What To Watch On Halloween

netflix-halloweenThis will be the first time in years that I’ll be sitting home alone on Halloween. My son will be with his mom and the girls will be out with their mom and her ex. I’ve gone out with all of them before, but I’ve just got so much disgust and anger towards their father right now for how he has treated them over the past few months, I just don’t think I could pretend to have “small talk” with him without bringing up issues and getting into an argument or fight. 

So this means I’ll be home watching TV. The question then becomes…just what do I watch? Thankfully, there are a number of pretty awesome suggestions on Netflix .

If you’re looking for some more “family friendly” things to watch, check out this Stream & Scream Guide:netflix_stream-and-scream

Now if you’re going to be manning the door this Halloween, then you know that you’ll need to pause whatever you’re watching quite a bit. Thankfully, Netflix has provided options of programs to watch specifically for those manning the door!! It’s called the Netflix Pause & Effect list and it’s a quick guide for not only what to watch, but when to watch it!

FriendsFor example, peak Trick-or-Treating time is usually between 7pm and 8pm. You’ll be pausing your program multiple times in order to answer the door. You don’t want to be knee-deep into a great program that you’re trying to really pay attention to because pausing it multiple times will just ruin the “flow” of everything. Netflix understands that and suggests Friends as the option. Brilliant!

stranger-thingsOn the other hand, if you’re up late and the little ghosts and ghouls have all gone to bed, you may want something you can really sink your teeth into. The perfect options suggested are shows like The Walking Dead or the fantastic Stranger Things. These are shows that you’ll want to watch all the way through without distractions or breaks.

Check out the list for yourself!

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I hope you all have a great Halloween!

Where My Shoes Have Taken Me – Apple Picking in the Annapolis Valley

Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent family weekend resulted in us going to Windsor, Nova Scotia for some apple picking. We don’t get together with all three kids too often, so we wanted to take advantage of the situation.

Apple Picking 1
I took a moment once I got out of the car to take a quick pic of my SKECHERS. These are the Men’s Relaxed Fit: Blais-Telen. Without a shadow of a doubt, they are the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever owned. The great thing about them is that I feel as good wearing them with pants as I am with wearing them with shorts.
So we wanted to pick some Honeycrisp apples, as they are our favourite type of apple, by far. We ended up at Mason's Apples, located in Windsor, Nova Scotia. This was a massive orchard with multiple types of apples to choose from. And to top it off, it was a gorgeous day...it was just awesome!
So we wanted to pick some Honeycrisp apples, as they are our favourite type of apple, by far. We ended up at Mason’s Apples, located in Windsor, Nova Scotia. This was a massive orchard with multiple types of apples to choose from. And to top it off, it was a gorgeous day…it was just awesome!
I've seen some beautiful apples in my life, but there were some unbelievably red apples to choose from on this day. The orchard was very busy, but we were able to find a pretty good spot all to ourselves.
I’ve seen some beautiful apples in my life, but there were some unbelievably red apples to choose from on this day. The orchard was very busy, but we were able to find a pretty good spot all to ourselves.
It's not often that you get to really enjoy some perfectly ripe apples at a U-Pick. By the time I usually get to one of these, most of the best apples are already taken. Thankfully, that wasn't the case on this day.
It’s not often that you get to really enjoy some perfectly ripe apples at a U-Pick. By the time I usually get to one of these, most of the best apples are already taken. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case on this day.
The kids were even able to grab a small ladder and pick from the top of some of the trees, which is where the best apples were located. They each got to pick apples on their own and everybody got their turn climbing the ladder. We definitely had some happy campers on this day.
The kids were even able to grab a small ladder and pick from the top of some of the trees, which is where the best apples were located. They each got to pick apples on their own and everybody got their turn climbing the ladder. We definitely had some happy campers on this day.
Sunshine was pretty happy with her haul...
Sunshine was pretty happy with her haul…
...as was I!!
…as was I!!
We had a great time, though sometimes I think the parents end up having more fun than the kids do.
We had a great time, though sometimes I think the parents end up having more fun than the kids do.
So when all was said and done, we had two ten-pound bags full of fresh, ripe Honeycrisp apples. But in addition to that, we had spent some memorable time together as a family. And when all is said and done, that's the main reason we went there to begin with.
So when all was said and done, we had two ten-pound bags full of fresh, ripe Honeycrisp apples. But in addition to that, we had spent some memorable time together as a family. And when all is said and done, that’s the main reason we went there to begin with.

Walking With The Dead – Binge Watching on Netflix

the-walking-dead-on-netflixAs October 23rd fast approaches, the millions of The Walking Dead fans are getting more and more excited. Why? Well it’s the debut episode of Season 7, of course!! And we’ll finally get the answer to the question we’ve all been asking ourselves: Who does Negan kill??

I’ve got my theories, but I’m not going to discuss them today. Instead, I’m going to happily let you know that Netflix now has every episode from Season 6 available for you to binge-watch this week!!

