Monday, 31 December 2007

Happy Birthday Jeremy

It's the last day of the year, so that means it is Jeremy's birthday.

The big boy turned four today.

Jeremy has been talking about birthday number four since my birthday at the end of November. So he finally got to celebrate it today.

He opened his presents from Tina and I. Later he opened his present from Corbin. Babcia took Jeremy to the store and picked his present - Jeremy was very excited by this.

Tina made Jeremy a Crown telling the world he is four today. Later, we all went out to Red Lobster for dinner, where Jeremy was serenaded by staff. He was all smiles.

The day was topped off by a birthday cake.

Happy Birthday Jeremy.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Christmas Travel Time - Goderich

The drive up to Goderich was uneventful. What was surprising was the lack of snow north of Grand Bend. Save for the icy piles left over from the snow fall two weeks ago, Goderich was bare. Very unusual.

We spent the day not doing much. Teegan and Madigan came over to Nanny's and brought their NintendoDS units. Corbin had fun playing different games with Teegan. At one point Teegan, Madigan, Corbin and myself were chatting using the PictoChat program. What brave new world we live in.

We had dinner at Bev & Gerry's along with Chris, Lisa, Teegan and Madigan. Next the kids opened presents. It was crazy. The boys were very excited with their GI Joe, Transformers and Robot presents. Later that night Tina and I along with Chris and Lisa went to Wal-Mart to check out the video game and movie selection.

I found a Harry Potter three-pack of video games for the PS2 for $29.84. A remarkable price considering that the latest Harry Potter game was on sale for $24.84. I had to call Tina over to make sure I wasn't seeing things. Corbin constantly rents these games, so I decided to buy it as a 'reward' for Corbin.

Sunday was a relaxing day. Tina did some more scrapbooking. We had lunch from A&W, hung around some more before packing the van and heading out to Brantford.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas Day - What Did Santa Bring This Year?

Jeremy playing with his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Van

Santa brought Corbin a new sled - all we need is some snow in Windsor. Yes, that is Corbin is in his underwear.

Santa always leaves a present on his way out. Corbin all most fell over getting the box. This year it was a single present for both boys: Headbangers Ice Hockey set.

Monday, 24 December 2007

Guess Who Spent Christmas Eve at the Hospital?

Earlier today, Jeremy took a nasty fall down the small staircase. He was carrying some toys and god only knows what he did. He fell on his arm. At first it didn't seem to bad, but as the day progressed he didn't use his left arm for much.

So Tina decided that after opening the presents, she would take Jeremy to the hospital to have him checked out.

Things didn't look promising. An x-ray confirmed that Jeremy had a buckle fracture (not sure if it was the ulna or radius) near his wrist. A buckle fracture is an incomplete break of the bone.

Jeremy now sports a nice new splint cast with bandaging. Follow up is with our family doctor. A search via Google reveals that buckle fractures heal quickly, usually about 3 weeks. So Jeremy should be healed up before his birthday party in January 2008.

I'll try to post a picture of Jeremy and his cast when I get a chance.

Posted by Adam

Christmas In Pictures

Mom and her boys
The Szymczak Men
Corbin opening a present while Jeremy watches
Jeremy trying out his sled
Guinea examining her new tunnel

Merry Christmas

The house is clean and the shopping is done. It's time to sit back and relax with the boys and enjoy Christmas. Plenty of presents under the tree this year.

The Szymczak Family extends a Merry Christmas to all family and friends.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

In Memory of Ciocia Helena

My mom called me at work today with news that my aunt, Helena, my mom's last surviving sibling, had passed at a hospital in Mlawa, Poland.

My aunt had been in poor health over the past few years. Things were getting worse over the past few months. She was admitted to the hospital about a month ago. My mom is arranging transportation to Poland.

I have wonderful memories of my Aunt. The last time I saw her was when she attended our wedding in Kitchener back in 1995. I remember climbing the flights of stairs to get to her fourth floor apartment in Szczecin. I remember taking the tram line out to the factory she used to work at. I remember the phone calls where she asked why I don't write her enough. I remember a person full of energy and happiness. I remember nothing but having a good time in her presence.

Ciocia Helena, you will be missed.

Ja Kocham Ciebie.


Sunday, 16 December 2007

Well That Was Fun

A major snowstorm hit southern Ontario Saturday and Sunday. It dumped about 20 cm of snow from Windsor to Brantford.

The storm finally let up around 4:00 pm, so I rallied the troops and we were off. My mom cried - she is always worried. We left my mom's at 4:30 or so.

The 403 was not bad - one lane with most vehicles driving between 70 and 80 km/h. The 401 in Woodstock was marginally better. We travelled at around 80 km/h except when we had to slow down to 30 or so for snowploughs.

We pulled off in London to grab a bite to eat. 20 or so minutes later, we were back on the 401

West of London, there it was very gusty and lots of blowing snow. Driving wasn't that bad until we stopped dead in our tracks about 3 km east of Tilbury. 40 minutes later we were moving very slowly - good thing I filled up with gas on Saturday. It took one hour to move 7 km - to just west of Tilbury. Two travel lanes were available and we arrived in snow covered Windsor around 10:30 pm.

Six hours for a trip that normally takes three hours. Not too bad. Saw plenty of vehicles including tractor trailers in the median and the side of the road. Jeremy was oblivious to the conditions around us and Corbin was too busy playing his Nintendo before changing to watching some movies on the DVD player.

Glad to be home safe and sound.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Snow in Goderich?

We headed up to Goderich Saturday morning. It was sunny.

We arrived in Goderich just after lunch. It was overcast.

We went to bed. It snowed.

We woke up. It stopped snowing.

We left Goderich. It was drizzly and foggy.

We got on the 401. It rained all the way to Windsor.

The boys got to play in a pile of snow that Poppy shovelled. Jeremy got some quality time with Nanny. Tina played a few card games with her mom. Adam moped around, went to Wal-Mart and bought a new Nintendo DS game for Corbin.

Posted by Adam

Monday, 12 November 2007

Weekend Success

The weekend away in Ann Arbor went by quickly. Tina and I did lots of shopping and lots of hanging out in our hotel room. Most of Christmas/Birthday shopping is done - just a few things for Jeremy.

Corbin had a rough morning with our worker, but he did manage to make it to school. Thanks Becky.

The drive back to Canada was uneventful (unlike the time we drove in a snow storm and it took us two hours to get to the border). About a half hour to the border, gas up and another 10 minutes at Customs. No problems at Customs.

We had time to spare so we headed up to Toys R Us but found nothing. We headed over to Costco and picked up a few more presents and supper before heading home via Tim Hortons.

A very relaxing weekend. We need to do this more often.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Ann Arbor Here We Come

Jeremy at Lorelei's. Check.

Corbin at Jen's. Check.

Tina & Adam packed up and ready to go. Check.

We headed to Ann Arbor, Michigan today for a weekend of relaxation, shopping and fun. We arrived to a very backed up Ambassador Bridge at 10:00 am. We cleared US Customs at 11:15 am. In between that time, we were met by a very rude Bridge employee who thought we were trying to sneak up the truck line. Idiot.

