Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Ottawa





We spent 2 nights in Ottowa. We managed to find a hotel downtown straight away even though it was a Saturday evening. On our first evening we managed to catch/stumble upon the 10.30pm sound and light show at the Canadian Parliament buildings. It lasted half an hour, and images of Canadian history were projected on to the front of the buildings while a narrative told a brief history of Canada.
On our first full day we spent a lot of time at the Parliament buildings outside and in. We had a tour around the inside of the buildings. Their system of government is very similar to the UK, and the buildings are reminiscent of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. The Canadian flags were at half mast throughout the city due to the bombings on London, which was a constant reminder. Later that afternoon we visited the Currency Museum, which we only had an hour to look around before closing - very interesting. With lots of very old Roman and other types of currency - some dating back more than 2000 years. On our second day on Ottowa we visited the museum of Civilisation. We only managed to see two sections of the museum as it was vast. There was a special exhibit on Pompei, which was excellent, and included lots of excavated artefacts and of course the famous plastercasts of people that died in the horrific event. We also managed to look round the first nation of Canada exhibit, which explained about the aborignal tribes that lived in Canada for thousands of years before Europeans came and colonised. We then buggered off out the city. The end.....

Friday, July 08, 2005

After Toronto, Niagara

We left Toronto in the Hire car and drove to Dundas (South of Toronto) to meet Aunt Tafila and Erwin. We ate well (Thank-you!).
Our first day with them was spent looking at things local to Dundas, specifically, some water falls and parks and stuff. After a thorough geography lesson we went to see some horses that Erwin's sister keeps. There were a few foals there - quite cute.

< At Websters Falls near Dundas.



<Hossies!

The next day, we went to Niagara Falls. It's huge, and the power of the water is amazing. The river there is very fast flowing, and there is an enormous amount of water pouring over the falls. We had a trip on Maid of the Mist (the boat that goes to the base of the falls). Afterwards, we bought tacky souveneirs (Rae will like!).
We drove along the Niagara Parkway and found the cablecar over the river, then went for tea in a Vinyard. very good food.







< Of course the kids were very impressed by Niagara


Today we are in Kingston, halfway between Toronto and Ottawa. We will spend the day here looking around and drive to Ottawa (the capital city) in the afternoon and evening. There are lots of boat tours and things to do here, so I'm sure that we'll find some interesting stuff to do.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

More Photos from Toronto

Here are some more pictures from Toronto.







Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Last Day in Toronto

It's our last day in Toronto. In 1 hour, we check out from our hotel and collect the car...

Some more Photos

Some of these are from Vegas (like the one with the snake), others are from Toronto. It is left as an exercise for the reader to work out which is which. Answers in the comments please :-)






We'll have some more later, but it's bed-time and I'm tired.

Love Tim and Karen xxx

Monday, July 04, 2005

Leaving Las Vegas

On our final full day in Vegas we finally got to the Liberace Museum. There are a selection of outfits that he wore on stage --- all very ostentatious. There is also a small collection of cars, including a Rolls Royce that's covered with mirror tiles and a selection of pianos from his collection. It was pretty interesting to see the flambuoyant way that he lived and performed, although I have to admit that I found it a little tasteless.


In the evening, we had dinner and went along to see some of the other casinos. Most notably the Mirage with its erupting volcano. They are all pretty tacky (nothing compares to Ceasars Palace, where a fountain tells some made-up tale about Atlantis, complete with moving statues, water jets and fireballs), and make the Bellagio fountains look good!




< The Skyline from the airport

Our flight to Toronto was at 1300, so we had breakfast in the hotel. I had cake. We arrived here (Toronto) at 8pm, and were in the hotel by 9. Very civilised. For a meal, we went to the Entertainment District, which is full of bars and restaurants. It seems like a pretty good place to hang out. Unfortunately, no photos since I didn't take my camera (how unlike me).
Our first full day in Toronto was spent wandering around trying to get a feel for the place. We walked over towards the University and Museums, then down through Chinatown to the centre. There are lots of little shops, all of which seem pretty trendy.


< A building

There is a Jazz festival on in the city at the moment and we bumped into one of the venues outside city hall. The music that they were playing wasn't very Jazzy, more like Creole. It was OK nonetheless.


< Obligatory photo of kids

Tonight, we went for a meal in Cabbagetown, an area just near our hotel. I have no idea why it is called this, there were no Cabbages anywhere. The restaurant was in a converted house on a suburban street, and we ate outdoors in the warmth. I could get used to long holidays.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Happy Birthday Mummy

Hi Mummy. Happy Birthday. I know this is technically a bit late but we were travelling all day from Vegas to Toronto. I hope you liked your presents.

Love
Karen and Tim xxx

Friday, July 01, 2005

Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas!


We’ve had a busy couple of days. Last time I wrote Tim and I were planning to go to the Liberace Museum on Wednesday. We never quite made it as we trawled around looking for somewhere to serve breakfast in the morning and came back to the hotel for a nap at noon and suddenly it was 6pm. I think we had some sleep to catch up on. On Wednesday evening Tim and I went across the road to Paris (The Paris themed casino) at about 8pm. The others went off for tea at 6pm which Tim and I deemed an ungodly hour to dine – it was nothing to do with the massive full rack of ribs I’d had for brunch in the Harley Davidson Cafe at 11am that morning ;o). We had dinner in a French themed Italian style restaurant (get your head round that one) call La Provencal. The waiters and waitresses every so often would sing toe curlingly cheesy songs to the diners. As you might expect, this was greeted with rapturous applause from the diners. It appears you have to have a lot of talent to be a waiter/ress in this city. After dinner at about 10.30pm, we took a ride up to the top of the half scale sized Eiffel Tower to take in the view of Las Vegas at night. Our hotel was directly opposite so we could watch the Bellagio water fountain show from the top. All in all it was a lovely evening filled with American-style-Frenchness.



Wedding Bells!


Of course, Thursday was mainly filled with wedding activities. In the morning, we went off with Richard and Dave to have some breakfast and pass some time before the big event at 4pm. I made an appointment in the Bellagio hairdressers to get my hair put up at 1pm, and the rest of the afternoon was spent glamourising ourselves. 4pm rolled on and Richard and Lee were wed in the East Chapel of the Bellagio hotel with just immediate family present. Several hours were then spent taking millions of photos and then we went for a slap up posh meal in Circo in the Bellagio. We topped off the evening with a wander down to the front of the hotel to watch the water fountain show again.












1st of July 2005




Leaving Las Vegas


Today was our last full day in Vegas. Tim and I spent the first part of the day wandering about some other hotels we hadn’t visited yet (New York New York, Excaliber, and The Luxor). We then finally made it to the Liberace museum. The man liked to sparkle……

Now we are just waiting to go out to dinner in an hour for our last meal before jetting off to Toronto tomorrow.

Love
Karen and Tim xxxxx