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Friday was a PA day so the weekend started early for us. With the added surprise of K taking the day off work, the comfortable temperatures (minus two – warm enough to ditch the scarves and gloves), bright sunshine and gentle breeze meant conditions were perfect for a walk to the beach. Fortified by a princely breakfast of hot coffee and french toast made with panettone (a perfect fusion of Gallic and Milanese cuisine) we donned boots and headed lakewards.


The great outdoors

The groundsmen were out in force at Ontario Shores pruning ice-stricken branches and cutting the fallen wood into logs to be stored away to season. It was one of those crisp, blue-white days where the world feels freshly laundered.

We all luxuriated in the simple pleasures of sun on skin and fresh air in our lungs without having to hunch against wind so cold it confused the body into feeling scorched instead of frozen. The kids busied themselves hurling chunks of ice into the glaucous waters of Lake Ontario, followed by a spot of beachcombing. Even Dora the Explorer (who’d tagged along in secret) outed herself to enjoy the fun.

We walked back via the marina slipway, just to see how thick the ice was in the harbour. The lake was frozen up to a kilometre out in some areas during the coldest days of the winter but most of that has melted now. In fact the search resumed today for Jeffrey Boucher, the high school teacher who lived here in Whitby and vanished without a trace nearly three weeks ago. Air and ground searches have been fruitless. The Toronto Marine Unit was at the harbour this morning to conduct a water search that had been postponed these past weeks due to the high winds and frigid temperatures.

All that fresh air and a soak in the tub meant the kids were asleep faster than you could say “Birthday Party tomorrow!” leaving K and I free to indulge our current obsession with the life of a certain Walter White. All the same, my last thoughts before drifting off were of napkins and loot bags and whether to bring our own knife to cut the cake…


Cheesy does it!

Our “When in Rome…” philosophy led us to opt for the All-American experience of a party at Chuck E. Cheese for T’s 6th birthday. All the guests made it and I didn’t forget the candles for the technicolour Angry Birds cake – though I should have bought that knife, they only had the small plastic disposable kind. Slicing the heavily iced slab was like using a spoon to tunnel through an avalanche.

Best line of the day was an explanation overheard delivered to a desultory child after an unrewarding turn on the coin pusher arcade game:


"It's a Vegas thing..."


After a few hours of rockstar indulgence, air-guitar, sugar-chugging and arcade madness it was (thankfully) time to come home. T unwrapped his gifts and was delightedly attempting to play with everything simultaneously, so J and I took off for some soothing winter stillness on the pretext of delivering a forgotten loot bag.

We were gone for a couple of hours.

The light was all pastel peaches and blues with that ethereal quality photographers call ‘The Golden Hour’. We skirted the conservation area in the hopes of spotting a coyote (the recent cold weather has them boldly skulking around the neighbourhood) and J revealed herself to be quite the 8-year-old daredevil with her pleas for me to let her walk across the frozen, snow-covered stormwater management pond. I can see I’ll have to keep an eye on this one.


Turtledoves and twilight

As it was, we had to make do with perturbing roosting Turtle Doves and getting close-ups of ice-encased buds on the trees. J confided about how she had a lot in common with Anne of Green Gables (she just recently finished the book) and I unwittingly discovered what prompted the outburst of “Sometimes life just isn’t worth living!” that accompanied her storming upstairs to her bedroom last week. Seems she and Anne share a love of the dramatic.

How was your weekend? Let me know in the comments, and enjoy the pictures.




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