Let’s Go Exploring…. Upper Canada Village

Back at the beginning of July I went to visit my brother & his family one weekend.  On Saturday we went for a road trip to a little place not far from them… a little place called Upper Canada Village.  But to call the village “little” is certainly an understatement… it is a VERY BIG village.   Much bigger than either my brother or I thought it would be.  The Upper Canada Village gives visitors a glimpse of what life in Upper Canada in the 1860s & it really is like a step back in time.  Everyone who works there is “in character” & wants to tell you about their way of life.  One can roam the streets stopping by the post office, the general store, the saw mill, the baker, the cheese factory, the tavern, the list goes on & on.  If you grow weary of walking you can take a horse drawn carriage ride through the village or take a boat ride up the canal.  There is even a train ride that takes visitors past the army camps of the War of 1812.  There really is something for everyone… & since I am the history buff in the family, I thought Upper Canada Village was fantastic (not least because I got to spend the day with my favourite little girl)!

Map of Upper Canada Village courtesy of Upper Canada Village website (uppercanadavillage.com)

Every building in the village came from the surrounding area but each one had been painstakingly disassembled, moved to “Upper Canada Village” & reassembled.  When you see the village it really is quite amazing.  I wish I could tell provide more detail about individual aspects of the village & certain buildings that were my favourite but please keep in mind our tour guide was my 3 year old niece!  For more info on the village check out: http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/index.cfm/en/about-the-village/all-about-the-village/

One can also learn a little Canadian military history while at Upper Canada Village as it is also the site of the Battle of Crysler’s Farm in the War of 1812.  Although my focus is more on the First & Second World Wars, I thought this was really cool.  We didn’t spend much time on the Battle of Crysler’s Farm (the rest of my family does not like military history quite as much as I do) but it is apparently fairly significant part of Canadian history (who knew?).  From my research I learned the at the Battle of Crysler Farm in 1813 marked the end of attempts to invade Canada up to that point.  For more on the Battle of Crysler’s Farm check out:  http://www.cryslersfarm.com/battle.htm

Since I can’t actually tell you too many details let me show you!  Come take a tour of Upper Canada Village with us…

A canon as soon as we arrived!  How happy was I??   Brad even stopped the van for me so I could take a picture!  Thank you for indulging the geek in me!

Mommy & Miss Lily waiting outside the Flour Mill for Auntie B & Daddy who were apparently being slow pokes!

The view from inside the Flour Mill…

Around the back of the Flour Mill… so peaceful…

On the way to the Saw Mill…

Lily & some fresh saw dust… it smelled so good!

Inside the Saw Mill… waiting to be turned into boards…

Random wood house….

Inside the Bakery… fresh bread that was just baked.  They sell this bread onsite & serve it in the restaurant…. It smelled amazing!

The baker sweeping up…. check out the fire & all the bread pans in the background….

One of the cemeteries…. some find it morbid that I like cemeteries so much but there is so much history here… & so much to learn… & one of the most peaceful places…

The Cheese Factory…

The crazy cheesemaker with fresh cheese curds….

The School House… boys on one side, girls on the other….

Day dreaming & looking out the window instead of doing my school work!

Lily showing the teacher how well she can print her name…

So proud…

Receiving a Merit Point for good Penmanship…

Excited to see the baby pig but OH HOW IT SMELLS in here!

Getting to pet the cow….

This is cool… he’s so soft…

Here comes the barge for our boat ride up the canal… the horse pulled the boat along… very neat!

Okay Auntie B, you can take my photo now!  This was the only time I was actually “allowed” to take her photo… but she’s hot & tired & thus the fake smile….

The lighthouse…. one of my favourite pictures of the whole day!

Memorial to the Battle of Crysler’s Farm…. from a distance…

Upper Canada Village is an amazing place to visit & I would highly recommend it.  I’d like to go back sometime & spend even more time there actually learning about everything.  If you ever find yourself in Eastern Ontario do check out Upper Canada Village!

Advertisements

Tooth Fairy Inflation

I would really like to know where the Tooth Fairy gets all her money!  Does anyone else ever wonder this?  I mean, she goes around taking teeth from under pillows & leaves money in exchange, but where does this money come from?  And what exactly does she do with all of these teeth?  Perhaps she sells them… to whom I am not sure, but how else does she come up with the money?  If she doesn’t, I’m not sure I ever want to pay her a visit as I am envisioning a giant mountain of teeth towering above her tiny cottage.

A few weekends ago we had our nephews come to stay & for the second time now, Luke lost a tooth at our house.  Apparently our house is a good luck charm for losing teeth…  so if you know anyone who desperately needs to lose a tooth, send them our way!  Luke lost the first one last year eating a grape (yes, a grape!). On the Friday night they came to stay, the latest tooth came out while brushing his teeth (I am just glad he didn’t swallow it!).  Younger brother Jude also had a loose tooth & once Luke’s tooth came out, Jude was hoping that his would as well & he too could get a visit from the Tooth Fairy!  (Unfortunately for Jude we only had one visit from the Tooth Fairy).

