Some photos and videos from our first trip on a plane with no kids in 6+ years.

First some photos of Henry and Walter


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I sent Natalia out for a ski with her friend Stacey, which meant that I managed 3 toddlers for the afternoon.
Here are Grayson and Walter rocking out the GT snoracer at the 'orange park'.

Video of Grayson sliding on the slide



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Grayson, Henry, and Walter playing cars on the track in our basement.

Video of Henry and some friends on the GT at Sibbald Lake in Kananaskis


Walter running around after bubbles


Henry skiing across the lake



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Natalia's friend Christina and her family invited us to an outdoor birthday party at Sibbald Lake
in Kananaskis. While the wind was a bit chilly, the boys totally loved it. Here is Walter in the Chariot
as I pull him around on skis and Henry on his own skis in my tracks.


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The hit activity was sledding on this short, but icy, slope down to the lake.


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Natalia and the boys waiting to sing happy birthday to Ben and Jace.


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Christina's birthday cupcakes for her little gentlemen.

Singing happy birthday to Ben and Jace



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These boys went bananas on the cupcakes and enjoyed the rings firmly planted into the icing.


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Jace crushes a cupcake.


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Henry's a pretty big fan of cupcakes and was also happy with the ring.


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Walter eats a cupcake.


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Mike and Christina also put together a maple syrup taffy in the snow dessert which was a big hit
with the kids. Kudos to Mike and Christina for managing the boiling maple syrup with toddlers
all over the place.


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Ben and Henry riding the GT down the fun slope.


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My mom arrived to care for our boys while we took our first holiday without children since Walter
was born. She brought marraccas from Mexico that the boys loved.


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Henry waiting outside his school to get in.


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Walter playing outside Henry's school.


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Walter got a stamp from gymnastics that he was quite excited about.

The Bowesaversary


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So, our friends Jon and Des got married 20 years ago but didn't actually have a wedding for us to party
together back then. As life gets busy, it's taken 20 years to get this booked, and since they did, we
decided to take the opportunity to celebrate two wonderful people and go to Toronto. This is the view from
our hotel (the Delta Toronto) looking down on the train tracks, something I thought Henry would like.
Specifically, I thought he'd like the double decker Go train.


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View of the Skydome from our corner room.


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The old CPR roundhouse that has since been converted to the Rec Room (a games area we played at) along with
Steam Whistle Brewery and Biergarten.


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Natalia and I chose to have our Valentine's Day dinner on the 13th at Scaramouche. This is the coconut
cream pie she was excited to try. I had gnocchi and she had the seafood pasta. Definitely expensive but a
very nice dinner out with no kids!


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The next day my friend Rene (or 'boy Rene' as Henry calls him) spent the day with us touring us around
downtown Toronto, drinking beer, and eating our way across the city. Here Natalia and Rene are having desserts
from a bakery at St Lawrence Market.


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While the sun was out, it was bitterly cold (~-25 deg C with wind chill and it's windy downtown). We still
braved the cold and did a walking tour of downtown, through the Hockey Hall of Fame, into Kensington Market
through old Chinatown for dumplings, and eventually down to the Mill St Brewery for dinner. I like this
historic brick building in the photo.


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Rene and I having a beer at Bar Hop. This was the first time I had had a Rodenbach since Natalia and I went
there during our Beer, Bakeries, and Biking tour through Belgium for part of our honeymoon.


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We wandered through an older mall in Chinatown and I loved this sign.


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Natalia and Michelle at the Mill St Brewery for V day dinner.


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The two lovebirds outside Mill St Brewing.


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Natalia and I took in the Royal Ontario Museum since I was keen to see the Wildlife Photographer of the
year special exhibit in from London. This little surprised marmot was one of my favourites and Jason
Bantle from PA actually got a commendable mention as well for his funny raccoon in a wrecked car photo.


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Inside the ROM, a pretty excellent museum that seriously merits the better part of a day to properly
explore. For our next trip we need to plan for more time at the dinosaur and animals area. Natalia
really liked the jewelry and the historical household items from Rome, Greece, and Egypt.


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Natalia and Des at the wedding/20th anniversary party. We were super honoured to get the invite and
make the trip to celebrate two wonderful people and friends. They hosted it in the church hall across
the street and decorated it really nicely to celebrate the occasion. Kudos to Jon and his gaffer tape
work to get rad lighting strung up in the hall.


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Natalia, Des, and I at the reception.


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Some of the Saskie folks along with Jon's brother Chris.


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Panoramic of the crew having drinks.


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Naturally, the neighbours and the work friends and colleagues made earlier departures leaving just
good Saskatchewan folk to drink beer and tell stories. I hadn't heard Jon's nacho cheese story in over
20 years and it's just as funny now as then. That's Maun sitting next to Jon.


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The church hall doubles as a day care centre, something that Jon and Des and their community leveraged a
lot when their kids were younger. Natalia is sitting next to Jon's brother Chris and Maun's partner Taylor.


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We closed out our Toronto trip by being tourists and I took Natalia up the CN Tower for a look
around the Toronto area. Here's Natalia looking out at Lake Ontario.


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And standing on the glass floor, something I had last done with Grandma Banda over 20 years ago.


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Natalia and I on the glass floor looking down the ~350m or so to the ground.


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A better look down at the Aquarium, our next stop.


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Natalia and TWO CABOOSES! The old CPR roundhouse is a pretty neat spot and nicely commemorates the role
of the railroads in Toronto's development. This roundhouse dates back to ~1929.


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After having some coffee and brunch back at the hotel (thank you for tater tot poutine!), Natalia and I
explored the very busy Ripley's Aquarium. I liked this plesiosaur skeleton on the wall as we came in.
There were lots of places for kids to play and Natalia and I were absolutely a minority here for
not having kids with us.


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Natalia and a school of fish inside the curved glass walkway.


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A small tiger shark zooming around the tank. Check out those 5 gill fins so perfectly cut into the rubber.


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I think rays are really cool.


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More fish and sharks.


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The underside of a ray.


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The pumps, filters, and water systems of the aquarium were also worth a tour in and of themselves. I thought
the boys would have liked seeing these as well. You can see the different temperatures and flow rates of
the various tanks.

Some shots from a flight


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Enroute to Vancouver one morning I was treated to gorgeous skies and nice colour on the Coast range.


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I tried to sort out what a given peak was using Garmin's Earthmate app in the air. I think the next peak
in the photo is Snowcap Peak but this needs vetting.


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What might be Snowcap Peak.


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The best perp photo ever

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