Out and About in Oakville

Hey there Delilah!

We really want to ask you, “what’s it like in New York City?” But actually, we’d really like to see what it’s like in Coney Island.

We were so pleased Clawdeen could stop by for a short visit on her way home to you. She’s so excited to be seeing so much of the world on her way and is enjoying meeting everyone.

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It’s really chilly and snowy here in Oakville at the moment. I showed Clawdeen some purple leopard print fabric I had and she thought it would make a great new coat that would match her trousers perfectly. Lily, my daughter thought she needed some other clothes too, so we made her a matching hat and scarf and some leg warmers to keep her nice and cozy. She couldn’t wait to give us a little fashion parade out in the snow.

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Clawdeen is very clever and she knew that is was time for the Chinese New Year. When we told her it was the year of the horse, she thought that you’d like Silvy, Catania’s purple and pink flying horse and she wondered what it would be like flying on her. 

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We had a little bit more snow. While it was all light and fluffy, Clawdeen wanted to make a snow angel to show you, since she knows how much you like the snow too. 

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Our town, Oakville, is right on Lake Ontario, which is a one of the Great Lakes. The city of Toronto is about ½ an hour away, but on a clear day we can see the famous CN Tower from the lake. Lily and I took Clawdeen down to the lake because she wanted to see it. She couldn’t believe that it wasn’t a sea as it looked so big. There were geese and seagulls everywhere, but it doesn’t smell salty like the sea. It was a very cloudy day though so we couldn’t really see very much. She decided she’d just like to sit on the climbing frame for a bit and just watch the birds flying around. 

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While she sat there, Clawdeen noticed a bench closer to the lake, so Lily took her to sit there and they both looked out at the harbour. In the summer there are usually lots of boats around because there is a creek that joins the lake right here. I go dragon boating on there in the summer and it’s lovely to be out on the water and see so much wildlife. Once we had racoons throwing nuts at us from a tree, naughty things that they are.

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Whenever we go down to the lake, Lily likes to skim stones, so we went right near the edge and Clawdeen watched the geese again, thinking it looked very cold out on the water. There are some crazy people that swim into the lake on New Year’s Day every year to raise money for charity… brrrrr! In the car, Lily produced a great big stone she had hidden in her pocket for her collection; we didn’t know she had it.

We had another snow storm on its way, so we headed home to get warm. We were also going to have some special visitors.

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After a lot more snow fell, our guests arrived! Anna and Elsa had come to visit Clawdeen. They all decided to go and have some fun in the snow, so first they all went sledding together. Anna had a lovely cape and hat to keep her warm, Clawdeen thought Elsa must be very cold as she didn’t have a coat on, but she said the cold never bothered her anyway.

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Elsa wanted to make another snowman just like Olaf, but the other girls had different ideas and started throwing snowballs at Elsa. They all ended up covered in snow.

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After the snowball fight they just all collapsed into the snow laughing and made snow angels together.

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I thought they could do with warming themselves up after all that playing, so we lit a fire. They all sat together having a drink and warming their toes while the snow was still falling around them.

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Saturday night in Canada is a big night for Ice Hockey and this Saturday in particular was very special since Lily’s daddy was going to watch the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. It was a special game arranged to show appreciation to all the people in the military. My husband, Lily’s daddy used to be in the Royal Navy and was invited to go and watch it. The three of us girls sat down to watch it on the TV. When the Canadian National Anthem came on, Lily sang it to Clawdeen as she has learnt it at school.

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After watching the hockey on TV the night before, Clawdeen thought she’d quite like to go skating. Knowing that Tinkerbell had made ice skates out of paper clips when she went to visit Periwinkle and the other Winter Fairies, we made some for Clawdeen too. They were just the right size for her feet. We have a rink at a park near our house, so we all went to have a skate. 

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After showing us her fancy ice skating moves (she’s really rather good) she thought she needed a little rest, so she sat on the hockey net while she watched us.

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We had yet more snow that afternoon! Clawdeen thought maybe she should help to clear our driveway and we even found her purple shovel. It was much harder work than she thought. Snow can be very heavy.

The next day, after all the snow storms, it was a lovely clear day, although still very chilly at around -20 degrees C (-4 F). But the sun was shining, so that meant Clawdeen was ready for a bit of sightseeing. She was really looking forward to going on a train and actually seeing the CN Tower, but before we went to the station she fancied going back to the lake.

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Down by the lake in the park, there are some sculptures of wolves and a big moose. She wanted to show you how big the moose was so she sat up on his antlers. We don’t have moose down where we live, but a couple of hours north of us you can see them grazing at the sides of the roads if you’re lucky.

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Being a werewolf Clawdeen loved the wolves and wanted to get closer to them.

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We went right down to the lake again this time to see if we could see Toronto in the distance. It was much clearer today and although it doesn’t really show in the photo, Clawdeen could see the CN Tower and was very excited.

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The water looked so pretty with the sun shining on it and the snow was glistening this time. I told her that sometimes you can see the mist rising from Niagara Falls on the other side of the lake.

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There were still so many Canadian geese around. All of a sudden, a group flew right up over her head!

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Time was getting on, and we really needed to be on our way to the station to head into Toronto. Although it was cold, the sun on her back was lovely and warm while she waited for the train.

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Our trains are called “GO Trains” and they are bright green and white. They look huge because they are double decker trains, so she was very interested to see them and was hoping she’d get to sit on the top deck.

It takes about 40 minutes to get into the city. For most of the route you can look out over the lake. The one thing Clawdeen really wanted to see was the CN Tower and all the time she could see it in the distance getting closer all the time.

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When we got to the station and looked up, she couldn’t believe how tall it really was. The CN Tower is one of the 7 Wonders of the Modern World and was the world’s tallest building until 2010. There is even a restaurant in there that moves around so you can see all the view all around.

Now that Clawdeen had seen the tower, she was ready to be on her way again. She’s excited to see new and amazing places, but is always looking forward to getting back home to Brooklyn and seeing you all again. We were so glad to be able to spend a bit of time with her and show her what living here in Oakville is like.

Lots of love from Debbie & Lily Richmond

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