Summer Vacation

(sorry – meant to post this during the past week… imagine I did.)

I had last week off for vacation and rather than going up north, we stayed home. It . Was. Great! I swear it felt like I was off for 2 weeks. The weather was perfect and we did something fun every day.

Saturday – Alex had play dates all day and I had some girls over for drinks

Sunday – Church for final day of Vacation Bible School (which Alex LOVED!), Alex had a play date in the afternoon and then dinner at friends.

Monday – Visit the library, swimming at friends and then Matt & I went to see Danny Michel at the Church restaurant (I won tickets that morning!)

Tuesday – Trip to the Twin Valley Zoo in Brantford

Wednesday – Beach Day with friends!

Thursday –  went to see the Raptors at the mall – presented by my library, dinner with Matt’s parents

Friday – Boating with my boys on Lake Conestogo and Date Night

Saturday – Swimming and dinner with friends

Sunday – we rested….

And now a few photos to remember it all by…

Can't tell he had surgery the day before!

Can’t tell he had surgery the day before!

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Best Buds at the Beach

At the Zoo

Fun on the boat

Fun on the boat

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Caught a cat fish!

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Snow Much Fun!

Over the last few weeks we have been able to get out and enjoy some of Ontario’s winter wonderland. I wish I could say we enjoyed the outdoors more throughout the winter – but the temps have been pretty extreme – either really cold or mild and mucky. When it has been somewhat decent, we have made the best of it.

Alex has enjoyed playing in his tree fort…

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We had fun making a snowman (within a few days he was gone due to a warm spell)

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And during March Break, we went up north to the cottage and enjoyed sledding – in the middle of the lake (Mush Momma!), down a small hill for Alex, and Matt and I went down Hazard Hill (yes – as scary – and fun – as it sounds!)

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While we have had some fun… I am done with winter. Done done done. Are you with me?

Road Trip!

Last week we took a road trip to Montreal, Quebec. It was Matt, Alex and I, as well as Matt’s parents and nephew Tyson.  It was March Break here in Ontario, and since Matts a teacher, it is one of the few times through the school year that we can actually travel anywhere.  We drove the 7+ hour drive to Montreal – and all things considering, Alex was fabulous. We ended up taking turns in the back seat with him to help provide entertainment, but we also used a lot of snacks.

This was our 4th trip to Montreal (first time was for our honeymoon, then 2 other times for games). Each time I swear I’m going to speak more French. I pose my questions or responses in French in my head, but the words that come out are always English. Gotta work on that.

We were staying at an Omni hotel, and if you have the chance I recommend it.  They have a Kids club where children get a goody bag and they have a turn down service for the kids as well as milk and cookies. I was jealous.  The hotel was right downtown, so as soon as we got settled, we went off for a walk to the Bell Centre, the home of the Montreal Canadiens. Did I mention the purpose of our trip was to see a game?

We walked through the “legends” of Montreal – a new tribute area to the Canadian Greats. Alex had to say hello to “Uncle Larry”.

After a little more exploring, we went to eat at Reuben’s, a famous smoked meat sandwich shop in Montreal. [cue the food porn]

The following day, we wandered around Old Montreal, saw Notre Dame, the ports, and many quant streets – looks just like France don’t you think!

That evening, we took Alex to his first NHL game. Do you think our boy was excited? Oh yeah! Funny story though. On the way into the arena, Alex’s boot fell off and a lady was handing it to us when some security rushed up.  They thought someone was throwing the boot to start a riot. There were supposed to be some protests that night in response to Gary Bettman and the head hits issue.

Alex was a real trooper during the game. He cheered. He danced. He doled out the high fives to the guys sitting by us. And considering the game went to 10pm, I think he was awesome.  The Habs lost, but I don’t think Alex noticed.

In a few years, we hope to go back for yet another game. This boy is hooked.

The next morning we left Montreal, but before we left, we had to go to my favourite breakfast joint – Eggspectations.  You are going to drool with this ladies… And yes, it was delicious.

