Going to the AGO is a wonderful experience, but I always have to brace myself a bit for the sticker shock of the admission price. For myself and Kate and William the admission price was going to be $49 along with the cost of parking. However - here's one of the weekend's pleasant surprises - both William and Kate got in for free because they are under 25 years of age and several major sponsors (including Scotia Bank) have donated enough to allow young visitors to get in for free. When I went to pay for my ticket she took $2.50 off the price because I was paying with a Scotia Bank card and Scotia Bank is one of the AGO's major supporters. So instead of paying $49, I paid $16.50. Yeah Scotia Bank (that may be a first - me cheering for a bank).
The Maharaja: The Splendour of India's Royal Court exhibit (you can see some of the images here) was magnificent, especially the silver carriage and the traditional outfits. I so wish you could take photographs in the exhibit to share with you. I borrowed the following three photos from the AGO blog (here) so you can see the gorgeous landau carriage with the plants and animals decorating it.
There was also a fantastic exhibit of prints by David Blackwood depicting life in the poor outposts of Newfoundland. Really the two exhibits could not have been more different - one dealing with the excesses and riches of royal families in a warm climate, and the other depicting the struggles of the poor, hard-working fishermen and their families in a cold, damp maritime land.
|Detail of the Black Ice by David Blackwood|
|S. S. Imogene Leaving for the Icefields, by David Blackwood|
The next day we had our chocolate fondue. I've never made one before because we didn't own one of those special ceramic pots with a place for a tea light to go under it. I tried to buy a chocolate fondue pot at the grocery store, but didn't feel like forking (get it - forking!) over $30 for a set so I decided we would just put it in a regular bowl and re-microwave it if we needed to. And my second pleasant surprise of the weekend - it worked! Maybe that's because it didn't have time to solidify. I'm just saying.
|Bowls of kiwi, half mini donuts, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, and marshmallows|
I melted an entire box of Baker's semi-sweet chocolate squares and had read that you should add some table cream. Well I didn't have any so I added skim milk. Yes, I know it was diet chocolate fondue. I have to say it was delicious and tasted as good as any I have previously had. Have a look at the action shot below. I think that speaks for itself.
Fun activities and nice surprises to celebrate our long weekend.