With our stomachs empty, we stopped at Denny's in Ypsilanti for a late breakfast. Hot, tasty and filling. Love the hash browns and sausages. The weather was nice so we headed straight to downtown Ann Arbor and parked in our 'usual' parking garage.

First stop, Dawn Treader Book Shop. Second stop, Borders. Tina bought a bunch of books at Borders. We headed out strolling and browsing the downtown area. We had a good time walking around soaking in the sun and getting some fresh air.

Just after 3:30pm we checked in to the Holiday Inn Express and chilled out. After regaining some energy we headed over to Target, but were not too impressed with their selection - we bought a few things. Drove across the road to Meijers to buy some munchies and pop (aka dinner) and headed back to the hotel.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Back To Standard Time

Standard Time was a week later this year, thanks to US Congress. The nice thing about time changing in the fall is the extra hour of time we are supposed to get. Most translate this extra hour into an extra hour of sleep. If that were only true.

Seems that kids, especially young children, say almost 4 years old, don't see it as an extra hour of sleep. They see it as an extra hour of playtime. Jeremy decided that 6:30 am was a good time to wake up and remind Tina that he was hungry. GO BACK TO BED.

He did, but not for long. In a few minutes the house was abuzz with activity.

Posted by Adam

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Halloween 2007

Another year, another Halloween.

Jeremy was really into Halloween this year. He was ready to go when I arrived home. The Karbs arrived a few minutes later and we all mowed down some pizza. This year I decided to join the family which meant no one was handing out candies at our house. Oh well.

The extra week of daylight savings time meant that it was a wee bit lighter than past years. We headed out any ways. We covered four blocks before returning home to examine the loot. The Karb Family headed back home and I took Corbin down Rivard to get more goodies.

The weather was perfect. Not too warm (or humid like a few years ago) and not too cold. Just right to wear a light jacket. Corbin and Jeremy were polite though in their excitement they did run right by houses that were giving out candy.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 28 October 2007

Halloween Spooktacular 2007

We took the boys to the annual Halloween Spooktacular hosted by the Windsor-Essex Therapeutic Horseback Riding Association (WETRA). Corbin went as Harry Potter and Jeremy as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle (sans shell).

There was no rain this year, so moving between the barns, the arena and the haunted house wasn't a problem. We arrived at 5:00 pm, and bought a bunch of tickets and let the boys do whatever they wanted. Corbin like the games. Jeremy rode a pony and also played some games.

The RCMP brought two horses from the musical ride. They were tall and big - unlike the horses Corbin rides. Windsor Police brought two police dogs and the LaSalle Fire Department brought a fire truck.

All in all, the boys had a great time - they were both tired when we left two or so hours later.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Summer Saturday

A very warm day today on the ride we like to call the 'weather rollercoster'. Tina was up and out of the house by 8:00 am to do some scrapbooking - or is that 'scrapping' all day long.

The boys were fed before she left. They went downstairs and watched some Saturday morning television while I putzed around on the computer. Eventually, I ran a bath for Jeremy, who spent about 30 minutes getting clean and having fun, though he didn't want an after-bath shower for whatever reason. I dried him and got him dressed though we did have an incident about what shirt to wear. "My Dad Rocks" won out in the end (funny how that happened).

Posted by Adam

Friday, 19 October 2007


We really need to get a big screen TV. We have the sound system - though the rear speakers need to be relocated to better locations.

The four of us watched Transformers. Jeremy was totally in to it. Not a single part of the movie scared him, though during the last 15 minutes he was getting tired. He kept waiting for Optimus Prime - some he knew which transformer was Optimus Prime.

The rest of us enjoyed the movie.

Posted by Adam

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

More Than Meets The Eye

Went out shopping with Corbin this evening for an extension cord, wireless routers and the Transformers DVD. Didn't find the extension cord I wanted, and the array of routers is overwhelming.

We did pick up the Transformers DVD at Wal-Mart. I told Corbin that we would have to wait till Friday to watch the movie as a family. That didn't sit too well with him

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Horseback Riding Update

It was my turn to take Corbin to horseback riding today. The drive to WETRA is usually uneventful - we arrive with plenty of time to spare. Today, Cobrin rode Tyson without a lead (a rope attached to the horse that a guide holds). Corbin had some struggles, but he managed to make Tyson go where he wanted.

Despite not wanting to initially go to the lesson, Corbin enjoyed it - he even rode outside today. Like anything, it takes a few lessons to get into the swing of things.

Posted by Adam

Thursday, 11 October 2007

New Computer

Tina has been on me to get a new computer in light of Jeremy starting school and Corbin having a laptop at school. I think she wants the laptop all to herself. So me being me, I research (aka procrastinate). I was looking to buy a machine that had some power and options that I liked and that would not have to be upgraded in a year's time.

I saw a desktop package online at Future Shop consisting on an HP Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz Computer (M9040N) and a HP 22-inch LCD monitor. The price for the package was $1599.99. However, the HP monitors are glossy and I don't like seeing the reflection of lights and things in the room.

The next day I noticed that all desktop computers were 10% off - one of the 25 days of web deals. The M9040N was on sale as were two 22-inch widescreen LCD monitors - an LG and a Samsung. I did some research and settled on the Samsung 226BW. I had previously owned a Samsung SyncMaster CRT monitor that was exceptional. I sold it to a friend who still uses it.

I ordered the computer and monitor online choosing the pick up option. About 40 or so minutes later, I received the email confirming the order and that it was ready for pick up.

After supper, Jeremy and I headed over first to Future Shop to pick up the computer and then to Best Buy so Jeremy could buy some DVDs. Along the way, Jeremy stated that "this is not the way to Best Buy". I responded that we had to go to Future Shop first to get the new computer and then we would go to Best Buy.

I love pick up at Future Shop. No hassles. No selling any service plans. They take a hard copy of your email, get the order, ask for your credit card, you sign a receipt and away you go. Jeremy played his 'cute' role. He thought he could help me by carrying the monitor - I don't think so. We loaded the boxes into the van and headed to Best Buy.

At Best Buy, I bought some CD-RW to record songs on and Jeremy bought a Scooby Doo DVD and a Backyardigans Super Secret Super Spy DVD. I signed up for the Reward Zone card, seeing as we do purchase items on a regular basis from Best Buy.

Returned home and Tina couldn't believe how narrow the box for the monitor was. I put the boxes in the office out of the way. I'll set up the computer tomorrow afternoon.

Posted by Adam

Monday, 8 October 2007

Kalahari Waterpark Resort - The Next Day

Everyone slowly woke up. We ate in the room - Pop Tarts, oatmeal and cookies. Mmmm, good. Corbin and Jeremy were eager to go back to the Waterpark. We packed up - room check out is at 11:00 am but you can stay in the waterpark till 3:00 pm.

