Vacation: Day 4

In my opinion day 4 was the best day yet of this vacation. Ella is feeling much better and therefore more cheerful which makes a world of difference.

So we got up this morning and headed to the African Lion Safari, just outside Cambridge. I think this was everyone’s favorite attraction that we have seen. Very shortly after we arrived they had the Elephant bath time where a bunch of the huge animals come down into the pond and have a bath. When they were walking towards the pond they were all trunk to tail so with a little baby in the middle, pretty cute. When they got to the edge of the water the trainers basically let them go. You could tell they enjoy this part of the day because they literally took off running out into the water.

After watching bath time we thought we might be in for a little trouble as it started to rain a bit. So after a long debate about whether we should take the rental car through the safari or take the tour bus we took the car. Everyone else wanted to take the car but I was a little hesitant. When we had arrived and parked the car, two vehicles pulled in behind us which had just drove through the reserve. One woman was talking about how the hood ornament on her car was now missing along with some rubber, and a man with foot prints all over his car scoped a pile of poop of his hood. All I was thinking was how picky these rental car companies are. Marking down every single little scratch on the car and make you pay for it if there is a new one when you return. But in the end we did take our car. We could have also by-passed the monkey section of the drive but we figured we would drive through and risk it anyway. Very glad we did, those primates were some of the most interesting and fun creatures to watch. Luckily we seemed to be the only car that didn’t have a single monkey jump on it while going through, so not a scratch or foot print.

It was very neat being able to drive around all these animals without having anything in between you except you car. Some of the other more notable animals that we got to be up and close too were Giraffes and Rhinoceroses.

After we completed the driving portion we went into a whole other section where they had petting areas setup for some of the goats and little camels. They were also offering elephant rides so Jen, Alex, and Caile took got tickets and waited in line to take a ride. The whole time Ella and I were waiting for them she kept telling me it was now her turn. So when they were done we took our turn and went for a ride as well.

They next part of the day is where it started to go downhill a little especially for Jen. It was our plan to stop into St. Catherine’s on our way back to the hotel so we could eat supper and do some shopping, as they had a large mall with both an Old Navy and a Children’s Place store, which are Jen’s favorite places to shop. So first we ate at Boston Pizza where Jen was not overly fond of her meal. Then when were done we headed across the parking lot to the mall, but being a Saturday night and after six everything was now closed šŸ˜¦ Although this was very disappointing it was nice for me to see that it wasn’t only rural Annapolis Valley Nova Scotia that closes it’s malls at six on one of the days where most people have more time to go shopping than during they do during the week.

Once we got back to the hotel and got settled a little we decided since we had been in Niagara Falls for a few days now, it would be a good time to go walk down in front of the falls. These two waterfalls are amazing pieces of nature. We were going to stay down until the lit up the falls with different colored lights, but that would have been too late for our sleepy girls, and I was parked in a no parking zone.

Tomorrow we are packing up this hotel room and heading across the border to stay in a different hotel room for the last couple of nights on this vacation. The plan so far is to finally do some shopping for Jen and spend some more time around the falls themselves.


Vacation: Day 3

When we look back over this vacation I think we will see day 3 as the turning point. Not that days 1 and 2 were awful but they did have their moments. Now today wasn’t completely incident free but what would a vacation be without a few little hiccups to keep things interesting.

First thing in the morning we had a feeling that Ella was getting back to her old self and feeling better. Sure enough as the day went on her appetite was back and she was in much better spirits. The down side is that Caile is now not feeling great and has the same cold Ella had. The good thing is that even when Caile is not feeling good she is more mature about it then Ella is and doesn’t go into crying fits.The bad thing is, as I mentioned yesterday, when she gets coughing she gets herself very worked up and can cause herself to throw up.

We started today by heading to theĀ Bird Kingdomwhich is the largest indoor free flying bird aviary in the world. It was great timing as they were celebrating their 5th anniversary this weekend and because of that they had admission on for just $5/ person. Ella and Caile are free to a lot of these things, so be basically go to go check out all thetropical birds for under the price of a normal adult admission. We realized from yesterday that things would be much smoother with kids who are not overtired so we decided after we got something to eat we would come home for a nap. Lunch ended up being cut short for the same reason supper was the night before so naps came sooner than we expected.

