Summer Vacation – First Update

 

 

Good Tuesday Morning! Second official day of vacation, but technically, I've been off since Friday. It feels good. It's nice, because for the first time in recent memory, Joe and I have vacation at the same time.

So what have we been up to? Keeping busy I guess. The weather has been so so up to this point, but I'm hoping it turns around. Saturday was Nicholas' last day of soccer and it was downright cold. Yesterday we went to visit our friend Jolene in St Catherines and went all tourist to Niagara Falls. I haven't been tourist there for many years unless you count when Joe and I went in October for our anniversary, and we didn't really do anything touristy then. Nicholas has never been to Niagara Falls before, so we thought this would be a good opportunity for him to experience some of it.

Needless to say, he thought it was pretty cool. All our talk about the “big waterfall” didn't really prepare him for how big Niagara Falls is. Even after seeing it as many times as I have, it still fascinates me.

One thing I never got to do in all the times I have visited Niagara, is go on the Maid of the Mist. I did the Journey Behind the Falls as a kid with my family, but we never made it on the boat. Perhaps because every time we went growing up it was in the summer time, and the waits were too long. This time, I did a bit of research about it and decided that we were going. I wanted to see it, and I wanted Nicholas to see it. I knew he would love it.

So we did. It was awesome.

The wait wasn't too bad. Maybe a half hour or so. The view while we waited was pretty great.

 

 

And the boat ride itself was amazing. Nicholas loved it.

 

You really don't realize how massively fantastic The Falls are until you see them from this angle. It makes you realize exactly how small we are compared to this natural wonder.

It was pretty amazing. I highly recommend it.
So yesterday the weather was crap, and after a busy weekend, we pretty much took it easy. We vegged out, and I watched most of a season of How I Met Your Mother – which I have just discovered, and am totally loving by the way.
I love vacation. Whether we do everything, or absolutely nothing at all, it's pretty great. And sitting here on a Tuesday morning, with most of the week still laid out before me, the possibilities are endless. We'll see where we end up.
I'll keep you posted. ūüėČ

 

It’s Hot People! Take your kids out of the car!

hot-sunIt boggles my mind how many reports I have seen of people leaving their kids (and animals for that matter) in their cars in this hot weather we’re having.

With all the media attention this has been getting, I am amazed that people would leave a child unattended in a car at all, for any length of time, let alone in this intense heat. ¬†Children are dying. ¬†Isn’t that enough to say: ¬†“wake up sweetie, you’re coming in the store with me.”

I came across this video in my facebook feed. ¬†I know it’s a simulation, but it brought me to tears. ¬†It brought me to tears because this kind of thing is happening all the time! ¬†Children are being injured, and dying all the time, and it is absolutely 100% preventable.

Please – take a few minutes and watch this video. ¬†Please – understand that this could happen to you. ¬†With all the abductions happening, it is unsafe to leave a child alone in any weather. ¬†Please be responsible, please, please – do what you’re supposed to do. ¬†You have had this child, or you are responsible for this child. ¬†Do what you need to do to protect it. ¬†Please. ¬†And if you happen to be walking past a vehicle with an unattended child in it – get help. ¬†Those few minutes could end up saving a life.

 

Gone Girl – Book Review (maybe some slight spoilers)

Gone GirlI have been picking up and putting down Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn for months now every time I go into the bookstore. ¬†It was really one of those books that I wanted to read, but I’ve been putting off buying it until it comes out in paperback. ¬†I didn’t know much about it, except that it was a mystery. ¬†Also that it was very popular and I was sure I wanted to read it.

I was browsing through the selections available through my library on my iPad’s handy dandy Overdrive app, and saw that it was there. ¬†It also showed that the hold list was 163 people long. ¬†So just for fun, I clicked on it and became 164. ¬†Sure enough, about a week or so ago, I got an e-mail that I could “check out” my selection. ¬†So I got clicking and I got reading.

This book is a mystery. ¬†I’ll start off by saying that I thought it was really good. ¬†The story is about Nick, who comes home on his 5th wedding anniversary to find his wife Amy missing, and the living room looking like there had been foul play. ¬†It definitely looked like Amy was taken from the house unexpectedly, between the state of the living room and the iron being left on, etc.

