Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let's Go to the Ex

In our family it's clear that if you do something twice and like it, it's officially tradition. One tradition that's far older than that is going to the CNE. I have memories of going as a little girl with my family, enjoying the rides and food staples like cotton candy. And of course I remember going as a teenager, particularly with my friend Carol, and spending the entire time looking at boys! Now I go every year with Shannon and we definitely have our own must-dos when we go. We definitely need coffee fortification to make a start!

The big favourite thing we do is go to the cat show. We stumbled across it one year and have been going ever since. This year we got lucky and saw a bunch of kitten judging, like this little cutie above.
It's also fun to watch the trends. This year there were tons of Rex's (like the cat above on the left and below). They are so fascinating. Full of energy and almost all ears! I always fall in love with the Burmese cats and Shannon with the Maine Coons.

But we didn't just pay attention to cats. We also watched the Superdogs. Admittedly, it was far less charming than the last time we saw it. The dogs seemed overamped and the announcer seemed rather jaded. Still, how can you resist this crazy little guy?

Usually the cat show and "the farm" are in the automotive building. This year we were surprised to discover the building was under construction. Thank goodness they're keeping the facade.

For lunch we always, always, have the perogies. These are irrestistably served with butter, onion and dill. Some people always have the Tiny Tom donuts. We always have perogy.

Then we found the new home of the farm.

We saw llamas and lambs, cows, bigs, sheep, goats, horses and ostriches. Never a dull moment at the farm!
After all that walking, I simply had to sit down for a 25-cent foot massage! This thing was crazy. The whole chair shook like mad. My shoes rumbled right off. I laughed the entire time.

One of the best things about the Ex is happy surprises. I still remember the year we just happened to see the police tug-of-war. That was awesome! Today one of the treats was seeing the East African acrobats. They were truly amazing.

And in all the years that we've walked through the horse building, we've never seen anything going on in the arena - until this year. These miniature horses were amazing. It was fascinating to watch how they display them, encouraging them to run and change direction by flicking plastic garbage bags on the end of whips or shaking rocks in bottles.

Of course, there had to be time for shopping. You can see what I bought here.
As we were leaving we happened across the preparation root of the daily parade! There's so much to see and do at the CNE. On top of this we saw a floral arrangement competition, a major quilt exhibit, an amazing shammy sales pitch and more! We didn't even go on any rides or play any games and our day was full.

Another day at the Ex draws to a close and once again we know that summer is doing that as well. I love having rituals that mark the year and the seasons. For me, the Ex is a celebration and a reminder to enjoy these last gorgeous days of August.


Mona said...

Hi Jamie, thanks for leaving the sweet comment at my blog and I really enjoyed this blog post with all your photos, I have never been to a cat show it seems like fun looking at all the pretty cats. I have been to a dog show though it was a lot of fun even though I like cats better. Take care

Sacred Suzie said...

I have been to a ton of Exs all over Canada now and nothing compares to Toronto's. NOTHING! Perogies aside, LOL, it's the best ex around and I'm so glad you and Shannon have such a fantastic time together and got to the cat show and saw Superdogs and other animals. That chair is crazy! The last time I went there it was Lilith Fair. I am definitely going to try and make it next Labour Day, I miss it so much! The company and the food. :)

By K Sawyer Paul said...

Haha, I took an almost identical picture of the same Llama.

Kristen said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I've seen horse shows and dog shows, but never cat shows. That would be neat to see!

megg said...


Glad you had so much fun! Someday I will be at the Ex again!


Nicole said...

Those kitties were so cute! I've had 2 Devon Rexes and they are beautiful natured cats - unfortunately my 2 were not well kitties from the same breeder in Australia. I love the Maine Coons, I've been asked a couple of times if my girl is a Maine as she has many of their features but alas she's a beautiful look-a-like.