This was a day of rushing, running and waiting. We thought we were leaving the campground with enough time to make the train into Toronto, as we began driving and time was passing, we realized that perhaps that was not the case. Dave pressed the speed limit and was blessed with green lights, enabling us to make the station with minutes to spare. We ran through the station to the track, just in time to witness a fast train speeding by, Nate practically jumped out of his skin, it was so loud!
Our ‘double decker’ train arrived and we had a relaxing 45minute ride into Toronto, promising Becca that on the return journey, we’d travel on the top deck!
The day, unfortunately, started out extremely hazy. When we came out of the station, we could only see the very bottom of the CN tower, the skypod wasn’t even visible. We wandered over to look around the harbor before heading into the main part of town and attend the Buskerfest that was filling the streets. We were able to watch a number of different acts as we walked around. Becca volunteered to join in with one and got a $10 Canadian bill, she was thrilled!
Sidewalk stalls covered the streets, offering very tempting eats; lunch was a delicious filled crepe, followed by toffee apples and candy floss in the case of the kids. They got some cool balloons, of course, Nathan’s burst before the day was out and he was SO upset.
By this time, the CN Tower was finally visible so we made our way over there, passing the Hockey Hall of Fame, no time to visit though. There was some kind of weird fancy-dress event going on, we weren’t quite sure what we’d walked into when we used the restrooms in the underground mall. We saw these costumed people all day in various parts of the city and still have no idea why they were dressed that way.
At the CN Tower, we quickly rode the elevator up to the 1,100ft observation deck. We looked around for a while before making our way (cautiously on the part of Caitlin and I) over to the glass floor. This was not a fun area for me, I wanted to drag the kids well away but they all, bar Caitlin, were having such a good time; I was trying desperately not to show my apprehension. Eventually Caitlin did step on the floor and I barely managed to put a foot on the glass tiles, unwillingly I have to admit but there’s no way I could be there and not at least attempt to look down. It is not necessarily something I would ever rush to do again, one of those: ‘been there, done that’ type of experiences, tick it off the list and be done. Now, Dave, on the other hand, having read of our friend, Bob’s, fun when he visited, felt the the need to run onto the glass floor at full pelt and jump up and down. I thought I was going to be sick, my heart leapt and I had to walk away, I just couldn’t watch as the kids began to copy him!
As per Craig and Erica’s suggestion, we also included a visit to the skypod in our ticket. Unfortunately the line for this elevator was rather long and we had quite a wait until we could ride the elevator a further 300+ feet up. The skypod has a very small deck area with floor to ceiling glass and frankly was not at all enjoyable to either Caitlin or I. We went out onto the deck, with our backs firmly against the middle wall, inched around for a few feet and then returned to the elevator line! Meanwhile, Jake tried the ‘close your eyes, stand still and feel the sway of the pod’ as explained by the elevator operator. This turned out to be a bad choice on his part, he ended up feeling very queasy! Dave walked around and took great pictures while the younger two climbed the railings and hung out to the windows – I gave up looking and just prayed! Where is their fear?!
The wait once we returned to the observation deck, to get back down, was awful. Jake was highly frustrated that we might miss the 4:30 train and then have to wait another hour, meaning a lot less time playing with Heather and Rachel. There is a limit to the number of times you can repeat yourself and say: “There’s really no choice Jake, we have to wait, so make the best of it!” Patience is indeed a virtue, one not possessed by our oldest child!
We did finally make it down with 6 minutes to make the train. I don’t think any of us have ever run that far or that fast in a really long time! Thank goodness we’d worn our sneakers, it was quite the workout. Each time we passed a clock, we were spurred on again: maybe we’ll make it, maybe…. Unbelievably, we did! It probably took another 10 minutes for our breathing to return to normal (for the somewhat unfit parents anyway!).
We, once again, headed to Craig and Erica’s for dinner and, given that the weather had improved somewhat, decided to return to our campground for a fire and s’mores. We forget that s’mores are not a common ‘dessert’ in the UK, the Lawton’s had never had them before. They all had fun roasting the marshmallows over the fire (thankfully we’d had the foresight to buy firewood in advance. We couldn’t bring firewood over the border and in fact, most places prefer you to buy firewood at the campground or close by to avoid transporting the dreaded emerald ash borer beetle into new areas as they are destroying so many trees.).
It was a late night again but I’m so glad we got to spend time with friends and also that the kids got to hang out with someone other than their siblings. Despite the fact that the last time they were altogether was 4 years ago at Debbie and Jonny’s wedding, you certainly would never have known it. They all got along so well, it was another wonderful evening, made even better by the fact that Erica left us with her wonderful flapjacks and banana muffins – those flapjacks were delicious!
States visited: 49!
visited 49 states (98%)
Create your own visited map of The United States
Miles driven so far -
LOOP 1 (Aug 2009 - Aug 2010): 29,000
LOOP 2 (May - August 2012): 10,800
Highest altitude with camper: 11,158ft (I-70, CO)