Thursday, June 30, 2016

Finishing Up Toronto

On our last day in Toronto, Amelia first took us to one of the churches that was in an area she served in for 9 months. I have yet to go back to my mission, but I can only imagine how special it would be to be back in one of the churches/areas that I served in. I loved that Amelia took us here because I can only imagine the special feelings she has when she comes back here. It was fun to imagine little missionary Amelia walking through the halls greeting people and speaking Español. 

Let's get a closer look at these sweet faces.

Shae got to play "teacher" in one of the rooms for a little bit and taught us a few letters.

We drove around a little bit, which I love because you get to see so much of the day to day city that way. 

We stopped at China Town and got out and walked around for a bit. 

I know I've been saying how much I loved everything in each post I do, so I doubt it will come across as a surprise that I loved China town.

 It really felt like we were in a different country (I mean, besides already being in a different country...).

We stopped at this amazing little baked goods shop and grabbed a few things. Besides everything tasting delicious, it all cost us like $1.50! After processing how little we had spent I just wanted to walk right back in and grab more...but I didn't (saving room for Chilean empanadas which I knew were coming later).

After China Town, the final place we decided to check out before heading out of town was Kensington Market. On the way there (on foot), we stopped at the public library to let Darin rest his poor ankle that is just too stubborn to heal...and let me nerd out with excitement of being in a public library in a different country.

Kensington Market was a busy, fun neighborhood filled with all kinds of multicultural shops and places to eat. I was so excited about trying the Chilean empanadas that Amelia mentioned were in the neighborhood. They were sooo good. Took me right back.

While the empanadas were easily the highlight of Kensington Market, the crowd of 100 or so bikers that rode down the street COMPLETELY naked was up there as well. Shae: "Mommy, where's their clothes?" It was apparently an oil protest that has happened yearly for a few years now. City life. You never know what you might see.

And with that we left Toronto and headed back to New York (with a stop at Niagra Falls).

Such a beautiful city. So glad that Amelia had the idea to go up there while she was in Niagra for her conference. And I didn't get a picture of all the Wunderbars that we brought back with us, but it was A LOT. Beeessssttt cannnndddyy barrrrr eevvverrrr.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Toronto Zoo

Just a few more catch up posts and then on to our current adventure in Michigan! 

These two buddies spent a lot of time squished in the back seat of our car together. Amelia was quite the trooper squeezing in between the car seats without any complaint.

Shae practicing some of his camera skills in the hotel before we went to the zoo. Usually his pictures are blurry and of random body parts but he actually got some good ones this time.

...oh the innocent face on that hotel destructo baby (we of course had to unplug the phone so that she would stop calling random rooms and I'm sure she hid every little coffee fixing from the coffee machine in some corner of the room).

One more from the hotel that I snagged from Amelia (one of the many). During his sleepover in her room. The way this kid sleeps. (Love the pillow barricade Amelia! ha! Well done).

What a MASSIVE, super fun zoo. We didn't even get to all the different "lands" in the 5 hours we were there because of how big it was, but thoroughly enjoyed everything that we did get to see.

Gopher hole:

Shae seemed to love this tree slide best of all. "And the giraffes!" (His words, not mine, considering he looked at the giraffes for like 2 seconds and then was done).

Crawling in to a tortoise shell.

Going in to stand in line see the pandas!

Important lesson about panda poop.

Trying to entertain the busy one while we wait in line.

There is a panda in the background! I love how much Amelia hyped up the pandas to Shae. They watched videos and talked about it a ton before coming. I totally felt the excitement vibe.

Belén's favorite part of the zoo was quite possibly chasing seagulls while we ate lunch.

She also thought the peacock that was wandering around was pretty cool, while Shae was a bit more hesitant to approach it.

Love how much our children love taking family pictures...rather, any pictures. Photogenic they are..............................not.

Watching the hippo feeding. This was probably my favorite part of the zoo.

I lied, the gorillas were my favorite part. Call me crazy, but I felt this motherly connection with the mama gorilla as she nursed her little gorilla baby right there in front of all of us. There was just something so beautiful and natural about it and I loved it...annnnnd you can think I'm as weird as you want. Go ahead, but it was really just so sweet.

The kids crashed the second we got in the car so we drove around Toronto for a bit (so glad we had Amelia as our personal tour guide!)

Once they woke up we got THE best Greek food I have ever had (I have thought about that delicious Gyro everyday since then), and then grabbed some Poutine to try so that we could really say that we had been to Canada. It's fries, turkey gravy, and cheese curds. Interesting combo. It tasted like Thanksgiving to me, not exactly what I want in a fry, but I'm glad we tried it and you should too if you are ever in O Canada.