Sander, Daniëlle & EmilyOur Family life...

Our Family life...

Canadian cold and snowshoeing…

After we opened the door from our Condo when we came back from our to short winter break in California we found a letter that the thermal unit (the whole door) would be replaced on that same day. After we watched up on some sleep the technicians came in the afternoon, within only minutes the whole unit was gone…outside it was about -14 degrees celsius and snowing and that made a 45 degree difference within 24 hours for us…

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You can imagine we felt really cold while waiting for the technicians to be finished in about an hour. After the unit was placed back we turned up the heating and soon it the temperature was back to normal again.

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On Thursday evening a colleague from Germany visited us, thanks for bringing the Whiskey! We decided early that day to go together to Jupiter Ascending, a movie, at the SilverCity across the street. The movie started but there was something wrong with the 3D image quality. After one of the other guests informed the staff is was resolved. The movie was good and when we left the theatre one of the employees handed out courtesy tickets for another movie because of the issue in the beginning. I love the service mentality here in Canada, you don’t even have to complain to get it…

And than it was time for a long weekend, we started early on Saturday with a visited to the Yorkdale Shopping centre. We went there to order a chair, we already looked at this chair for a long time but wanted to look for more options at other stores but nothing came close to this one…it’s in stock in the new jersey warehouse and we can pick it up in the local warehouse at the beginning of March and then our living room is finished!

Finished? Wasn’t there an Ottoman which still needed to be picked up? Yes there was and we did that today. The Ottoman is the perfect size, it’s much more convenient than the carton box we used the first months but…the it’s not the quality we would expect. One of the hinges is bend and the fabric is damaged. We send an e-mail with our remarks and within minutes after sending the mail we got a response back from John, our own furniture associate at the Crate & Barrel. A new one will be ordered for us to be built the same way and in the mean-time we can keep this one and use it as if it is ours. Again excellent service.

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That evening Danielle baked her famous Chocolate Chip cookies to bring the day after on a real Canadian adventure. Yes, I wanted to do something only die-hard Canadians would do… I planned to search for a geocache on a small island on Buckhorn Lake about 1:45 hours driving from our place. What’s so Canadian about geocaching you might think, the temperature. On this particular day the highest temperature was expected to be -20 degrees celsius with a windchill temperature somewhere close to -40 degrees celsius. And to get to the cache I needed to walk over the frozen snow-covered Buckhorn lake. Lucky for me the Geocache was placed by GEOmamma the mother of one of my coworkers and we were invited to visit their beautiful (and warm) cottage.

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The ride towards Ennismore was beautiful on its own and after a cup of tea and some cookies it was time to put on the snowshoes and walk over the lake. And I can tell you it was really cold, I never expected that you can actually feel the difference between -10, -20 or even -40 degrees but now I can tell you really cold starts at -30 or something. I felt things I’ve never felt before. After only minutes out there my face started to hurt, my coworkers laughed it away and told me to get used to it, it’s normal for real Canadians…oh boy I’ve got a long way to go before I can call myself a real Canadian I think…

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After posing for pictures in the middle of the lake and snowshoeing to Ground Zero it took me longer as usual to find the cache! It was made to blend in and normally I like the more creative geocaches but today I didn’t my hands started to hurt since my gloves aren’t suitable for Canadian winter weather…but I found it and I got some letters in the log, the pen gave up after being a couple of seconds out of my pockets.

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After warming up at a warm spot behind the island we started our walk back to the shore and the warm cottage. Although it was colder as I thought it was a really cool experience in every meaning of the word cool. I’m glad I did went out with this kind of weather to feel what a Canadian winter is about and in the end I was able to write my name down in the log of that geocache with difficulty level 4 and terrain level 5. After a warm lunch and a lot of small talk it was soon close to 4:pm and time to head home. Thanks for letting me experience this David and family!

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The monday was part of the long weekend as it was Family day, a statutory holiday which exists in Ontario since 2007, first time it took place was in 2008. We took it easy since we’ve quite busy week ahead of us but we decided to go see American Sniper in the VIP Movie Theatre at the Shops in Don Mills. It’s a great movie and with those full recliner seats and service in the theatre it got even better.

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Our first snowstorm…

Since I was not able to keep up with Danielle when walking with the windchill her in Toronto, I decided I also needed a warm coat. We ordered a Canada Goose The Chateau in Navy Blue. Unfortunately my size was sold out in the regular stores but I Canada Goose still sold it online in their web-store so I ordered… Besides ordering a warm jacket we decided that warm hiking boots would be a good addition to our wardrobe too. We found a nice BOGO at the Sportscheck at Yonge and Eglinton, Buy One Get One 50% off.

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On Tuesday we went to the movie Interstellar together at the movie-theatre we can see from living room, I still need to get used to the fact that we have everything around us in walking distance. 

And on Wednesday my Canada Goose Parka arrived and it was just in time for the first real snowstorm in Toronto this winter. We ended up having almost 25 centimetre of snow in about 24 hours. And despite the fact that it took me twice as long to get to the office and back from the office the sights were beautiful. To bad it only stayed for a couple of days. But at least we could test our new waterproof shoes and our jackets in a winter wonderland.

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Thursday our Crate & Barrel Lynx Grey Rug was finally delivered, and while we first thought it might be one foot too long it is the perfect size. It’s also a perfect fit to the rest of our furniture, although we still need to wait for our custom-made Ottoman which is planned for delivery in February.
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A nice thing to mention is also that for the first time in about 5 years the gas prices dropped below the dollar in Toronto. And in the meantime the presents for christmas started appearing under our christmas tree, I love the free gift wrapping service at the Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
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That Saturday our neighbours came back from their Cuba vacation (thanks for the Rum) and after picking them up we enjoyed Sushi at the Sushi Supreme, I think I already mentioned that they serve great Sushi didn’t I?

