Saturday, March 17, 2012

March Break 2012: Friday

Wow, March Break flew by quickly!  Too quickly, in my opinion.  The girls and I both have wished out loud that there was another week off.  That must mean that they've had a great time at home.  In other words: mission accomplished... and with very little stress or distress for me!

Yesterday was a day full of adventures.  We left the house by 9:30 to get to the giant Asian grocery chain near us, T&T Supermarket in order to get a few things for the pad thai I was making for dinner last night.  Unfortunately, T&T has a pathetic assortment of South Asian supplies, focussing more on Chinese and Korean products.  I had to get tamarind or the pad thai wasn't going to happen so I made the decision that we'd have to head to Chinatown at some point yesterday.

But first, it was time to make our way to the Museum of Science and Technology for the Franklin reading by author Paulette Bourgeois.  Pulling into the museum parking lot, it looked as though every other family in Ottawa had the same idea.  Turns out that most of them were there to see the usual exhibits and we were near the front of the line for Franklin and only had to wait about five minutes before they opened the doors to the auditorium.  We had second row seats, a perfect view of the stage.  We were all excited!

Hard to tell but I did brush her hair before leaving the house!
Old enough for his own seat now.
All ready for the big show.
Paulette's reading chair.  Reminds me of The Friendly Giant.  As you can tell, we were up close and personal.
And out came Paulette who does a great presentation about how she came up with the idea of Franklin, with an excellent slideshow to go along with it. And, unlike some authors who read their own work, she is GREAT at reading to an audience, doing different voices and adding little tidbits of information to the story. 

Smartly, they projected the pages of the book on a big screen.
Paulette laughing with big, creepy Franklin.  A girl behind us was in tears.
After her reading was done, she invited everyone to get in line for her to sign books (we brought a few with us) and to have photos taken with the giant Franklin guy (some guy in a Franklin suit).  The line was huge so we went into our favourite exhibit: the light tunnels, which have a better name than that but I can't remember it.  After a snack break, we headed back toward the line.  Still too long!  We decided to forgo getting the books signed and head to Chinatown for our ingredients (and maybe a fun lunch).

I parked right near the newish (okay, not that new... but new in the last five years or so) Chinatown gate which I love and reminds me of the gate in Edmonton.  Kowloon Market, our destination was very close as was the dim sum restaurant and an all-you-can-eat sushi place.  Everything was at our fingertips it seemed. 

Posing with the lions who welcome you to Chinatown.
The big newish gate.
Chinatown is a great mix of old standbys, like the place pictured above, and newer restaurants (none of which, thankfully, are chichi). 
Lots of this in the windows.
We went to Kowloon first.  I used to shop there semi-regularly when we lived on Preston St.  It was close and was the best Asian market in Ottawa, in my opinion.  But them we moved south and T&T opened closeby and I never go to Kowloon anymore.  I think that may change.  First, T&T is always so crowded and I find it so hard to find anything because there is so much product.  While Chinatown parking isn't always easy, the drive to get there is about the same and I can find everything I need, including lots of tamarind!  In different forms!  Even different brands of the same product.  Hooray!  And, for added entertainment, the live fish, clams etc are all at kid's eye level.  Everyone was happy! 

We left Kowloon with our purchases and looked at the menu at the sushi joint and decided to try it.  I'm so glad we did.  The food was great, ordering easy and delivery fast, the kids all found something they loved (even Hope who decided that she loves plain old cucumber rolls while Henry ate his weight in edamame).  Emily and I snarfed lots of different kinds of sushi.  Ye's Sushi in Waterloo is still my favourite all-you-can-eat sushi but this is at least an Ottawa replacement.

Henry trying out his chopsticks.
Hope found spearing the sushi was the best way to do it.

The afternoon consisted of cleaning and preparing dinner.  We had some good friends and their kids over last night.  Fun had by all.  And the pad thai was spectacular!
It really was a great March Break.  We did a lot but didn't break the bank and the kids were really happy to stay at home this year.  Hope was not interested in reliving the barfing-in-the-car-travelling-to-Papa's experience this year.  And neither was I.

I think you can call it a successful break if everyone is left wishing for more.


Cathy said...

what an awesome friday to end the weekdays of march break! when i taught my first year, the private school i was at had two weeks of march break...that was much appreciated!!
it was fun to read all about your adventures this week! the franklin one is a real winner, and i bet the kids will remember it for years to come. i remember going to see mr dressup and being thrilled!

Karen said...

Cathy: I remember seeing Mr. Dressupu too... in fact I think my mum took us to see him twice. It was a big hit, obviously! I also remember going to see Sharon, Lois and Bram. I love taking the kids to things like this. They really like it and it helps them learn how to be audience members, which I think is an important skill (and one that not all kids have!).