Thursday, November 14, 2019

Summer Dreaming: Graffiti Alley And More

So on Monday, I took you halfway through our day of exploring Toronto from back in August. (If you missed it, you can read it here.) Today I'm taking you on the rest of our day so settle in because we still had a lot more to explore.
One thing I love about big cities is the funny, random things you see. This sign made me laugh so hard!
Another item on my list was the Half House. Yes, this is half a house. Toronto has a lot of side by side duplexes. For some reason, they had to take half this duplex down, but left the other half. It looks so odd.
This is a news truck crashing through the side of a news building. It's so random but so fun! (Did I mention, lots of interesting and odd things to see?).
 Graffiti Alley is a unique piece of Toronto. It's about a one kilometre stretch of an alley completely covered in graffiti. You can read more about it here.

 Can you spot Rachel in the picture above?!

This really is a piece of Toronto you need to experience in person. It was so cool.
Then we walked down the street to Fluevog Shoes and their "anti-gravity vault." This shoe store took over an old bank and decided to have some fun with the vault.
 We had the most fun taking pictures here :)
After the Vog Vault, we took the streetcar back to our car, and then drove to The Monkey's Paw. It is a rare book store which features the world's only Biblio-Mat. You pay $2 for a token, put it in, and get a random book in return. It was so fun! You can see it in action on my Instagram here.
These are some of my favourite days as a family -- exploring something unique and making memories. The best part is, I still have a whole list of ideas to do when we can take another day in Toronto like this!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Daily Photo: November 5 - 11, 2019

November 5, 2019 -- This was our backyard last Tuesday. That's seven days ago people. See the last photo for a picture of what it looked like yesterday. Hint: It doesn't look like this. :(

November 6, 2019 -- I got some good job news (which I will share in a few weeks) so we went out for celebratory pitas. And we "Cheers-ed" with them!

November 7, 2019 -- A chilly evening called for hot tea and reading Harry Potter under blankets with Rachel.

November 8, 2019 -- It took me almost a week to get our family calendar done for November but I accomplished it this day. And wow, does our house fall apart when this calendar isn't updated! Ha! (Each person has their own colour, Sam and Rachel together have a separate colour, and our family has a colour. It's all very complicated -- hahahaha!!!)

November 9, 2019 -- The Christmas party for the kids through Dave's work was this day. I think Sam and Rachel are outgrowing it a bit, but they enjoyed this jousting. Rachel has excellent balance from dance and so neither kid won.

And I had to re-post this picture of Sam and his friend, J, doing the same thing at the State Fair in Alaska in July :)
November 10, 2019 -- It was chilly day (again -- argh), so I baked buns and made a kale-tomato stew. Surprisingly, Rachel LOVED it (and is taking it in her thermos for lunches this week) and Sam didn't like it.

November 11, 2019 -- And this is our backyard currently, six days after the first picture in this post. I'm so glad we'd gotten all the backyard things done the previous day -- taking the bouncy part off the trampoline, raking leaves, and putting away the picnic table and the rain barrel. We got all this snow in about eight hours. Ugh.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Summer Dreaming: Distillery District

I've honestly been trying to write this post for two months but other things keep taking precedent -- other posts, naps, reading, cooking meals, etc. We are currently in the midst of an early snowfall -- they're calling for 10-15 centimeters (4-6 inches) of snow by tonight so today I'm taking it back to the end of August and dreaming about summer again :)

A few years ago, I made a Pinterest board of exciting things to do in Toronto, and after trying (and failing) to fit them in with other plans we had, we finally decided to just take a day and go do "all the things." And it was such a fun day. So I will share some of it today and the rest of it on Thursday.

We drove into the city, parked at our favourite parking lot (Yes, we have a favourite - ha!), and then spent the rest of the day on foot (except for one streetcar ride). The kids were troopers as we had walked about 15 kilometres (9 miles) by the end of the day.
Our first stop was Sugar Beach and its famous pink umbrellas. We realized it is right by the Redpath Sugar Factory and we also realized that it is covered in crystallized grains of white stuff which looks like... sugar. Since it was fairly early on a Saturday morning, it was also fairly empty and smelled liked marijuana and urine. The pictures make it look really picturesque, which it was, but honestly, all I can remember is the smell. Sadness.

We then walked to the Distillery District which was our main event for the day. The Distillery District is 47 buildings known as the Gooderham & Worts Distillery. A group of developers turned it into a shopping/restaurant/gallery centre and it is a truly amazing place to visit. You can read more about it here. What I particularly loved, and was fascinated by, were all the outdoor art installations.
We grabbed coffees/hot drinks and sat under this art for a bit when we first arrived.
"Sometimes the grass is greener because it's FAKE." This spoke to me so much.
I loved this wall of sunflowers, even if they were fake.
Sam and Rachel had a lot of fun walking around, and interacting with some of the artwork/installations.

This is a famous spot to take pictures, and if you follow me on Instagram, you may remember seeing our whole family in front of this one. You can see it again here.
Since this area was originally a distillery, it felt appropriate to get a picture of Sam and Rachel in front of these old barrels. The whole district is cobblestones so it felt very old-world which I loved.
There was an art installation to promote the work of a brain association so all these different artists had created their own "brains." I loved seeing all the different interpretations. The kids were really intrigued by this installation.

We found a secret door! And this "spider" is huge and a feature of the Distillery District.
I loved this peace sign engraved with religious symbols from all over the world. And yes, more flowers!

This lock artwork was incredible. I was so intrigued by it.
Rachel wanted her own picture at the "Love" sign. We walked by this one a few times as it is central in the district.
We stopped for lunch and ate at this amazing outdoor patio. It was a Mexican themed restaurant and I had shrimp tacos which were DELICIOUS! I wish I had some right now. Yum!!!
We LOVED The Distillery District. I would highly recommend visiting if you are ever in Toronto. And this was just half of our day. We still had more Toronto to explore...

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Daily Photo: October 29 - November 4, 2019

October 29, 2019 -- On our last CSA pickup of the season, we ran into a friend of ours. We laughed and laughed at the fact that Murphy had to carry a squash home from pickup!

October 30, 2019 -- Rachel's hair for Hallowe'en required some prepping the night before.

October 31, 2019 -- Hallowe'en 2019: Hermione (with bushy hair) and The Phillies Phanatic (with (barely noticeable) green hair)

November 1, 2019 -- It was time to divide up the candy haul. It took about an hour. Ugh. The kids had to give some to both Dave and I, we threw some out, and we got a bag to take to church so I could use it for children's time.

November 2, 2019 -- This was a really busy day of morning errands, Hebrew lesson, synagogue attendance, a nap, and grocery shopping. However, it did not appear to be a day of taking pictures. Ooops.

November 3, 2019 -- Rachel not only baked scones for book club for this day but she set the table up too.

November 4, 2019 -- I had the stomach flu this day (double ugh) and was barely awake all day.