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Meatloaf On The Big Green Egg

Meatloaf On The Big Green Egg

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With summer in full swing, so has the grilling of smoking of fine meats and veg. Common choices are chicken, burgers, ribs and hot dogs. But what about a classic cold weather dish on the Big Green Egg?

I am talking about meatloaf. A simple but tasty dish that everyone loves.

For most, meatloaf is one of those winter meals that falls under the category of comfort food. Well we all can use some…

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For those of my generation, if you grew up in Canada, you knew what Canada’s Wonderland was. Even if you have never been, you knew the commercials that showcased people having a blast riding roller coasters and eating cotton candy.

My first trip to the amusement park was over 25 years ago. I remember it because it was the first summer for the white water rafting ride and we waited over three hours to get on it. I think this is where I first learned that lines sucked.

Anyways, since moving back to Toronto, I knew the time would come that we would return, but this time as parents.

That time was this past weekend and thanks to the kind people at Canada’s Wonderland, we got to feel a bit like VIPs.

Via some other blogger friends I contacted the park to let them know we were coming and mentioned I would love to do a review.

Amazingly, they wrote back right away letting us know a package would be waiting for us with some free passes and food bracelets.

Wonderful!

We were going to go anyways but this made the day even better.

So Saturday morning, we packed up the car and hit the road to try to get there right for opening at 10 am.

Based on what we saw when we got there, so did everyone else. The park looked just like it did in my memory. The fake mountain, the roller coasters and the gigantic parking lot.

We parked and got ready to have a good time. It was hot, like really hot for 10 am. Sunscreen was a must.

I picked up our package, we headed in and after a quick check of bags, we had made it.

Just to paint the picture, it was myself, my wife, our four-year old and 21 month old. We were also there with my brother-in-law and his lady friend.

To the park!

Well, after a second application of sunscreen. Like I  said, it was hot.

My first reaction to seeing the park was classic parent brain. It was already crowded and loud. I will say the longer we stayed the better it got. But it was hard to get going with the people, heat, noise and growing impatience of the eager kids.

Due to the age of our kids, we were not going on the BAT. We headed right on over to Planet Snoopy and the kiddie section of the park.

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First stop was the train and then the plan was the swan boats.

These two rides were perfect for our little guys. They had a lot of fun and were real troopers with the long line ups.

After a sweaty swan ride, we were all hungry and tired. We needed a break. It was then that we found my favourite part of the whole day.

The International Marketplace.

It was indoors, there were no lines and it was air-conditioned. Throw in the word buffet and I was ready to stay there all day.

Even if we did not have the free bracelets, this place was worth it.

We all got to eat what we wanted. Harrison had plain taco shells, pizza and ice cream. Who cares right? It was his day.

The food was what you would expect from a buffet. The mac and cheese was actually the best part. So cheesy.

We drank, we ate, we cooled off and we refueled for more fun.

Another nice surprise was after lunch, we went back to Planet Snoopy and it was pretty empty. That really charged us up for fun.

Harrison went on bumper cars, Charlie rode some tea pots and we all had smiles on our face.

We took turns going on rides with the kids. I went on a spinning helicopter and Katie went on a race car.

The joy in the kid’s faces made the day.

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My sour view of the busy park had faded and I was having fun.

Isn’t it funny how you start to have the most fun just before it is time to leave?

It was at this point after 2 pm and for our two nap friendly kids, we were entering potential cranky time.

The boys got some treats from the gift shop and we were on our way back to the car. That was quite the long walk with a kid on your shoulders.

We found the car, we found our way out of the parking lot and we made it home in one piece (tired and sweaty), but one piece.

What a fun day. The last time I was at Canada’s Wonderland I was a kid. Now I am taking my kids there.

I don’t think we will become season pass holders any time soon, but it was fun for a day in July. We will go back. We will try out new things. We will continue to watch our kids have a blast.

Again, thank to Canada’s Wonderland for making us feel like VIPs, it was a nice bonus.

Here are my final pointers for parents bringing their little kids:

  • Pack a solid bag of drinks, snacks and diapers (if you need them).
  • Don’t forget sunscreen.
  • Take cash. At least $20 for parking as it goes faster.
  • Go early, yes it is busy but you get to park close.
  • Consider premium parking.
  • Take advantage of the stroller only lines.
  • Have a map at all times.
  • Don’t be that parent, holding up lines and ride to take 34 photos with your new DSLR.
  • Hats!
  • Learn where the bathrooms are.
  • Pay the money and do the buffet.
  • Stroll past the mountain a lot, the mist is refreshing.
  • Plan on being there at least five hours. Those lines don’t go away.

For more information on the park, what rides are there and any other detail you want, go to their official website.

Feel free to mention Like A Dad. You won’t get a discount but you might get a hug.

More photos for you to enjoy.

My First Trip To Canada’s Wonderland As A Parent For those of my generation, if you grew up in Canada, you knew what Canada’s Wonderland…

Why Parents Should Make Time For Play

Why Parents Should Make Time For Play

This is a guest post by David Reeves.

Playtime is the highlight of almost every child’s day, which is why parents should make time for play.

Even wild animals seem to crave a break in the day for play. We see birds chasing each other through the trees and think, “I wish I could do that!”

Yet when our own children beg us for time to play, or to play with them, there are often so many other things…

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Bath Time Has Become A Real Game Of Thrones

Bath Time Has Become A Real Game Of Thrones

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Since we started bathing the boys together, there has always been a give and take when it comes to everything involved. What toys are played with, what nights are hair wash nights, who does each and most recently there has been a new development.

