It’s my birthday and we’ll skip school if we want to.

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Erica Richmond @pixiepaperdoll7

What. A. Day.
It was awesome.

First thing in the morning, my kids couldn’t wait for me to open my gift they’d bought for me . It was a beautiful vase they found at a yard sale while with my parents.
I love it!

I worked for 210 minutes (not that I was counting) and then I went to the gym. After a quick lunch I picked up the kids, making vague mention of an appointment of sorts in the student sign out binder.

I had told the kids I was picking them early for a birthday adventure but I hadn’t told them what we were going to do. Once we were in all in the car I told them we were on our way to the Go Station to head to the (big) city.

Destination: the CN tower.

Rain and Moxie have always wanted do to this. When Moxie was going into SK, I asked her what she would draw if her teachers asks her what she’d done during summer vacation. Moxie said she’d draw the CN Tower.
“Moxie darling. We didn’t go to the CN Tower.”
“I know.”
Hmmm was that a hint?

An equally cloudless and crowdless day finally arrived deeming today CN tower perfection.

I thought Rain was going to pass out on the way up the elevator. Heights are not his friend. But once on ‘solid’ ground, we were all enthralled by the view and we walked around the tower checking out the various vantage points of the diverse city.

I had to bribe them to lay down on the glass floor for a picture. This may be one of those moments they confess to their counsellor about one day.

Our tickets included a cheesey moving theatre ride which turned out to be so much fun. Both kids screamed and laughed the whole time, especially when unexpectedly sprayed by water. Fully belly laughs are exactly what we need right now.

After the Tower, we went searching for a table on a patio. There was nothing available in the immediate vicinity (Blue Jays were in town) so we ventured to King street and found success at a roof-top patio called Hey Lucy (also the name of our cat – bonus points!).

I tried convincing them how cool it would be to live downtown. If they were 11 years older, we could have gone to see Danny Michel tonight at the Dakota Lounge. He is one of their current favourite artists.

They were intrigued but not sold.

Despite our city love we all do have some pretty strong country roots.
We raced back to Union Station with just enough time to grab some Cinnabon to go which they ate on the train. Mmmmm Cinnabon….

I asked if they remembered how we celebrated by 37th birthday. Moxie said yes absolutely. We had a big party at our house with cake and games.

We have never done that!

Sometimes it pays to document this stuff so I read them our impromptu Birthday Road Trip adventures ( and we experienced some more amazing big full belly laughs while we reminisced about camels, ice cream and ammo all the way back to Clarkson.

Then after scrubbing the intoxicating city grime from their bodies, they were tucked into bed. And for the first time in over 2 weeks, they fell fast asleep.
I’m ending my own day with a glass of wine and Danny Michel on vinyl.

Love until it breaks your heart..







Patriotic Playlists

Erica Richmond @pixiepaperdoll7
Road Trip Planning:
Step #1 – Create a travel blog (check!)
Step #2 – Book rental car & flight home (check!)
Step #3 – Create  some kick-ass playlists (check! check! check! check! check!)
We will be travelling Canadiana-style from Ontario to British Columbia so it really only makes sense to keep the playlists as patriotic as our journey.  In other words, I will combine my travel addiction with my Canadian Indie addiction via CBC Radio 3This will be my second time creating travel-based playlists on this site.  A couple years ago, I adventured through the East coast and created a playlist using my iPhone camera and channel 162 on the Sirius radio in the rental car
In preparation for my upcoming adventure, I’ve created a separate playlist for each province we will be visiting.  The rules are simple: my favourite Canadian Indie artists are sorted by the province from which they hail at least have called home at one point in their lives.  I like to break rules (especially my own) so you might find songs in more than one playlist (there is usually some method to my madness and if you look hard, you’ll crack my code).

Each playlist will continue to be a work in progress but have a listen and send me requests!





British Columbia

Unfortunately I will not be able to download all of the songs to listen in the car (I love all these artists but can not afford this many music purchases – I should probably save some money for gas)… but I am looking forward to streaming them from the free wifi in the ghetto motels along the way.

Team Adventurers Get a World Map

Erica Richmond @pixiepaperdoll7


My kids and I have deemed ourselves “Team Adventurers” in honour of our everyday backyard adventures. To expand (or at least dream of expanding) our exploration, I bought us a world map and stuck it to the wall. It is laminated and has a picture of each country’s flag around the perimeter. I also bought coloured dot stickers. The idea is that we each get a different colour and can stick a dot everywhere we want to travel. Once we fulfill our travel destination we will make a mark on the sticker. (And Martha Stewart help me; I’m even going to create a legend on the map.)

My ever-rampant wanderlust appears to be genetic and the map is covered in dots. We talk about visiting the places we’ve read about in books. We are lucky to live in a community that is rich in cultural diversity; this makes us even more curious about the world.

We were predetermined to travel.

Our map is a great conversation piece. I often find the kids hanging out in front of it, reading out names of places and searching for home countries of their school-friends.

But just when I think I have raised the most culturally aware and sophisticated children, I hear some off-the-wall and wince-worthy commentary:

  • “Does anyone know where ‘No-Man’s Land’ is?”

Have you checked Scooby Doo?

  • “Where is the Toronto flag?”

shhh… don’t let our friends outside of the GTA hear you say that!

  • “I’m looking for Jewish. No wait. That’s just for French people.”

What does this even mean?

  • “Geez Mom, are you going to put a dot on EVERY country?”

Yes I am.

  • “Po-land. That’s not even a real country. Po. Land. It is? hmm.. Hey, if you added an extra ‘O’ it would be Poo-land. heeheeheehee”

Boys and bathroom humour… (this also extends to his little sister)

And so, the learning journey continues.