Halloween at the Zoo

….it started out chilly but when the sun came out the layers came off

Going to the zoo during the week on Halloween had its perks. There was lots of parking, the line-up to get into the zoo was very short and we didn’t have to push through crowds of people to see the pandas. The downside is that a lot of the refreshment stands and rest areas were closed. The mono-rail wasn’t operating and some of the animal enclosures were closed.

We arrived late morning and we needed to bundle up to stay warm. Out came the hats, gloves and scarves. As soon as we entered the grounds we could see that staff had made an effort to decorate for Halloween.

Our first destination was the panda pavilion. The pandas are on loan here from China and the original two successfully mated to produce two cubs. The young cubs are already two years old and are almost the same size as their parents. In March, Toronto will have to say good-bye to the pandas when they move to Calgary. I was thrilled that I was able to get so close to get some great shots.

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As we walked from the Giant Panda Experience towards the Polar Bears and then to the African Savanna, the sun came out and we shed our hats, gloves and scarves. The pathways are beautifully laid out as they wind through forests of orange, gold and red. There were many interesting animals along the way but this post would be far too long if I mentioned them all. I’ll save that for another day.

Closing the Cottage – A List of Last Times

….last time for the season that is

On Saturday my husband and I drove to the cottage for the last time this season. It was an absolutely beautiful day but we were on a mission and that was to close the cottage for the season.

Every year we say we’re going to spend more time at the cottage in the fall but it never seems to happen. This year we closed extra early because of my husband’s upcoming surgery.

As we were cleaning up and packing the car we both wished that we were staying for more than the day but I had a run to do with my daughter in the city on Sunday and there was no way that we could get back in time if we stayed over night.

We packed a nice lunch which we enjoyed on the deck; our last meal at the cottage for the season. K and Frances went for a walk on the beach; the last one for the season. The closing of the cottage went smoothly and without any drama or complications. After screwing the plywood over the back door we made one last drive to the garbage bins and headed over to the top of the hill and got out of the car to take a few pictures of the fall colours. Unfortunately the colours will probably we better next week but we had to make due with the changes that were presented to us. We’ll probably take a drive, closer to home in the next week to take advantage of the autumn colours at their best.

When we got to the dock I backed the car onto the ferry for the last time this year and once we got to the other side we stopped off in Lafontaine and enjoyed a coffee at Wendy B’s. Her little shop/bakery was always a must stop destination before heading to the ferry docks.

Another stop on most of my trips to the cottage was the Dubeau Family Farm where I would stop to pick up fresh berries, beans, corn and other vegetables and fruits that were in season. On Saturday’s visit (the last one for the season) the pumpkins were on display. In a couple of weeks there will be 10 times that number. I took a chance and bought my pumpkin early and for the last time this season handed over my money to Jason, the young man who has lovingly bagged my purchases all summer.