Netflix members around the world are making their own rules when it comes to watching TV. Instead of one episode per week, Netflix members choose to binge watch their way through a series – that is, on average, finishing an entire season in one week. Though binge watching is clearly the new normal, not all series are enjoyed the same way. Netflix recently unveiled The Binge Scale, revealing which shows we devour and which we savor.

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Netflix examined the global viewing of more than 100 serialized TV series across more than 190 countries and found that when members are focused on finishing a series, they watch a little over two hours a day to complete a season. As you can imagine, some very interesting trends and patterns can emerge from this data. 

  • stranger-thingsSeries like Stranger Things grab you, assault your senses, and make it hard to pull away.
  • The classic elements of horror and thrillers go straight for the gut, pushing the placement of series like The Walking Dead the devour end of the scale.
  • Likewise, comedies with a dramatic bent, like Orange is the New Black, seem to tickle our fancy and make it easy to say ‘just one more.’
  • Complex narratives like House of Cards are indulged at an unhurried pace.
  • Viewers take care to appreciate the details of dramas set in bygone eras, like Mad Men.

season-6So if you’re anything like me, you’ll be devouring Season 6 of The Walking Dead in an effort to (a) remember a really great season, and (b) mentally prepare yourself for the “shock and awe” that is inevitably going to come from the Season 7 premiere this weekend.

And if you happen to be one of “those people” that don’t have Netflix, what in the world are you waiting for? There is so much for you to watch and re-watch that I just can’t see how it’s possible to NOT find something you’ll like.

But if you are someone that has Netflix, what shows are on YOUR Binge Scale? For me, the list over the past few months has included…

  • luke-cageThe Walking Dead (duh!)
  • House of Lies
  • Bob Ross: Beauty Is Everywhere (seriously!)
  • House of Cards
  • Stranger Things (you HAVE to watch this!!)
  • Luke Cage
  • Archer
  • Making a Murderer

My only problem is that there never seems enough time for me to watch everything I want to, as I still haven’t finished five of the series listed above! That’s okay, though…The Walking Dead with get a thorough binge watch from me this week!

Where My Shoes Have Taken Me – Prince Edward Island

Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent business trip took me to Prince Edward Island. It was during the “off season”, but it was still an absolutely gorgeous day…which made the drive all the more enjoyable.

I was fortunate enough to be able to wear my new
I was fortunate enough to be able to wear my new SKECHERS on this particular trip. These are my brown Mark Nason Foxhill shoes. These shoes are unbelievably comfortable and (no word of lie) sometimes I forget I’m wearing dress shoes, which is probably because of the memory foam lux insoles. And really, forgetting that I’m even wearing dress shoes is probably the best compliment that I can give dress shoes.
Because of the amount of driving that I was scheduled to be doing over the coming days, I decided to rent a car. Luckily for me, they gave me a free upgrade and I ended up driving around a Chrysler 300. Gotta tell you...it was one helluva smooth ride.
Because of the amount of driving that I was scheduled to be doing over the coming days, I decided to rent a car. Luckily for me, they gave me a free upgrade and I ended up driving around a Chrysler 300. Gotta tell you…it was one helluva smooth ride.
No matter how many times I head to Prince Edward Island, it's always very cool to approach the Confederation Bridge. The 12.9 kilometer (8 mile) long bridge cost $1.3 billion to build and is simply one of the coolest man-made structures in the world.
No matter how many times I head to Prince Edward Island, it’s always very cool to approach the Confederation Bridge. The 12.9 kilometer (8 mile) long bridge cost $1.3 billion to build and is simply one of the coolest man-made structures in the world.
While the super-busy summer tourist season was over, the beauty of the early fall was apparent at every turn.
While the super-busy summer tourist season was over, the beauty of the early fall was apparent at every turn.
The large farming fields of green were everywhere. Whether it was corn or potatoes, the fields were simply stunning in the autumn sun.
The large farming fields of green were everywhere. Whether it was corn or potatoes, the fields were simply stunning in the autumn sun.
The freshly-plowed fields were in stark contrast with the green grass surrounding them.
The freshly-plowed fields were in stark contrast with the green grass surrounding them.
Corn fields at every turn. How awesome is that?
Corn fields at every turn. How awesome is that?
On this day I was traveling to Dalvay By The Sea, a stunningly beautiful beachfront resort at the northernmost tip of the island.
On this day I was traveling to Dalvay By The Sea, a stunningly beautiful beachfront resort at the northernmost tip of the island.
The views from the front of the Dalvay were spectacular. Imagine waking up pre-sunrise and sitting in one of those chairs next to the water as the sun rises over the horizon.
The views from the front of the Dalvay were spectacular. Imagine waking up pre-sunrise and sitting in one of those chairs next to the water as the sun rises over the horizon.
It was fortunate enough to be able to be here on a sunny day, which helped make every colour around me pop.
It was fortunate enough to be able to be here on a sunny day, which helped make every colour around me pop.
On my way back to the mainland, Google Maps decided to take me on a tour of every back road that wasn't a primary highway. This meant, yes, driving down a dirt road at one point. I can't complain, though...there was no traffic anywhere and I got from one tip of the island to the other in relatively short time.
On my way back to the mainland, Google Maps decided to take me on a tour of every back road that wasn’t a primary highway. This meant, yes, driving down a dirt road at one point. I can’t complain, though…there was no traffic anywhere and I got from one tip of the island to the other in relatively short time.
One of the very cool things about entering/leaving Prince Edward Island is the tourist information centre located at the entrance/exit of the Confederation Bridge.
One of the very cool things about entering/leaving Prince Edward Island is the tourist information centre located at Gateway Village, which is at the entrance/exit of the Confederation Bridge.
More of Gateway Village in Bordon Carleton, PEI.
More of Gateway Village in Bordon Carleton, PEI.
More of Gateway Village in Bordon Carleton, PEI.
More of Gateway Village in Bordon Carleton, PEI.
More of Gateway Village in Bordon Carleton, PEI.
More of Gateway Village in Bordon Carleton, PEI.
The drive home was just as awesome as the drive there. The Confederation Bridge is truly an incredibly awe-inspiring structure and very fun to drive across.
The drive home was just as awesome as the drive there. The Confederation Bridge is truly an incredibly awe-inspiring structure and very fun to drive across.
This is where my shoes took me this time. I wonder where they'll take me next?
This is where my shoes took me this time. I wonder where they’ll take me next?

