Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Happy Birthday Jimmy & Sue and OMG its R5

It is nice that in this ever changing world in which we live in some things never change and one big one is that Sue and Jimmy celebrate their birthdays together! Sue made the trip from Green Bay and arrived in Toronto to kick off the celebration weekend, and what a celebration it was!!!

This year Jimmy is doing his birthday in 3 part harmony, so to speak. He decided that since most of his friends are away at camp that he would have his actual birthday after school starts so that he can maximize the gift potential. Then as a result of that decision he had a sleep over with three of his baseball buddies, because they go to a different school and once school., starts they will be busy. And finally... it came down to part three with the family and Sue! Football practice took precedence over the birthday dinner and having a chef for a Dad, Jimmy was given the option of choosing anything he wanted for dinner and he chose... Mom's Pot Pie's.  Kids brilliant when it comes down to household management issue, 'just saying'. Jimmy is in the tough age for presents, gone are the days of a bunch of toys, a few sweets, sealing wax and other fancy stuff. A successful birthday, in are the expensive electronics items which will give way to things like a car, trips to sunny beaches, season tickets to.... where is Puff the Magic Dragon....

Friday Tracy took the afternoon off and we headed downtown to the always entertaining Busker Fest. The City of Toronto along with Scotia Bank present this festival and the proceeds go to the fight against Epilepsy. This year was no different. We wandered around, catching the sights and scents off the street and then lucked out finding a spot in front of the make shift stage. First up we saw a fella by the name of Scott Johnson, who you may say is he, well only the raining Beat Box champion of Canada that's who! Jimmy was mesmerized at the sounds and noises and beats this guy belted out using only his vocal cords, amazing. Then it was back home for Sue's birthday and favorite dinner spaghetti, meat sauce and crusty bread!

Sue chose a trip to the zoo so Saturday (after football & a much needed massage for Tracy) we were off to see the Panda's and the other less drawing but equally cool inhabitants of the Toronto Zoo. Pulling into the parking lot the entire car fell silent as we were directing past not one but two FULL parking lots and into the dreaded zone 3.

We braced ourselves for crowds and headed towards the main gate. We had decided one of the adults would stand in the Panda line while the others wandered the zoo and check out the animals. Much to our surprise there was no line, no line...really... lets go!!!. The Pandas were just doing what Pandas do which is eat bamboo, make room for more bamboo and then eat more, quite simple really.
Then we explored some areas of the zoo we had not seen before because this would be our last rip to the zoo as members, being we chose to keep our Science Museum membership, much more useful in the winter! The kids rounded off our zoo experience with a couple hours in the cool calming waters of the Amazon or locally known as the zoo splash pad and then it was off to our friends the Clark's. Russ and Kim have three awesome kids, Maddie, Ryan and Adam, they live a couple block from us and we had a great night of kids running in the back yard, parents relaxing and enjoying a very nice night.

Sunday morning we had a free pass from any sports or kid related events so we slept in, had a late brunch and just relaxed, had we known what was in store for us that afternoon and evening we may have never got out of bed in the first place. It all started innocently enough when we received an e-mail from Groupon announcing The Big Ticket Summer Concert, a Disney event featuring all the current Disney singers and actor/actresses, so we said hey why not, consulted Sue, she was in so we bought the tickets printed them off and stuck them in our pocket. Jimmy received info from his football team about a special offer from the University of Toronto's football team offering reduced price ticket, a hot dog, chips and drink for anyone and since Jimmy and Sue usually attend some type of sporting event on or around their birthday's it was a perfect fit.

The game started at 1:00 we took the subway and a bus to get there and enjoyed watching the London Western Mustangs destroy the Toronto Blues, fortunately we were in the Mustangs section so we sheered for them! Then it was off to the concert, which at this point we had not told the kids about nor really paid any attention as to where it was...I mean the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, just look for the big Molson can, right?!  not even close. Side bar: In Toronto there is a yearly event that closes down most of the downtown lake front and it's called the Exhibition, by the locals or the CNE or "the X", by everyone else, in reality it is a State Fair, freak show, intense food setting and more all rolled into 1. And was between us and the Amphitheatre. After a grueling hour of wandering through the CNE we found the concert along with the other 10,000 or so people crammed into the venue. We thought, how long can it be, it starts at 5:00 should be over by 7-7:30 tops we can head to Jack Astor's have a couple cold beverages, dinner be home and in bed by 9:30, 10 at the latest... right?!  not so....

At 6:15 we realized (a little late) that we were here until way past 10:00 and Tom headed out to the food line to get the kids something to eat, figuring Sue, Tracy and I would eat later.  Thoughts of a Jacked up beer and a Waffle Burger were still in my mind.  At 7:30 Tom made it back with a chicken wrap, 2 chicken nugget dinners, 3 drinks and was out a mere $55.00, really... Bottom-line the kids had a blast, sang along with the noise (I mean songs) and even Jimmy was into it, so the fact that we got home at 11:30 was not even an issue.

Thanks Sue for coming and celebrating her birthday, Jimmy's birthday and enduring the Big Ticket Concert featuring R5, who it turns out have not even made 1 album yet!

PSA: Here in Toronto they refer to up north as, cottage country. The government reported last week that there is a scam: that people are renting cottages to people and when you show up there is no cottage, saying that the prices are inexpensive and the cottages are grand, the governments view on this was  "beware, if it sounds to good to be true, it is!"
More to come....