Tina and I decided to give the boys a taste of our childhood of growing in or near Toronto and the summer ritual know as the Canadian National Exhibition or the “Ex” as the locals call it. It has been 15 or 16 years since Tina and I went to the Ex and some things have changed while others have not.
My mom came along and we left Brantford shortly about 10:15 am. We arrived at the Oakville GO Train station just after 11:00 am. I dropped everyone off at the main door and then looked for a parking spot. There were a few empty spots at the extreme western end of the lot, probably half a kilometre or so from the station. I walked back to the station and bought our tickets (a family day pass for the four of us and a senior’s day pass from my mom for a grand total of $31.25).
During all of this, Jeremy complained about a sore stomach. ‘Great’ Tina thought. She took Jeremy to the bathroom, but didn’t seem to help. Then Jeremy asked for some crackers. Well, that ‘pain’ he was feeling was hunger. Yes, it seems that Jeremy has never experienced hunger before. A container of fishy crackers later, Jeremy was back to normal.
Our trained arrived at 11:30. We headed up to the upper level and enjoyed the 30 minute trip to the Ex. It was a lovely sunny day with a nice breeze off the lake. We arrived at the Ex at noon and proceeded to the kiddie ride area.
Tina bought the boys unlimited ride passes and 20 tickets for us. And then the boys were off. Jeremy went on two ‘scary’ rides with Corbin and that was the last time he would go on a ‘real scary’ ride that day. Instead, he focused on the fun houses and slide rides. Corbin enjoyed some of the kiddie rides.
It was time for lunch. Off to the Food Building. Think of a mall food court and multiply it by five. This place was packed full of food vendors, including the Ex classic, Tiny Tom Donuts. The Food Building has changed since I was a child. Back in the day, companies such as Hersheys and Billy Bee, would offer free samples and products at big discounts. There were a few hot-food vendors. Today, the building is almost completely food kiosks. Choosing is difficult. But we all managed to find something to eat. My mom had sausage and salad. Tina had fries and pop. Jeremy a corn dog. I had a sausage in a bun and pop.
Headed over to the ‘adult’ midway so that Corbin could enjoy some ‘big kid’ rides. Jeremy went in every funhouse, and in some cases went two, three even four times. Somewhere between the bumper cars and the tilt-a-whirl (Corbin and I had a ball on that ride) I lost my cellphone. I got Tina’s phone and immediately cancelled that phone. No worries since I was going to get a new phone later this week.
Walked over to the Farm exhibit where the boys got to see llamas, bees, goats, cows, horses and sheep. Before the Ex, Jeremy mentioned to Tina that he wanted to see a cow up close. Well, finally saw his cow up close and wasn’t too impressed when it decided to take a pee. Corbin and Jeremy didn’t like the smell too much. Back to kiddie land for some rides and then off to the food building for a quick supper.
Before heading home, we tried our luck at a few games on the midway. Tina did win a prize on Roller Ball. Corbin won a prize or two and got a chance to shoot out a target with a BB gun. Jeremy did the best of us all. On our way out, I went to buy some of those Tiny Tom Donuts, managing to get them just before our train arrived.
The train ride back was a good way to unwind and appreciate the excellent day we had. We didn’t do everything at the Ex, but the feedback from the boys was positive. That means we will be back next year and put in a full day including some shows, other exhibits and some night time fun.