The police are called, and it of course doesn’t take long for the case to become that of national headlines, and for Nick to become the prime suspect. ¬†The book switches back and forth between Nick’s point of view and diary entries that were written by Amy – 7 years worth of diary entries, all leading up to the point where she was gone from the house.

This book is somewhat of a roller coaster. ¬†It leads you to believe several things. ¬†At the beginning of the book when Nick got home and found his wife gone, I thought based on his reaction that there was no way he could have had anything to do with her disappearance. ¬†But then reading Amy’s diary entries, I start to wonder. ¬†It is obvious that their marriage was far from perfect, and that both of these people were very odd. ¬†Something was not quite right about either of them.

This book had me hooked.  I was reading  and reading, waiting to find out what the hell happened, and then when I finally figured out what had happened, I kept reading to find out what the hell was going to happen next.  The power in the book shifted so many times, I literally had no idea how it would ultimately turn out.

Then it ended.

If I ended my blog post right now, that would be a small indication of how I felt when I realized that this book was done. ¬†There was no closure, no explanation, nothing. ¬†I know that this might be considered a cliffhanger, but I considered myself slightly cheated. ¬†I felt like I had been running through this forest, over and under branches, through the mud, swinging on vines, desperate to get through to the other side. ¬†Then about 50 feet from where the forest ended, I tripped over a bag of potatoes that somebody had left there, and fell. ¬†And then I stayed there for all eternity. ¬†I don’t get up, I don’t know if I broke anything, I don’t get to leave the forest, I don’t find out if there’s civilization on the other side. ¬†Just laying there, facedown in the mud. ¬†Forever. ¬†Slightly dramatic I know, but COME ON!

I suppose that my dramatic reaction is saying something.  I was invested enough in this story to want to know what happened to the characters.  I wanted to see people get what they deserved.  I wanted questions answered.

Maybe I’ll write some fan fiction some day and tie up all the loose ends.

Overall, this book was a solid 4 stars.  Maybe 5.  Because of the ending, I made it a 3 on Goodreads.

Have you read Gone Girl?  Did you like it? Hate it?  Please feel free to comment below.  Thanks for reading.

Love Anthony – Book Review

love anthonyEvery now and then in life you come across an author that just pulls you in with everything that they write.  Lisa Genova is one of these authors for me.  She did it to me with Still Alice and again with Left Neglected (you can read my review of that here.) She has done it again with Love Anthony.  I actually had no idea that Lisa Genova had written another book until I was strolling through the aisles at Costco one day and saw it there.  Having the experience that I had with her writing, I knew it had to be good.

I really don’t want to give too much away, but this book is about two women – Olivia and Beth, who both are going through the most difficult times in their lives. ¬†They are experiencing different circumstances, but they are both devastating, though in different ways. ¬†Both of these women are on Nantucket, and their lives intersect briefly on a few occasions, and then once in a way that will tie them together forever.

Olivia is a woman who is mourning the loss of her son, Anthony. ¬†Anthony was severely Autistic, and as those who have dealt with Autism know, the challenges that come from raising a child with Autism are many, they are constant, and there is never a break from them. ¬†I don’t know this first-hand, but I think you have to be a special person to deal with Autism and how it affects everyone involved.

Beth is a wife and mother who is delivered devastating news in the most brutal of ways, which leads her to have to re-evaluate her life, her marriage, and her future.  The story of these two women is very interesting how they end up connecting on almost a spiritual level through means neither of them would have ever thought possible.

Lisa Genova, as I have written before has her PhD in neuroscience from Harvard. ¬†She knows much about the topics she writes fiction about – Alzheimers, Left Neglect, Autism. ¬†This gives her great resources and obviously gives her books in depth medical knowledge that truly helps the authenticity of the story. ¬†The thing I love about her is that while she doesn’t hesitate to show the harsh realities of these conditions, she ¬†is exceptional at portraying the affects that these conditions have on the people, and on the families and support systems of these people. ¬†She makes the condition about the person, not just about the details of the medical condition. ¬†She does this beautifully.

Highly recommend, a great summer read, as are her other books if you haven’t had the chance to read them either.