As we were about to leave, Corbin realized he couldn't find his sandals. Tina called the front desk and they had nothing (I was suspicious of this since the hotel guide mentions nothing about a lost and found). This little problem pushed me over the edge and kind of screwed up my morning, but eventually we got all the stuff in the van and joined the Karb family in the waterpark.

Jeremy went on the waterslides at least 50 times. We left Corbin to his own devices - and for the most part this worked out. I went on the tube slides and played with Jeremy and Corbin in the kids waterpark.

We ordered a pizza for all of us and set back and relaxed. Then it was one last bit of fun in the waterpark. Around 2:00 pm we were done. Got dressed and spent some time in the arcade. Tina went to the shop and bought some watersocks for Corbin for $10.00. Jeremy loved playing the shooting games, even if he couldn't see what he was doing. Jeremy got about 180 tickets and got many of the same things as Corbin did. It was time to head back home.

The drive back to Windsor went well. We stopped for gas just before Toledo - $56 for about 80 or so litres of gasoline (compared to $75 in Windsor). And with the dollar at par, the price on the register is the price in Canadian.

Arriving at the Ambassador Bridge, traffic was packed. It took a while to get to the actual bridge, but I managed to squeeze the van through some tight spots and get onto the bridge. All the customs booths were open. It took a total of 40 minutes to cross the bridge and clear customs.

It was a fun filled weekend and the whole family looks forward to returning to the expanded (doubling in size of the Waterpark - biggest indoor water park in America) Kalahari Waterpark Resort. Highly recommended.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Kalahari Waterpark Resort - Part 2

After spending a few hours in the waterpark, we decided it was time to get our room, relax and pig out on our munchies.

It was busier than expected and people were getting their rooms much later than promised. Somehow, Tina managed to finagle a room. It was a long walk to our room. The room was nice with two double beds, microwave, fridge, coffee maker and a balcony.

The remote in our room wasn't working. We called the front desk and a working one arrived shortly. TV selection kind of sucked - it was either kid or sport orientated. I guess it's fine for the kids, but for the adults not so much.

We munched on our snacks and relaxed. Tina then took the boys down, giving me a chance to rest and relax without the hustle and bustle of the boys. Corbin took a spin on the waverider - managing to sit up on the surf board. Jeremy and Tina took some spins around the Lazy River.

They returned and we got a phone call from the Karb family, telling us they had checked in. So we drank and ate more and then headed down for round 3 of the waterpark.

Corbin and I went on the Zip Coaster - a water coaster with a two person raft that zips you up and down at a very fast speed. It was cool. Jeremy and Tina did a few more laps in the Lazy River, and then spent some time in the children's play area. Jeremy fell in love with the two water slides. Corbin tried to play some water basketball. I went on the tube slides - they are pitch black and it is freaky not knowing where the curves are. I did my fare share of laps on the Lazy River.

Back at the room, we munched some more. Corbin and I went downstairs to play some mini-golf (or putt putt) and to play some video games and games of chance. We had a great time and we won over a 200 tickets. Corbin got a bunch stuff including soldiers, a parachute ninja, bottlecaps candy and a candy ring - he even got some candy for Jeremy.

Posted by Adam

Kalahari Waterpark Resort - Part 1

We packed and got out stuff together. Fortunately, it is very warm this Thanksgiving weekend - all sorts of records are being broken. That meant that we could pack lightly, i.e. one suitcase for all of us.

Stopped at the TD to get some American money and it took me a few minutes to grasp the receipt that the ATM printed out. US$ 120.00. CDN$119.38. Wow. I just paid less for American money. Amazing. Not a bad way to start the trip.

Not much of a delay at the Ambassador Bridge - about 5 minutes or so. Had to take a different detour to get to I-75 - the area around the Ambassador Bridge on the Detroit side is one big construction zone. In 2009, I-75 will be directly linked to the bridge - no more side streets and traffic lights.

We stopped at the Denny's in Monroe for breakfast. It was a bit slow - the place was packed. But it was hot when we got it. Next we stopped at Meijers in Toledo to buy some munchies. About 40 minutes later we arrived at the resort. The place was huge - and busy. Tina went in to figure out what to do and she came out with our wristbands. I parked the van and walked back across the bridge. We then headed into the waterpark.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 6 October 2007

More Furniture Is Gone

Bev & Gerry stayed the night and the next morning the house was abuzz with commotion. Jeremy eventually woke up and wandered into the living room, letting out a scream of surprise in seeing Nanny at the dining table. We all headed out to the Maple Leaf Restaurant for breakfast.

After breakfast, Poppy and I stayed outside to load the chest of drawers and some shelving into their van. Everything fit - just barely. Yeah, the Pontiac Wave now fits in the garage.

I cleaned the van out. That thing was dirty. I dusted the dashboard, cleaned the windows and the inside of the van and vacuumed the inside. During all of this, Gerry was talking about his younger days. I can't recall Gerry talking this much, but it I did learn some new things about him. It was a hot day, so I took regular breaks while cleaning the van.

Eventually, Bev & Gerry left for Tillsonburg to celebrate Thanksgiving with the McFarlane clan.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 5 October 2007

Whirlwind Weekend Begins Now

It's hot and there are many things happening this holiday weekend. For starters, Bev & Gerry are coming down for the night to pick up a dresser and shelves before heading to Tillsonburg for Thanksgiving.

I plan on cleaning the van tomorrow - though the heat won't be much help.

On Sunday, we are heading out to Sandusky, Ohio to enjoy some water filled fun. We return to Canada on Monday.

Posted by Adam

Summer is Back For a Limited Time Engagement

30 degrees Celsius in October? This weather rollercoaster is crazy. Good thing is that it's supposed to be hot all weekend, which means that we can pack lightly for our trip to Kalahari Waterpark this weekend.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Birthday Number Nine

Happy Birthday Corbin. The 'little' boy is one year away from being ten. The day began like every other birthday - Corbin dancing around in his underwear to his special birthday song by Captain Zoom. Next was a stack of nine pancakes with a candle. After breakfast, Corbin opened his present from Jeremy.

I took Corbin to horseback riding - where Corbin had hoped to go first because it was his birthday, after all. He had a good riding session. I dropped him off at school.

After school, we had a special supper and birthday cake from Zehrs (never again). Corbin opened his present from us - laser tag guns. This meant crazy running around the house with his brother

No party this year. We are heading to Kalahari Waterpark Resort in Sandusky, Ohio for 28 hours of wet and wild fun over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Apple Picking & Wal- Mart

Today we drove out to Thiessen Orchards (a mile or so outside of Leamington) to do some apple picking. Jeremy was excited and kept talking about carrying a basket and picking apples. Obviously, he had seen apple picking in a book or on TV.

The weather was just about right - not too warm or too cool. We arrived around 10:30 am, just after the Karb family arrived. So we grouped together and went out on a tractor ride. The boys enjoyed the very bumpy ride.

After the ride we grabbed some bags and a cart and headed out to pick some Red and Golden Delicious apples. The Red Delicious were in short supply but we managed to pick about three bags worth. Jeremy and Corbin had way too much fun. We headed back to get some other apples and pay for our haul.

We weren't ready to head back to Windsor, so we stopped at the Wal-Mart in Leamington to do some shopping and then grabbed a late lunch at Gilligans. Their burgers are awesome - Jeremy just about ate his entire burger - which is bigger than your kids burgers at most restaurants.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Boys Weekend in Brantford

Tina need some away time from us to do some jobs around the house and to do some scrapbooking with Jen and Steph, so I made plans to spend the weekend with my Mom in Brantford.

We headed out Friday afternoon, arriving in Brantford around 8 pm. The drive wasn't too bad. The only slowdown was just before the 401-403 split in Woodstock. The boys naturally ran up to Babcia giving her big hugs. They stayed up late, but both boys eventually fell asleep.

Saturday morning we had an excellent breakfast. We headed out with Babcia to IKEA in Burlington. We browsed - Adam was looking to buy a chair for the master bedroom and take a look at some furniture. Babcia found a few things here and there. We had lunch in the store - managing to beat a rush of people. I had the swedish meatballs, Babcia had some roasted chicken, Jeremy ate his mac and cheese and Corbin had meatballs with fries.

Before leaving Burlington, we drove over to the Costco to buy Corbin a Nintendo DS Lite - a gift from his Babcia. Tina and I decided that it would be best if we bought it with Babcia around so that Corbin could connect the present with Babcia. To that end, we told Corbin to bring his old Gameboy games. He had no idea why he was bringing them.

He kept asking why he brought them. To avoid an ugly situation in IKEA, I finally told Corbin what was going to happen. He understood (therefore no problem at IKEA). Corbin and I walked in to Costco and picked out a black Nintendo DS Lite that came with two games and a basic case. Corbin was very very excited. He thanked Babcia and gave her a big hug and kiss.

Back in Brantford, we charged up the game but Corbin showed no interest at first. He wanted to play the Nintendo 64. I said, fine, but I was not going to help him play the games. Eventually, he gave up the N64 and played, non-stop, on the Nintendo DS. Babcia was amazed.

Jeremy and Babcia went out to play in the park late in the afternoon. Babcia was amazed with his level of energy. Jeremy did manage to fall asleep very quickly that night.

Sunday was a take it easy day. No rush to get back. Another excellent breakfast. On our way out, I stopped by the Chip Wagon - can't go to Brantford and NOT get the chips. The drive back to Windsor was quick and uneventful. The boys had their DVD players and I had my CDs.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Horseback Riding

Corbin had his first therapeutic horseback riding session today. With Jeremy in JK this year, Tina and I have to rotate who takes Corbin to horseback riding and who takes Jeremy to JK. It was my turn to take Corbin.

Though arriving early, the preceding lesson was running late. Corbin found his helmet and put it on. This was followed by running around, riding the play horse and Corbin being Corbin.

The lesson went well. Tyson, Corbin's horse, was a good fit. Hopefully, the lead will be removed in due time to encourage Corbin to better control the horse.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Good Time At Ojibway Park

Tina and I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and headed out to Ojibway Park with the boys. Corbin and Jeremy usually enjoy the trails, picking up sticks and whacking at the plants. Once in a while we may come across a snake, chipmunk, owl or other animals.

This time around we saw a turtle and frog in the round pond and some more turtles in the long pond.

Corbin brought his walkie-talkies. We encouraged him to go ahead and use the walkie-talkie to communicate with us. But Corbin seemed hesitant to walk out of sight - we are trying to instill some independence in him.

Jeremy was cute; Corbin and Jeremy would run around and play silly games.

It was a nice family outing.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Birthday Party and Toilet Fun

Jeremy and Corbin went to a birthday party today, leaving me alone to get some work done around the house. The toilet was not flushing well and was slowly running all the time.

I bought a new valve - a quiet one that sits low to the bottom of the tank. Unfortunately the rigid water connection pipe did not quite meet with the valve, so I had to go out and by a new flexible pipe. No more water running. One problem fixed and a new problem added.

Now the toilet does not completely flush and there is slow leak when ever the water is flushed. Argh. I'm going to have to kick out Tina and boys one weekend so I can take the toilet off, put on a new wax gasket, install new bolts and reconnect and see of the leaking is stopped and if the flushing works properly.

Or I could by a new toilet - still need to deal with the bolts. Ah, the joys of home ownership.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

The Wheels On The Bus...

Yet another first for Jeremy today: take the bus from JK to Franco Sol (his daycare).

During the JK class today, all the students received 'training' about the bus, how to sit on the bus, how to get off the bus and how to cross the street.

Jeremy's bus trip was problem free. He sits with best friend Noah. He spends about 40 minutes on the bus - despite his daycare being located across the street from his elementary school. Mind you, the entrance to Franco Sol is located on busy main street.

In the end, the 40 minute trip works for us, since Jeremy arrives at daycare at around 12 Noon. That means we don't have to pick him up until 4:00 pm, thereby only having to pay for half-a-day of daycare.

Posted by Adam

Monday, 10 September 2007

First Full Half-Day In JK

Today was Jeremy's first full half-day in JK with the complete classroom. He was very excited. He had a great day and made some new friends, including Noah, his 'best' friend - for the time being.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 7 September 2007

Jeremy and Junior Kindergarten

Jeremy had his 'visit' in the Junior Kindergarten class at St. Alexander's (he keeps calling it "Corbin's School"). He was very very very very very excited. He had has backpack ready (which is about half his size).
Tina and I walked him and Corbin to school. We took Jeremy to his classroom, where we met Ms. Thompson. He was the first student to arrive. He dropped his backpack and took a beeline to the toys. We had to literally beg him to come over and give us goodbye hugs and kisses.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Corbin and Grade 4

It's the day after Labour Day and that can only mean one thing: back to school. Yup, it's time to get the backpacks, lunches and 20 other things ready.

Today Corbin starts Grade 4. That's six years at St. Alexander's. Time does fly. Here is this year's version of the annual 'stand by the kitchen door' picture.

Corbin looks excited about going to school. At least his teachers will be familiar. His Grade 4 teacher was his science last year and his French teacher was his Grade 3 teacher. Should make things easier for Corbin and all those involved.

Jeremy doesn't start till Friday with a 2-hour 'visit'. Half-day Junior Kindergarten starts Monday morning.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Back to Windsor To Get Ready For School

This morning we packed up and headed out back to Windsor. We stopped at the Tim Horton's in Grand Bend, which was very busy. We also stopped at Parks Blueberries to buy some baked goods, take a look around and stretch our legs.

We grabbed an early dinner at Boston Pizza (which wasn't up to par compared to other Boston Pizza's - a baseball team came during our meal and caused our waitress to disappear. Tina was not pleased and spoke with the manager, who took five dollars off our tab). Some quick grocery shopping and we arrived home to a very excited and obviously happy guinea pig.

Posted by Adam

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Off To Goderich via Chatham

Since we both had Friday off, we decided to head up to Goderich tonight to spend the weekend with family and celebrate Madigan's birthday.

We gave Joe a lift to Chatham, where his father-in-law was picking him up to help him move. Tina took over driving duties after Chatham. The drive up was uneventful.

We left Guinea behind - one of our in-home workers was going to stop by and feed Guinea and the fish.

Posted by Adam

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Bye Bye Babcia

My mom was heading back to Brantford by train. The train was leaving at 5:25 pm, so I wanted to be there around 5:00 pm. I took some time off work and left to pick up Jeremy at day care. I changed clothes and relaxed for a few minutes before getting the boys ready and putting my mom's luggage in the van.

Due to construction, I had to take a different route, but it was against traffic, so I didn't expect any problems. That is until we hit the intersection of Walker Road and Riverside Drive East. Despite this being the detour route, the intersection had no active left turn signal. So during rush hour, you had to wait for the light to change to yellow or red before you could turn south onto Walker Road. Nice one. The odd thing is that the traffic light has the left turn signal, but it is inactive. Um, how about activating it during construction?

I parked the van and we helped Babcia out. They were just boarding the VIA 1 passengers and a few minutes later everyone else could board. The boys kissed and hugged Babcia. Jeremy thought we were going on the train. He was sad to learn otherwise. I thanked my mom for helping us out and we headed back home.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Rush - Snakes & Arrows Tour

When I heard that Rush was going on tour and that they were stopping Detroit, I vowed to get tickets this time. The last time I saw Rush live was on the Hold Your Fire tour back at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.

So I got two tickets at the DTE Energy Music Theatre (an outdoor ampitheatre) in Clarkston, Michigan - northwest of Detroit, just off I-75. The tickets had been sitting patiently on the shelf in the office. I would check almost every day to make sure they were still there.

The day of the concert had arrived.

I rushed home (pun intended) to change into comfortable clothes since mother nature decided that today would be a good day for hot and humid weather. Tina was ready. Fortunately, my mom was staying with us, so we did not have to worry about arranging babysitting.

We left at 5:15 pm and arrived at the tunnel at 5:30 pm. About 45 minutes later, we finally were cleared through US Customs. A few slow spots on I-75. Traffic slowed to a crawl at Sashabaw Road, the turn off to DTE, but we just followed the traffic and parked the van in the grass lot.

We walked through the parking lots, showed our tickets and proceeded to our seats. This was our first time seeing a concert at DTE Energy Music Theatre - and only our second concert in Detroit since moving to Windsor. The atmosphere was crackling.

The audience was a mix of old geezers, drunk guys (and gals) and families - yup, we saw plenty of kids rocking it out with mom and dad. There were more women at the concert compared to back in the 90s and 80s. The place was full though. Tina ventured out to seek some refreshments and snacks.

The concert started around 7:50 pm or so with Limelight - a great way to start the concert. They played some classics like Tom Sawyer, Spirit of Radio and Subdivisions, but they also played older tunes like Entre Nous, Passage to Bangkok and Natural Science. All three instrumentals from Snakes & Arrows were played. Neil's drum solo was outstanding. Seems he is improvising the first part of the solo, so it is subject to change if you see Rush several times on this tour. The concert ended with YYZ (so that would be five instrumentals).

Tina enjoyed the concert and commented on how good Rush sounds live. I told her that is one of their trademarks. I bought a tour book as a souvenir. We left the concert in a great mood with our ears ringing and arrived back in Canada just before midnight.

I was happy to see Rush and was even happier to see them with Tina.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Shopping In America

Today, we travelled to the Detroit suburb of Pontiac to do some back-to-school shopping. It took about 30 minutes to get through US Customs at the tunnel - about the minimum these days when travelling to the US. Another 30 or 40 minutes later, we had arrived at Target.

My mom bought some shirts and we picked up some clothes, shoes and school supplies for the boys and some treats that were on sale. Corbin started having a melt down so we left Target to grab a late lunch at the nearby Olive Garden.

The service was horrible. Our waitress was hardly pleasant and it took a long time for our food to arrive. Getting the bill took even longer. We won't be going back there any time soon.

Next stop was Great Lakes Crossing. We walked. We shopped. We bought a few things here and there. It was time to buy some cheap gas and head home.

Declared our purchases at Canadian Customs and encountered no problems. The boys behaved for the most part. It was a pleasant outing.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Babcia's Back

Fresh from a three-week stint Poland, Babcia has arrived in Windsor for a 11-day whirlwind tour.

As usual, the train was late, which meant that Jeremy had to 'explore' the 'train station'. Eventually, we went outside and, fortunately, the train was just arriving. Jeremy was excited - more so when he noticed that the engine was decorated in Spider-man graphics.

Babcia was one the first people off the train and Jeremy ran to greet her. We walked back to the van, went out the wrong way to avoid the traffic and headed home.

Posted by Adam

Monday, 13 August 2007

Busy Kids Stay Out Of Trouble

After a successful week at soccer camp, we (that would be Tina) had to figure out what to do with Corbin. Some play dates were arranged. Some outings to parks and other places were arranged. Enough to keep him busy.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 10 August 2007

Soccer Camp A Success

Corbin (and Tina and myself) survived Soccer Camp without any major hitch. No phone calls. No nothing. Any issues were dealt with promptly by camp staff. Three cheers to Royal City Soccer Club for a well organized camp.

Corbin received a soccer ball and shirt and had a chance to make some new friends, learn some soccer skills and swim in the afternoon.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Soccer Camp

We signed Corbin up for Soccer Camp for the second week of August. That time has arrived. Of course, the weather decides to play a role - July was bone dry and now they are calling for rain and thunderstorms. Thanks a lot mother nature.

The kids practice soccer in the morning, have lunch and then go swimming. Hopefully, Corbin will enjoy the camp.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 4 August 2007

Nanny Returns To Goderich

Today, Tina, Corbin & Jeremy took Nanny back to Goderich, leaving Guinea, the fish and the house to myself. The timing was right as I had several chores that had to be taken care of outside and inside the house. But the weather forecast was calling for heat and humidity. Yuck.

Posted by Adam

Thursday, 2 August 2007

An Evening in Lighthouse Cove

Whenever we have one of our mothers down to watch the kids, Tina and I try to get out to Lighthouse Cove - about 30 minutes east of Windsor at the mouth of the Thames River on Lake St. Clair - and have a nice dinner on the outdoor patio at the Lighthouse Inn.

On the patio you have a nice and relaxing view of the lake and river and the boat traffic. Despite the heat, the gently breeze coming off the lake made for a pleasant dining experience.

Tina and I started with mushrooms stuffed with a crab cake mixture in a garlic butter sauce. We then had the Captains' Plate which consists of generous portions of Lake Erie Perch and Pickerel and breaded shrimp on their own separate plate and your choice of side dish - I had a baked potato and Tina had rice.

The meal was excellent - there really is more than enough seafood for two - and the atmosphere was totally relaxing. We highly recommend having a meal at the Lighthouse Inn.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 27 July 2007

Bev's Birthday

Today is Bev's birthday. Enjoy your special day Nanny.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 22 July 2007

It's Nanny Time

It's that time of year, aka summer vacation, when we need some help from our mothers. We booked Bev aka Nanny for two weeks in July. My mom is booked for two weeks in August. Jeremy is still going to daycare, but we needed someone to watch Corbin for three days a week.

Tina and Corbin brought Nanny back in one piece. Hopefully, having Nanny will free up some time for Tina and myself to go out one or two nights.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Another Home Alone Weekend

Jeremy is at Aunt Lorelei's house. Tina and Corbin went up to Goderich to get Nanny. That left me alone with the fish and Guinea, the guinea pig. What to do?

Speaking of Guinea, seems she didn't like the fact that no one was awake by eight in the morning and decided that banging her feed bin was the way to get my attention. Annoying but I have to give it to her, very effective. I got up and fed her and got myself some food.

My goals this weekend are to install the closet organizer and do some touch up painting in our bedroom and in the basement. Maybe I'll do some other stuff, but it depends on my degree of motivation.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Back To The Grind

It was Tina's first day back and my second day back at work after vacation. I had over 150 emails waiting for me. It took me a day to work through the emails, in-tray and phone calls. Both of us were exhausted.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 15 July 2007

I'm An Adult Now

I assembled the other side table and the chest of drawers (all in white and all from IKEA). The side table took about 30 minutes. The dresser took considerably longer. But it's done. We have matching furniture in our bedroom. Between the new fresh paint, the dresser and side tables, even our bed, our bedroom is finally looking like a real bedroom.
© Inter IKEA Systems B.V.Future projects: install a closet organizer, curtains over the window and closet, a new door and new flooring. The first one will be done in the coming week. The curtains and door will likely be done before the end of summer. Flooring will be in 2008 or 2009.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 13 July 2007

Toldeo Zoo

Not wanting to do anything around the house, we decided to head to the Toledo Zoo. The weather was sunny but pleasant - perfect weather. It took a while to get through US Customs - 20 minutes or so - but no problems - as usual (it pays to have cute kids).

We decided to have breakfast at Denny's in Monroe. Much to our surprise, both boys ate their entire breakfast - guess they were hungry. We arrived at the zoo around 11:00 am. First stop was to wait in line to see the polar bear cubs. The wait wasn't too long - maybe 15 minutes - but the cubs were cute.

Before leaving, we decided to not bring the stroller, but that was a big mistake. Jeremy is not used to walking, so Tina rented a stroller. We wandered around the zoo. Jeremy seemed very interested in the animals today - he loved the primate exhibit - the monkeys and gorillas really caught his attention. I had to slightly push Jeremy to the front of the exhibits to get a better view. Corbin, on the other hand, was totally uninterested.

They had a special butterfly exhibit, where there are hundreds of butterflies flying around - sometimes landing on you. Corbin seemed to like this exhibit. Jeremy was in awe. A quick pass through the Children's Zoo and a stop at the penguin exhibit - where luck would have it - they were just about to feed the penguins. Jeremy sat on the ground and watched and watched and watched. He simply loves penguins - they are his favourite animal.

It was a nice day out with Tina and the boys.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Northern Vacation - Day 5

Gaylord, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario

Last day of our northern vacation. Not much planned today other than some shopping before returning home. Had a great breakfast - gotta love those cinnamon rolls at Holiday Inn Express. The drive down was uneventful, but you could feel the heat the closer we got to Detroit.

Just before we got to Pontiac, Corbin had to go to the bathroom, so I pulled off and drove into Holly. Back on the highway and five minutes later, we were at Target. Let's go shopping. I bought some jeans, Corbin got a metal detector and Jeremy got a toy. I also bought Shawshank Redemption and season 2 of 24 on DVD. No problem at Canada Customs at the tunnel. Naturally, I stopped to get Tina some Tim Horton's.

It was nice to be back home, however, the house was a mess. Oh, well.

Posted by Adam

Monday, 9 July 2007

Northern Vacation - Day 4

Sault Ste. Marie to Gaylord

Seems the boys like to sleep in when we are in hotels, so Tina and I take turns going to breakfast, which is a nice break from the hectic 'hotel life'. Tina went down first and brought some stuff up for the boys, who were just starting to wake up.

Each Holiday Inn Express has a standard line of breakfast items - cinnamon rolls, boiled eggs, bread, bagels, cereals and drinks. Some have additional items like omelettes, sausages, or local specialities like biscuits and gravy. Tina told me than had omelettes.

I went down and had a couple of warm omelettes, coffee, OJ, banana, toast and an omelette. It was tasty and filling. The boys finished their breakfast - cereal, oatmeal and whatever else Tina brought them. We packed up and checked out and headed to the Soo Locks Boat Tour dock. We arrived just before the 10:00 am departure. It was a overcast day - much cooler compared to when Tina and I took the same tour about six years ago. The boys seemed excited.

We arrived in the lock and Corbin was mesmerized by the rising water level. A friendly employee of the dock shook Corbin's hand when the boat was rising above the top of the dock. Jeremy was confused as to what was happening but seemed interested in the boat ride. About two hours later we arrived back at the dock. We were going to play some mini-golf, but Corbin had a small breakdown at the gift shop, so we nixed that adventure for now.

The last time Tina and I were in the Soo, we happened upon a small Italian restaurant, Ang-Gio's, on the main road into town. It's a fairly non-descript building in a plaza, but the food was amazing. We were hoping that the place was open for lunch - fortunately it was. I ordered fettuccine alfredo with fried mushrooms, Tina ordered fettuccine carbonara, Corbin ordered spagehtti, and Jeremy had a grilled cheese. We also ordered garlic bread with cheese. Our orders also came with a side salad.

The food came out quick and hot. The sauces are homemade and are downright sinful. They are rich but not in the usual overpowering way. I ate all my plate - there were plenty of mushrooms. Even the boys finished their meals. Tina was happy again. So we headed down to Mackinaw City.

It is about an hour's drive to Mackinaw City from the Soo. The drive was pleasant - sunny and warm with little traffic. We parked on the main road and proceeded to find a restroom because Corbin needed to go. With that out of the way we checked out the shops and bought a few things like candies and popcorn and some toys for the boys. After spending about an hour, we headed down to Gaylord, which is about one hour south of Mackinaw City.

We stayed at another Holiday Inn Express in Gaylord. We checked in and set out to find the Bavarian Falls adventure golf (mini-golf) - one of the things on this trip is that we were going to play mini-golf with the boys. After a round trip around the town, we found it. We got out clubs and balls and proceeded to play 18 holes of thoroughly enjoyable family time mini-golf. Corbin and Jeremy had to be told to sit a few times. Jeremy would have gotten a hole-in-one if Corbin didn't stop his ball from going in the hole. Everyone had a good time.

Before stopping at the hotel, Tina went to the Wal-Mart behind the hotel and got some pop and munchies. Back at the hotel, Tina supervised Corbin while he swam and I watched Jeremy.

Posted by Adam

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Northern Vacation - Day 3

Sudbury, Ontario to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

We managed to get some sleep, but it wasn't enough. So what did the hotel offer in return for booking us into a room they shouldn't have booked us into? One free breakfast. Yup. Though there were two adults (kids stay and eat free), they offered us one free breakfast for a lack of sleep. Unacceptable. We packed up and loaded the van. I stopped by the front desk and politely told the staff that I am not paying for last nights stay due to the circumstances and that the room offered was subpar. The manager was called up and reversed the charge. No apology. No nothing.

I don't understand why it seems that the level of service at Holiday Inn hotels differs from Holiday Inn Select or Holiday Inn Express hotels. It seems you get better service and amenities from the latter two than the Holiday Inn. I'll be sending an email to Intercontinental Hotels Group when we arrive back home.

Headed out to the Discovery Earth attraction. This is the location of the Big Nickel. When I last visited this place back in the early 80s, there was not much to the attraction other than the Big Nickel and few other things at ground level. Now there is a building with several galleries, a theatre and an underground mine.

The boys were in awe of the big nickel. Corbin wanted to take it with him and buy lots of stuff. He wanted to touch it, so I lifted him and he managed to get the bottom of it. Jeremy used the umbrella to touch it.

Inside, we checked in and booked a 10:30 am visit to the mine. While waiting to descend, there is a control room where kids (and adults) can talk to people in the mine, control a camera and control a digging machine. There is also a playground where kids can play with 'iron ore' bits (foam).

Eventually, we were called into the Miner's Dry - the room where Miners change into their work clothes. We entered the large glass elevator and were given a visual history of mining through an interactive film.

With our hard hats on, we walked into the tunnels, which are about seven stories below ground. The tour guide was very knowledgeable and made sure that everyone could see what was being talked about. Corbin obsessed about the tour guide's light, so he let Corbin hold it. The mine is divided into several sections and illustrates the evolution of mining over the past 100 years. The first section is a mine from the late 1880s, followed by the 1940s and finally the modern mine.

Corbin and Jeremy volunteered to insert 'dynamite' into blast holes and we were asked to go around a corner and stand on wooden platform. Then there was a blast and some shaking. In the modern part of the mine, we visited the lunch room aka the safe room. Then it was back to the elevator. The tour was about an hour long.

Tina and Corbin spent some time in the gift shop, where Corbin purchased some big nickels and gems. We walked over to the Earth Gallery where you can pan for gold, check out some minerals and learn about the history of the Sudbury basin. It was good way to get the day going, and the boys thoroughly enjoyed the place.

Saying goodbye to Sudbury,we headed out on Highway 17 to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Traffic was good and the weather was cloudy and sunny - not a bad day for driving. We stopped in Espanola for some KFC. Just past Bruce Mines, we pulled over at rest stop to stretch our legs, eat some food and use the facilities. After, about 3 or so hours of driving, we arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

US Customs was backed up - it took about 30 minutes to get to the booth, where no problems were encountered. The Holiday Inn Express in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, is located at the first interchange on I75 when you enter the US. We checked in and Tina headed over to the McDonald's beside the hotel to grab some food.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Northern Vacation - Day 2 Part 2


Well, after a full day at Science North, we were looking toward relaxing at the Holiday Inn. We made a quick stop at a grocery store and headed back to the hotel.

At the hotel we 'dined' on leftover pizza and munchies. The boys watched a movie on the portable DVD player, I browsed the net and Tina read a book. Around 5 pm or so, we started hearing a loud noise - it was music. Oh, no. The music was coming from a wedding reception below us. Wonderful

Tina called the front desk to see if we could get a room elsewhere. Staff did not call right back which means that no similar or upgraded rooms were available. Eventually, they called back and offered a room with two doubles. I don't think so. The staff member did say that the rooms we were in were supposed to be 'off block' meaning that they were not supposed to be let out.

I took Corbin down to the pool while Tina played a few games with Jeremy. Coming back to the room the music had stopped. It started up an hour or so later and didn't stop till 1:30 AM.

Posted by Adam

Northern Vacation - Day 2 Part 1


The main feature today was Science North. I had never been to Science North since it opened a few decades ago. We had planned to go a few years ago with Corbin, but the satellite attraction, Dynamic Earth, was being expanded.

We arrived not too long after the facility had opened. The parking lot, which cost $4.00, was not even partly full, which meant we had a close parking spot. I purchased the Dynamic Duo Passport, which included admission to Science North, Dynamic Earth, an IMAX movie and a Virtual Voyages ride and it was good over three days. A little pricey, but it made for a full day today. We decided that we would the Dynamic Earth attraction tomorrow on our way out of Sudbury.

Our first stop was the Wings Over the North: A 4D Bush Plane Adventure - the wait was not too long (we seem to have good luck on vacations with arriving at certain attractions or events at the right time - in other words, not waiting too long). This is a show that you wear special glasses for a 3D effect. The 4D comes into play with additions such as compressed air and water. Both Jeremy and Corbin enjoyed the show.

We walked up to the exhibit areas and the boys got hands on. After an hour we headed back down to the IMAX theatre to watch Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag. The movie was spectacular. The images are so crisp that they look too real. Tina said that she almost got sick a few times, especially the during the take-off scenes. Corbin loved the movie - planes, bombs, missiles and explosions - what else could a boy ask for. Jeremy was a wee bit weary, but survived the show.

Back to the exhibits. Both boys laid on a bed of nails, though Corbin was worried that he was going to get hurt. Jeremy had no qualms laying down. There are plenty of hands-on exhibits and both boys had a great time. We grabbed a bite to eat and lined up for the Virtual Voyages ride. I had some reservations about this since Corbin and I went on one at the CN Tower - it was unimpressive. Now the ride at Science North, is much different and much better - even Tina had a fun time.

After a six or so hour day at Science North we headed back to the hotel for munchies, a swim and relaxation. But that was not too happen. See Part 2 above.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 6 July 2007

Northern Vacation - Day 1

Camp Winston to Sudbury

After having lunch at Camp Winston, Corbin said good bye to the staff and we headed up to Sudbury.
Camp Winston - Counsellors and FriendsWe took Southwood Road (County Road 13) north from the Camp to old Highway 169. Southwood Road was exciting. It is a narrow twisty and hilly road - which made for a fun drive. You know you are in trouble when a sign warns you that the road is twisty for the next 22 km and you see additional signs for even curvier sections. We travelled through the quaint cottage country town of Bala.

The drive up to Sudbury was beautiful but uneventful. The Province of Ontario is upgrading Highway 69 into the four-lane limited access divided Highway 400. The only problem we encountered was the passing lane areas. Seems many people are translating the Passing Area sign to mean Speed Up and then Slow Down. It was infuriating. I can't wait till the 400 is built all the way up to Sudbury.

