Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Spooktacular Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone!  Guess what I am this year?


Yes, I am a little white mouse with pink ears, nose, paws, and belly. :)  And glasses!  Hehe.  I made my mouse mask when I was with Hodel in Cincinnati this summer, and I've been waiting and waiting to use it for my costume!  I went trick-or-treating with my friends Kim and Astrid.  They were dressed as Cho Chang from Harry Potter (just like Hodel when she visited me last year!) and a Hawaiian hula dancer.  It was super windy and cold and a little rainy, so we didn't trick-or-treat as long as we wanted to, but we still got some good stuff.  Now I am in my pajamas, eating candy and watching my favorite Halloween movie ever - Hocus Pocus.  If only I didn't have to go to school tomorrow...I think when Halloween falls in the middle of the week, we should get the next day off from school!  It's only fair. :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh Canada, Part Two!

I'm back, as promised, to finish posting about my Canada trip!  We discovered that Toronto was only about an hour and forty-five minutes away from Niagara Falls, so we decided to drive there and see it.  I was super excited because I love waterfalls!  It was raining all morning, but by the time we got to the falls it had just stopped and the sun came out.  That meant there was a rainbow over the falls!  It kind of faded in and out as the clouds moved over the sun, but it was so pretty.

These were by far the biggest falls I've ever seen.  Not the tallest, but definitely the widest!  There were actually two separate waterfalls - this is Horseshoe Falls, which is the big, main part of the falls:

Me in front of Horseshoe Falls!  When the wind was blowing, you could feel mist on your face from all the water.

There was a smaller set of falls to the left called the American Falls.  They were pretty because of all the rocks they had at the bottom for the water to crash over.  That's New York in the background!

Me by the American Falls!

 When we finished eating dinner it was getting dark out, and they turned spotlights on the falls as we were walking back to the car.  It was so, so beautiful!  I couldn't try to take any pictures because it started to pour rain, so I will just have to remember how pretty it was.

On our last day in Canada, we went to Casa Loma in Toronto.  It was built by a very rich businessman in 1911, because he had always wanted to live in a medieval-style castle.  I was terribly excited as I walked down the steps from the parking area to get my first glimpse of it!

Then I saw it through the trees, and it looked just like a real ancient castle!  There was a fountain out front, and I almost got wet trying to take my picture with it because it was so windy out, and the gusts were blowing the dripping water straight to the side!

The inside of the castle was beautiful...I wish I lived there!!  Here is the lady of the manor's sitting room where she entertained her friends, and the greenhouse:


The terrace outside was full of plants and flowers even though it was October.  I climbed up into a little gazebo to look at everything.

Can you see me on the bench inside?

Everything was so pretty to look at.

Here I am back inside, in the library.  I like this picture because of the light shining in on my head!  I think it makes me look very ghostly.

After we finished looking around Casa Loma, we had to leave and make the long drive back home to Michigan. :(  I loved Canada!  I want to go back again someday.  Here is one last picture from my trip - it's me looking out the top window at Casa Loma.  I was pretending I was a princess locked in the tower room, trying to come up with a plan to escape.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Oh Canada...

I'm so sorry it's taken me so long to post more about my Canada trip...I've been so busy!  My teacher this year really, really likes homework. :(  Boo!  But's that's another post for another day.  Now, finally, back to Canada!

I was super excited when we drove across the bridge into Canada and saw the French welcome signs at customs, but by the time we finally got to the hotel it was one in the morning and despite my best efforts, I was drifting off in the backseat on top of all the pillows.  I was so tired!


We stayed in the city of Toronto in Ontario, at the Isabella Hotel.  The hotel is a historical landmark built in 1891.  It was neat, but everything was teeny-tiny - Katie, Matt, and I could barely fit in the elevator together!  Here I am by the lobby door.  A lady saw me getting my picture taken and exclaimed over how cute I was, and said she wanted a little doll just like me.  I was afraid she might try to buy me right then and there, but I guess I shouldn't have worried because I know Katie would never have sold me even if she did.

On our first day we went to see historic old Fort York.  It's a bunch of buildings from the War of 1812 era
that are still standing right in the middle of Toronto and are fixed up to look as they would have back then.  I was super excited because Fort York is from the time of Caroline Abbott, the newest American Girl doll!  And we were right near Lake Ontario where Caroline lived, except of course we were on the Canadian side of it.  I couldn't wait to see Fort York!

Here I am walking through a park just outside the fort called Garrison Commons.

There was a big stack of very old wooden beams just outside the fort that I had to explore.

And here I am in the guard's station at the front gate!

I gazed out the window of the officers' dining room and pretended I was Caroline.  I wish I'd brought a fancy 1800's dress to wear so I could REALLY have felt like I was a girl from long ago...

Down in the basement of the fort was the original officers' kitchen.  It's the oldest kitchen in Toronto and it was all blocked off because it's considered an archaeological dig site.  They've found all kinds of broken dishes and other old things buried there.  The fireplace was huge!  It was dark and spooky down there, and it was very easy to imagine that old kitchen was haunted.

Also down in the basement was the storage vault where the officers kept their valuables.  It was lit by an old lantern and was even spookier than the kitchen!!  I was afraid a ghost might slam the door behind us and lock us into that damp, cold little room.  I felt some cool breezes that might have been ghosts floating by, but they didn't lock us up anywhere.  Phew.  Maybe they were peaceful ghosts who were glad to have visitors.

It was less spooky up in the barracks where the junior officers used to sleep.  It looked like a camp cabin all full of bunk beds!

Except modern camp cabins don't usually have these huge, awesome fireplaces on the back wall!  I bet Caroline's mother cooked her family's meals in a big brick fireplace like this.

When it was time to leave Fort York, we could see our next destination rising up out of the trees in front of us - the CN Tower!!  The tower is the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, and we were going to go all the way up into that round part to eat dinner!

We took an elevator up to the top, and there were glass panels in the elevator floor and walls so you could see how high you were as you traveled up.  It was a little scary, but cool!  We ate our dinner in a restaurant with glass walls that looked out over the city.  It was awesome!

What a view to eat your dinner by!!

It was a long day, but it was still exciting when we drove underneath this cool archway on our way back to the hotel.  I wish we had something like this back home in my city to drive under. 

So this has been Part One of my Canadian adventure...I'll be back tomorrow (hopefully) to write about Part Two, with Niagara Falls and Casa Loma!!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Bienvenue au Canada!!

Bienvenue au Canada - or, in English, Welcome to Canada!!  Yes, that's right - I went on a road trip to  another country last weekend!!  Okay, so I didn't technically leave the continent, but I am still an international traveler now. :)  I am still sorting through the tons of pictures I took on my trip, but I just couldn't wait to post a few! 

Guess what's behind me here - Niagara Falls!!!

And here I am visiting Casa Loma, a house in Toronto that was built to look like a castle!

I have lots more things from my trip to share, but I have to go to bed now. :(  No more staying up late now that my vacation is over!