Good morning warm Kissimmee! At 6:30 our alarm went of and within only 15 minutes both Mama and I were up taking care of the remaining to do’s. After all was done it was time to wake Emily but she was already having fun with her stuffed animals. Soon we had her fully dressed and while I packed the car Emily was walking around outside.
At 8:00 we drove of the driveway at left in the direction of the the airport. We arrived at SIXT at 8:45 and within 15 minutes we walked in the Premium Rouge check inn. We upgrade our seats from economy to premium rouge something similar to short haul business class. We got to take our suitcases for free, free onboard food and drinks, priority boarding and lounge access. Although the lounge access was not really useful that was in the other terminal.
At 9:25 we exited the people mover and walked in ‘our’ terminal. Lucky enough the complimentary lounge from our credit card was in our terminal and so we could still relax a little bit from the craziness of the Walt Disney World airport. Emily had the kids corner all by herself and we enjoyed free drinks, freshly baked pancakes, strawberries and more while waiting till we could board at 11:15.
Emily slept on Mama’s shoulder as soon as the plane started rolling. As soon as we were airborne the crew told us that we could use the two empty seats beside us so Emily would have her own seat. She woke up just before our dinner was served! Mama and I both went for chicken and Emily enjoyed it…she eat half of mama her food.
The flight went smooth we landed at 2:55 in Toronto and we could already see that winter had come to Ontario, everything was white. But the roads looked clean, nothing to worry about. Emily’s stroller was the first one being brought tot the gate, at security the officer was waiting for us, the suitcases were already on the belt, the car was parked inside the terminal garage and in 50 minutes we were already not the highway 401 going back home.
Emily fell a sleep during the car ride and this we decided to grocery shopping as we had nothing to eat at home. Mama went shopping while I went through the Starbucks drive thru! So far so good…
But then we drove into our court and saw the snow covered driveway…all others were clean already! That meant I had something to do even before we entered the house: shoveling 20 centimeters of snow from our driveway. This was something I had never done before and it’s too funny that I get to this after we woke up with 20 degrees Celcius in the morning. So I started right after turning the furnace on to warm up the house!
At this moment our next door neighbor Ron drove into the court and told me to stop shoveling right away. He pulled out the snow plow he borrowed from Sean and cleaned out the rest and on top of that he also threw some snow shovel basics in for the next time!
In the meantime Mama started preparing dinner while Emily was playing with her toys and hugging her stuffed animals! I guess she did miss home after all…
Unfortunately vacation is over and tomorrow I’m expected in the office again. We had a great time meeting friends, in the sun, meeting Mickey and his pals, shopping and having time off. Oh and for sure we’ll be back!
One of the things we wanted to do since a couple of weeks was visiting the Niagara Falls in winter style. Last weekend wasn’t an option since we already had other things planned, next week we are hopefully enjoying some sunshine and if we come back temperatures might be above zero again, last time was the 29th of January. So in short today could be the last day to see them in Frozen style…
But before we left towards Niagara Falls we wanted to check in for our flights to Orlando, Florida for tomorrow. Yes flights since we are flying separate since I booked my flight through the office and Danielle booked hers through Air Canada direct and got an unbelievable low price from 365$ including all taxes (250 Euro). After all the booking was done we got ourselves a Starbucks coffee treat and a delicious chocolate chip cookie. Ok, the cookies are not as good as Danielle’s but they are the best chocolate chip cookies you can get at Starbucks, way better as the American version and just a bit better as the German ones.
When we left it started snowing a bit, nothing terrible since we got used to it the last months. During the drive it got worse, we had a delay because of a big accident on the QEW (Queen Elizabeth Way) and after just over 2 hours we arrived.
It was beautiful and cold. Danielle was happy to have seen it, for me it was the 2nd time during the winter season after I went in 2012 during a business trip together with Martin, a colleague. This time it was less cold but there was more snow and ice.
After we got back I decided to wash our car in the cleaning zone in our parking garage. It’s free but it’s also do-it-yourself version. I guess it’s about 8 years ago I washed my car by hand. I think it’s better for your car to wash it by hand and I see it as one of the perks of living in the Minto Midtown towers but I felt a bit tired afterwards, maybe we should have bought a smaller SUV?
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…
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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!
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.