When Sandy had her second week of her course in Toronto I was so so glad that we had bought a car cause it meant that we could come to Canada with her – drop her off in Mississauga for her course and have an explore for a week. I had been to Toronto many times before to see my beautiful cousins and relatives though I hadn’t explored much beyond Toronto…… And as you all know Canada is such a big, big place. Anyway, so what I wanted from our week in Ontario, Canada was to explore and experience some of it’s beauty.
We contacted some Servas hosts in Peterborough area and was overwhelmed by the response. People were just so friendly and in the end I had to say no to a few. The kids go into some detail below about our stay with these amazing people so I’ll leave them to tell the story but I just wanted to say how lucky we felt to meet such fabuous people who are really like kindred spirits and I hope that we stay in contact with and see again and again in Australia and back in Canada.
I was really humbled by the fact that these amazing Canadians opened up their homes, shared their lives and embraced the children also. The children loved talking to them and finding out about their lives and they especially enjoy doing things like horse riding, go kart racing, catching frogs in ponds, walking out so far in shallow lakes and even going to a local library was a highlight. Jan who visited on lake Simcoe thought that would be a great idea since it was raining and it was actually really cool – they devoured a whole book in a day which was so much nicer to actually hold a book rather than their kindles.
Our first stop on our full week of meandering was with Marg, Doug, Katie and her son Carter (who played with Emilio like they were brothers who knew each other forever) and their groovy friend Mary who is an incredible cook. One night when we visited Mary for dinner she even had a friend pop in for a cup of tea by plane – how many people have a landing strip on their property. So awesome. Also always a treat to see my fabulous cousins and aunts and uncles again. It is brilliant to see the children’s World Wide Web of family and friends growing. They often complain when we leave cause they just want to hang out and play longer. When we visited cousins Denny and Pete at their lake house – even though I hadn’t seen them for 21 years it felt like it was yesterday – I love that feeling. We did lots of driving and visited lots of people but it was all so worth it – here are some of the kids’ stories:
First thing we did when we got to Canada is go to Mary’s house who is a friend of Doug’s and Marg’s. I liked being with them because it was fun because she had a grandchild named Emerald who was 4 years old. She was so fun to play with. She was fun to play on the trampoline and swings with. I also love the food Mary cooked. It was yum. I especially loved the quinoa pasta and the dessert was freezie juices and brownies. They even had watermelon which is my favourite. Emerald kept wanting to play with me outside. When we were going karting I held Emerald to keep her safe.
We could walk out so far in Jan’s lake and the water still wasn’t over our head. We went to the library and I got a rainbow magic book called – ‘Tia the tulip fairy’ and I read it in one night, baba let me stay up till I finished it because I loved it. I wanted to read more and more. The next day baba got me ‘Gemma the gymnastics fairy’ on my kindle and I fished it in the car. I couldn’t stop reading even though I had to do my maths.
I liked swimming in uncle Denny’s lake. We went to this waterfall but it wasn’t running because it was blocked by a beavers dam but Alex, our cousin, took the dam apart and the waterfall ran again. We went under the water fall and it was so fun. I went in with my clothes and was soaked. I loved the corn at dinner – it was delicious. I kept getting seconds and thirds and fourths.
It didn’t look like her but he said he was supposed to be her. We watched the movie ‘Tangled’ and also ‘Sophia the 1st’ and we even watched ‘Tangled’ with 3d glasses. For dinner we had a delicious meal – hamburgers, salad, chips and pita. It was absolutely yummy. We stayed overnight at their house and then we played for the whole morning. I put a wig on baba which was very funny. We made some things with beads that Tete Souli had to iron – I can’t remember what they are called but it was very cool. I made a love heart for myself and a Greek flag for baba to remind him of Greece. It was so nice meeting them. Now we will know who baba means when he talks about them. It was such a lovely day.
Carter was very fun to play with and catch frogs with and also fun to play pools with. His grandfather Doug took us on a 6 wheeler motorbike called an Argo and it’s what they call it in French because Canada is French as well.
We drove the Argo to their neighbours and the cows there were milking. There was lots and lots of cows. They were bigger than an adult. I loved everything about staying with them.
I had too much fun with Alex and George. They gave us giant marshmallows and we made some s’mores with them. They were the biggest s’mores over ever had. They are crackers, chocolates and burnt Marshmallow. It’s always better burnt. They pushed me in the lake and we had a lot of fun. I went into the boat to dry off because I was so wet. By Moochie
Lia had so many toys to play with and a pool and even a hot tub. Lia is four years old and I could even lift her up. I loved playing with her dolls. She always wanted me to go on the trampoline with her. I had a lot of fun at her house.
