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Trains and Automobiles in Pursuit of Planes

Not as catchy as the original, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, nor as funny – though that’s because we were the participants as opposed to the viewers 🙂

We were due to fly out of Toronto, connecting in London (Heathrow) and onto Belfast Sunday night. Alas, the UK has had more of a winter than us and they’re simply unable to cope with it. We found out Saturday night when we went to check in that our flight was canceled. Thus began the Cairns version of The Amazing Race. Tim spent 4-5 hours on the phone with Orbitz trying to find an alternative as we found out that the earliest we could leave Toronto was the New Year, which could defeat the purpose of going there for Christmas. At midnight, an agent found us 5 spots on a plane out of O’Hare – a 9 hour drive away, which would fly through London to Dublin.

However, in order to confirm these flights (BA was closed at the time), we would have to call in the morning. Tim calls Orbitz again in the morning (@ 7) to confirm only to discover after waiting on hold for over an hour that BA’s call centre was closed. We were advised to go to Pearson to find out what could be done.

Tim, Tom and Sylvia went to Pearson straight after church and waited for a couple of hours for BA agents to show up. I also was on hold with BA for a couple of hours trying to confirm as well (no luck for me). Tim finally spoke to someone to confirm in fact that we were booked on the flight and we were issued tickets. Others were being told they’d be waiting standby, one other couple was flying out of Orlando.

We opted to drive because we were concerned that we would get stranded in Chicago (no offense but the Days Inn in Chicago wasn’t where we wanted to spend our Christmas).

So we left at the crack of dawn yesterday to head to Chicago. The kids were great. The drive was squishy. 4 adults, 2 kids, 6 suitcases, a diaper bag, 2 purses, Luke’s backpack, Charlotte’s bag of toys, and 2 shopping bags with bottles, snacks and food for the kids made for a tight fit. Oh, and don’t forget the 2 strollers.

As soon as we arrived in Chicago it started to snow. Heavily. There was 1-4 inches forecast – at least 4 inches fell where we were – and in just a couple of hours. After checking in and letting the children play, we went in search of the Cheesecake Factory. Which we couldn’t find. That could’ve been due to the white out conditions (we passed a LOT of cars in ditches), and ended up at TGIFriday’s, sitting down at 8pm (EST) and eating later.

Before we left we were checking online and while our flights were still confirmed we were feeling a little nervous. After dinner Tim, Tom and Sylvia dropped me and the kids at the hotel (I use that term lightly – I think it’s a motel when your door opens to the parking lot). They went over to O’Hare, hopped on the inter-terminal train (see trains + automobiles) to see what the state was, and to see what we could do about moving the flights (given the reports we were reading about Heathrow).

This morning, we found out that our change of flights was for the best as the flights out of Chicago were going to be delayed up to two hours due to freezing rain. We knew there was only a two hour window for our flight connection and didn’t want to risk any delay. As it turns out we were right not to go. Or else I’d be writing this from Heathrow (well I’d be on the plane right now – as the Chicago plane to Heathrow did go ahead) – however the London – Dublin leg was canceled due to bad weather in Dublin.

So we will be spending Christmas here with my parents – which while it wasn’t the plan, will still be great. We will fly instead Dec 29 … weather permitting.

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Tue 21 Dec, 2010 at 8:54 pm 3 comments

Christmas Photo Shoot!

For those of you that are Facebook friends with Tim or I you will have probably seen these already – or most of them at least. But if you’re not, then you’ve missed out on seeing these photos 🙂 We went to Sears this week to get our family photos done and the kids did great! Just click on a picture to see a bigger version 🙂

Hope you’re enjoying this December!

Sat 11 Dec, 2010 at 10:35 pm Leave a comment

It’s Almost Christmas

Despite Vancouver and the UK getting hammered with snow, we’re lagging behind. That being said we have had our first official snowfall:

This past weekend we picked up our Christmas tree. Luke declared them all to be too big – if he had his choice we would’ve come home with a 3 footer! But we had a lot of fun choosing one:

Charlotte stayed all snuggled up:

And today Luke decorated his first gingerbread house – he loved it! Nono isn’t allowed any apparently 🙂

I’m going to try to do better at updating our blog! Terribly sorry I’ve been so bad!

Tue 30 Nov, 2010 at 8:33 pm 3 comments

Frankenmuth

We traveled down to Frankenmuth Michigan in August and stayed at the Bavarian Inn. Think of a cross between Chuck-E-Cheese and a Bavarian village and that was where we stayed. Great if you have kids. Less great if you don’t. But we have  two so it was perfect!

One of the things we did was go to a petting farm – Luke loved it! Though the sheep was a bit scary.:

But Luke warmed up pretty quickly:

Luke enjoyed seeing the “buck bucks”:

But his favourite was the duck (he still talks about it):

(yes, that’s Luke’s finger)

Luke also enjoy the play area/arcade for kids:

So did Tim:

There was also an indoor mini golf course. Here’s Luke surveying the course:

Lining up a putt:

He took it all very seriously:

and ended up winning (which was helped by the fact that he started each hole from a foot away from the hole 🙂

Mon 27 Sep, 2010 at 11:14 am Leave a comment

Our trip to Centre Island

One of the places we went to this summer with Tom and Sylvia was out to Centre Island. It really is a fantastic place to take kids!

First we had to take the ferry to get there:

I think we were more nervous about Luke’s first ride than he was:

He also got to go on a train ride with Nanny and Nono:

Even though she didn’t go on any rides, Charlotte still had a great time too:

Here are some more photos from our day trip:

Sun 5 Sep, 2010 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Charlotte’s First Supper!

So while common wisdom says to wait until your baby is 6 months old, Charlotte is ticking all the other boxes – holding head up (for months), shows interest in food (she’s been trying to grab everything off my plate for weeks now), and able to sit up unassisted (or with a bit of help) (able to do this too). That coupled with weeks of waking overnight and being starving (gobbling 6 oz in 5 minutes flat) or waking everyone up at 5 am (not to return to sleep – leading to a very tired/grumpy big brother and exhausted parents) made us realize the time had come.

She LOVED it!! Luke ate one spoonful eagerly, and from then on it was a battle to get him to eat.

Charlotte gobbled up both prepared teaspoons!

Here’s some pictures.

First Charlotte got buckled in:

She’s so itty bitty!

She was so excited!

Mmmmm

Luke wanted to help too (do you like his new haircut?)

And here’s a video:

Sun 8 Aug, 2010 at 5:16 pm Leave a comment

An adorable video!

Charley is trying so hard to walk! It’s so sweet to watch! She just wants to be like her big brother!

Sat 31 Jul, 2010 at 9:20 pm 1 comment

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