Well, of course as we packed up the tent in Ottawa, it started to rain again. With a bag full of wet, sandy clothes and a soaking packed tent, we took off for Toronto. We had hoped to stop in Kingston to meet up with some friends from NL but we were unable to make the connection.
It was a long day of driving straight through to Toronto, but it was beautiful. We had the full gamut of weather, starting with thunder showers and more lightning followed by hot sun and finishing with more rain in Toronto. Unfortunately, during this ride I realized that, to make a long story short, I deleted my photos of us at the Parliment Buildings in Ottawa. I was really upset, but it's turned into one more reason to come back this way on our return trip home (as opposed to through the States.) We'll see, there's lots of time to make that decision.
It was lots of fun pulling into the outer limits of Toronto waiting to catch a glimpse of the CN Tower. Many times the kids thought they saw it but it turned out to be a crane or water tower. Finally, there it was! We had arrived in the big T.O!
We zipped through on 7 lane highways and made our way past into Oakville where Barton's cousins live. We thoroughly enjoyed the city limit signs through the different suburbs, figuring out how the populations compared to ours at home. Mississauga has more people than all of Newfoundland and Labrador, while the 'smaller' suburb of Oakville still has more than St John's. Every few exits was a new city, with still more people than we've seen in a very long time! Even so, the traffic was great coming in and we arrived just before 10pm.
Once again, we were welcomed in by a generous family! Don and Brenda and their four kids let us take over their basement. We were up pretty late catching up and then crashed like never before. When we got up this morning, the kids said they had had the best sleep EVER (of the trip). We ate breakfast on the porch and watched Barton and the kids set up the tent to dry it out. We threw in some laundry and packed up for Canada's Wonderland.
Though our drive to Wonderland was stunted by a bit of a 'traffic issue', we arrived at lunch time to Wonderland and the kids began their day of speed-demon ride obsession. The lines were pretty long but they got a few good runs in before a quick lunch and the water-parking it for the afternoon. Then it was back to more rides for late the afternoon and evening when we shut the park down at 10:30pm. We almost all took a turn on the new ride "Behemoth" (me too!) (http://behemoth.canadaswonderland.com/public/fun/videos.cfm) and a few others became faves. Nikolai loved "Dragon Fire" and rode it by himself at the end of the day. He and cousin Adrianna are the same age and had a great time in the kids area, while the bigger kids rode the rides with higher height restrictions. It was a fantastic day with a huge gang of awesome kids including one of the cousin's friends who brought our kid-total to 9!
Now everyone has completely crashed but we're looking forward to a relaxing morning, with no rush to get out to Niagara for the day.