The last ten days of August, we made our annual pilgrimage to Toronto. This year, our trip coincided with a visit by my sister Vera, her husband Stephen and their kids Neve and Mason.
Mari spent two weeks prior talking about how much she wanted to play with cousin Mason.
One of our favorite family tourist sites in Toronto is Ontario Place. Among the attractions is the Atom Blaster, where various pneumatic guns and cannons fire foam balls all over the place, not unlike the basement of that children's department store in Beijing.
This is a giant habitrail for children. Austin and Mari went through this thing a dozen times each. Mari even climbed up that bit on the left, went across the tube bridge and down the slide by herself. (We had sort of lost track of her for a while until she came out that slide.)
I think we have about a thousand photos of Mari eating ice cream.
My parents took a pedal boat out; my mother said she had never been on one before.
Another great kids' spot was the Ontario Science Center. Although the day we were there it was so freaking loud with screaming kids that I had a massive headache. Still, the place is great and almost completely different from when I was a kid. There are some of the same exhibits but the halls are all rearranged.
Julie and I had a day downtown while my parents watched the kids. We saw lots of fun design stores, clothing shops and art galleries. This knife holder was one of our favorites.
Julie got a weird shirt. Then we went to the Distillery District where an old distillery (duh!) has been converted into lofts and retail space. The area has a lot of arts organizations including multiple dance troupes and the Soulpepper Theater. We managed to see two farcical one-acts that night: Black Comedy by Peter Shaffer and The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard. Both were ridiculous and funny and we were very impressed with the cast.
We had a nice dinner at the Mill Street Brew Pub and Julie said she had the best coffee ever at Balzac's Coffee:
Here's a shot of the Distillery District. Julie often posts this rhetorical question: Gay or Canadian? You decide: