Monday, January 14, 2013

Oh Canada...!

So this year we decided to go to Canada with my family for winter vacation. We planned and saved all year to make it happen. There were lots of twists and turns along the way but we made it happen and it was a wonderful trip!

We began our driving on the 20th and stopped for lunch in Savannah. While we were there we decided to check out Old Fort Jackson.

The next day we took my family to Luray Caverns in Virginia. We happened across this gem on the way to my sister in law's wedding in PA two years ago and loved it!

The following day, we spent the whole morning/afternoon in Washington, D.C. We started the day by going to Arlington National Cemetery to watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown. 

Then we headed to the Library of Congress, where I got my research card! Now I can use them to do more in depth genealogy searches. :)

After we went to the Library of Congress, we headed to find lunch at the Old Post Office building, and then to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Then onward towards Toronto. We ended up stopping at a McDonald's on our way up the next day around Eerie, PA., and Sophia got to see her first snow!

The next day was Christmas Eve and more or less a relax and hang out day at mu Aunt's. It also happened to be baking night for Renee and I, making Christmas cookies. :)

(Check out the pretty apron David made me, and my fantastic new standing mixer!!!)

The next morning, it was Sophia's First Christmas! But that one I think requires a little more time and it's own entry!

The next day was Boxing Day and it was FREEZING! Of course we decided to go to the Zoo. Boy was that silly!

In cuteness though, there was this polar bear. But Sophia was hungry and it was freezing so she and I went to the other side of the exhibit where they had a little cave viewing area. We headed there since it was somewhat sheltered, and everyone else was over watching the polar bear. Well apparently the polar bear saw Sophia and came running over (yes, I'm not exaggerating) to the glass and laid down in front of Sophia and started rolling around like a puppy. It was THE cutest thing ever! It was like it was trying to play with her or something. Unfortunately, then everyone else came running over and destroyed any/all little bit of privacy I'd been trying to get and got in the way of getting any good pictures of him rolling. But very neat to experience none the less. 

Then later that snowed! :)

The next day we got up bright and early, played in the snow for a little bit, and then headed to Casa Loma. It's a giant beautiful mansion made to look like a castle with secret passageways, underground tunnels, and spiral staircases leading up to towers. It was absolutely beautiful!

Then David, Sophia and I went and had a yummy lunch/dinner at Boston Pizza. 

The next day, David, Sophia and I went to (ROM) the Royal Ontario Museum. 

The following day, we went to meet up with our friend Craig. :) After lunch, he took us to the Bata Shoe Museum, and then out to try Poutine (french fries with cheese curds and gravy). It sounds kind of gross but was actually quite tasty. Mine was loaded up with bacon as well.

The next day we went to the CN Tower! Afterwards we set off for lunch and wound up at Mario's. 

Afterwards we stopped in at the beautiful Allan Gardens, which is this gorgeous indoor garden with bursts of color everywhere! Super neat find, especially if you look out the windows and see ridiculous amounts of snow. :)

On New Year's Eve we decided to check out the Ontario Science Center (which was a HUGE disappointment!) :( Tampa and Ft. Lauderdale own the crap out of that place. Very sexist, racist, and really just wrong. 

That night we ended up staying in and watching movies instead of going to the big downtown bash. I also made my first snow angel!

New Year's Day we went back to visit Craig one last time before we left, and then my aunt took us to this stunningly beautiful area called Scarborough Bluffs. Breathtakingly beautiful! The pictures don't do it justice at all. And we saw swans!

The next day, we got up early, packed, and said our goodbyes. :( But before we crossed the border, of course we had to stop at Niagara Falls for a little while!

And of course we had to get our Timmy's one last time on the way out. Man, I miss their vanilla lattes. Mmmm.

The next two days were spent driving home. But, we did stop in Savannah again on the way home to pick up lunch and let Sophia get out of the car and play for a bit. 

We'd planned to stop and take my family to the NRA Museum on the way home, but part of my family got sick and headed straight home. 

Ultimately it was a wonderful trip and was grateful to have had my wonderful family with me. It was by far a great Christmas and fantastic vacation. 

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