Friday, July 18, 2014

Eighth Day off in Ontario - 12th July 2014

On Saturday (after a well needed sleep in!) we drove into Toronto itself. Our drive in was good although traffic going in the other direction was bumper to bumper. I have since asked some local people why that is. One of the reason is that when you rent a cottage the rental goes from Saturday to Saturday! Hence the volume of traffic! 

I did some homework as to what would be the cheapest way into Toronto. Most of the other cities we have visited, taking public transport is the way to go. Taking the car and parking was the cheapest way to go in Toronto. The GPS was pretty good but the parking garage that Albert had found had roadworks and so now we had to resort to plan B. We didn't have plan B and so drove around until we found a cheapish place to park. While we were driving we got stuck behind an Indian Parade, interesting! Providentially we ended up parking in one of the office buildings for $9, quite a bargain! We discovered a whole underground shopping mall complete with over 28km of underground paths. Initially when came out of the elevator and saw the shops there was NOBODY. Mmm this is strange so we asked a security guard and she told us that the shops/food courts are only open during office hours Mon-Fri. It is quite a surreal feeling to walk underneath Toronto and just about seeing nobody! The 'Path' as they call it is quite a maze and I'm VERY impressed by Albert's skills to get us back to our car, navigation above ground is one thing but below ground in a maze is quite another!

We didn't have any real plans on what to see in Toronto apart from Izaak wanting to go up the CN Tower. On the way to the CN Tower we came across a soccer village with big screens, very cool. Izaak shouted Albert a trip up the tower with him and off they went. While the 'boys' were waiting in line and waiting in line, the girls checked out the surrounding area. We saw a 'turn table' for the trains, looked at some old trains and some restored ones, ate some snacks and watch the start of the soccer match between Holland and Brazil. The boys joined us for the end of the game with of course Holland wining the match. After this we went in search for a much needed SIM card for Izaak. (communication with a love interest is hard without the internet!). We ended up at the mall which was HUGE. We didn't have a good look around as it was getting late at that point and so after we had dinner (Izaak's shout as is tradition now!) we drove home! What a fun day!

The Path Maze
Indian Parade
(photo taken from our car!)
CN Tower
View from the tower

Oh there he is our visitor!

That's scary looking down!
Brave man!
See the red umbrella?
The girls and I were watching the soccer there!
Crazy people
Rail system
The turn table from the tower.
The girls and I visited this
Ice hockey stadium

The Boys!
Spot the tourist
and another one!
Remember the red umbrella, well here it is up close!
(with Izaak!)
Watching Soccer! Hup Holland Hup!

Walking underground, scary :)
Turn Table up close
Zara and Kate
Hamish this is for you, Love Michaela!
Cool miniature train
Some history
Changing the tracks!
Another one of the screens! 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dinner at the Dairy - 11th of July 2014

(oh for those interested, Izaak has arrived safely much to the excitement of the girls especially Zara!)

Last Friday night we visited a dairy farm! The local dairy farms and Holstein Club organised a 'Dinner at the Dairy' night. One of the lovely ladies from the church let me know about it. You had to register but the event was free. We got a tour through the farm and dinner afterwards. There was also face painting, balloons, cheese samples, bouncy castle and oh some sheep! I really enjoyed getting to see how dairy farming works here. I was impressed on how efficient the whole operation was, from feeding (very scientific, ie the right mixture produces more milk!), to calving, breeding and milking. This particular farm had a milking parlor. The cows seemed very 'happy' and looked great to an untrained eye. Here is the night in photo form! (Sorry the photos are in random order, don't know why that is, don't want to spend time changing it around)

Grass is greener on the other side! haha
Izaak and the girls enjoying dinner!
Albert and Zara
oh I forgot to mention the balloon figures :)
WOW this is a surprise a red dog for Kate :)
and purple for Grace
Zara made sure I took a picture of her face
painting before bedtime! 
a hayride took us from our cars to the farm
Cool a tractor!
Look what I spotted? sheep!
Each cow wears a transponder and this
tracks the milk produced, their cycle etc. very impressive
Ok, what's in here? *
Grace helping with milking
couldn't resist 
Waiting to be milked
Milking parlor
All the calves get reared in these little 'sheds'
Hay shed
It's very scientific!
Can't remember exactly what this is, cow food?
One cow's daily ration
In here all the ingredients for the cow's daily ration get's mixed.
It is then driven through the barn with the tractor!
(Different cows at different stages get different foods)
*Semen. All the cows on this farm are artificially inseminated (AI). Again this is all very scientific as the farmer wants to breed the best it can. Genetics is a very big deal, knowing where the cow comes from etc. All the cows can be traced back in the genetene pool! AI makes all this possible. Hadn't thought about this before :).