Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Niagara falls visit two

Our trip to Canada coincided with Albert's Spring break from Seminary. I figured whether he studies at home or in Canada makes no difference. Thankfully he agreed to go! Unfortunately the Canadian schools had their spring break the week before, so while we were there, the girls friends went to school. Also we were staying over Easter which meant that some of our friends had other commitments. In God's perfect timing we managed to catch up with most of our friends! We stayed the second half of our stay with one of our other good friends Pam and Ken. Pam had arranged for Michaela and Grace to attend school for one day while we where there! How cool is that? The girls even borrowed some uniform from Pam's girls and they got to ride on the school bus! The older girls had a blast! Albert suggested that while the big girls were having fun that I take the little girls on the Skywheel. It wasn't something I had thought of but as a good wife I did as he suggested! :). So Kate, Zara and I had a blast taking photos of the Falls from the Skywheel! 

Girls waiting for the school bus!
There it is!
On they go
Selfie with Kate and Zara
I told you the girls had fun taking photos :)
American Falls
Horseshoe Falls
(It was a magnificent day unlike earlier in the week when it rained)
Kate and Zara with both Falls in the photo
American Falls to the left and the Horseshoe Falls to the right
On the Skywheel

Spectacular isn't it?
Having fun!

Can you see Kate taking the photo?
Kate and Zara in front of the Skywheel!
Again another fun day! Since it was a school day, the Skywheel was just about empty and we got to go around heaps of times! Girls had a blast! Oh and Mum too!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Niagara Falls in Spring visit one

A visit to Ontario, CA wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Falls! I have to say although I've seen them heaps over summer last year, it remains a spectacular sight! I was thrilled to go and visit the Falls in Winter.  Quite a lot of the snow and ice had already gone but the scenery never the less was pretty amazing! I went twice to the Falls in the one week, once with Shar and the girls and once with just Kate and Zara, more on that in another post! It's so fun (and sad) to look over these fun memories we made only this year!

Horseshoe Falls (Canada)

American Falls

Kate with her new horse hat, thanks Shar!

Zara with her Zebra hat (it makes me laugh!)
Shar's girls and our girls
Ladies in training!
(yes it was cold and rainy!)
Looking at the falls from the inside where it was nice and warm!

Enjoying a donut and hot chocolate at.... Tim Hortons!

What a fun day! It pays to go with a local as Shar knew where to park for free :). I also parked the car when I went with just Kate and Zara! Yah for free parking!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Sugar Bush - Agape Valley.

We were also privileged to be able to see a Maple Syrup Farm operating! We stayed the second half of the week with another family who we had a lot to do with over the summer we were in Wellandport. More on that in another post :). Pam and Ken took us out to a Maple Syrup Farm, called Sugar Bush in Agape Valley, who use their resources (i.e. maple trees) and grounds as an outreach! Here is a link for you to find out more if you would like: Agape Valley. Such a cool idea! Over summer Michaela and Grace joined Pam and Ken's girls for a day at a summer outreach camp Agape Valley runs. The farm/camp is run by a lot of volunteers which is pretty awesome! 

The 'old' methods of collecting the sap.
(I actually bought a bucket in the shop as a souvenir)
Enjoying a lovely breakfast!
Getting a ride on the farm to the Maple Trees

A lovely volunteer explaining to us the process :)
WOW! Isn't that amazing?
Running sap
A more modern sophisticated system.
The sap is gravity fed to the factory
Can you see the sap running?
If you look carefully you will be able to see all the lines
The guide explained to us how Maple Syrup used to be made

Yes it was cold that day :)
A more modern system. The sap is transferred progressively up
the vats until it reaches the syrup stage
Maple Syrup Candy
(Reminded us of the Little House on the Prairie books!)
Tasted very good!
This is a reverse osmosis machine
that takes out a lot of the water from the sap.
This is where the final boiling down of the sap occurs.
Once it reaches a certain temperate it opens a valve to release the Maple Syrup!

I happened to be there at the right time with the camera
to take a photo of the Syrup being finished!
A guide showing the girls the different colours of Maple Syrup.
The Syrup has to match one of the five test bottles.
The colour also depends on how late in the season it is.
The Syrup starts out light and progressively gets darker
towards the end of the season.
Grace, Kate and Zara

Checking the colour of the Syrup
Look at this beautiful display. I didn't buy anything as we knew we
were very limited in what we could take back in our suitcases.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about how Maple Syrup is made. As I said before, we didn't go to Canada at that particular time to see Maple Syrup being made, but it was a HUGE bonus!