Forget ruling the seven kingdoms, the most coveted title these days is who gets to sit at the front of the bath. The front of the bath is where the…

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Video: Johnson&Johnson - All For the Love

Video: Johnson&Johnson – All For the Love

I know we just had Father’s Day last weekend, but I hope we all don’t stop celebrating dad. Just like mom, dads deserve year-round love. Johnson and Johnson knows that for sure.

They know it’s time to celebrate dads, too.

I don’t have to tell you that fathers play an important – and sometimes overlooked – role in the development of children. Moms and dads do this and I hope one day we can get to…

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Dad Confessions: I Let The Kids Work It Out

Dad Confessions: I Let The Kids Work It Out

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For those who spend a lot of their day with kids, I bet there are a few things you keep to yourself.

Whether it is how you parent, what you slack off on or even what you feed (or don’t feed) the kids.

Now that I am home again all day with the boys, I have had to adjust to that life. While a one-year old and a four-year old are very different, I have been lucky to find a handful of activities…

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Video: Calls For Dad | #RealDadMoments | Dove Men+Care

Video: Calls For Dad | #RealDadMoments | Dove Men+Care

I have seen these done for moms quite often. Thanks to Dove Men Care for doing one for dads. No matter how many times my boys call on me, I love hearing dad, daddy, daddoo or whatever it is.

Enjoy.

[embedplusvideo height=”281” width=”450” editlink=”http://bit.ly/SL6mUc” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/7Jpb2_YdxYM?fs=1”…

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Jun 9

The New Normal Is Setting In

The New Normal Is Setting In

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We have been in Toronto for just over three weeks and a new routine has been established. It’s pretty basic. My wife goes to work and I manage the boys all day as I start the hunt for a job. Our situation has given me a lot of time to do this, so I don’t feel pressured to settle for anything.

Aside from the hunt, my day is all about keeping two energetic boys happy and entertained. It’s good…

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Jun 4

UncommonGoods Offers Unique Gift Ideas For Dad

UncommonGoods Offers Unique Gift Ideas For Dad

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Since becoming a dad almost five years ago, Father’s Day has become a day on the calendar I look forward to. Now I check out all the ads and flyers showing off gifts for dad. But most of the time, they are boring and cliche.

I know my kids are young, but I know one day, they will get creative and find some cool stuff for dad. In the meantime, I can always buy myself something right?

Once website…

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Jun 4

When I was working at SimplyCast, one of my coworkers actually followed my blog. He was a dad and enjoyed reading about what I was up to. Ariel (his name) upon learning that I was moving to Toronto, suggested with true British wit, that I start doing posts about all the fun stuff he can’t do in Halifax. Since I am always looking for new ideas for content, I am taking him up on his offer. That is where “Things Ariel Hates Me For” came from. I hope you (an Ariel) enjoy these. 

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Things Ariel Hates Me For #1 – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

When preparing to move back to Toronto, I got excited at all the new places to take the boys, go for a bite and simply to just explore. Having already lived in Toronto, I had a solid idea of what there was, but never got to do it as a parent. Everything is a lot different when looking at it through the eyes of a child.

One such place that was high on our radar, was the new aquarium that was built down by the CN Tower. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada looked amazing and was something that was lacking in Toronto, and Canada for that matter.

We have been to the aquarium in Boston, so we knew that Harry would love it.

It was put on the back burner as we settled in and since we also had heard it was crazy busy on weekends, there seemed no hurry for us to go.

But, with my mother-in-law being home for the week, we suggested that we all go. I think she wanted to see it just as much as the boys.

So the plan was set. While Katie worked (sorry), Casey, the boys and myself would hit the aquarium for the morning.

We decided to drive down and park because the transit option involves a lot of walking and we did not want to tire out the boys before we even got there.

There sure was a lot of construction and detours, but we found a parking lot down by the Rogers Centre.

After a short walk over, we made it.

We got our tickets and headed in. As we entered, one of the employees gave us a warning that 600 school kids were pulling up and we should get on with our day.

It was pretty empty when we started and that meant the boys had the run of the place. Harry pretty much ran from spot to spot just yelling “Wow” and “Guys come here”.

Charlie just ran around and was loving the lights in each tank.

There were giant lobsters, eels and other scary looking creatures.

There were seahorses and jelly fish which looked unreal.

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The place moves well. It felt like an Ikea, where you have to wind around the whole place to get to the end.

The tanks were huge.

We entered the dark lagoon I think it was called and that is the main selling point. It’s where you go under the tank and have everything swimming in all directions.

There was also a moving sidewalk as Harry called it, so you could not stand there for too long.

In this massive tank, you had fish of all kinds. There were also sharks. Not Jaws by any means but they looked scary and large when they swam overhead.

There were turtles mixed in as well.

I liked how kid friendly the place was. There were bathrooms everywhere, kid areas to break up the tour and lots of rest areas.

The kids even had their own tiny tunnel that went into the tank so you could get really close.

Overall I was impressed. The boys had a great time and Casey and myself got to see a lot. It would be nice to go back and read some things, but what can you expect when you have kids with you.

Near the end, the 600 kids caught up and the place got loud and crazy.

Luckily by then we were near the end. We learned more about sharks and got to stand on a glass floor to look down at the giant tank.

Finally, the only way you can leave, is the gift shop.

The prices were not that bad. I picked up a bucket full of plastic creatures for the boys and we headed out.

Total time in, about two hours. You could easily spend a lot longer there, but with the giant tour there, we had to get out.

There was a cafeteria style place in the middle, a kid playground and the men’s washroom had change tables. They had it all covered.

Have you been? What did you think of Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada?

Here are more photos of our day.

Things Ariel Hates Me For #1 – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada When I was working at SimplyCast, one of my coworkers actually followed my blog. He was a dad and enjoyed reading about what I was up to.