free bread recipe as she was hoping to enter a loaf in the local fair this fall.  My immediate answer was no but the girls and I have been having fun playing around with food this summer so I thought that I would give it a go….with some help.  This is where mom came in.  Unfortunately, even with her insights the loaf came out looking good but tasting YUCK.  Oh well.

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40th Birthday Weekend – Poof…Fzzz

Poof….fzzz went the car. Yup, poof fzz. It turns out that there were no technicians working on a Sunday with the abiolity to diagnose the problem. Four of us headed home and three of us stayed to wait until the car was fixed on Monday.

We managed to secure a hotel room (phew) and then headed back out to the Falls. While waiting for my friends to get back from the Behind the Falls experience, I chose to make a candy apple for the girls. (I opted out as I had done it as a child.) It is quite the process and looked absolutely delicious.

Afterwards it was time for some dinner at Shoeless Joes. It was nice again to have a few gluten free options. My flatbread was yummy!

This morning we chose to relax a while before walking over to Clifton Hill for some lunch. After lunch we finally went to pick up the car!!! Yippee!! Then we headed home. Even though the weekend did not unfold exactly as planned, it was wonderful to spend such time with the girls.

Step 1: Insert stick into apple and cover with caramel.
Step 1: Insert stick into apple and cover with caramel.
Step 2: Dip in luscious, melted chocolate.  Doesn't that look delicious?
Step 2: Dip in luscious, melted chocolate. Doesn’t that look delicious?
Step 3: Cover with candy.  I chose nerds because they are among the girls favourites.
Step 3: Cover with candy. I chose nerds because they are among the girls favourites.
GF flatbread with sauce, chicken, bacon and cheese.
GF flatbread with sauce, chicken, bacon and cheese.

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40th Birthday Weekend – Original Plan

A lot of my friends turn 40 this year and they certainly all have birthdays.  Sometime last year I came up with the idea that a girls weekend would be a fun way to honour everyone’s birthdays.  Hence, the Niagara Get-away was born.  It was suppose to be a one night get-away with only laughs and smiles.  Well….it didn’t quite work out that way.

We began with a stop in Niagara on the Lake for lunch and shopping.  Lunch was at the Prince of Wales.  What a gorgeous hotel.  Even the ceilings were beautiful.  And the food…MMMMMM.  Another delicious gluten free lunch in Niagara-on-the-Lake shared with amazing friends.  I am not sure when I have spent a whole road trip and lunch smiling and laughing.  After lunch it was time to shop – gluten free goodies and gelato.  This time I got to sample vanilla maple. Yummmm!

It was also the Peach Festival.  As we walked the sounds of street musicians serenaded our ears while smells of peachy goodness greeted our noses.  The street entertainers also gave us something to watch when we were done in a store.  To top it off, it was a gorgeous day.

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GF chicken ceasar
GF chicken ceasar

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GF gelato
GF gelato

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next stop was our hotel.  42nd floor with fallsview.  It was a wonderful suite that gave us plenty of time to share and chat together.  A bit like old times where you would have sleepovers in highschool.

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View from the suite
View from the suite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course we couldn’t just sit around the room.  Off we went to the falls by way of the refurbished trolley. That was a brief but fun ride to the splendor that it the falls.

Trolley view
Trolley view

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That was followed by dinner at Applebees.  There were a few gluten free options there but I knew we had snacks so I opted for the ribs a la cart.  Finger licking goodness.

 

GF ribs
GF ribs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We woke up to sunshine the next morning and had breakfast over looking the falls.  Then we headed off to get a group photo taken.  Now that was a lot of fun.  I think that we may have frustrated the photographer just a bit.  I mean, the poor guy had to get 7 women to stand still and not laugh at the same time.  From there we were going to stop at a winery before heading home…well that is where the original plan got derailed by poof…fzzz.

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Climbing Sisters

This week Katrine got out of skating early so we decided to do something totally unrelated to ice – rock climbing.  Elspeth has been enjoying it so Katrine wanted to give it a spin.  Off we went for two hours of climbing with periodic ball pit breaks.  Fun was had by both girls.  Katrine tackled all but two walls in the place.  Her favourites were the ones with over hangs.  Elspeth finally made it up to the very top of the yellow wall and was able to ring the bell.  She was so proud of herself that she then proceeded to climb the wall three times in succession.  A delightful change of pace.

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Third Gotchaversary for our Elspeth

A happy gotchaversary to our travel crew!  Three years!  What a difference it makes.  Yesterday we celebrated with some mini golf, family time and treats at the park.

2011 in Nanchang.
2011 in Nanchang.
Yup, not sold on this people.
Yup, not sold on this people.
2014...
2014…
...smiles.
…smiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today was Elspeth’s Forever Family day and the girls decided that they would bake cookies in honour of the occassion.  A day of smiles which is a world away from this day three years ago.  Time has helped to lay the foundation of trust and love.

 

 

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Here are two cute mini putt photos to cap it off.

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