Tuesday, November 7, 2017

~Toronto: First Flight as a family of 5~

At the beginning of October, the Thanksgiving long weekend, we flew to Toronto for my cousin's wedding. My dad's side of the family all lives there and we have never been back for a visit so we figured this was the perfect excuse to go.

This was our first flight with 3 kids and I was a bit nervous! Not so much about the actual flight but the logistics of packing and travelling with 3 kids, and staying in a hotel room.

Some genius (me!), decided to book a 7am flight-- which meant a 3:30am wakeup call. So tired! Unfortunately, a bad cold hit our household a week before we left so everyone but Henry and I was sick. Audrey woke up with a fever :( 

The amount of stuff that you have to pack for 3 kids is insane. We had 3 big suitcases, 1 carry on suitcase (full of shoes), stroller, 3 car seats, and a carry on bag for everyone, plus 1 bag with coats. Seriously insane! 

The flight itself was uneventful, other than poor Audrey not feeling great. When we arrived, everyone was hungry and tired-- bad combo! 

My Dad met us at the airport thankfully and helped us while we gathered our luggage and rental van. 

We drove to my Uncle's house in Mississauga to have a late lunch and Audrey slept on the couch. Afterwards, we drove to the hotel in Burlington/Oakville and checked in. We got settled, went for a dinner at the restaurant in the hotel and then crashed at 7:30pm, which was 5:30pm our time! We were tired!

The #1 thing that we HAD to do while in Ontario, other than visiting family and going to the wedding, was to go to Niagara Falls! I've been many times since I lived in Ontario for a few years but  my husband hadn't been. So our first full day was devoted to Niagara. 

My Dad met us at the hotel and we drove first to Niagara-on-the-Lake, the quaintest little town ever! So pretty! All the flowers and plants were still in bloom, even in October!

Had to stop for Starbucks since Denny's coffee for breakfast didn't cut it. 

After lunch and a stroll through the town, we went to Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory, since we knew that would be a huge hit with the kids. Well, Leo fell asleep in the car and didn't wake up even in the stroller. 

Audrey thoroughly enjoyed it though! The amount of butterflies flying around your head, landing on you, was crazy! It took me a few moments to be ok with it!

Audrey tried so hard to have one land on her! 

She even tried putting a flower petal on her finger!

The boys just slept through it all!

The butterflies liked hubby's bright shirt! Several landed on him!

We headed over to Niagara Falls so we didn't miss the last the last boat ride, which was another request of hubby's.

American Falls

We headed straight to the Hornblower Niagara Cruises "Voyage to the Falls."

All geared up in our ponchos to keep us dry!

American Falls

Initially, everyone but Henry and I were on the 2nd level of the boat. It didn't take long before Audrey and my Dad came back down. A bit too wet for that girl!

About half way through the 20 minute boat ride, hubby and Leo came back down. Too wet and windy! My Dad's jacket arms were soaked! I wasn't too sad that I had to stay on the main level and mostly behind glass windows!

My Dad being blown away!

We walked all the way to the Horse shoe Falls, Canadian side, for dinner. There is a neat restaurant, Elements, that overlooks the falls. The food was pretty good and the view was spectacular.

It was dark by the time we were done dinner, so we quickly checked out the Horse Shoe Falls before heading back to the car. The falls are lit up at night so it's neat to see the changing colours.

The next day was the wedding so we had a quiet morning before getting ready.

The boys at breakfast.

Henry all dressed up!

Leo fell asleep on the short car ride to the Church and didn't wake up for most of the ceremony/mass. He wasn't feeling great. 

Our best attempt at a family photo-- at least the parents are smiling!

The wedding was lovely and it was so nice to catch up with a lot of my family that I haven't seen in years.

You had to lip sync a song to get the bride and groom to kiss. My Aunt and Uncle and their 3 boys did "Kissing Rain", which was a song they listened to a lot when on road trips when the boys were young.

So my Dad and his brother, the groom's father are identical twins. When my Aunt and Uncle went up to give a speech, Audrey says "There is Grandpa Murphy." I told her "No, that's Uncle Paul." I said "No, it's Uncle Paul. He is Grandpa Murphy's twin!" She shouts out "What? They are twins?" It was kind of cute!

The kids still weren't feeling great but they stayed for 1 dance. We took them back to the hotel for bed and my Dad stayed to watch over them.

We headed back to the wedding for a few dances, drinks and visits. It was great!

Of course now I'm kicking myself for not taking more photos at the wedding.

Sunday morning we went to visit Ashley and her family. It was so nice to see them again and finally meet Miss Emilya! The kids had a blast together-- Leo and Noah are 10 days apart.

We make yummy pizzas which are always a hit with the kids.

Noah took Audrey and Leo for a spin in his truck. The kids had the time of their lives, except for when they were fighting over who drove, or who rode shotgun! Leo and Audrey took a turn at the wheel and they definitely need some practice!

By some miracle, we managed to get a photo of all 5 kids looking! Pretty impressive! And 4 out of 5 smiling!

Ashley and I! Always good to visit with this girl!

Mike had a job site close by so the Dads took the big kids over to check out the heavy equipment. Leo was in his absolute glory!! He was so excited to drive the excavator, and tractor.

Monday was Thanksgiving. We left the hotel for breakfast since we were tired of Denny's after 3 days in a row!

We headed to downtown Toronto to the Ripley's Aquarium. It was a lot of fun!

Seriously, this stroller has been a lifesaver with 3 kids! Especially while travelling.

I had low expectations for the aquarium so it was pleasantly a great place to visit.

The moving walkway was the best. Such a cool way to check out all the fish and other sea creatures.

After the Aquarium, we went to my uncle's house for Thanksgiving dinner. It was so nice to celebrate with them since it's been a long time since we have celebrated a holiday with this side of the family.

Tuesday was our last day. We had breakfast with my Dad and wandered around Oakville since it was a beautiful fall day.

We stopped for ice cream. I get my sweet tooth from my Dad ;)

We made a quick stop to visit my Grandpa before we headed to the airport. I still need to get that photo from my Dad!

The flight on the way back was much better, being 4:00pm!

Other than my stroller being broken on the flight (thankfully UB warrantied it!), it was uneventful.
It was nice to have the time change on our side also!

It was a nice trip to visit family and overall it was better than I expected, in terms of travelling with the kids. They were great staying in the hotel-- I think they were too tired most nights! Being sick wasn't great but we made the best of it. I do prefer staying some place that has separate rooms, laundry and/or a kitchen when travelling with kids so we don't have to eat out for every meal but for this short trip, the hotel was good. We survived and it was worth the days of packing and the early flight!


  1. Oh man, it's crazy how many things you need while traveling with kids! Even though I grew up there, I've actually never been to Niagara on the lake. Heard good things about it.

  2. Sounds like an awesome time. I did so many of those stops on a trip with a previous boyfriend who was from there and it was so fun. I love niagra. Congrats on that trip with 3 little ones. Super Mom.


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