While Jen was putting Caile and Ella down for a nap, Alex and I decided to go for just a little walk around the hotel. Just down the street they have a big store called Souvenir City. While we were in looking around Alex spotted a dolphin shaped mood ring. She liked this from seeing the dolphins the day before atĀ Marine Land. When we got back and the girls we asleep Jen wanted to go for a walk too, so her and Alex went out again.

Alex was so excited about her mood ring that Caile just had to have one too. So we went back with everyone together this time. Ella picked out a necklace and a bracelet set, and Caile picked out a butterfly shaped mood ring because we were on our way to theĀ Butterfly Conservatory. I got mixed up and thought the Conservatory was in one direction when really it was the other, so we ended up on a bit of a run around before getting directions. We were scared because we thought it closed at 6:00 pm and it was getting closer and closer to that time so we thought we might not make it in. But when we got there they told use they actually didn’t close until 7:00 pm so we had lots of time. We also took a quick trip through some of the botanical gardens which share the same property as the Butterflies.

After this we decided that we weren’t going to chance another incident at a restaurant so I picked up some Subway for everyone and we ate in the hotel room. Caile actually ate a little of her wrap and some cheese and crackers and kept it all down so that is a good sign. Ella’s appetite is back and she ate really good.

Two nights a week they put on a fireworks display over the falls so we decided to stay up for that tonight. Caile fell asleep in the car but the rest of us got to see them while sitting in a line up of traffic on the main road. When we got back to our room we realized that both door keys were inside the room so I had to run down and get an extra to get in. This while Caile was almost asleep in Jen’s arms and Ella was getting very tired herself. But we got back in and got everyone settled down for the night. Tomorrow we will head in to the African Lion Safari, and should get to see all sorts of cool animals.


Vacation: Day 2

Being in a hotel room is pretty boring, especially when there are three kids sleeping and you have to try not to wake them up. It does however give me a good chance to write in this blog each night.

Last night didn’t quite go as hoped. Alex and Ella were about the only ones who got good night sleeps. The rest of us were awake off an on all night long. I guess that is to be expected, there are five of us sharing two beds in a strange room.Hopefully tonight sleep will be a little better because tired kids do not make the funnest vacation companions.

All in all today was a pretty good day.Ā Marine Land was great fun. The tricks and shows that these creatures can learn and put on is really amazing. I think about everyone’s favorites were the dolphins. They can just jump so high out of the water and spin and flip at the same time. We spent most of the day walking around checking out all the displays and shows. We only took a couple of rides near the end but the kids enjoyed them. Jen wanted to go on theĀ Sky Screamer but didn’t want to alone, and even if we had someone to watch the kids I wouldn’t have gone on with her I don’t imagine.

We got back to the hotel room and before supper let Ella and Caile have much needed naps. We decided to have Swiss Chalet for supper. Everyone was pretty good there, but Caile wasn’t very hungry. The next thing I knew she was throwing up on herself. She got coughing and when she does she gets herself pretty worked up. We don’t think it is the flu or anything like that but she is probably coming down with the same cold that Ella has.

Our plans were originally to head into Toronto tomorrow to go check out centerville island for the kids, but we changed our plans after seeing so many cool things to do here. And it’s not like we can leave Niagara Falls without getting out to look at the falls which we didn’t get to do today. Hopefully tomorrow people will be feeling a little better, a lot more rested and we will have a smoother day where we can go check out the huge falls.


Vacation: Day 1

Well I’m just about to turn in for the night but I thought I’d better write some of today’s events while they are still fresh in my head.

