Winter in Canada

After Milton and Toronto, we headed to Kitchener to stay at Angela and Pete’s place.  The rest of the family came to visit so we were a full house. The kids played board games and Minecraft, and got to get out skiing for a day.  We then did a quick visit out to Aylmer and did the usual tour of visiting Oma, Grandma Ramsey, Gump, and Farmor.  The visits were short but sweet and we quickly were headed back to Toronto for our flight home.

Milton

We spent the weekend with Jane and Oliver at their house in Milton. The kids were excited to play with Vanessa and Hayley and I think Vanessa was really happy to get some kids to goof around with. We did some other quick visits, meeting up with Pakizah and Adam and family, and Chris Orsi and family later at the science center in Toronto. Last but not least, Oliver got the chance to show his skating moves to Sienna and Elliot at the local Milton skating rink.

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The Everglades

Sometimes you never know what you are getting yourself into when you take an iconic tourist excursion. Everyone has heard about the everglade boat trips where a huge propeller blows you through the mangroves. What you may not have heard about is the deafening noise and the crazy drivers doing stunts around the corners. While this might be OK for some adults, Elliot was having none of it and was pretty uncomfortable for the entire trip. Even though he was clearly dissatisfied, he hung in there for the whole thing and we made it back in one piece. Prior to the boat tour the kids got to handle a live baby alligator which they though was pretty cool. Afterwards on our way back to our hotel we stopped by a crocodile ranch where there were quite a few enormous gators basking in the sun.

Tampa ZOO

As the weather was on the cool side with and it was a school day in the US, we basically had the entire Tampa zoo to ourselves. Along with the usual suspects, the zoo had a good collection of matinees which are Florida’s state marine mammal. They also had a large touching pond with lots of fish and rays. Elliot was a bit scared in the beginning but after a few minutes his courage took over and he had both hands in the pool. Lots of friendly colored birds, and some nice orangutans rounded out another great zoo experience.

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Kennedy Space Center

After Disneyland we met up with Shawn again and headed to another one of Florida’s top destinations, the Kennedy Space Center. There was a lot of space gear from the Apollo moon missions along with the space shuttle Atlantis which judging from the crowds was the highlight exhibition. We touched a rock from the moon and we also took a tour to the launch pads where we got a good view of how enormous all of the buildings, machines, and launch areas are. Included here is a shot of a friendly alligator waiting for the next launch by the roadside.

Disney World

In the beginning of February the family took another trip over the Atlantic ocean. While Shawn spent the first couple of days hanging out with some friends, Sienna, Elliot, and I seized the chance to visit Disney World. Other than Animal Kingdom, the park experience was very similar to the times we went to Disney Land in California and Paris. Same attractions, same stunt show, same ridiculously long line-ups, and same over-priced food. It was fun to experience, but at the same time we all agreed that now we have been there, done that with respect to all things Disney. In case you are wondering about the wheelchair, Sienna had a fever and was feeling pretty bad, but insisted on going nevertheless.

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