Boston Day 2 & 3

Our second day in Boston started out pretty similar to our first.  We had breakfast at the hotel, took the shuttle bus and the subway into town. Alex was turning into a pro at riding public transit and loving it! Our first stop of the day was a tour of Fenway Park, the home of the Boston Red Sox. We wished we could have watched a game, however they were in Toronto… our home team – go figure. The park is very historical so the tour was pretty interesting – even for me.  I must admit it was pretty cool to be on top of the infamous Green Monster.

After the tour, we wandered through the Bay Back area, taking a wrong turn or two while Alex napped. That was fine – it was a nice day.  Another scorcher, but still quite nice.  I had to stop by the Boston Public Library of course – we didn’t go in, but I took in the beauty of the building.  Hey – it’s what Librarians do on vacation!

We then found the bronze Tortoise and Hare statues in Copley Square. It was kinda neat. As we approached them (because you know I needed a picture), I noticed that the boy who was currently sitting on the tortoise was Korean, and his parents caucasian. He was a few years older than Alex, about 5.  We didn’t speak but I smiled at the mother as they left. I just thought it was neat thinking that that is going to be us in a few years, touring around with Alex. 

After lunch we headed back to the wharf area to try to get onto a boat tour… and as we were walking… I found Winter and Summer Streets… where you can find Macy’s! I know you guys are all thinking what’s with this girl being so obsessed with shops like Target and Macy’s. In Canada we don’t have those stores – and I know from your blogs and from my previous Macy experience that we HAD to have to go in.  And I did not leave empty handed! I got a beautiful Nine West dress for a wedding this past weekend… perfect.  Then we wandered some more and discovered Marshalls.  Great store if you don’t mind scouring racks. We have a similar store in Canada called Winners, but it doesn’t have nearly the brands available.  Matt got quite a few good deals and I found a few things for Alex – including some cool plaid shoes.

Eventually we made it back to the wharf and got our tickets for the USS Constitution Cruise. It took us through the inner harbour to the Charlestown Navy Yard which was perfect. I had wanted to visit the Navy Yard but time wasn’t allowing it ,so at least we go to see the ship from afar.  Alex was yet again gaga over being on a new form of transportation – his true new love – a boat. And he was sure to point out all the other boats on the water – including one crazy boat that looked like a bus. I wish we had a better family shot – but Alex was  into making strange faces for the camera as you can tell.

After the tour we headed to Legal Seafood for some fresh Atlantic seafood. My lobster was fantastic. Matt enjoyed his medley of shellfish.  Unfortunately Alex was not at his best in the restaurant… It had been a long few days and he needed some serious rest. So back to the hotel for some R&R – and packing.

We had decided that we would try to drive straight through home on Thursday – and stop overnight if needed.  It was a 900+km drive (just under 600 miles) and we did it in just about 12 hours.  We stopped for gas, for lunch, bypassed the outlet mall since Alex was sleeping (boo!), and then we were at the border. We were through the border in just a few minutes which was a huge relief. Had dinner in Niagara Falls and then were home by 9pm. It was a LONG day – but Alex was amazing.  I think he watched the Tractor Tom dvd at least 4 times… [don’t judge – you gotta do what you gotta do – and we don’t make a habit of it 🙂 ] Red licorice was also very handy.  But it sure felt so good to come home and sleep in our own bed… 

Along the way we discussed next year’s road trip.  We think it will be … Chicago!

Day 1 in Boston

On Tuesday we woke up and got prepared for our first big day in Boston.  We had breakfast at the hotel, took the shuttle bus to the subway and then the subway into town.  Alex was in heaven. He thought it was so cool to go on not just a bus, but also a train!  When the subway would come for the other direction… and then leave, he would cry and cry… have I mentioned that Alex loves trains?

