Monday, September 14, 2015

A chill in the air

Yes, this weekend fall definitely hit Toronto.

It was a bit unfortunate as there was a street party in the area, and it would have been so much more fun had it been on the previous weekend (though too many people would have been away and it was very hot out) or the one before that.  Still there was a bouncy slide and a bouncy jousting ring and a dunk tank.

There were a few contests, including a donut eating contest and one where the kids had to try to unfold frozen t-shirts and put them on (again, this would have worked much better on a warmer day), and basically all the kids went home with a prize.

It did get a little exhausting, and at one point I was just sitting down reading Boo and keeping an eye on my daughter, but of course it started to sprinkle at that point, so I had to put the book away.  In general, the rain held off at least until 4:30, so it could have been worse.  The kids got most of their games in (not street Twister though) and didn't seem to mind doing a freeze dance game in the rain.

It's still taking a while to get used to our neighbourhood, which is filled with a lot of outgoing people with children, which means we will be interacting with them a lot.  I'm starting to get into the hang of just chatting with folks, though so far it has always been on their lawn or front porch.  I was never as outgoing as my mother, but I did take more of an interest in people when I was younger and some of that is coming back.  I found there are several people that might have similar interests in the arts, including a film-maker a couple of houses down. 

I also found that the street was a lot more run-down only 8 or 9 years ago, and that the families that have been here that long did help clean up the street (getting a crack house closed down and so forth) and that they really have earned their increased property value.

As the fall weather rolls in, it will be interesting to see what happens on the street.  Presumably more of the interaction starts moving inside, and we will have to decide just how social we really want to be.  But that has to be balanced against the various things I hope to do this fall (though many of them are only part-day or one-day events).

This next weekend I am away at Stratford.

The following weekend is a concert and a birthday party.

Then it is a matinee at Soulpepper and Nuit Blanche.

Then we might go to Ottawa for an overnight trip on Thanksgiving weekend* (right before the Greek exhibit closes)

After that there are a few other things to fit in in the late fall:
  • A copy of the Magna Carta is being displayed at Fort York 
  • I'd like to go down to Hamilton to see the Art Gallery of Hamilton and probably the art museum at McMaster as well.
  • I'd like to head over to Oshawa to see the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and perhaps see the Toronto Zoo on the way back, but that will only work if it is a particularly warm day
  • I'm getting a bit more serious about heading out to Cleveland on the one week in November the kids have a day off from school
  • Finally, we should take the train out to Kingston to get to the art gallery there and walk around Queen's University a bit.

So that is fairly long list of things to do, and of course I'll have to see how much homework the kids have to see if that makes me rethink these fall plans.

* Going to Ottawa at least doesn't involve any border crossings, but I'd still need to see if it is particularly hard to rent a car and/or book a hotel room on that holiday.

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