Monday, 8 July 2013

Gettin' outta Dodge ... for the day!

Since it's now the second week of summer va-cay I'm starting to get a little antsy.  Let's just say that I get bored easily and two days (yup, just two) of sleeping in, lying around, reading and swimming have me needing to get out and DO something; something out of the norm with my kids.  I'm thinking ... ROAD TRIP!

The kids -- Boy 2 and Missy Moo -- and I talked last night and decided we needed a day trip.  A few options were brought up but in the end we decided to hightail it into the Big Smoke.  Yup, we were headed to Toronto for the day.

This is a bit of a trek and a little out of my usual comfort zone being that I'd be driving on very busy roads and taking the kids on the subway so we could go to The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).  I have very fond memories of exploring the ROM as a kid and I love sharing it with my kids every few years. 

One of my favourite things about the ROM is the stunning Nisga'a
and Haida totem poles that stand several stories high. 
This is only the top portion of one of the totems. 


Here are my peeps with a humongous dinosaur skeleton.

Note: You may be wondering where Boy 1 fits into this equation.  I have not forsaken my teenager.  My 13 year old is currently in Alberta with about 5000 other Scouts for the national Scout Jamboree.  Ya, 9 days of camping, making connections with other youth, a big concert, tonnes of activities and white water rafting t'boot?  Being 13 kinda rocks.

I have to admit that I'm used to heading downtown T.O on my own ... but it's been awhile since I've done it.  See, as a young teenager I used to tell my parents that I was hanging out at a friend's house when in reality my friends and I would catch a bus, then the subway and go shopping to our hearts content at The Eaton's Centre in downtown Toronto.   Our parents were none the wiser.

{On a side note: I had a hoot telling my parents 15 years later that their sweet, innocent first born used to hightail it downtown on a regular basis and they had no idea.  And thus ends my deviousness and 'wild child' side as a 13 year old.  Take notes, people I was pretty ca-razy!}  

So, my point is, I have experience in a large city but I've never taken my kids on my own.  It was so not a harrowing experience.  My kids were amazing and not an unkind word, argument or eye roll was to be had!  To top it off we had an easy 1 1/2 hour drive into T.O and a 20 minute subway ride down to the museum.  Easy peasy!  I drank my java whilst driving the Loser Cruiser and listening to a little Bruno Mars and then got to relax on the subway.  Life was good!

Now, I will admit that my kids are not Big City people. They have spent the majority of their young lives in a rather small city and, for the past 5 years, in a small town.  They have travelled a bit but there are still some things that get them excited about a big city trip.

The things that get my two youngest excited are ... escalators.  What can I say?  My kids have a love for escalators.  The only thing that I can think of that induced this love of moving stairways is the simple fact that we just don't have many in our neck of the woods.  Elevators?  Sure.  Escalators?  Not so much.  So when my two youngest see a set of escalators their eyes light up; they look at each other and go bounding towards them.  They want to go up, down, up, down.  You get the picture.  This adoration of the 'angled vertical conveyer of pedestrians' does not help make us country bumpkins 'blend in' with the City natives in the ritzy world of Yorkdale Mall.  Who knew, right?

I'm happy to report that my kids kept it pretty cool on the escalators at the subway station, Yorkdale Mall and even the ROM.  They still got that twinkle in their eyes but they played it cool.  Like city folk.  Way to blend in, my children.  You are like mighty bumpkin ninjas. 

The only other hint that we may be country mice would be just after we exited the museum and were sitting having a snack on a bench outside.  Our bumpkin cover may have been blown when Missy Moo became excited and started pointing when she saw her first pigeon of the day.  My girl regularly sees horses, cows, even the occasional rabbit but pigeons?  Yah, not so much.  It was a big moment and I let her have at it.  It was a mighty fat pigeon, I have to admit.

So, we had a great day learning about all kinds of cool stuff.  I know my kids are smart but I was still amazed at how much my kids knew.  I love it when my kids can teach me something.  How did they know odd facts about hummingbirds, Nero, echolocation and sarcophagi?    


Then there's me who kept talking to various dinosaur skeletons and saying "Don't I know you from the Ice Age movies??".  Ya, I'm cool like that.

Soooo, what are all y'all doing with your fine, fine selves this summer?  I'll be needing more Day Trip ideas for when I'm going stir crazy in ... a couple of days.



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3 comments:

homemaker said...

Laurie, That sounds like such a rocking good time of a road trip! We're at a different stage but we're going to places such as the Butterfly con., Doon Pioneer and the local splash pads. I'll keep the ROM in mind for the boys, well in about at least another 3 years!

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Homemaker -- It was totally a rockin' good time! I do miss the trips to the butterfly conservatory (my kids liked to see me squirm with all the insects) and the splash pads but we've moved on to 'older kid' thangs. We're thinking of trying the caves in Collingwood. The only thing stopping us is my fear of small spaces and Missy Moo's hatred of spiders. We're both working on it.

Have you tried Storybook Gardens in London, ONT? Great outdoor play structures that'll keep the kids busy and a nice splash pad (very frigid water but fun). So many places to share with the kids, so little time. :(

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Homemaker -- It was totally a rockin' good time! I do miss the trips to the butterfly conservatory (my kids liked to see me squirm with all the insects) and the splash pads but we've moved on to 'older kid' thangs. We're thinking of trying the caves in Collingwood. The only thing stopping us is my fear of small spaces and Missy Moo's hatred of spiders. We're both working on it.

Have you tried Storybook Gardens in London, ONT? Great outdoor play structures that'll keep the kids busy and a nice splash pad (very frigid water but fun). So many places to share with the kids, so little time. :(

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