Wednesday, August 3, 2011

High Park in Toronto & Downtown Mississauga

Another day (July 24th) with the cousins visiting us in Mississauga was spent at High Park in Toronto (not far, according to my Mom, from where my family lived when I was little).  We drove to the nearest train station and took the subway into the city ( . . .  well, took a bus to the nearest station with running trains, then took a subway train in to the city - maintenance was being done on the tracks that Sunday).  So we wandered into the park and explored a trail or two by Grenadier Pond, stopping to admire various baby duck families and pretty plants, etc.
View back towards Grenadier Pond
An Emu, resident of the small zoo at High Park (he likes green leaves and carrots).

Girls investigating a possible site for a Fairy House 

Next day  (July 25th) , we stayed closer to home, as we had to pack and prepare for an early start in order to catch the early flight back at Buffalo airport.  So we took a walk into downtown Mississauga, stopping at a little creek just around the corner.  Emily, Laurel and Averi found quite a few snails, as it had rained earlier.

Girls enjoyed splashing about in the new reflecting pool at the new "Celebration Square."

During the Winter, the pool will be frozen for ice skating.

The building with the greenish pointed roof is the Central Library

View over the reflecting pool towards the outdoorAmphitheatre

Girls posing by our favorite Bison sculpture

Heading back towards home, passing by the City Hall

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ontario Science Center with the Girls

What do you do when it's too hot to hang out outside and you have a bunch of giggly, inquisitive, energetic little girls?  Drive out to the Ontario Science Center in Toronto!!  We had a great time, and the girls seemed to pick up a lot of neat bits of first-hand knowledge about various things AND they all enjoyed themselves too much to realize that they were doing something educational!  :-)

Adults and Kids alike are mesmerized by this fantastic contraption/sculpture called "Having A Ball II."  You can reach in and feed balls back into the action at several points around it.

Averi's making the hot air balloon rise by turning up the flame!

The girls LOVED making bubble "window panes" and then passing their hands through them.

By this point, we're in need of calories.  They look a little pooped, don't they?

Niagara Falls and Dufferin Island Park - Laurel & Averi's First Visit to Canada

 Carol and the nieces (Laurel & Averi) came to visit us for a week in Mississauga.  Our family strategy for saving $$ on flights has been for me to drive over the border and pick 'em up in Buffalo, so that's what we did this time too.

To break up the journey back to Mississauga, we stopped in Niagara (Canadian side).  It would have been a shame to just drive by without stopping to take a look!  On this trip, I did a little research and discovered how to avoid paying the $20 parking fee that they charge for the lots right by Table Rock:  Just drive another mile further South, and you can take advantage of the free parking at Dufferin Islands Park!  It's only about a mile's pleasant walk from the park to the Horseshoe Falls - really easy and you don't have to spend a lot of time walking by a busy road either.  It would have been perfect, had it not been the first day of a rather unusual heat wave.  But, the less than ideal temperatures was greatly ameliorated by the shady peacefulness of the park . . . and also the incredible spray from the Falls, when we got up to 'em.
The Rapids across the road from Dufferin Islands Park

We are approaching the Falls.  See the spray?

The wreckage of an old scow in the upper Niagara Rapids

Everybody's getting well misted.  A welcome relief from the heat of the day

On the way back to the car, we stopped at a lovely little greenhouse

Little oranges!

A very weird plant with incredible roots that appear to have exploded out of its pot

Maybe not fractals quite, but reminds me of 'em!

At first, we thought the plant on the right was someone's discarded silk scarf!

Back in Dufferin Islands Park - anyone know what this plant is?

Lovely cattails!

Emily and Averi and Laurel worked hard on several  Fairy houses along the way.

Last Cool & Sunny Day in Mississauga

Just reminiscing about the lovely days of mid-July in Mississauga by Lake Ontario, when the temperatures ranged from the mid 70's to low 80's, the breezes were plentiful, the sun shined, and the lake water was . . . well, refreshing.  :-)  These shots are from the last cool day we spent in Mississauga, before the heat wave set in. The record-breaking, not-supposed-to-be-this-way, high temps and humidity, which nearly made conditions almost indistinguishable from an August in NC!

Can you tell I feel a bit ripped off?  I mean, cooler summer weather was one of my major "pros" in my pros-and-cons list about this whole year-long stint in Canada!  Ah well!  What can ya' do?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Almost Finished - the Marilyns in Downtown Mississauga Near Completion

These buildings are a sight that I am going to miss when we finally move from our year-long stint in Ontario, Canada, back to NC.  I don't know exactly what it is about these huge shapes that I like (I'm not typically a fan of modern architecture.); but I like these buildings.  Took some photos while walking back to our house from an appointment one July (the 17th) afternoon.