Finding the Holiday Inn in Sudbury was not too difficult - it's on the same road you enter the City from the south. We checked in, relaxed and then headed out for some dinner and some mini-golf. We had dinner at Pizza Hut - it was affordable, fast and provided us with leftovers to eat the next day.

Now about the mini-golf. On the way into town, I stopped at Tourist Information and grabbed some info about places in and around Sudbury. One was a mini-golf place near the Pizza Hut. After supper, we went looking for it but could not find it. Eventually, I saw a place that looked like a mini-golf place - seems the place when out of business. Fair enough, but it looked like it had been out of business for some time - yet the tourism center had brochures about the place.
No mini-golf tonite.

Back at the hotel, the business was still listed in the yellow pages. Very odd. So, the family put their bathing suits on and we headed for a swim, in a cool pool. Why can't hotels heat their pools?

Posted by Adam

Good Bye Brantford, Hello Camp Winston

Well, our arrival in Brantford last evening was interesting. Seems that Jeremy worked himself up so much, that he threw up a few times. He was anxious to see us. Poor little guy.

This morning we are driving up to Camp Winston to pick up Corbin before heading on vacation. I'm sure that Corbin will have many tales to tell us.

Posted by Adam

Thursday, 5 July 2007

Off To Brantford

Well, I suppose that all good things must come to an end. It's time to drive to Brantford to pick up Jeremy and then head up to Camp Winston the next morning to get Corbin, and then began our mini-vacation of northern Ontario and Michigan.

Oh, almost forgot - and a stop at Stan's Chip Wagon in Brantford.

Posted by Adam

Painting, Part 2

With Tina's help - she did all the edging in the bedroom - I managed to finish both the hallway and bedroom. Both look much better than two days ago. Our bedroom looks fresh and inviting. New matching side tables and a dresser need to be built, the curtains changed and a closet organizer installed. A new door and flooring are all that is left to do - the door this year and the floor next year.

Posted by Adam

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Painting, Part 1

Today, I began painting the hallway and our bedroom. It was a long, exhausting day.

I did manage to prime the walls and, with Tina's help, get one top coat on the walls. The Blue Silk has transformed our bedroom - no more dirty pink walls AND ceiling. The Amish Linen in the hallway makes it much brighter. Just one more topcoat and it's all over - for now.

Posted by Adam

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Night Out

With no kids around the house, Tina suggested to Jen that the four of us should go out for a dinner and movie. Jen found a babysitter for her boys.

We headed to Tony Macaroni's in Tecumseh for a pleasant dinner. The food was hot and tasty, but the service was faster than anticipated. So we decided to squeeze in a game of mini-golf - Tina won.

Next, it was movie time. We picked the new Transformers movie. We arrived early enough to get good seats. The movie was a riot - non-stop action from beginning to end - the perfect summer time movie. The visual effects were amazing - the Transformers looked real and blended right in with the 'real world'.

All in all, a great night spent with good friends.

Posted by Adam

Happy Birthday Babcia

Today is Adam's mom, Jadzia, 65th birthday. Sto lat.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 30 June 2007

Bye Jeremy, Hello IKEA

Tina and I said our goodbye's to Jeremy and headed off to IKEA in Burlington. We were looking for new furniture for our bedroom, which we planned on painting later this week. We bought two bedside tables and a dresser plus some smaller items. The van was loaded and we headed towards Windsor.

A quick stop in Brantford for the excellent french fries at Stan's Chip Wagon - these are the best fries anywhere. About an hour later we pulled into London and stopped at Super Pet, which was having a major inventory clearance. Seems that Petsmart just bought the majority of the Super Pet chain, and was clearing inventory that it does not carry before renovating the stores.

Tina and I were saddened by this purchase, since Super Pet opened not too long ago in Windsor and had a better selection of small pets and fish and their assorted accessories and foods. My understanding is that Petsmart will incorporate the good parts of Super Pet into the renovated stores. Only time will tell how this will play out.

We then headed up to the toy store before making our way back to the Parks, the 401 and Windsor. A very successful day.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 29 June 2007

Babcia Camp 2007

We headed up to Brantford tonight, to drop Jeremy at my Mom's for the week aka 'Babcia Camp'. The drive took longer than usual as Jeremy had some bathroom issues.

Eventually, we made it. Jeremy gave Babcia and Grandpa some birthday presents. Both Jeremy and Babcia had special t-shirts with Babcia Camp 2007 iron-ons made by Tina.

Posted by Adam

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Camp Winston - Year 2

After an awesome breakfast and some outside play, we left Brantford at 11:00 am sharp for the trip up to Camp Winston. I decided to take the 407, the toll road, from the 403 in Burlington to the 400. It took us 56 minutes from Brantford to the 400 - well worth the $13 in tolls given that I didn't have to yell at a single driver. The OPP doing radar was amusing - the 407 is an 'express toll route'.

The drive up the 400 was another story. The highway is packed three lanes wide between Toronto and Barrie. They really need to extend the 404 around the eastern side of Lake Simcoe and hookup with Highway 11 near Gravenhurst and also extend the 427 towards Wasaga Beach.

We had lunch at Boston Pizza in Orillia. Corbin was preoccupied with arriving at Camp Winston as soon as possible. We reminded him that the camp does not open until two o'clock, so arriving early would just mean waiting around. We finished lunch and took the 'back way' via South Sparrow Lake Road to Camp Winston.

Arriving at the camp, Corbin was mildly stunned. He was amazed that Denise, the camp director, remembered who he is. Cathy, a counsellor from last year, greeted Corbin and got him set up in his 'cabin'. They went off to investigate fishing equipment, while Jeremy played on the playground, Tina dropped the meds off at the nurse's station and I watched Jeremy.

We eventually found Corbin and said our goodbyes. Jeremy was the most sad - he found a huge pile of sand to play in.

Posted by Adam

Friday, 22 June 2007

Off To Brantford

Well we are off to Brantford tonight - part of our trip to Camp Winston. Before heading out, Corbin and I went shopping to find some retirement presents for my mom. We settled on a VIA gift certificate and a digital picture frame from Costco.

Returning home, we packed the van and stopped by the bank to deposit the yard sale money and McDonald's for a quick supper. We arrived in Brantford around 8:30 pm, with both boys promptly engaging Babcia in play. Tina and I remarked at how cool it was.

My mom showed of her new patio furniture set she received as a retirement present from the staff at the W. Ross Macdonald School. It was an impressive set - six chairs, a glass table and a stool. Very nice.

Posted by Adam

Goodbye Grade 3

Today was Corbin's last day of school - a week early because he is going to Camp Winston this weekend. Mrs. Murphy was outside waiting with Corbin - she gave him a big hug and kiss, thanked Tina and myself for our support and wished Corbin a great time at camp. I thanked Mrs. Murphy for all her help.

It was an awesome year for Corbin. No suspensions. No detentions. Only one or two phone calls. His reading ability is remarkable. Thanks to the staff at St. Alexander's School for your support. See you in September - hope you are all ready for Jeremy ;)

Posted by Adam