The first day of a vacation always seems like the hardest and this time seems to be no exception. Ella was not cooperating this morning when we were getting ready to leave. She is still not feeling the best so she is cranky and not herself because of it. We finally got away right around 1:00 which is when we planned. We had a stop in the city to make before catching our 4:45 flight. We made it to Windsor and realized that we left some important things behind. We had gift certificates for our car rental and our passes to get into the African Lion Safari. We figured the amount of money we would save by having these thing outweighed the lost time in turning around. Luckily we had Jen’s Mom go to our place find the things we needed and she started driving to meet us, so that saved us some of our lost time. We no longer had time to make our stop so straight to the airport.

When we got there I dropped everyone off with the luggage and took went to take our car to the long term parking. When I was headed back to the car it had started down pouring. So in my minute long run to the car I got completely soaked. We had to dig through our bags and find me a change of clothes so I didn’t spend the whole flight soaked.

The flight itself was ok, but after the long car drive and then the long flight the kids were getting pretty restless and unhappy by the end, especially Ella. She ended up crying for the last 10-15 min of the flight flat out. I’m sure we had a lot of angry neighbours on the plane hahaha.

But we all arrived in one piece and got the rental car. I ended up cutting someone off trying to cross a couple lanes so we could get into McDonalds. He wasn’t too happy and let me know, ooops.

When we finally arrived at our hotel it was way past bedtime for the girls so they were fed up. Caile was specifically asking for a nice comfy bed to sleep in. As we were getting them ready for bed we realized that there wasn’t a fridge and microwave in the room as we thought there was. We like to at least be able to eat breakfast at the hotel with the mini boxes of cereal so we can all eat that. Save at least a little money on food. Sure enough we were mistaken this hotel does not even offer this as a service. The staff here seem very nice though and offered to keep Ella’s medication in the staff fridge for us. Instead I had him draw me a map to Walmart where I got a cooler so we could keep some milk, juice and Ella’s medication in it. I ended up having a decent tour of Niagara Falls after a couple wrong turns but made it back with everything we needed.


Vacation Starts Tomorrow

Well the time is finally here. We are flying to Ontario tomorrow afternoon. We are busy packing stuff up tonight and getting all the last minute things ready to go away. Keep hoping that we will not forget anything, but I’m sure once we get there we will find something missing.

There are lots of fun things that we have planned to do while we are there. Lots of sights to see, and places for the kids to have a good time. I’m certain that we will stay busy for the duration of the trip.

Ella is still not feeling herself so we are hoping that nobody else catches this will we are gone. It could make for a painrful vacation for everyone.

Hopefully each night I will make a post talking about how we spent our day but we will see, I might end up being to warn out to even type LOL.

Annapolis Royal Visit

Yesterday we travelled down to Annapolis Royal and had a very nice day. We woke up in the morning and Ella wasn’t feeling all the best. She has an ear infection and a cold to go along with it so she was a little cranky. We talked it over for a while and debated whether or not we should go and as we did she seemed to perk up a bit. So after lunch we quickly packed some things and headed out.

There were a couple of places that we wanted to visit down that way and headed first to the Historic Gardens. It was a great day and time of year to visit the Gardens.. There were so many of the flowers in bloom. Caile wanted to have her picture taken about every couple of feet, even if there were no flowers around. Near the end Ella was starting to get cranky again. Her nose started running quite a bit but she still loved looking at the flowers. Even though she loved them we still ended up having to leave before seeing everything there so we will have to go back again someday.

Leaving the Historic Gardens we headed to the wildlife park at Upper Clements Park. It wasn’t fully open yet, the admission office was closed and there were a few animals missing, but we were able to go through and see most of the animals. It ended up being kind of interesting because when I got in the car to leave the Historic Gardens I broke a strap on my sandles, so the whole walk around the park it was like I was wearing one flip flop. It was a hurried trip because of Ella of course and we were getting close to closing time.

Annapolis Royal is a great spot for a day trip, with our visit cut short and not being able to see places like Port Royal we will certainly be heading back sometime this summer.


Happy Birthday Jen

Well Jen’s birthday was a very busy day, but it was a fun time. It started out a little rough, we were supposedly trying to let Jen sleep in but it didn’t work out so well. We did manage to make a nice pancake breakfast for her though.

