Friday, August 26, 2011

New Thing #36: Port Dalhousie with Auntie K & Uncle L

On Tuesday the LP decided to play a fun game called "Dueling Naps": when one was sleeping, the other refused to sleep, preferring to run wild, so that nobody slept at the same time and I felt like I was spending a large part of the day putting children down for naps. It made it very difficult to figure out what to do for the day. I got a brilliant brainwave a little after 3 and after exchanging messages with Auntie K, determined that she and Uncle L would be available to play with us once both LP were conscious and up and about.

When 4:00 rolled around, both LP were awake, dressed and locked and loaded into their carseats, along with the double stroller and an overstuffed diaper bag. We left for a jaunt to Port Dalhousie. Oh, you don't know where this is? Don't worry, you're not alone. Port Dalhousie is a suburb of St. Catharines. Obviously, it was once a port and is therefore located on Lake Ontario. For most people, it is probably most famous for the carousel at Lakeside Park. The carousel was built in 1903 and still costs only a nickel to ride. For a certain generation that grew up in the Niagara region, however, Port Dalhousie was the place where you went when you were not of legal drinking age and wanted to patronize certain establishments that were not perhaps the most rigid in their observance of the legal age of majority.When Auntie K and I were in high school, everyone went to Port (as we called it). However, on this particular day, we were not out to introduce the LP to cheap beer and thumping bass music. We were out to ride some wooden ponies.

The LP were on a carousel most recently in June at the Sound of Music Festival but I'm not sure how much they remembered about it. From the moment LP1 saw the carousel at Port Dalhousie, she was determined to get on. After investing an entire quarter so that both LP, Auntie K, Uncle L and myself could ride, we lined up and were soon on. LP1 chose a white pony with a long tail and wanted Auntie K to stand by her. LP2 and Uncle L settled for a stationary giraffe (LP2 was not a fan of riding up and down).

Over 100 years of entertaining children and making their parents slightly nauseated.

LP1 thoroughly enjoyed her ride. LP2 was uncertain at first but seemed to enjoy looking around and taking it all in. We took many pictures. All too soon, it was over, much to LP1's very obvious and loud dismay. Fortunately there is a playground directly behind the carousel. We were able to distract her with slides, stairs and running about. Thank you to whomever chose to put that playground right there. I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates it.

Once we tired of the playground, we set out for a walk along the beach. Because I am The Worst Mother Ever, I would not let the LP play on the beach. Look, we had no beach toys, they would just want to go in the water (which was clearly marked as Unsafe for Swimming), and I wanted to keep moving. We went along the pier with the goal of heading to the very end to look out at the lake. Unfortunately, the overwhelming odour of goose and duck poop soon drove us to change direction.

The beach I wouldn't let the LP play on. I'm sure they will be scarred for life and will write a book all about it one day.

As we headed in the opposite direction, Uncle L took the helm of the stroller. We soon came across some geese, going about their geese business. You may recall that I am generally terrified of birds and convinced they will attack at any time. Uncle L is fearless and got the LP quite close to some geese that were standing on the edge of the pier. I was nervous that they would turn on us but he assured me that he would protect the LP at any cost. The geese didn't attack...this time. We ended up feeding a group of ducks some baby puffs and the LP delighted in watching the ducks devour them and squabble amongst each other for each little bite.

You don't go to Port Dalhousie without getting some ice cream...well, come to think of it, I don't go most places without a little ice cream. We headed up to the main street and soon were enjoying some. I couldn't believe the changes since the last time I was there. Apparently there is a large condo going in somewhere on the main strip and many of the businesses were closed. It was kind of sad, really. Well, not for the LP. It is impossible to be sad when you have ice cream!

We continued on our walk and I realized that it was getting late and both LP were getting hungry. We stopped at a pita place for dinner. The food was so-so but the company was excellent. Once dinner was done, we headed back to our cars. LP1 is already asking when we can return.

They look innocent...until they turn around and attack.

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