March Break, the one- or two-week spring schools holiday, has never had much to do with us, other than loosening up our out-of-home activities schedule. But with Sophie in school full-time, and Noah part-time, it’s gained relevance this year. Those two headed off to Montreal to visit their big sister. And that has made Fiona an only child for a week. With siblings gone and activities on hold, we felt we needed something nice to fill things up.
We had to drive to Calgary to get the middle two on their flight. So Fiona and I made a excursion out of it. We spent a half day at the new Calgary Science Centre (better than the old one, but still not in our top three, and over-run by busloads of Alberta schoolkids who are not on their March Break for another week or so). We went shopping for summer things. Fiona is a great shopper. She likes clothes, but has an eye for bargains and a healthy skepticism for brand names. She was very excited to buy a tank top for gymnastics. After holding our breaths all year, we were finally able to get her registered for gymnastics beginning in April. So buying a gym tank was a major highlight. Then we picked up a couple of small items other people had asked us to buy for them, and in the process wandered past a place that offered ear piercing. Fiona had decided a couple of years ago that she would pierce her ears when she was 9, and then a couple of weeks ago had decided the time was finally right. So she marched in and asked the person at the sales desk and within ten minutes had some lovely little studs in her lobes.
The next notable excursion was to the zoo. We took the C-Train rapid transit system there, which was an exciting adventure all in itself. We enjoyed the penguins, and assorted other wacky animals. It’s a relatively small zoo, with enclosures that aren’t nearly as spacious and natural-looking as those in Toronto. We talked a bit about the ethics of zoos.
While Montreal was enjoying summer-like temperatures, we were having a blustery cold day, so we mostly stuck with the indoor exhibits. New to us was the plant and butterfly Conservatory which had opened a little over 2 years ago. Fiona was absolutely entranced. It was quiet, and warm and practically creaking and squeaking with the sounds of growing plants. We spent almost half our zoo time with the plants.