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Our first visitor from the Netherlands…

Our clock still ticks! And this also means that the holidays are coming closer and closer. In Toronto this starts with some events from which the first was Illuminite, an not-so-ordinary holiday lighting ceremony at Yonge-Dundas Square. We went there on saturday the 15th of November together with our German neighbours. We arrived on-time and almost froze before the actual started. But the event itself was really something special which we didn’t expect we enjoyed the music, the dancers and the acts on the buildings. After freezing we went The Keg in our building to get some nice meat for dinner…

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The day after Santa came to Toronto, Danielle and I went Bloor Street early as we read on the web that 500.000 people would watch the parade along the route, the advice was to be there between 9-10 o’clock…we left our building at 10 and started the day of with our very first visit to Tim Hortons! Okay, we didn’t get a coffee we went for a donut! We bought a day-ticket for the public transportation and at 10:45 we were walking on Bloor and it wasn’t really crowded! This was probably the case due to the extreme cold. It was a couple degrees below zero with a very cold wind and a little bit of snow. We were happy that the parade started and that we were watching at the beginning of the 6km long parade route since it was way to cold… The parade itself wasn’t as good as we hoped but Santa Clause was amazing, he had a couple funny one liners and interacted with the public.
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As soon as we had seen Santa we went to the lake towards the Amsterdam Brewhouse to taste some beer and wander through Downtown. We visited the Toronto Union Train Station and the gift shops in the CN Tower on our way to the restaurant. When we left the restaurant it stopped with flurry snow and it really started to snow. We walked through the nearest subway entrance and drove straight back to Eglinton. We got ourself a coffee and watch some TV before we called it a day.

The monday after we decided to get Danielle a nice warm Canada Goose jacket since she will be outside a lot this winter. We walked towards the Sporting Life store about five blocks north on Yonge Street right after I came back home from work. We thought it’s a monday there won’t be a lot of people but we were wrong that place was crazy, people were almost fighting to get the right jacket. After a while Danielle found the perfect one, a Graphite Kensington Parka! And then we needed to wait 45 minutes in line to be able to pay…

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The Tuesday started as every other early winter day, clear blue skies, ice-cold and not to busy on the road. But in the afternoon it started snowing a little bit, not much to worry about I thought its way to early for a lot of snow. But I was wrong it stopped with just being flurries and it started snowing in an amount which you could describe as 3 times longer to get home after work… Luckily I’ve got an AWD and know that I’ve to adjust my driving style with winter weather but not everyone seems to know or remember this…I left at 7:30 and was back home at 8:45. Normally it takes about 40-45 minutes when I leave between 5:30 and 6:30. But I got home safely and without scratches on the car.

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On Thursday we got our first visitor from the Netherlands, my mother stepped over her fears and came by herself! We decided to book that a week before as a kind of last-minute decision but she stepped in the plane in Amsterdam after my Sister brought her there. And about 8,5 hours later she walked through the doors at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

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From there we went to a supermarket to show her what a Walmart looks like, she directly experienced a Toronto rush hour before we got home. While Danielle baked a pizza I showed the building, she was blown away by everything and especially the view. At 10 o’clock she got tired and we all went to bed since I needed to work another day at friday. On Friday Danielle showed my mother Downtown Toronto before we went to The Keg to get a delicious steak.

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The weekend was packed with a lot of things. We started early on saturday morning to visit the Niagara Falls, from there we went to an outlet shopping center on the way back to Toronto. We got some nice things for little Jop! Back at home we were all tired and had a nice evening enjoying our condo. For Sunday I had 3 shopping malls planned but in the end we only went to 2 of them. The main reason was that we stayed longer in the Yorkdale Shopping Center since we found out that we got access to the Avion Holiday Boutique as one of the perks from our Avion Infinite credit cards. We had some gifts wrapped for free, a free coffee, free cookie and free coat checks. Late afternoon we continued towards Vaughan Mills, a mixture between outlet and a regular mall. We ended the day here with delicious milkshakes before we went back to our Condo. Her my mother her jet-lag kicked in and we went to bed early.
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Monday Danielle spend another day with my mother checking out the city, they went wandering to look at some more shopping districts and they made some beautiful pictures. In the evening we went for a burger and ribs at the St. Louis Bar & grill 2 blocks from our Condo.
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The Tuesday Danielle went to school, I took a day off and spend the morning and lunch with my mother. We checked out a fancy supermarket and got some baking equipment for Danielle. For lunch we went to Signs, a restaurant where all staff is deaf and you are expected to order in sign language. That was something really funny and we learned the sign for Holland!

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At 3 o’clock we brought my mother back the airport, and at 5;10 she boarded her plane. only 7 hours later she was back in the Netherlands. From the airport we went back home and went straight to the Silvercity, a movie theater across our street where we watched The Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 1. Unfortunately there wa a technical error with the sound for about 30 seconds and we got free tickets for another movie!!

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The rest of the week it was cold and grey weather except for Black Friday. Black Friday is now getting more and more well-known in Canada too and we decided to go check out the bargains at th Yorkdale Mall. We arrived there at 7 and we found ourselves some great deals (40-50% discount in most stores). After the shopping I went to the office and Danielle waited for some gift wrapping in the AvionVIP lounge.

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Today we brought our neighbours to the airport and we’ll get a colleague from Germany over for the next week so lot’s of things to do this week.

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