Few things are better on a Sunday morning that a stack of pancakes as you bask in the sunshine. We almost managed. We had stacks of pancakes but the weather refused to cooperate. It was chilly and rainy. We ate inside. But, still . . . pancakes.
Properly fueled we headed to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. The kids were NOT enthusiastic. Not even a little. I hate when I feel like I’m forcing them to do something lame. But, that was the plan and we stuck to it. So glad we did. For me, a zen feeling enveloped me as soon as we walked it – it’s so peaceful. We all enjoyed seeing the huge variety of plants and different landscaping. The fact that there was a Lego exhibit and Lego sculptures scattered throughout the gardens. Is there anything Lego’s can’t do?
My daughter was absolutely fascinated with the plant that blooms only every 30 years. The puya chilensis or “sheep-eating plant” had bloomed the week before we visited. Still, something about the idea of such an unusual plant really captured her imagination. She’s already making plans to come back in 30 years.
My husband and I love to try new foods and have been feeding the kids all sorts of cuisines since they were toddlers. Lucky for us, they have the adventurous eating gene and we are not trapped into eating at places that only serve chicken nuggets. When we left the RBG we drove to the town of Burlington to try out Rayhoon Persian Eatery. If you haven’t tried Persian food, I urge you to give it a shot. So much deliciousness. If Persian isn’t your thing, check the Taste of Burlington’s website for other restaurant suggestions – the variety available will surprise you.
At Rayhoon we started with some hummus and pita. The hummus was delicious, very light and creamy. Even my daughter, who does not like hummus, was a fan. We also ordered Barbari Bread, which I would recommend trying. I could have eaten the whole basket on my own. I had the Koobideh Kabob, my daughter tried the Joojeh Kabob, my son the Barg Kabob and my husband the Ghormeh Sabzi. (It’s okay, you don’t have to be able to pronounce what you want – your server will help you.)
We enjoyed our meals there but they were rather large for lunch. I would love to see the restaurant serve smaller, lunch sized portions for lunch. Or I would return for dinner. The atmosphere was nice and the staff were friendly. I’d like to go back on a warm day and sit on the patio, it felt like you were in a small, quaint down in the little courtyard.
Next up? The Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Here you can see a reconstructed 15th century Iroquois village. My daughter had been there once for a school field trip and was excited to return. My son? Not so enthusiastic. Are you sensing a pattern? Once there, my son was immersed in learning about the Iroquois and how they lived. We had a great guide who had an affinity for shy kids like my son. In no time, she was helping my son formulate and ask questions. And once again, I found myself thinking about when we could come back for a full day. At least we’re predictable.
We learned about how the Iroquois lived in their long houses – how they slept, how they kept their food, how they made tools and toys and how they cured furs for clothing and blankets.
The Crawford Lake Conservation Area also has a variety of hikes available – anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The weather was still mean and rainy so we opted out this trip.
We headed back to the KOA cabin. My husband prepared a BBQ dinner, the kids played in the park behind our cabin while I supervised and enjoyed a glass of wine. The perfect end to a fabulous weekend!
Burlington is now high on my list of family getaways. There is enough to do each day that the kids are exhausted and poop out early in the evening. The local activities suit a variety of age groups so everyone is happy. If you’re on the lookout for quick weekend getaways from Toronto, be sure to add Burlington to your list.
If you missed our day one post go back and check it out!