Stories about visiting family, etc.

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Alex and I, playing Hide and Seek.

January 13, 2013.

Memories of Colder Times: Campbell Rink

Memories of Colder Times: Campbell Rink

December 11, 2010. Alex was overdue at this point, but Jen and I still got out for some quality time at the Campbell Park rink. Jen didn't actually skate this time, but did some walking and chatting with our local friends. By the end of the winter, we were able to bring Alex to the rink to experience it a bit for himself, without the confines of a belly.

With this week's heatwave, I'd love to be able to go skating at Campbell. Or at least sit my butt down on the ice.

The photo was taken with my Nikkenflex TLR camera. I'm having trouble getting photos to actually turn out, and this was one of the very few prints from the last two films that actually turned out reasonably OK. I'm itching to try some B&W developing and printing at home soon, to save on time, cost, and frustration of getting prints done.

Railway Child

Railway Child

May 21, 2011. Alex looking out the window of our GO bus to Hamilton, as a GO train passes by in the distance, with a "Railway Children" banner on the light pole. Location: Lake Shore Blvd., just west of Parkside, Toronto.

Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Valentine's Day Cupcakes

February 13, 2011. It's a bit of a tradition for Jen and I to cook something for each other for Valentine's Day dinner. I make the meal, and Jen takes care of dessert. This year I made shepherd's pie cupcakes. The pink "icing" is mashed potatoes with beets, and I adorned them with Jen's favourite food: broccoli.

Jen made gulab jamun, one of my favourite Indian desserts. This was definitely a good surprise!

Inside GO Transit's Willowbrook repair facility

Inside GO Transit's Willowbrook repair facility

September 18, 2010 was the GO Transit / Metrolinx Family Day, which was held this year at their Willowbrook train yard. I was pretty excited to go, much like a little kid at a toy store, and was really looking forward to exploring this place and seeing the trains up-close.

We arrived kind of late, and ended up spending a big chunk of time taking a train through the "train wash", which is basically like an enormous car wash. Sounds cooler than it really was, as we didn't really see anything because it was so dark.

After the train wash, my time to tour the facility was very limited, so I didn't get many pictures. But the staff at the repair facility were super-cool and gave me a short personal tour and a look inside a couple of the locomotives. All-in-all, a very fun time, but I wish I spent more time touring.

More photos from that day, though nothing spectacular, are here.

My Mom: The Street Racer

My Mom: The Street Racer

My mom's tricycle, tearin' up the streets in their Hamilton neighbourhood.

I bought the "Street Racer" license plate for her in Palanga, Lithuania, on one of the final days of last year's European vacation.

Two of my favourite things

Two of my favourite things

Jen and Coffee. We stopped at Alternative Grounds while out for a walk on Roncesvalles.

Another Ride to Hamilton

Lake Ontario, OakvilleMy August Long Weekend started off with a bang: I worked late on Friday and spent all day Saturday just puttering around at home and cleaning. Very exciting. But it got much better on Sunday and Monday when I rode my bike to Hamilton visit my parents.

I've done this ride quite a few times since moving to Toronto last year. I've taken three different bikes, and even combined my trips with the GO train when I was feeling a bit lazy. You'd think I might get bored of doing this ride....nope! It's always fun. I enjoy riding along Lakeshore Rd., and stopping at various scenic and tasty places along the way. This time I changed my routes a little bit too, just for some variety and to explore some new places I haven't ridden through before.

On the way to Hamilton, I decided to go the "long" way across the Beach Strip and then back across the east-end of Hamilton. The Burlington-Hamilton Beach Strip is a great place to ride, with some excellent scenery too. I'll have to take this route more often. Riding through the industrial north-east end of Hamilton isn't very appealing though.

On the way back to Toronto, I explored the Chedoke Rail Trail in West Hamilton. I also decided to cut away from Lakeshore for a little bit through Bronte and Oakville, and treated myself to some slower and more scenic trails right along the lake.

It was a perfect weekend for cycling. Great weather, a fun route, and of course it's always nice to visit my family in Hamilton too.

More details about my rides are in my photo galleries for Sunday and Monday.

2006 Easter Weekend

Easter EggsI spent the Easter long weekend visiting my family in Hamilton. It was great to get away and relax for a few days, especially after having to work the previous two weekends. Plus, I haven't visited my parents much lately, so it was great to be "home" again.

Since I now have my Bike Friday folding bicycle, I was able to take a bike with me to Hamilton for the weekend without having to ride all the way there. It turned out to be a bit more of a pain than I expected, but still definitely worth doing.

Friday: After spending most of the day catching up on some housework at home in Toronto, I took off on my folding bike down to Union Station. It was a great day, so I was happy to be out riding. When I arrived at Union Station, I folded up my bike and put it into the "travel bag". Fitting it into the bag was a little trickier than I expected, but like packing it into a suitcase, it may require some more practice before I'm good at it. I lugged the bike and my panniers through Union Station, bought a ticket for the GO bus to Hamilton, then went to board the bus. I placed the bagged bike myself into the luggage compartment under the bus. I probably should have waited to bag the bike so that I wouldn't have to carry it around as much.

When I arrived in Hamilton, I upacked and unfolded my bike, then hopped on and rode to my parents' place. It's very close the GO station, but it's straight up the escarpment! This was my Bike Friday's first real hill climbing test, and I must say that it passed with flying colours. The gearing is excellent, so I had no trouble finding a low enough gear. The bike is also nice and light, especially when compared to my heavy recumbent.

Saturday: I slept in and relaxed on Saturday. It felt great to do that! In the afternoon I rode my bike over to my grandmother's place to paint Easter eggs. It's a tradition that I've been doing pretty much all my life. My cousin Bob was there too, and we had fun hanging out with my grandma and painting psychedelic Martha Stewart easter eggs.

Toronto, Bikes, Jen...

Toronto Skyline at Sunset Today Jen left to go back to Vancouver after visiting me here in Toronto for a little over a week. We had a great time together while she was here, and it's too bad that she couldn't stay longer. It'll be a few months before we see each other again.

Last Saturday we took advantage of this NON-winter weather to go for a long bike ride around the city, and to run some errands downtown. We decided to stay off the beaten path (Bloor St.) so that we could check out some of the other neighbourhoods along the way. Sometimes slowing down and taking detours is much better than a fast direct ride! We had one small destination to stop at before running our errands downtown: we had to visit the big elephant on someone's front yard on Yarmouth St. Very cool....not your usual garden gnome lawn statue! We also hit the usual downtown spots (MEC and Urbane), and had dinner in Chinatown.

Last Sunday we met up with Jen's parents and drove out to Unionville to visit Jen's grandma. After the visit and a delicious lunch we were dropped off at Scarborough Town Centre to take the TTC back into the city. The rest of the day's adventures involved exploring the east end around the Coxwell/Pape/Gerrard/Danforth area and going for some tasty Indian food with other bike/HPV fanatics.

Tuesday was, of course, Valentine's Day. Jen and I stayed in to cook up a delicious dinner and dessert.

Friday night involved another trip downtown, this time by TTC. We walked around Yorkville for a while, then found some food and topped off the night out by going to a story tellers gathering at the UofT.

Saturday was Jen's last full day in Toronto. We spent most of the day out in Brampton visiting with Jen's family and celebrating her other grandmother's birthday. We also had a great time playing out in the snow with Jen's two year-old nephew Thomas. It was nice that Jen was able to spend a good chunk of time with her family during this short visit back in Ontario.

Click the above links for more pictures and details of these adventures.

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