September 11, 2014

Chonilla family at the Shrine Circus.

Guess how we celebrated the very first day of school? Going to the circus of course. Yatadadadadadada Circus, Yatadadadadadada Chonilla, Shrine Circus, Chonilla Family…

We had the absolute pleasure to visit the Annual Shrine Circus this year, up close and personal. With 251 years of Zerbini family circus history, we we’re sure to have a great time before the summer ends.

We had the chance to get inside Canada’s largest and most beautiful big  top. Our gracious host Richard Curtis and his wife the lovely Kimberly Zerbini are both Ringmasters (by the way Mrs. Curtis is the only Ringmistress in Canada, go Kim!). Kim was mostly hosting the show in French and did a great job (plus I loved her outfit especially her hat, I want it).

We we’re greeted inside the Marquis Tent with all the food and toy goodies. We had the chance to see the elephants Marie & Shell (I wanted to take Shell home, she was not shy, total Diva. look at her in the pictures above). You can tell they we’re happy because the last time I went to a zoo, Edmonton Zoo that is it, the elephant there was just sad and lonely… (check past episodes to hear the conversation in regards to that). Did you know elephants get six sets of teeth in their lifetime and eat 400 lbs a day, WOW!

I have to admit at first I was a bit worried to visit a circus because I was hesitant on how they treat their animals. But I was informed the Zerbini Family have a massive amount of property where they give each set of animals a turn to stroll their land.

Now do you remember how I mentioned in a previous article I was a deprived child and never been to the circus before in my young life, WELL, this filled another area of my inner child (little me was happy) and it was a total joy to see the kids in awe and amazement visiting the animals up close and Richard who was amazing at explaining the background of the acts, the people behind the scene and the work they put in while touring Canada and providing what I think one of the best family entertainment.

We saw a Human Cannonball with Saturn Garcis which he also is The Dare Devil in the Wheel of Destiny. By the way he nearly made my heart run out of my chest while I was holding my breath during his performance. Incredible!

I must confess, I have never seen a clown up close before (you know the traditional looking clowns) and I’m glad the Videla Clown musical was there for some who may have a fear of them. The Videla Family we’re funny, their monocycle skills was on point. OH! One of the performers his name is Christian Videla who is 13 years old, what a talent, he was phenomena, supposedly he’s been clowning since 2 years old and my son who’s 14 years old was expressing to me how impressed he was by him. It was a reminder to stick to what you love and go for it.

There is so much more but I guess you’ll have to hear the show about our experience with the entire family on mics. Oh! I almost forgot, Clove was also part of the show… more on that as well in the podcast.

What I appreciate the most about this circus is seeing all these families grown together, work together, the partnership and how each contribute to one another,  it’s the best cooperation I have witness, even Richard “Ringmaster” pitched in, so great to see.

The Shrine Circus will definitely become our new yearly Chonilla Family tradition for us to enjoy every single year. It’s fun, it’s really affordable, animal friendly and again a great way to connect with your friends and family.


September 8, 2014

Chonilla family at Mongolfières Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu.

The other day while Clove was playing his “Video Game”, I was sharing with him how much I had not explored this great city and surrounding area in my childhood. So, we decided let’s make this summer all about the chirrens (children, inside joke) and in some way, now that I think about it while writing this, I think I was also fulfilling my inner child with this great family outing. I was really deprived of doing cool things as a kid and my parents were not the typo to plan activities with us, they we’re too busy running a business, chasing the dream and you know that immigrant parents goes HAM & HARD plus even include their kids in their plan, but that is another story for another day. Since the age of zero to 14 years old I remember going to La Ronde once, seeing fireworks once, never going to a zoo or aquarium… you get the picture.

We’ve been living here back in MTL from Edmonton for about 4 years now and every summer, anywhere I go on or offline by mid-July, I would start to see promo’s or signs of a hot air balloon festival Mongolfières Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, which got me thinking, I have never seen a hot air balloon up close ever in my life.

Since the focus this summer was about having fun this year, we finally made the plan to check out this festival. For the super details you’ll have to listen to the podcast when we are back online live Sept.10,2014 via @Spreecast (plug, wink!) but for now i’ll keep it short and sweet.

So how was it, well, first and foremost it was a nice surprise to drive in and see Cessna planes right by the action, up close. Parking was very organized everyone knew when an area was filled and professional volunteers would direct you to an available spot which was convenient and save a lot of time. As soon as we entered we are greeted by inflatable balloons which is the largest park structures and inflatable games in the world, I mean they are everywhere. We did arrive with an empty stomach but as soon as the girls saw all the giant, shapely balloons how can they resist. Forget our bellies, let get jumping to Planet Balloon!

