Sunday, July 11, 2010


I am on vacation, with my husband, away from my children. I thought I would have a harder time adjusting to this, but no. Being able to wander around in the afternoon and not worry about nap time agrees with me.

My hubby and I are on a second honeymoon of sorts. We are currently in Toronto, which is so big this Winnipeg gal's jaw dropped when we first drove through it. We are staying with a friend of ours, and when he and Ken went to the Jays game the next day, I was left to my own devices in Kensington Market. I first heard of this area through, no joke, CBC kids. Mamma Yamma has her shop there, so I wanted to check it out for myself. I went to Lettuce Knits where I purchased Cascade Yarn in colour lot 901 and two hanks of a baby Merino from malabrigo in Plena (616) and Sweet Grape (509). The baby Merino is seriously so soft I can use it as a pillow. I must become more observant though, because the shade tree I chose to read under just happened to be next to a large group of drunk people smoking pot. One of those brave souls came up to me and asked if I could replenish their stock, and when I said no he decided to sit down and chat with me awhile. Neither of us really held up the conversation, my side basically consisted of nods, and his mainly of apologies between calling me a "nice lady." After he left I was rewarded for my patience by witnessing his friend try to scale a metal fence. At first I thought he wouldn't make it, but he persevered and was ultimately successful.

I spent the rest of my time wandering though shops, salivating at the outdoor markets and just enjoying being away. This trip will be one of many firsts, but I have now ridden a subway and a street car, drank an entire pint of beer and liked it, and tonight I will see Niagara falls. I really can't say it enough, I love vacation!

Ken and our friend by a plant car.

I ordered the traditional grilled cheese because the rest were, as my father would say, melted cheese based sandwiches, NOT grilled cheese.

The purveyor of said sandwich.

Random house in the market, I just really liked it for some reason.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Hills? Those were Mountains my Friend

**Now updated with pictures.

My family is currently on a road trip, and with the MS bike tour looming up at the end of August my husband and I brought our bikes. We didn't have much of a chance to ride them on the way out to Ottawa, although there was this one time we decided to bike down a hiking trail. Ken would have been fine, but I had to walk my bike most of the way down. That was okay, after three days stuck on top of the van it was nice for her to get out. However, in order for us to get back to the van we had to go back up. Ken thought it would be better to take the road back because, although it was longer was made of actual asphalt. My friends, a prairie girl is not made to ride in the gargantuan hills of Ontario. I thought I would be okay, but my ability to recover after a hill is not great, and the breaks between hills were not long enough for me to recover and pick up speed so I ended up having to walk up most of the hills. Faced with this reality and the fact that I had already walked up three hills and we were not any where near the van, I did what any self respecting female would....I totally and completely fell apart at the seems. I cried, I hyperventilated and I had to be talked down several times by my husband. Finally, I resigned myself to my fate and walked uphill, humbled and a lot embarrassed.

Fast forward three days. The morning had come for my first ride in Ottawa. I felt some trepidation because I was afraid I would spend most of the time walking again, but my fears were unfounded. I picked a nice bike route that went along the river and my average speed was 26km/hr before I hit the construction and had to turn around. We are planning a family ride with the girls and a 50km round trip in Niagara, so I have some fun rides to look forward to on this trip.

My view at the beginning of the path

Going down beautiful paths makes the ride seem effortless. I hope the riders in Ottawa appreciate what they have here.

Booo! According to the local paper, this construction has been taking so long cyclists have been ripping down the fencing in order to use the paths. I can understand why, the detour went uphill through a bumpy open field.