Sunday, 25 September 2011

Salmon Migration in Port Hope

Salmons are amazing fish that live in fresh water during their early life, mature in salt water, and then return to fresh water to breed. Before reaching the area to lay their eggs they have to make an effort to jump and make it across a strong opposing current. This is a challenge for them but after moving up, there is a calm water waiting for them then they will lay their eggs and die. The eggs they laid will start a new life and the cycle goes on.

We went to Port Hope, Ontario (a town east of Toronto) to witness Salmon run last September 22. It was a long drive from Toronto but the trip going there was worthwhile because we started to see the fall colors. We got excited upon seeing the fishes jumping up the stream. Before heading to the beach for our picnic lunch, we checked out Canada Firefighters Museum and saw old firetrucks. Our lunch was superb not only because of the food but also because of the view - blue skies, calm lake and seagulls everywhere. Here are some of our pictures:

Monday, 19 September 2011

Epic Apple Picking

As soon as we found out that Henry and family will go to Brampton to do some apple picking, we got excited. We attended a morning service at The Queensway Church, had a short tour at Ikea then headed to Carl Laidlaw Orchards for our early fall adventure - Apple Picking.

Our tour guide Ray chose Carl Laidlaw Orchards because of the attractions for the kids. They were tasting wagon, a hay barn, a barn beam walk, a grainery and a labyrinth. The kids had fun at these attractions. But it was only icing on the cake. The real fun is seeing the apple trees and picking the apples and of course, eating all the apples our tummys can hold.

We were all smiles when we boarded the wagon going to the picking area but the kids were screaming Epic Apples when we came to a spot where the trees were full of red apples. I believe those were Royal Gala, my kids favorite so we started munching on them as we move from tree to tree. Even Lex picked his own apple and ate them.

Monday, 5 September 2011

Sharing our East Canada tour photobook

It's been a year since our trip to Kingston, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City and 1000 Islands and it's about time I post our photobook. Enjoy viewing!

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Last Summer Hirit at Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-lake

It will only be 2 months before my mom and dad go back to the Philippines. Their stay here is not complete without them seeing Canada's most loved attraction - Niagara Falls. We headed to Niagara early this morning to spend the start of Labour Day weekend at the falls.

Every time we go to a tourist attraction, we make it a point to go to a Travel /Tourist Information desk to get some maps and some pointers on where to get the best parking place, stores and other attractions that I missed seeing in the internet. So after going to the Ontario Tourist desk in Niagara, we headed straight to the Skylon Tower parking, passed through the shortcut and voila, we arrived at mouth of The Falls.

It was still early (around 8:00 am) so we had the falls to ourselves and some early birds too (mostly Filipinos). Although it was my 3rd time to see the Falls, it always give that special aura to keep tourists like me returning. This time is special because I'm sharing this aura with my mom and dad. Our pictures tell them all.

The trip will not be complete without going to where the action is and see the attractions at Falls Avenue. We went to the Hershey's Store, Guinness Museum, Wax Museum and enjoyed seeing the biggest ferris wheel called Skywheel. We also had the opportunity to see Dinosaurs in another park, Lex cried at the sight. It was so humid we rested and took coffee break at Tim Horton's.

On our way back to where we parked, we saw the Floral Showcase - the small rose garden we liked very much. We saw different kinds and colors of roses. The kids had fun running around.

We had our lunch at Floral Clock gardens - another attraction up north on the way to Niagara-on-the-lake. It was like the floral clock at Luneta Park but bigger.

On the way to Niagara-on-the lake we passed by Fort George and had photo opps with a soldier and an old canon. The kids had fun especially Lex.

Niagara-on-the-lake is a heritage site and this is where you still see old Victorian and Georgian houses and establishments. Some old houses were converted to Bed and Breakfasts and it was so nice to see an old town. There were so many tourists on Queen Street (Main street) so we stayed at the Queen's Royal Park and took advantage of the lovely view and the cool breeze from the lake. Our stay there was made more memorable when we met Tony - an Organito (Italian accordion) player who entertained us with his music and stories about being in Canada. We had a wonderful time at the lakeside park seeing the US Fort Niagara across the lake and resting on our picnic mat. The kids had a great time playing (or removing the centuries-old trees' bark). We had lovely time seeing the wineries on our way home, although we experienced some great thunderstorm on the road. All in all, we had a terrific summer-ending. Next time, Marineland and wine tasting hehehe.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Gardening 101

It's almost the end of summer and good thing, I really don't need to maintain our garden in the backyard and front yard. Just thinking about it, my head aches. I'm clueless at the types of plants and how to start with the vast varieties of plants here. Ang masaklap pa nito, you have to buy everything, di tulad sa pinas, hingi ka lang sa kapitbahay, haay. Everything here is to be purchased even the cultivator and grass cutters. Different styles pa rin yun while I remember back at my mom's garden, we just used "itak" or bolo. I realized that lawn mower have different types: cordless, gas-operated, electric and manual. The cut grass is either captured in the attached bag or you have to buy again a blower and retrieve the grass using a rake.

Even the fertilizer is seasonal. There is a grass fertilizer for Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. Goodluck talaga sa gastos hahaha. I have to maintain our grass because we have a whole corner covered with grass and most of the backyard where my kids play. I'm glad that right now they want to water the grass and sometimes play the sprinkler to keep it healthy and green. Now my problem is they have started to grow and it now needs some mowing hahaha.

Our next door neighbor's garden is fab. It has 2 awards - 2003 Garden of the Year and 2009 3rd runner up for Toronto Environmental awards. I don't have plans of competing but I just want my garden to be nice or even neat and not too bushy or something. So I'm doing some research, asking around and found out that there are ways to have a maintenance free garden. I have to choose the perennial type of plants which will last every season. I am thinking of putting fruit trees in the backyard and flowers, some ferns in front. I just hope that some of the existing plants are perennial.

I am going to be a busy gardener and I hope my green thumb will be put to use soon. But spending is far from my plans, maybe I'll start next spring. Can you dig it? haha