Yesterday we went to our relatives Mary’s house – they have such a cool house with a pool. Her sister Helen was also there as well as Aunty Fany and Uncle Apostoli. All together they had 5 kids and we are 5 kids, so it was lots of fun. We played in the pool and the hot tub and also a bit of soccer. We had a poolside picnic lunch which was very delicious. Faith, the oldest girl and Stephanie her cousin both had been to a One Direction concert as well so we looked at lots of One Direction posters and books they had. It was so nice to spend more time with them. They were very fun.
We had one night with a lady called Jan and it was a bit rainy so she had a good idea to go to the local library and we all got to choose a book to borrow each. I chose a really good book that I managed to finish it in one night. We also swam in her lake which was so shallow for even about 500 metres out.
Joseph is Aunty Mary’s son and he is awesome and polite. He’s a bit older than me and likes playing games with other people and is really kind. We played soccer, played some games in the pool, had a go in the hot tub, played in his room, and just hung out together.
We had a picnic lunch by the pool. I really wished I could’ve stayed there for lots of days. Nick is aunty Helen’s oldest boy and he’s also older than me but it was so good playing with them. I’m definitely going to keep in touch and write to them.
Jan really knows how to win kids over. She definitely won us over by having really yummy lunch and dinner. Most importantly for dinner she got us ice cream, but not just plain ice cream. This time we were allowed to put on sprinkles, toppings and even whipped cream. She cooked us a real Canadian dinner. It was home made hamburgers, corn and hash browns and veggies. We all gobbled it up – yum.
Her place is amazing – right next to a Lake that you can walk almost half a kilometre without getting your head underwater. I loved just lying on the hammock and reading. Very relaxing.
George and Alex are our cousins who we visited at their lake house. Their mum and dad are called Uncle Denny and Aunty Lori. George tried to teach us how to whistle. Alex played with us in the water and let us dive over him.
We had a turkey dinner with loads of different vegetables. It was so awesome. It was like a Christmas dinner. George and Alex took me with them to buy 8 litres of ice cream and the biggest marshmallows I’ve ever had. We built a fire and stayed up really late with them. It’s the first time I’ve met them but I hope it’s not the last. They’re cool.
Yesterday we met some amazing Indian people. Their names are Rama, Anand, Guru & Riya. They are like our extend Indian family – Rama is Sujatha’s sister, she’s is our Indian aunty from St. Louis. Sujatha’s husband Kumar is like my mum’s Indian brother. Indian extended families are big like Greek extended family’s. We had dinner there, which was great, we had rice, Dahl, potato curry, Indian yoghurt & Ghee. We got on so well with their kids Riya & Guru. We started by playing soccer to get to know them. I find soccer a real ice breaker. I’ve even played soccer with kids with hardly any English & become great friends, My Baba spent a lot of time talking to Anand & Rama about health & even gave them a Bowen treatment. We stayed the night & were having so much fun that we stayed up late.
Our friends in Mississauga were amazing and we had lots of fun. Yasi
When we were driving to meet Tete Souli and uncle Jim I was a bit upset that Cyndi wasn’t going to be there cause she was cool. But Tete Souli and uncle Jim were also loads of fun. They had so many toys and let us do lots of things. Uncle Jim set us up with a 3D movie with amazing sound all over the room and we even had 3D glasses. They looked after us while baba picked up mummy from her course. One of our favourites was ‘Sophia the first’. Uncle Jim and Tete Souli are so good with kids cause Tete Souli does day care at their house and they look after about 10 kids sometimes.
Tete Souli is an amazing cook – she cooked us pita, hot dogs, burgers, corn on the cob, and salads. We even had a really yummy lemon cake for dessert. Tete Souli is my Yiayia’s first cousin and we had never met her before but we had heard a lot about her and it was so nice to meet her. We stayed overnight in Cyndi and Gabriel’s rooms (that’s their kids) because Gabriel had moved out and Cyndi is in Greece on holidays. Then in the morning after a wonderful brekky we just played and played and uncle Jim was working but he came back for a cuppa with delicious donuts. Thanks Tete Souli and Uncle Jim.
Before we dropped off baba to do his Bowen course and left Toronto we visited Yiayia Mary and Papou Vangeli again and our aunts Susie took us to Dairy Queen which is such good Canadian ice cream. It was so so yum and a great way to finish our week in Canada. Thanks Aunty Susie