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Saturday, 20 February 2021

Our First Elephant

Elephant in the bushes of Balule Nature Reserve.

Location: Hoedspruit, South Africa
Address:  Balule Nature Reserve
Date:  October 2018
Website:  vivasafaris.com

  We travelled to South Africa in hopes of seeing as many different animals as we possibly could.  We travelled to the Balule Nature Reserve which is attached to the famous Kruger National Park.  On our first safari outing we received a big welcome from the largest land animal on the planet.

Impala Balule Nature Reserve

  The first animal we saw in abundance during our safari tour was impala.  These small antelope seemed to be hiding behind every bush.  Our guide shouted out "Impala!" at every single sighting.  An impala in the photo above is standing beside some evidence that elephants may have been in the area.

Guide Searches For Elephants In Balule Nature Reserve

  Our guide stopped our Safari Jeep and jumped out.  We had been told to keep every part of us inside the vehicle at all times and intended to do as we had been told.  Our guide looked off into the distance to confirm what she had seen.  "Elephant!" she shouted as she hopped back into her seat.  There is indeed a single elephant in this photo as well as the one at the top of the blog.  If the biggest animal walking on the planet could hide so easily we wondered about lions, leopards, snakes and more.

Elephant Hiding In The Trees.

  As we looked closer at the trees and bushes the shape of an elephant started to reveal itself.  Here is a close-up of the photo from the top of this blog.  There it was, our first wild elephant.

A Viva Safari Jeep.

   Another Safari Jeep joined ours as word of the elephant sighting spread.

Elephant at Balule Nature Reserve.

  As we watched in silence, the elephant slowly moved out from behind the trees and started to get closer to us.

Elephant At Balule Nature Reserve.

  The elephant moved closer still and into some nearby bushes.  The grey skin of the elephant started to blend in with the plants and ground and we could see how if it stood still, it might be hard to spot standing there.

Elephant Running Balule Nature Reserve

  The elephant started to trot quickly towards us and the safari jeep decided it was time to move.  A full grown elephant can weigh over 5,000 kilograms and stand about 10 feet tall.  The elephant suddenly stopped and struck a pose. We were able to admire the beauty of a truly wild elephant as we drove by.
 
Elephant In Balule Nature Reserve. 
 
     Elephants never forget and we will never forget the elephants.  Especially our first.


Map of Our World
Balule Nature Reserve

Post # 296

Monday, 25 January 2021

Kim's Convenience

Kim's Convenience In Toronto

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Address: 252 Queen Street East
Date: February 2017
Website:  www.cbc.ca

  A convenience store changed the outside signage in order to be used as part of a Canadian television show.  That show is Kim's Convenience and it first aired in 2016.  The show is now entering its fifth season and follows the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Kim as they try to run both the store and their family.

Mimi Variety is Kim;s Convenience.

   The real Kim's Convenience used to be known as Mimi Variety.  It is used for some external shots for the show even though most of the taping takes place in a replica store built inside a studio.  When we visited the real life location on Queen Street East,  it looked just like any other variety store in Toronto.

Kim's Convenience In Toronto

   The Kim's have two children, Janet & Jung.  Jung worked at HandyCar Rental.  In one episode Mr. Kim has a life size cardboard cutout of his son advertising the car rental business.  He puts it outside the front door and two neighbourhood kids steal it.  Mr Kim chases them out onto Seaton Street (above) to rescue his son's likeness. 

Kim's Convenience in Toronto

  If you find yourself in downtown Toronto you can pay a visit to the store.  Just don't expect to find Umma and Appa inside.


Map of Our World
Kim's Convenience

Post # 295

Friday, 25 December 2020

Winterfest

Winterfest Canada's Wonderland

Location: Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Address: 9580 Jane Street
Date: Dec 2019
Website: www.canadaswonderland.com

  Canada's Wonderland amusement park started out as the summer place to go for rides and thrills.  When the kids went back to school in the fall, the season ended.  Next they started operating later and later in order to stay open with reduced hours up until Halloween.  In 2018 they realized, "Why is the park closed during the most wonderful time of the year?", and Winterfest was born.  Now being in Canada in the winter means it is too cold and snowy for most of the rides to operate, but that didn't stop them from turning the park into a winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonder Mountain At Canada's Wonderland

  The centrepiece of the park is Wonder Mountain.  In the summer it has flowing waterfalls and cliff divers.  In the winter a cascade of twinkling lights flows down the mountain. Everything was the same but with a wintery twist.

Festive Funnel Cakes.

  A must have treat when visiting Wonderland is the funnel cakes.  You can't go wrong with some deep fried batter topped with strawberries and ice cream.  Festive funnel cakes let you enjoy new flavours like Eggnog Gingerbread and Candy Cane.

Medieval Fare Transformed into Elf Village At Canada's Wonderland

  We entered Medieval Fare which was temporarily being called Elf Village.

Tinker's Toy Factory At Canada's Wonderland.

  One of the many shows was called Tinker's Toy Factory.  It was good to get inside the theatre and watch a show as well as for a chance to warm up.

Winterfest Mug

   Another way to keep warm was with unlimited hot chocolate refills in our Winterfest mug.  All you had to do was line up at one of the many stations across the park and get your mug topped up again and again.

Candy Cane Lane At Canada's Wonderland.

   Every section of the park was decorated and covered in lights and Christmas delights.  We walked down Candy Cane Lane where Snoopy and Woodstock rode their sled across a rainbow.

Charlie Brown's Tree Lot.

  We came across a line-up going into a group of Christmas trees.  We couldn't see through the trees to see what was going on.  We decided to join the line and find out what awaited us at the end.

Peppermint Patty & The Charlie Brown Christmas Tree.

  It turned out that this was Charlie Brown's Tree Lot and everyone was lined up to have their picture taken with Peppermint Patty and a thin little tree with only one ornament.  As we know, that little tree is full of Christmas spirit.

Wonderland Christmas Tree

There were also giant Christmas trees filled with lights.

Christmas Lights At Canada's Wonderland.

Just about every tree in the park was draped in glowing bulbs.  It really was an impressive display.

Giant Christmas Lights

We wouldn't even dare to count how many lights might have been used to light up the park.  We would say for Wonderland to expect an oversized electric bill, nuch like these oversized lights.

Canada's Wonderland Poutine

 We started getting hungry again so what better to eat than some Christmas Veggie Poutine.

Elf On A Reindeer Penguin At Canada's Wonderland

Around the park were many Christmas characters.  There were elves and reindeer and even elves on reindeer.  There were also some penguins dressed for the cold.

Gingerbread Man Canada's WOnderlandSnowman Canada's Wonderland

There were men made of both snow and gingerbread.

Present Of Lights Canada's Wonderland

   There was a giant present made of lights.

Snowball Toss Game At Canada's Wonderland 
 
Even the games were themed for Christmas.  The Milk Can game was renamed the Snowball Toss.  If you won you might go home with your very own bouncing Abominable Snowmonster from the Rudolph Christmas classic. 

Llama Decorations Canada's Wonderland

  If you didn't win a prize, you could still go home with some Christmas decorations from the shops.  We liked the Fa La La La Llama ornament.

Reindeer Canada's Wonderland.

  As we headed out of the park we thought we heard a clatter.  Was it the hooves of reindeer landing on a roof?  Maybe it was the clickety clank of people being pulled to the top of a roller coaster?  Either way Wonderland had provided us with some thrills for yet another season.


Map of Our World
Canada's Wonderland
Post # 294