The great thing I find about this festival is the amount of things to do, see, or be entertained by, I mean it was sensory overload which for me as an extrovert is awesome. For the gaming strategist in you there was giant checkers or chessboard. While we finally got some food in the middle of our meal there was the Parachute Team of the Canadian Armed Forces the Skyhawks , who jumped above the site. For the audio feens there is music and comedy from Kid Cudi (super sad I miss that performance) and Marie-Mai (pass the torch Celine Dion people LOVE her here in Quebec) to the joking styles of Adib Alkhalidey and Pierre Hébert (he, Pierre that is, was lively, i’d hear ’em any where on festival ground). If you love speed and you’re all about that giving your own heart a wake up call the rides are very cool, Ronin and I tried the Extreme and I was floating off my seat which was AWESOME! Lida and I tried this dark room trailer haunted house thing and to be honest that was way to short of a thrill, it made me question giving away my tickets but hey, what’s important Princess liked it.

Just to go back on the food court by the entrance thinking to myself, is this it, where is the ice cream, is there halal meat around here (I’m not Muslim but halal meat taste super fresh to me). I’d like other choices other than hot dog or poutine… where is the rest of the food, well as you walk deeper in the festival passed the rides a massive food court was there which I think they should have kept all food related kiosk in one area. There is so much more to share but again you’ll have to hear on the podcast.

Now the question is how was the hot air balloons? Well, I’m sad to say that I did not get to fill my inner child to seeing my first hot air balloon up close and personal, our family missed the action due to mother nature, it was very cloudy that day & the organizers decided to cancel all flights for safety reason plus on top of that it’s was the last day of the festival so we’ll just have to go back next year during the week of August 8th to August 16 2015, hope to see you there.

P.S. If you are planning to ride a balloon, make sure to book in advance, when in advance, I’ll have to find out in March or something.

September 9, 2013

New Brunswick 2013

My trip to New Brunswick was one that I will never forget!

Pete came through and offered to take me to see some old friends, and in the process bought himself a Lexus… Big Pimpin’! While we were out there, we took the opportunity to see Owen, the host of Taste Like Fried Chicken podcast. On the second night, Pete, Guy, his friend and I, went out to see the ocean… I had never been. In all my 40 years, I never had the pleasure of viewing our planet from it’s edge, and I can only imagine that a person with an adventurers spirit would feel shackled, looking out at the ocean before any of our nautical technology. I ran out to the beach and quickly reached in the water to pull out a handful of the clearest water I have ever seen… It is disgustingly salty! A testament to the underlying volcanic activity taking place in our oceans.

While our sun was setting, and we could see the shadow of the earth cutting it’s way through the atmosphere, we expressed how a little weed would heightened this visual experience. Pete being the individual who usually jumps first into anything, spotted a couple of random teenagers in the middle of nowhere along the beach of the Atlantic Ocean, and he asked them if they happen to know where we could ‘cop’ some weed. As luck would have it, and although I shouldn’t be surprised by Pete’s resourcefulness, these teenagers were able to help us out. Buy the time the exchanges were done, and the joint was rolled, the sun had set. The initial spark and flame from the lighter had eliminated any night vision I had acquired while rolling our joint. When it finally came back to me, my lungs where full of smoke and my head was full of THC. When the heavens re-revealed itself to me, I could see all the stars in the sky, and had a humbling feeling of my position on this earth within relation to the hidden sun, and further more, where we might be placed in our milky way, and so on. I realized, that our consciousness, which has evolved from stardust is in fact the universe gaining it’s own form of self awareness. I felt connected. And on our drive back I could feel warm tears on my cheeks as I realized how beautifully random all of our journeys are. Being in love as much as I am with Sherley and how lucky I was that my journey had merged with hers. But suddenly, I realized I was in a carload full of dudes, stopped crying like a little bitch, and got good and faded to talk a bunch of shit for the rest of the night.

I will always cherish the time I had in New Brunswick and will never forget the friends I’ve had the fortune of knowing along my Journey. It’s rare to have anyone in your life you can trust, and in the grand scheme of things, starting all the way back from the big bang, I can easily say, I have been the winning recipient of a countless amount of lotteries. This allows me to see the incredible value in my children smiling when I tell them I love them.

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