We had planned to meet up with Christine and Spencer at the New England Aquarium, but unfortunately due to traffic she was running a few minutes behind, so Matt, Alex and I wandered around the wharfs looking at the boats.  Alex was in awe yet again… he is also in love with boats.  When we got the text that Christine had arrived, we walked to the Aquarium and found her and Spencer watching the “otters” – sea lions.  It was so nice to finally meet them! After giving Christine a big hug, I took in Spencer. What a little man! He shook our hands and said hello – so mature 🙂 Alex was a little quiet – just taking it all in.  We went into the aquarium and checked out the penguins and the fish which were pretty cool. It’s amazing to think that there really are so many species of fish! For Alex was I think a little overwhelmed by it all.  The aquarium was quite busy for having just opened – at least when you compare it to attractions we go to around home. 

When the boys decided they were done, we ventured outside to Quincy Market to grab a bite to eat.  We were treated to a fantastic lunch at Wagamama (thanks Christine!). The boys loved their wontons and the noodles from my chicken ramen.  For a while it was a little hectic.  Both boys were trying to use chop sticks… in my soup.  Spencer as I’m sure you have noticed from C’s blog, is quite photogenic. He loves to smile for the camera!

And the boys were “bribed” with ice cream.

After lunch we did some sight-seeing. We saw Faneuil Hall, the State House, the Granery Cemetary, Beacon Hill (but not Acorn Street, it was closed for  a photo shoot), Cheers, the Make Way for Ducklings, and eventually ended up at the Frog Pond in Boston Common.  Christine was a great tour guide – I highly recommend her to anyone visiting Boston 😉  Along the way the boys fell asleep and we got to chat.  It was wonderful to finally talk with her after over 2 years of blog posts, messaging, and emails.

Now it was a hot day… very hot.  Supposedly it was only 29 (84) degrees, but the humidity was crazy.  Alex was sweating before 10am – that is how hot it was.  So we had a blast letting the boys (and us) cool down in the pond.

Unfortunately it was soon time for Christine and Spencer to head home. It was at this time that the unimaginable happened.  We discovered that Puppy, Alex’s stuffed husky dog, that he must have with him ALL the time, was missing.  We started checking the pictures to see when we last had him… looked like Quincy Market.  We had walked miles since then and our feet were already sore. So, we thought we will say farewell, then try to retrace our steps as much as we could.

It was sad to say good bye to Christine and Spencer, but hopefully we will meet again soon! Spencer gave Alex a big hug and I gave one to Christine, and we waved so long.

We started retracing our steps… back through Boston Common (checking out the homeless people’s carts), through the cemeteries, peeking into garbage cans, thinking our cause was hopeless. I should mention that Alex also realized that puppy was missing.  He was crying and crying for puppy… it was heart breaking.  But then I saw him…

I tell ya – besides meeting Christine and Spencer – this was the best moment of the day! We started laughing… I almost started to cry I was so happy. Alex had a giggle when he saw Puppy – but after that he didn’t let Puppy out of his sight – and we ensured Puppy was well strapped into the stroller.  He was just across the street from the State House – about the place where Alex had fallen asleep. Someone obviously realized that this was one well loved animal and someone would be looking for him so they placed it on a concrete barrier.  Thank you nice stranger!

We went back to Quincy Market for an early dinner at a great mexican restaurant and celebrated.  Then it was a nice stroll around Long Wharf and back to the subway and bus to the hotel to rest our swollen feet and enjoy some air conditioning.  Thank you Christine and Spencer for making our first day in Boston so enjoyable!

Road Trip! Getting There

Matt and I have plans to visit many of the big cities in Canada and the US (and hopefully Europe).  We’ve gone to Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa, Victoria, Toronto (obviously), Buffalo, New York, Cleveland, and Seoul (of course!).  And this summer we added Boston to our list! Why Boston? Well it is a beautiful city with a lot of history – and it is driveable. And it was an especially special location since Christine, one of my first blogging buddies, lives near there. 

