Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas in Ontario, part one

Andrew's parents asked us if we would come to Ontario for Christmas this year. We hadn't been since the year we were married, and neither of us could think of a good reason not to, so off we went.

This, by the way, is how one does air travel. Tiara and all...

 It was an eventful trip. We were up at 330 to get ready to fly, and at the airport before 530 to check in. Then our flight was delayed because they couldn't disengage the tunnel from the door onto the plane. We arrived in Toronto and disembarked, but they were unable to bring us our luggage because someone had been injured on the tarmac and the ambulances were blocking the luggage trucks! We never heard anymore about the poor person on the tarmac - I hope it wasn't anything serious!

We finally made our way out of the airport only to find we were in Orlando, not Toronto!

Just kidding.

It was a long, slow drive home to Alliston, with a quick stop for some essentials at a big strip mall where Lizzie picked up two pairs of glasses. She proceeded to wear those off and on for most of the trip. Her "secret identity" as she put it.

On Friday were up by 9, which felt really early to me after our 18 hour day on Thursday. After a big breakfast of bacon and eggs (in honour of Elisabeth), we were off to Drysdale Christmas farm to choose a tree for Grandma's rec room.

 It was everything you could wish for in a tree farm, and a photographer's paradise! Too bad I only had my phone with me!

 Andrew's sister and her oldest daughter came with us to make sure we chose the right tree (and to join in the adventuring). We got a wagon ride out to the tree field.

 We were choosing a tree for on a table. David really liked this tree.

 But in the end, Nancy found this tree which met all the requirements. It was perfect.

 While we waited for our tree to be wrapped and trimmed and drilled, we peeked in at Santa's house. He wasn't home :(

 Oops, this picture is out of order. But here is our tree with the three amigos en route to be wrapped and trimmed!

 They have a beautiful gift shop on site. Such lovely decorations. and all beautiful quality.

 While we trimmed the tree we watched Frozen. And some of us tied ourselves up in ribbon for the occasion.

 It took us forever, but the finished tree was beautiful.

 We capped off our Friday by joining Emma's youth group in Toppenham to sort food for the food drive they'd done. The community (of less than 25,000) provides food and Christmas gifts for 150+ needy families in their area. It was so humbling to see such a small community be so incredibly generous.

 Saturday morning Elisabeth was up early because she wanted to play in the snow. Alliston had about 2 feet of snow the week before we arrived. Then it rained and then froze again, so there were a couple of inches of hard, frozen snow. Elisabeth's plan was to skip all meals to maximize her time playing in said snow. We let her stay out there till lunchtime.

And then we were off south to visit Niagara Falls and Andrew's brother's family.

 Elisabeth brought binoculars and studied the countryside.

 David sat hunched over his DS the whole time.

 Unfortunately we arrived at the falls just as the sun was setting. I have this dream where we get to explore the boardwalk. There's a fair, and crazy stores/restaurants and it's just like Vegas and a humungous waterfall all wrapped up in one. I think it's time to give up on this dream, because I've tried three times to make it happen and it just always ends with me crying (I know. Big baby).
It was pretty nice at dusk too.

 The boardwalk from the power house towards the falls is gorgeous. This is before you get to all the hotels, stores and rides. Isn't it pretty?

 The beginning of the falls.

 When Andrew realised how disappointed I was, he paid $60 for us to go behind the falls. You go down an elevator then down a long hallway and end up here:

 Dressed like this:

 The hallways is pretty jail like:

 But you can see how they shine lights on the falls to make them pretty (Lizzie called them our manufactured northern lights, she knows that's on our bucket list too).

 Here's a panorama of the entire falls.
 And the view from the bottom.

 And another photo out of order. This one was as we were walking towards the falls. Where the river is super choppy and pretty all of it's own accord.

 And Day Three in Ontario we spent with Andrew's brother's family. We went to church and out for lunch, and then we made crafts. Everyone chose something to do. All the kids painted tshirts.

 David wants to mass produce his and sell it.

 The boys in their shirts.
 And the girls in theirs.

 And on Day 4 we played laser tag. SO fun!

 The guys go over the score card. Paul here was the overall winner (out of 30 players!)
And all too soon we were off back to Alliston again...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

And then we built a gingerbread house and other adventures

On Sunday the 14th we built a gingerbread house. Well actually two.

We bought premade kits and supplemented them with extra candy and had a little friendly competition...girls vs boys.

 Andrew chose our candy, and I'd say he chose very well.

 Unfortunately, it seems the boys are very thoughtful and meticulous whereas we girls dive right in without a lot of forethought.

 David decided he was gonna taste test a few things.

 So Lizzie followed suit.

 We decided to try out blogger Rachel's method of decorating first, assembling second. Turns out, that's a pretty genius idea. No more candy sliding off the house constantly!

 And it was pretty easy to assemble the houses afterwards. You can even add more icing for icicles on the roof afterwards.

And then that night Elisabeth danced in her ballet recital. So we all got glammed up for that, except David who hung out with Uncle Cody for the night.