Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Canadian National Exhibition 2009!

Nick and I enjoyed our Labour Day Monday at the Canadian National Exhibition, a Toronto tradition with a rich 130-year history hosted in Toronto, in its humble beginnings initially as an agricultural and rising technology showcase to the Canadian metropolis public.  Nowadays, the CNE is most likely the top spot on your "You Know You're From Toronto When ..." if you've attended almost every summer.

Unfortunately, Dad couldn't come with us this year to enjoy the Canadian International Air Show.  Here's a picture from a previous visit a few years back when we had a photo op with "Martha Stewart".

Dad and I being the actors we are, we just couldn't resist a good prop and picked up the coffee cups and acted as if we were guests on her show.  We found out afterward that the coffee cups were actually glued onto the counter so that no one could pick them up.  (Dad wondered aloud at one point why they were so difficult to life off the counter.)

Well, no "celebrity" photo ops this year, and we had fun nonetheless. We were running a bit late trying to leave, and Nick's mum, Jacquie, offered to give us a lift closer to the city.  First off, driving along the 410 Highway, I saw the side of this truck and thought it was absolutely brilliant.  I had to share, especially those who are Hot Wheels fans!  This was the best picture I could get before it took the express lane.  The toy car uses a wedge of cheese to launch itself into a goldfish bowl!  I love silly stuff like this, and saw it as another good omen to our day out.

Suddenly, we found ourselves driving along Lakeshore Avenue, running along the shores of Lake Ontario and realized that Jacquie gave us a lift all the way to the CNE!  She had known the Air Show already started, and wanted to make sure we didn't miss it.  "If you're gonna see this Air Show, this is the best way to see it," she said to us, and suddenly, the sound barrier broke!  The airplanes were flying right over us, and we could actually see the show right from the car!  A great location for some fantastic pictures, with Nick behind the lens.


The CNE was full of 'good omens'.  I found this fantastic tree stump with surprise art installations.  Pirates and faeries and castles, oh my!


Nearby, we spied the Reptilia show!  This reptile zoo located just outside of Vaughan is an educational experience about all types of amphibians.  The staff brought some friends with them, and I even got to hold a live boa constrictor!


Wandering on, we found ourselves with a bunch of kids on all sorts of percussion instruments making the craziest noises they can!  Nick was really impressed, being a musician and educator himself, and took delight in the children banging everything in sight!

And to my favourite part of the CNE - the Arts & Crafts Building!  Full of handmade artisans of all kinds, I walked away with some great finds!  A lot of artisans preferred no pictures of their booths, so I thought I'd show you what I snagged ...

Vintage lucite, wood, cats eye and snowflake obsidian beads from the Crafty Supply booth.

A real seahorse pendant preserved in silver from 'Nature's Creations' booth by Don Innes.

A bracelet from 'The Painted Lady' booth!  It's a little too long by two leaves ... for matching earrings!

A gold Buddha to add to my statuette collection, a plastic 'jade' bracelet, and Nick picked out this antique coin for his own collection in an Asian Culture booth.

Two journals with Buddha art on their covers, and a kids' book about Greek mythology!  I'll be throwing this one in my hope chest for my future kids.

And every year there's the 'carnival souvenier' that everyone walking around seems to have!  I saw these parasols everywhere and finally found my own for $5!  Not bad!

An incredibly special hello to the fantastic people at the Lip Balm Labz booth!  Whilst admiring some sparkly stuff, Nick hurries over, pointing across the aisle and tells me there's $2 lip balm.  I wanted to wave him away because every lip balm I buy I always end up losing, but when he told me I could choose my custom flavours, I rushed over with him.  And who couldn't resist a bunch of upbeat, spunky people wearing tie die?  I mean, wouldn't you want to see what's going on?


The lip balm-making booth was set up over an ice cream parlour freezer, with lots of other bath products behind them on shelves, available for sale.  Coconut-mint for Nick, and blueberry-peach for myself.  I'm surprised I haven't eaten mine!   Check out their fantastic bath product line called Soap Buds!

A stop over to the Food Building for some snacks, we visit an old friend Tom and his 'Tiny Donuts', an old favourite of mine when I used to work at Canada's Wonderland!  The machines make these tiny treats right in front of you and roll right down to the the packers, who then throw you a 'baker's dozen' and some flavoured sugar!  You get your choice of icing sugar, chocolate, cinnamon or apple cinnamon.

We bought three bags, but they didn't make it past the exit.  We might be gluttons, but we did save some for Nick's mum.

A wander around outside led us into the Home & Garden Building, where we were welcomed by very large and very beautiful sand sculptures!  Toronto is celebrating its 175th anniversary, and it served as the centrepiece to the rest of the sculptures shown.  Great artwork!


And it's game time!  Nick tried his practiced hand at marksmanship with the classic 'Shooting Star' game, where you're given a pellet gun and a target with a red star on it.  The object is to shoot all the red off the paper.  Nick gave it a shot to win me a monkey ...


... and he was really close.  Ah, well.  They rig those guns, I'm sure of it.  Nick kept the target as a souvenier.  I also got a chance for a 'mini-makeover' with an awesome wig in the Garnier Hair Products Dome.  They just sent me the pictures via email!  Now I am considering growing my hair out.  What do you think?

It was getting late, but we had one more stop to make.  The Canadian Armed Forces has a great interactive setup every year, and they didn't fail this year.  It was a fantastic way to end the day, since we were both dog-tired and ready to wind down the day.  Nick had a lot of fun climbing around tanks and planes, and I made sure I got lots of pictures. 

While waiting for Nick to step into the cockpit of this refueling jet, I offered a couple before him stepping in to take their picture if they had a camera.  The gentleman, Jim, had said he had forgotten his camera in his truck in the parking lot, and didn't really concern himself with it for the day.  His wife, Maria, and I had laughed over the thought that there's never a camera around when you really want one, which gave me a thought - I have my camera, and I have a blog!  I had offered to take their pictures and post them on the blog so that they can relish in this super-cool moment to their friends!  So, meet Jim and Maria, two very lovely (and somewhat forgetful) folks whom I was happy to memorialize this moment for them; my good deed of the day.  Smile big, guys!


That well concludes the end of our CNE trip!  I hadn't been in a couple of years and had been looking forward to this all week.  We both had a lot of fun, and we're looking forward to next summer to partake in the festivities again!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...