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But that's not all I did on vacation ...

The proposal/engagement was a big deal, yeah, but that's not all that happened on the two-week summer vacation.

We started out with a plane trip to Ontario, (on Air Canada with the new seat-back video screens -- nice addition) spending part of a week with Amanda's family in Bradford. They surprised us with a co-birthday party (mine in August, hers coming up in October) featuring Amanda's sisters Amy and Ruth. Amanda got the other big surprise of the trip, with her folks funding a pending laser eye surgery -- so she'll be able to wear sunglasses year-round and see her alarm clock at night. Very big news.

The Bradford leg featured multiple trips to Marble Slab Creamery. It's an ice cream place featuring super-deluxe-premium ice cream in an assortment of interesting flavours, mixed with premium fixin's on a frozen slab of marble. C'est tres yum, ouais.

We got to watch some Olympic coverage, see video of the cool propane explosion in Toronto, comingle with licky dogs and furry cats, and drive around hell's half-acre looking for a decent spot to sight the Perseids meteor shower (no luck on that one). Amanda got some good heart-to-heart time with her mom, and I got a chance to ask her stepdad's permission for the proposal in an old-fashioned way.

We hustled off to Stratford for the my-family leg of the tour -- a quick howdy to my mom, my dad and my sister and her family for the night, then on the Friday we were off to Toronto.

Amanda had lunch with her mom and drove east of Toronto for an afternoon with her aunt. I took the subway down to my old neighbourhood of Yonge and Eglinton to see what was cooking. They're building an addition on the apartment building where I used to live -- looks like I got out at just the right time. And the huge Minto Towers are ... well ... huge. I dropped in for a quick visit with the folks at 680News, then met Sandra downtown for lunch. It's always good to see my old friend Sandra -- we've known each other for nearly half our lives now. We've seen each other grow up, make mistakes, mature, make mistakes, evolve and so on. She's doing great things with bees and co-operative gardening in addition to her day job and excellent life as a homeowner with long-time boyfriend Byron. The day was capped off with a delicious meal of Greek food on the Danforth.

Back to Stratford for more visiting with my sister Shannon, hubby Chris and my nephew Ewan. Gosh, they're a great family. I know she's three years younger than me, but for so many years, she's been light years ahead of me on the journey of life. I'm so proud of her. I got to have a heart-to-heart with her while Amanda visited with her sisters in London. Lots of good eatin' and good laughin' in Stratford. Also visited with my mom and dad -- and I'm happy to report that mom seems to be doing better than anyone can remember for a long time. Keep up the good work!

And then ... then we hit New York City! I guess I'll save some of that for another post.

I just want to thank everyone who made the Ontario portion of the trip so memorable. Some great people generously allowed us into their homes and made us comfortable. We have two terrific families and lots of good friends. I hope to see you all again soon!


  1. Multiple trips to Marble Flab in Stratford, too!

  2. Ah yes, true true. And Dairy Queen. All that calcium proved helpful when our feet were pounding the pavement in NYC.

  3. Need updates re: feedback from your "official" scale

  4. Yeahhhh ... about that ...
    The scale showed me back up again -- around 233 pounds on return.. That dropped to about 229 within a day or two. I think my body's readjusting to life without superpremium creamery products and daily BLT breakfasts. I also drank several full-sugar (actually high-fructose corn syrup) beverages in the USandA, which I very rarely do here.
    so, yeah, time to get back on track and bring the tummy tally back down.


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