 

Enjoy! ūüôā

Summer’s Here

Copyright 2013 - Aaron Pellerin

Copyright 2013 – Aaron Pellerin

I’ve spent some time away from this blog. ¬†I’ve been journaling a bit lately, but that’s it. ¬†There’s lots of stuff going on, but at the same time I feel like I don’t have anything to write, and I don’t want to put stuff out there unless it means something – at least to me. ¬†

So summer is here. ¬†Beach and pool season is upon us. ¬†Time ticks on…it literally seems like yesterday that it was Christmas, and a week ago that my son started school. ¬†Now we’re into July, his first year of school is over, and he’ll be entering Senior Kindergarten in September. ¬†Full days, every day. ¬†It’ll be a big adjustment for him, and for us. ¬†I think we’ll all do fine though.

Summer is my official favourite time of year.  I always used to say that Fall was my favourite season, and it is definitely up there, but in the last few years, my family and I have started frequenting the beach, and I have to say Рsummer has stolen my heart.

The beach never used to be a big deal for me. ¬†I hated the sand caught in everything, the having to walk and carry everything from your car parked a mile away down to the water, the semi-clean lake, the buff bikini bods prancing around everywhere making you wish you had brought more towels to cover yourself with. ¬†Also, most of the beaches we went to got deep fairly quick so I spent the majority of the time listening to my mother shout: “Bring it in Danielle! ¬†A little closer to shore!!” ¬†I’m quite a strong swimmer, but she is not, so it definitely worried her when I was too far out of her reach. ¬†Even as I got older.

All that has changed in the last couple of years. ¬†Nicholas was born in May, so honestly, he didn’t get out into the pool too much during his first year. ¬†Since you’re not supposed to put sunscreen on kids less than 6 months old, I spent the majority of that first summer in the shade, making sure his sensitive baby skin wasn’t overexposed to the suns rays. ¬†His second summer was a little better, we spent some time in my parents’ pool, but again, he was so little, that the majority of the time in the water was spent with me holding him and the rest of the time was spent with me worrying that he would fall in the water. ¬†Very nerve wracking. I was identifying with my Mother and how worried she always was about me.

The last couple of years though, we have discovered the beach. ¬†One Saturday we just packed up the car, and took a drive out to Kettle Point to spend the day. ¬†Now let me tell you a little about Kettle Point that makes it perfect, and how it gets past some of the crappy beach stuff that I listed above. ¬†First of all – the sand thing – well, it’s a beach, so there’s no really getting rid of that. ¬†But it’s harder packed sand, so it does cut down a bit on the sand getting into everything.

Another nice thing about this beach is that you drive right up to the water. ¬†A totally new concept for me, you just simply drive your vehicle across the sand, and up to the water. ¬†Pop open your trunk or hatch filled with all your beach stuff, and badda bing, badda boom, you’re done! ¬†No carting all your stuff for miles before you get to the water. ¬†It’s great. ¬†It’s also filled with lots of families, not just the young, buff, “look at me” crowd.

The best thing though, and the reason why I love to take my son there, is that it stays shallow forever. ¬†There is no sudden drop, and you can walk out quite a while before the water even hits your waist. ¬†This is awesome for kids, and I can sit comfortably by the water’s edge and let my son play (luckily he doesn’t venture too far on his own yet) without worrying that he is going to fall into the pool. ¬†I still make him wear his PFD and I along with whoever is with me watch him like a hawk, but he is perfectly content to play in the shallow water and play with the waves as they come in.

The beach has become a source of great joy for me and for my family.  I can literally sit for hours in the non-humid climate, letting the breeze hit me and soak up vitamin D.  The sound of the water is so soothing for me, it is truly my happy place.  Last year I took a vacation day from work, and I spent the entire afternoon at Kettle Point, all by myself.  I sat and read, listened to music, watched the water, swam a bit, probably nodded off a bit.  It was awesome for me and I totally plan to do it again this year.

We’ve made it to the beach once so far this year, and have several plans to go again. ¬†Nothing beats that first breath of air that hits you when you first step out of the car onto the sand.

Do you love summer?  Are you a beach or pool person?  Or would you rather be snowshoeing? Please feel free to hit up the comments.

Have a great summer – and don’t forget your sunscreen. ¬†The sun is awesome, but we must respect it the same way we do the water.