Kensington Market is a former open air market in downtown Toronto near the University of Toronto. Now it’s filled with cafes, restaurants, used clothing stores and other businesses that cater to a somewhat bohemian demographic. Once a month the area closes to automobile traffic and hosts an open air street festival. Today we attended for the first time and saw bands performing live on the street, along with troupes of dancers and martial artists demonstrating their craft. We even saw a car filled with dirt and planted with flowers as a community art project. The kids watched all of this with some amusement, but it was the smell of hot and freshly fried donut batter that really got them involved and interested. We followed our noses to a local bakery were we found that the source of the delicious smell was not donuts at all but Mexican treats called “churros”. The churros were delicious.
Today we explored a few different hiking trails in the York Regional Forests which are large tracks of forested area just north of Toronto. For the kids the forest is fun but also potentially spooky, perhaps because of imaginations running overtime conjuring up scenarios of encountering things unknown. But it’s also a place where city kids can run as fast as they want to, chuck rocks wherever they want to, and just be free to entertain themselves as kids do. We were also happy to discover a little wildness on this trip just an hour and a half north of the city, as along the path we found pristine streams with native brook trout swimming about. Wild (as opposed to stocked) brook trout are always special to me where I find them because they can only survive in streams that run clean, cold, well-oxygenated and silt free. These types of streams generally only come from relatively unspoiled natural areas so brook trout are themselves to me a symbol of wildness.
Back in Toronto the first entertainment event we attended was Medieval Times which is kind of a dinner theatre held in a replica castle. In the center of the castle there is an indoor arena where a king and a princess watch from a lofty parapet while knights battle fiercely with swords, maces, battle axes, and then joust on horseback to win honour in front of the king. All the while we in the audience ate a tasty meal of roasted chicken, ribs, garlic bread, and more from our assigned “wenches”. The knights played to the crowd shamelessly, throwing flowers to the girls in the crowd to roars of applause. My daughter caught a flower which she enjoyed immensely. My son was impressed at the sparks that flew as the metal swords crashed into each other. I was impressed at the speed and power of the horses and the precision of the riders. It was a fun night had by all.
The trip to Barbuda crosses open ocean and because of this can get a little choppy. The kids grandma and my daughter Anisa had enough of boat travel by the time we got to Barbuda so they opted not to take an additional boat do the frigate bird sanctuary. My son Eric and I pressed on with those who boarded the smaller skiffs headed to the bird sanctuary. It was a potentially once in a lifetime trip that was not to be missed. Eric’s photos here capture what he saw of those moments.
The kids and I had never been to Barbuda before and were really looking forward to it. Having the opportunity to finally go there with Tropical Adventures Antigua we were not disappointed. The beaches on the island are breathtakingly beautiful. Coming from Antigua that is saying a lot. Pink sand anyone?