After lunch we headed into Acadia to watch Max and Ruby. The kids had a good time there, and the show ended up being better than I had imagined. They performed a couple stories from the TV show and had lots of songs with actions for the kids to join in with.

We went directly from the show into the city for a birthday party with the Fields family. We had a visit first before the party and then headed over to the theatre for the actual birthday. The kids had a great time playing and visiting. Right when we got to the Fields house they got dropped off a third rabbit. Alex carried it around for a long time and all the girls liked feeding the other bunnies as well.


Time for an Update

You would think that being done school for the summer would have given me more time to keep this blog updated. Seeing as I haven’t made a post in about a month I figure it is about time to write at least a little something.

We have been quite busy running around doing things and going places. You can see at least part of our adventures in ourĀ photo gallery. We have been making good use of our season pass toOaklawn Farm Zoo, which is one of the kids favorite things to do.

One day we made our way to Grand Pre and had a nice day making our way through the visitors centre area and the Historic Church property. There was a mix up of days which made us a day early before the real opening for the season but the main grounds are open year so we were still able to check everything out. The Church grounds there are beautiful, and a great place to take pictures.

Last weekend was the annualĀ Apple Blossom Festival Although we didn’t attend most of the celebrations this year we did go see the childrens parade. A lot of the activities I find are just so busy and with so many people we decided to do our own things. Alex, Caile and Ella all really like the parade so we try to at least make it to that every year. Grandpa Doug was going to ride his unicycle in the Grand Street Parade this year, so we were going to go watch that to see him, but a couple days before the event he ended up dislocating his shoulder. Hopefully next year we will get to see him riding with the rest of the parade entries.

Jen’s birthday is in a couple of days, but because our day will be so busy on her actual birthday we will be having a little family celebration today. On her birthday we will be going to see a live Max and Ruby show at Acadia. I can’t wait to see especially Ella’s face when she gets to see them up running around the stage. She loves Max and Ruby. Then after the show is over we are basically heading right into the city to take the kids to a birthday party for family friends.


Noggins Farm Nature Trail

Yesterday Jen was not feeling well, so when Ella went down for her afternoon nap Caile and I went to get some groceries. We managed to get a little sidetracked though. Recently I had read that atĀ Noggins Corner Farm there was a Bald Eagles nest with some new born eaglets. The wonderfully friendly staff in the Farm Market gave us one of their walking trail maps and pointed out exactly where the nest could be found on the walk. This was my first time going down the trail and although we didn’t go very far the path seemed to be very well kept.
When we first made it to where an Eagle was in sight another friendly staff member who was out doing maintenance on the trail stopped and talked to us. He explained the best way to get go to ensure we got a good picture of the nest and Eagles.
We did not get to see any of the eaglets, but we did manage to see one of the parents sitting out in plain site and then on our way out went soaring away. Although I didn’t notice it while looking at the nest when we arrived home and were examining the pictures we could see there was another of the parents heads just barely sticking out of their huge home.
Noggins’ website has a web cam setup pointed at the nest and other information about all the other things they have to offerĀ

School’s Out

It has been a rough semester but I now have four months to prepare for the next one. Overall the year ended better than I imagined. For a while I felt very confident that I would have to repeat at least one course. Fortunately that was not the case, I managed to squeak through a couple of rough ones. I was never in danger of actually failing a course, but for required courses a grade of C- or greater is needed to count towards a degree.

With all said and done this year I finished with a GPA of 3.0 and combined with last year it stands at 3.26 which is equal to a grade of B. If circumstances were different I’m certain I could have done better, but with the lack of time outside of the classroom that I can dedicate to school I am more than satisfied with these marks.

Now that I am done for the summer I’m looking for some work. So if anyone out there is in need of any website work please get in contact with me. In general I would not be able to work any sort of dedicated shift, but if your project can be a work from home at my own pace I would be a good match. If by chance the pay was enough and it was a job that would take up my whole break than we may be able to work something out. You can see my general resume atĀ www.SandyMcFadden.comand examples of websites I have created atĀ

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