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2011 The Nightingale's Oddessy Our exchange year in Canada.

The Bousfield Visit

CANADA | Friday, 11 November 2011 | Views [415]

The Bousfield’s visit

Ok, this blog is a little late as it recounts the last three weeks we spent with our latest and probably last Australian guests. One of Michelle’s close friends and work colleague, Karen and her husband Paul along with Hayden and Penny stayed with us on and off from the 12 th Oct to 3rd Nov. To say we were excited to have them is an understatement.  

The Bousfields arrived on a Wednesday to typically grey and overcast Autumn skies, pretty much the same weather they had left behind.  The first couple of days were spent catching up on much needed sleep and getting over the long haul flight, Thursday, we did some local touring around Burlington. Friday, Karen and Penny accompanied Chelle to her school to experience the Canadian education system.  While the girls were at school, Paul, Hayden and I organised a hire car and went for a drive, so Paul could get used to driving on the WRONG side of the road.

Saturday, the weather fined up enough for a trek into downtown Toronto. Karen managed to persuade Michelle to go up to the top of the CN Tower (something I wouldn’t have been able to do). Then afterwards we headed into the Eaton Centre to find Paul and Michelle a Tim Horton’s (Paul has become an addict also). Toronto wasn’t looking its most hospitable unfortunately, as the weather was bleak and there were lots of barricades going up and lots of security guards in place for the ongoing Occupy Toronto rally.

Late Saturday afternoon it was off to do the Canadian thing and watch an ice hockey game. As we couldn’t afford paying over a hundred dollars each to go and watch the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, we went down the road and watched the Toronto Marlies; the feeder team for the Leafs. The Marlies were playing their first home game of the season against the Lake Erie Monsters. I think I may have mentioned before I am addicted to watching Ice Hockey on TV, well that doesn’t compare to seeing the game up close. Ice hockey at its best must be one of the fastest games around, the flip side to this is it can be one long fight broken up by some sport. Not that that spoils the entertainment, though you do have to question just how much damage you can do to someone when you are wearing gloves and they are wearing body armour and a helmet, this probably accounts for the reason the refs do not step in and break up a fight immediately. Mind you when the players take off their gloves you know they are serious. All (except Natasha) agreed that the ice hockey was worth going to see.

Sunday, was another cold overcast day and because we had had a late night and a sleep in and late breakfast it was decided to drive down and take a look at the Welland Canal. Once again the Nightingale luck held out and we managed to see a large cargo vessel go through the canal.

Monday, school for the Nightingales, while the Bousfields packed up the car and headed East to Ottawa and Quebec, retracing some of the steps we had made earlier in the summer. They were gone for the rest of the week returning on the Saturday with lots of tales from their travels.

Sunday again and this time it was an earlier start, to head down to Niagara Falls and book into a hotel for the Sunday night. Unlike the previous week, this time the weather was glorious and we took full advantage of it by touring all around Clifton Hill and the Canadian side of the Falls. Karen, Paul, Hayden and Penny all did the Maid of the Mist along with Ryan and then all the other tourist trips like Niagara’s Thunder and Journey behind the Falls with the rest of my gang. While they were all doing this I was going snap happy photographing the Fall colours. Dinner once again was at the Rain Forest cafe, which is a favourite with our kids. Monday, Chelle and the kids had off so we could spend more time with our guests. Monday’s weather was wet and overcast so we headed across the border to Buffalo to do some shopping and then came back to see the falls from the American side, but after an hour or so of the cold, we had had enough and headed back home.

Tuesday; Karen, Paul and the kids headed off once again this time to Upper New York State to Karen’s brother’s place and then on to Boston. We followed their progress during the week as the weather on the Eastern Seaboard got progressively worse and the New England area got its first heavy dump for the year. Luckily they left Boston before the worse of it fell and so didn’t get snowed in. The Bousfield’s certainly experienced a variety of weather while they were here.

Seven days later, Tuesday,  the day after Halloween, our visitors made it back and had hardly taken a breath before we headed out to Copps Coliseum in Hamilton to catch another ice hockey game. This time the Hamilton Bulldogs versus Abbotsford Heat. Being a Tuesday night, the crowd was very small so we could pick our seats and the kids ended up in the front row right up against the glass, which they all enjoyed, being so close to the action. They even got caught on the big screen by the roving TV cameras.

Wednesday, the last day, Chelle and the kids had the day off and we went and did some last minute shopping and generally hung around together. Wednesday night Paul and Karen took us out for dinner while the big kids baby sat our two. A nice pleasant way to end the trip.

Thursday,  unfortunately our visitors had to leave, so it was with heavy hearts we bade them farewell, thankfully it will only be two more months before we see them again.

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