Monday 29 September 2008

Toronto Island, accidentally

We headed out on the bikes Sunday morning. And in the afternoon we found ourselves on an unplanned trip to Toronto Island. First we decided to go to downtown to MEC while we were out; since we were in the neighbourhood (?!) Selena suggested we might as well go to the Island. Istra's opinion was "Can somebody please let me out of this thing?!!!" So we bribed her (a few times). Emeth added "Huumnmmphhhaaa! Hnnmmffaaaa! Mamma???" So we were off.

I haven't been to the Island since I was a fairly young lad. Selena's been there a few times with her mom-friends. Apparently it's a lot more crowded on sunny weekends. Go figure. Still we managed to get the Chariot thorough the throngs and onto the Ward Island ferry. Among the many bicycles, a fearsome cadre of shiny low riding choppers got on with us. Quite a sight.

Once we got onto the island we picnicked on a dilapidated picnic table beneath an old willow tree in need of some moral support. Istra was excited about the picnic table, declaring it just right for her (it was collapsing almost to the ground on one corner).

More fearsomeness. It turns out there are dragons on the island. True, they were rather rusty dragons. But fearsome enough to put Eme to flight. "Hnnnaaaaammmaaaaa!" Okay, well if not exactly "flight", he was at least running around like crazy. (The dragons appeared to be outfitted so they could spout gaseous fire---which would be interesting to see, in a context other than a sunny Sunday afternoon.)

After many tears from Istra over the trauma of having ridden by little playgrounds without stopping we finally got to the big playground on the other side of the Island. By the time we were finished locking up our bikes, Istra had already taken over the place. We found her riding a sort of suspended train-like thing, making a group of slightly older girls push her back and forth like slaves. It was amazing, and somewhat embarrassing, how long these older girls kept at their labours, while Istra blissfully was shuttled back and forth. They finally did leave, and Istra had to order other passers-by to push her---which many of them did, but none so loyally as that initial group of longsuffering chattel.

As a last stop, and a way to lure Istra away from her fiefdom, we made a stop at the deserted nearby Franklin's garden. Here Istra met her tempermental match! And a bear served them metal blueberries as they dueled across the board.

Emeth had a horrific slip, from which Franklin's brutal turtle-claws left a rather large and disconcertingly cavernous impression in Emeth's forehead. Five or so minutes later, however, nearly all trace of it was gone. Emeth's head is like a nerf ball.

Finally, the sky having entirely clouded over, and darkness encroaching, we escaped the water-bound wonderland. Consulting the toronto bike map, we decided to try a different route home. It worked out pretty nicely. Slightly out of our way to the east, but less complications and traffic than the route we'd come down. Going up Sherborne we managed to skirt the edge of the city, and come out at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, from which there is the Belt Line rail trail the rest of the way home.


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