Toronto March break vacation

Toronto March break vacation

We’ve been waiting since Christmas to take this trip. This year we surprised everyone with tickets to see a Toronto Raptors game over March Break. This may just become new tradition. We haven’t really done anything big for March break before, but this ended up being a great vacation.

We debated for a short bit about flying but just too expensive so we did our usual road trip. We broke up the drive over a few days and were able to see friends along the way. We drove to Northern New Brunswick the first night and stayed with friends there who we don’t get to see nearly enough and we stayed on the way back as well. Next we headed to Montreal for a night.

Montreal

In Montreal we were able to meet up with a couple co-workers from my team Jupiter! They met us at the Montreal Science Centre which was fun and a good way to stretch our legs for a while.

Since we were in Montreal we figured we should have some real poutine as well. The locals humoured us and came along too. There were so many other people that I’d love to have seen a long the way but our dates and plans were kind of up in the air until the last minute. One of the benefits and downfalls of working in a distributed company, you know people everywhere, but on short trips it can be a challenge to take advantage of that.

CN Tower

Though the main point of the trip was to see the Toronto Raptors play when in Toronto for the first time as a family we had to do some of the other tourist things a well. We spent pretty much the whole day on Monday in Toronto and first hit up the CN Tower. There were some impressive views. Noah was pretty hesitant to go up and buried his head into me the whole elevator ride up, but once we were there he loved it. Even out on the glass floor jumping up and down. Caile and I on the other had almost didn’t go out onto it. Last minute right before we left we finally went out, slowly and tentatively.

Ripley’s Aquarium

We had heard from many people that the Aquarium was a must see. Everyone has really enjoyed on all the ones we have visited over the years and this one is right up there for sure.

Toronto Raptors Game

After the aquarium we walked to get something to eat at Jen’s favourite restaurant Wahlburgers. The burgers are pretty good, but it’s her love of Donnie Wahlberg and NKOTB that makes it for her.

Timing the whole day worked out really well and we made it back to Scotiabank Arena with just a bit of a wait before the doors opened. While in line we saw two people from here in Nova Scotia going to the game a well. Earlier on our way to the CN Tower we ran into one of Jen’s friends from school as well. There were other people of we knew of who were at the same game as us but we didn’t see them.

The game ended up being fantastic, though not really suspenseful. They beat the Knicks 128 – 92. Seeing an NBA game live regardless was a lot of fun and it was great to see them win.

Going into the game we were a little nervous. There were a bunch of players that we might not be able to see play. It was the second night of a back to back game which meant we were pretty sure Kawhi Leonard wouldn’t play and that was right. Serge Ibaka was out due to a suspension and both Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet had been out some games due to injury so we were hoping they would be back. Thankfully they both played, though Kyle was re-injured in the third quarter and hasn’t been back yet.

Danny Green and Pascal Siakam are both favourites in our house and being there early we were able to get down close and see them both warming up before things got underway. One of the other big highlights for me was seeing Fred VanVleet get his first ever NBA double double. He’s one of my favourite players, if you’re not familiar with him this is a great article written last year.

Everyone had a lot of fun and is looking forward to our next opportunity to see a game, maybe next March break again.

Escape Room

One of the things we talked about on the drive to do an Escape Room. I’ve done a couple on work trips, but no one else had. We tried to find one to break up one of our drive days but it never worked out. One day after shopping at the Eaton’s Centre we intended to head to the Ontario Science Centre but realized it was too close to closing time. So we were trying to find something else to do and Ella thought of an Escape Room. We found a good family friendly one we were able to book last minute.

It was a Christmas themed one where we had to help an elf save the Christmas Spirit. It was a lot of fun solving all the clues and puzzles. Everyone was involved and together we escaped the room and ended up with some snow on us as a result.

Toronto Zoo

The whole trip we were watching the weather both for our drives and because we knew we wanted to go to the zoo. We timed it well because we had a lovely day for it. It was the first day of Spring and it even felt like it.

There was weather in the forecast for our scheduled drive home though so we called the trip a day short. We hit the zoo first thing when it opened and pretty much had it to ourselves. Once we were done we hit the road on our way home.

Day Seven – National Zoo

Our smart phones are our lifeline when on vacation. We use them to most of research when we are out, stay in communication with home, each other, and with our friends traveling with us. Most importantly they are our navigation systems. 

Jen is partial to Apple Maps, but I prefer Google Maps, either way they really guide us everywhere. Sometimes we can rely to heavily on them though and today I did that and made some dumb moves. 

We read to get parking at the zoo you had to get there early as it filled up quickly. Being so close to Independence Day we figured it will likely be even busier than normal. Before we left I took a look at the map and found a good route. We used most of it already to go downtown already so I felt comfortable just at one point it would veer off towards the zoo. 

As I started out Jen picked a route and had me turn off, this is normal as the maps can take into account traffic so I figured it was a faster way. After a bit though I kept saying this seems like an odd way to get to the zoo, but I’m hardly familiar with the area so went with it. Once we were down right by the Washington Monument Jen looked at the map and she had accident dropped a random pin on the map and routed us to that. 

Hardly a big deal, and we were able to see some of the monuments and downtown again. By the time we made it to the zoo after the little detour the parking as full. That’s OK smart phones to the rescue again, we’ll book with parking panda again. We found the closest one for cheaper than the zoo charged for parking and made our way there. 

Mapped our little walk using our smart phone and went along. Made it to a road where we would turn right but we were on top of a high overpass bridge and the road going right was way below us. So we had an extra walking detour to get to the entrance on the other side of the zoo instead. By the time we arrived my feet and shoulders/back were already tired. 

The zoo was great though. We didn’t even get to see everything, partially because we were late getting there, but it was also really busy. Noah is in love with the gorillas, he has a stuffed one he sleeps with every night so he was very excited to see them up close. He ended up buying a new one in the gift shop. 

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
   

First zoo visit of the year

This weekend has been a birthday weekend for Jen and the kids. On Saturday they went to two different parties and yesterday we had another one to attend.

The party was at Roo’s Playland. It had been a few years since we had taken the kids there, but they used to love it. It is a giant indoor playground with all kinds of different things to do. Noah didn’t remember being there in the past at all, but he didn’t want to leave when it was time.

After the party we headed to our local zoo. Everyone else had been there once already this year, but it was last weekend so I had missed out. It was a beautiful day so it was a perfect way to spend a bit of time outside. We managed to arrive right at feeding time which always amazes me. Especially the lions. Gail one of the zoo owners will go right into the lions area and hand feed the them.

She used to get audience participation when it came to feeding a black bear they had at the zoo but, he was old and passed away. They have a younger black bear now but I don’t think they do the same with him. They didn’t today at least.

The zoo started out as a farm with some exotic animals and grew into a really cool zoo. The owners still live onsite and really consider the animals part of their family. Their Facebook page has all kinds of great pictures. I really enjoy the pictures of the lions the most. The old ones where they have some real cool interactions and the new ones documenting the growth of the new pride.

After the zoo we stopped for a quick ice cream snack on the way home too. The proper way to take advantage of one of our first t-shirt weather days this year.

One of our visits to the local zoo my sister noticed the turtles were getting fairly, ummm, friendly with each other.

Trying to be subtle about it she comes up to me and says, “Look the turtles are playing leap frog with each other”.

My nine year old daughter comes up to me a couple minutes later,

“I know what she was talking about. We learned it in health class.”