Luke & his lost tooth…

Luke explained to me that he had a little box (at home of course) that he put lost teeth in.  Since we didn’t have the box we had to improvise & ended up putting the tooth into a small envelope.  The boys were “camping out” in our basement & we couldn’t have the tooth getting lost down there, or worse yet, have the Tooth Fairy not be able to locate said tooth!  Luke thought it was an acceptable substitution (thank goodness as I’m not sure what else I would have come up with).  Off the boys went to bed with Luke’s tooth tucked carefully under his pillow.

No lost teeth yet but Jude still wanted in on the picture!

With the boys sound asleep I did a little Tooth Fairy research.  I needed to know the Tooth Fairy’s going rate… afterall, it’s been about 20 years since I lost my last tooth & since we have no kids of our own yet, the Tooth Fairy has not yet made regular visits to our house.  There had been the one visit last year for Luke’s other tooth but for the life of me I could not remember what the Tooth Fairy had left him!  After a little research (use your imagination here people) I determined that the Tooth Fairy’s going rate was three dollars!

Yes, that would be a Toonie & a Loonie – three bucks!  I couldn’t believe it.  I remember getting… a quarter, maybe?  Probably less even…but that was a long time ago..  But three bucks for one little tooth?  My goodness, the Tooth Fairy must be a millionaire….   If you think about it… that adds up quick.  Now, I know about inflation (I did take economics in university despite being terrible at math) & know that the price of EVERYTHING keeps going up but wow….  This, of course, left me wondering where the Tooth Fairy gets all her money?

If a Tree Falls in the Forest, Does it Make a Sound?

I’m not sure…. but when one falls in your front yard, my goodness is it loud!!!  Yesterday, we learned first hand just how much noise a tree can make when it falls.

One of the things that Colin & I love about our house is our driveway.  It is actually one of my favourite features of the outside of our house.  It is long & tree lined & well, just lovely.  In the summer there is this lush green canopy overhead, in the fall a golden yellow.

Every time it is windy, however, there are always a number of branches that fall out of the trees.  I hate this since stick picking has somehow become my job (though my hubby would tell you I do a terrible job of it!).  Colin is often worried too that a tree might fall & that it might fall on our house or a vehicle.  My Dad took one tree down last year that needed to go & we’ve talked about having the rest of them checked out but never gotten around to it.  I guess we need a little less talk & a lot more action!

We have had some pretty wild weather recently with all of this heat & humidity creating the perfect atmosphere for storms.  I am a big lover of storms & on a humid night there is nothing I love more than sitting on our porch watching it rain & lightning & listening to it thunder.  Well, Tuesday night I was doing just that.  It was around 6 o’clock & I was waiting for Colin & Cousin Paul to arrive home since they had Wednesday off for the 4th.  The sky was a sinister black & the wind had just started to pick up when they pulled in the driveway.  They jumped out of the truck & came to join me on the porch just as it started to rain.

Very quickly the storm was upon us & we were watching branches fall from the trees while trying to avoid the raindrops that were making their way onto the porch.  The thunder was booming & initially P & I didn’t realize the sound we were hearing was not actually thunder.  There was a loud cracking noise & then, before our eyes, a tree in our front yard was falling.  How often is it that one actually gets to watch a tree come down that is unplanned?  Hubby watched one come down in the backyard last year… but it was dead & we were cutting it down!  Not so with this one…

As the tree fell the wind changed directions, blowing directly towards our house (which almost never happens) & the rain chased us inside.  All of this within five minutes of P & C getting home!  What would I have done if, like most Tuesday nights, I was home by myself?  The tree covered the entire driveway & there was no getting out ( but they had cleared enough by Wednesday morning that I was able to get to work!)  The tree fell so hard there were even dents in the driveway where it landed.  On its way down, the first tree took out a second tree!  Never have I seen anything like this in my life…

Needless to say instead of having a day off on Wednesday my two lumberjacks worked hard to cut up the tree & clear the driveway!

And after they were finished we ended up with a lot more wood to burn….

Still Here…

Yes, I am still here.  It’s been over a month since my last post but I’m still here.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk the last little while & not really had the motivation to do too many things.  Apparently I’m terrible at posting regularly.  I’ve had a few ideas to write about but never seem to get around to it.  If you can believe it, I’ve not even been taking photos like crazy as I  normally do.  I know, strange huh?  That said, I’ve still taken a few good ones over the last couple months.  So, until I find my voice again, as always, I’ll share my stories through photos. Watch for a post soon about our recent camping weekend!