On Sunday we left nice and early and started towards Buffalo where we would cross into the US.  This was the nerve-racking part of the trip.   I knew it was supposed to be simple enough to get Alex across with his Korean passport – but since it was our first time, I was nervous.  I had his passport and a copy of the adoption order, but about an hour into the trip I realized we didn’t have his Permanent Resident Card with us – and I wasn’t sure if that was something we were going to need.  When we go to the border, we waited for over an hour to get to the booth to show our passports – the traffic was crazy. After dealing with a not so nice man in the booth, we had to go into the Customs office to get Alex’s visa into the US. There we waited for yet another hour – not good when it was lunch time.  But all things considered – Alex was an absolute gem.  We got the visa and hit the road for the short trip to Syracuse where we were spending the night. (and no – you do not need a PRC with you – but I’m sure it would be useful if needed).

[For those who are Canadian readers, you can travel with your child and their Korean Passport easily to the US so long as the passport has the hard cover.  That means there is an embedded US Visa Waiver in it.  You just need to fill out a I-94 document at the border and you are through (thanks Emily!).  The visa is good for 3 months – then it has to be turned back in to the border.  It costs $6 US.]

We didn’t know how Alex was going to be in the car so we had decided to break the trip up into two for the way there. Luckily Alex was great in the car.  We had lots of snacks and we had purchased a portable DVD player – that was the best investment… that and a bunch of movies from the Library.   Once in Syracuse we went out for dinner and hit the hay – we were all pretty tired by this point.

The next morning was up early again and off to Boston. We were quite shocked at the beauty of NY state and Massachusetts.  I’m not sure why we were surprised – but we were.  The mountains were gorgeous and the small towns we overlooked as we drove were sweet and quaint.  We did what all Canadians do while in the US – stopped at an outlet mall in Lee where we picked up some good deals on clothes and had a quick lunch.  From there it was 2 hours to Boston.

I must admit we were actually very unorganized for this trip. No map – just our GPS to guide us – and looking back that was not the best decision.  So it wasn’t surprising when we got lost getting to our hotel.  The nice thing about getting lost is that we ended up at Revere Beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean – gosh it was beautiful! Once we got back on track with the GPS we arrived at our hotel. The hotel was quite nice – there was a pool, a shuttle to the subway station, and a complementary breakfast.  One problem – there was a Targ*t across the street but the Mass Turnpike was between us and the store – not an easy street to cross as you can imagine.  So no Targ*t for Krista 😦

After some not so award winning pizza like the brochure said… we got all settled in and ready for the day ahead…

A week away

On Wednesday we got back from a fantastic week away at Matt’s parent’s cottage in the Almaguin Highlands (just north of Huntsville – where the G8 was just held).  The first two days were spent hanging out with Matt’s parents and his nephew Zach.  Sadly we missed one very important thing while packing – Alex’s new fishing pole.  We did find a substitute, but this little fisherman wanted a REAL fishing pole, something with a hook. It was quite the dangerous scene out on the dock as you might imagine.  He did catch a few fish though, so he must have the Robinson’s touch. 

And like any good getaway, there was some dancing.  Seem’s our little boy is a bit of a Lady Gaga fan.

And there was a lot of food consumed. We attempted pudding again… still quite a mess.

 On Canada Day, Matt’s parents left, and our friends Todd, Staci and their son Jackson came up to spend a few days with us.  We had a great time, enjoyed the water, the ATV, had great food, and perhaps a cocktail or two… or three.  The one real thing that was great with our friends visiting is that Alex slept REALLY well – Jackson wore Alex out!

Like any little guy that visits the cottage, Alex was immediately drawn to the ATV.  He LOVED the ATV.  If he wasn’t on the ATV, he was playing with toy ATVs. 

For the last few days, we explored new areas in the region, swam, and most importantly, relaxed.   And tried to get away for the insane heat.  Yuck!


Well…. we relaxed until the last day. It’s a long story, but the key to the lock on the boat went missing.  We spent over 4 hours searching for that stinking key, and we never did find it before we left.  Luckily the key was found by Matt’s mom a few days later.  Phew!

It’s never easy leaving this place.  We are so lucky to have access to such a beautiful retreat.  But getting home, to our own beds is quite nice too.