Since we arrived here, everyone on tour has been raving about the Islands. Toronto has a series of small islands in Lake Ontario, a short ferry ride from the city, which are basically set up as public recreational parks. There are beaches, walking paths, and little attractions like kids' rides and a petting zoo. (no cars) Today we finally managed to spend a day out there, and it was as wonderful as everyone claimed.
To begin, I joined the Totem Running Club (newly formed) for a run around the islands, while Greg, my parents, and the kids did some exploring. What a great place to run! We had perfect weather, a fun group of people, and gorgeous scenery.
Then, after a picnic lunch, my Mom and Dad rented a quadracycle so we could explore a little further. We had a wonderful ride... Ayla made huge leaps today in her bike-riding confidence, and started asking us to ride her bike at every opportunity, all day long. We are all so excited about this!
I loved this image of Grandpa Ron and Isa, which I took during one of our riding breaks. Isa has a deep affection for her Grandpa Ron, and takes every opportunity she can to spend time with him. Of all of us, he is often the one most patient with her 4-year-old whimsical self ... her arbitrary and delighted observations of the world, her odd sense of logic, her complete absorption in the present moment.
We weren't finished yet. I was determined to get at least a few of us in a canoe - which I hadn't done since I was a kid, and something my kids had never experienced. Ayla bowed out - she was too nervous about the possibilities of capsizing, and sharks. (?) But Greg, Baz and Isa were game, and so we spent an hour paddling around the lagoons. It was great fun, despite a couple of mishaps caused by my adventure-seeking husband (I got knocked over in the boat at one point by a low-hanging branch, and we got stuck on a log in a swamp!) ...I was mostly just amazed by the peaceful joy of it. Listening to the sounds of the wildlife, coming up close and personal with swans, feeling the fall of the oar in the water.
At the end of the day, Mom and Dad took us out to dinner, and I just felt like I could not have imagined a better day. We are all going to sleep tired and happy from all that fresh air and sunshine.