We arrived in Toronto late just before midnight on August 25, and shuffled off to our airport hotel, called the Sandman Signature Suites. It was a very trendy, hip hotel, and we liked it because we had a family suite! Here is Nick in the bedroom:
And the boys in the bunk room:
Which also had beanbags:
The next day, we slept late (because of the jet lag) and drove off to Mike's Aunty Anne's house in Hamilton, about an hour away, around 11:00 a.m. I had never met her husband, Arthur, before. Mike's cousin David (who also attended our wedding) drove all the way down from Ottawa (5 hours away) to see us. Aunty Anne has always been one of my favorite of Mike's five aunts (the other one being a kick-ass nun)--she has a wonderful sense of humor and is constantly cracking jokes. Mike's dad had five sisters, and although Irish in origin, they were raised in Scotland. Aunty Anne at one point just decided she wanted to see the world a little--so she went off to Canada, where she fell in love and never left. All of the other sisters and Mike's dad moved to England. I got to meet all of them, but sadly half of them have died.
Anne and Arthur are well suited to one another. They had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, so we took them out to lunch to celebrate at a restaurant, ironically called "Montana's," with a western theme! (Initially when we asked them where they would like to go to lunch, Aunty Anne suggested Wendy's!! I think she was thinking of the kids. But we convinced her we needed to be a bit more festive than that...) We had a nice lunch, and we were able to linger there for hours to chat. Finally I took the boys out to the front of the restaurant to hang out so the chatting could continue.
After returning to their house, we had a few photo ops on their front porch--these are the better results...because Kieran was the main photographer, and he kept lopping off our heads...
After our visit, we went back to the hotel and went for a swim...and had dinner (frozen dinners--Indian food and mac and cheese) in our room. (We deliberately chose accommodations with kitchenettes.) The next morning we took off for the Niagara Region, which is about 2 hours away from Toronto. We stopped in Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie for a picnic lunch on the lake. The park had a historic carousel, which cost only five cents a ride! It has 68 animals, in four rows, all of them hand carved. Between the carousel, the playground, and the lake, Nick could have happily been occupied for hours! I love carousels, and this was an especially fun one!