The Boston Pizza Kids Card Campaign 2016!

This is a sponsored post.

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Boston Pizza has recently launched their annual Kids Cards campaign, and they have again asked me this year to spread the message about this very worthwhile project. So what is this all about?

kids-card-imageUp until October 2nd, Canadians can show their support for kids by purchasing a Boston Pizza Kids Card for a minimum donation of $5. With every Kids Card that is purchased at Boston Pizza locations or online at BostonPizza.com, guests then receive 5 free Kids Meals (valued at $35), and the money is used to help support Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects. If guests sign up for a new MyBP account, they will receive a bonus sixth Kids Meal when they register their Kids Card (registering for a MyBP account is free and can be accessed at the Boston Pizza website or by downloading the Boston Pizza app in the Apple iTunes store).

bp-_bpffp-roundelBoston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects was established to raise funds and awareness for organizations that provide kids in Canada with role models and mentoring programs. Some of the partners include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Kids Help Phone, Live Different, JDRF and The Rick Hansen Foundation. Boston Pizza hopes to raise at over $1 million with the Kids Cards program this year, which will help it exceed its goal of providing more than 200,000 hours of role modeling and mentorship to children across Canada every year. Since its inception in 1990, the Boston Pizza Foundation has raised and donated more than $22 million to directly improve the health and well-being of children and families.

The more Kids Cards that are sold this year, the more Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects can help kids from coast to coast reach their full potential. It’s a tremendously worthwhile program that only requires a minimum $5 donation…and your kids get something back in the form of food!

For more information, go to BostonPizza.com.

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The Best Time Of The Year!

Netflix CanadaI know, I know…most people say that the holidays are the “most wonderful time of the year”. But if you’re anything like me, you’re not one for the summer heat. In fact, if you’re like me, you’re the kind of person who LOVES the fall…and September is the time when summer begins to end, the autumn begins, and all seems right with the world.

Oh…my birthday’s in September, too.

So to quickly recap, it’s the best time of the year because it’s my birthday, the kids have gone back to school, and the temperatures are beginning to dip just a little bit each night. But in addition to that, Netflix has a GREAT schedule of new movies being released in September that has a little bit of something for everyone (but more on that later).

family-netflixHonestly…one of the great things that our family enjoys doing is getting together a couple times of month to enjoy “Family Movie Night“. While some families just sit around and stare, we’re constantly talking and laughing and joking and actually having some bonding time (which sometimes requires me to press the pause button during the movie, but that’s just part of the fun). 

We normally jump into our pajamas (everybody in the family wears them), pop some popcorn (or collect some other tasty munchies), and snuggle on the couch. Something we want to try differently this month, though, is Netflix BINGO!!

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Netflix has provided their Stream Team with five different bingo cards to use while the family watches a movie. Obviously, not everything is going to happen in every movie, but it looks like it will be a LOT of fun!

The only question is…what movies should we watch? Here are some of the new releases Netflix has for September:

  • zootopiaAlvin & The Chipmunks: Road Chip. I gotta be honest…this series of movies stopped being entertaining for me after the first one. But hey…if the kids want to watch it, I’ll buckle in.
  • Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters wasn’t quite as good as the first movie, but with epic adventures and magical creatures, it’s something the kids will enjoy.
  • Zootopia is one of the most entertaining animated movies to come out in the past decade. The family will have no problem watching it again while playing BINGO.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is something you may want to watch knowing that there is a FIFTH Pirates movie coming out in 2017. Might as well continue to enjoy the crazy antics of Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the Fountain of Youth.
  • Zoolander 2 is the long-awaited (?) sequel to Ben Stiller’s original comedy about clueless models saving the world. My wife loved the first one…I can only imagine how the family will react to the second.
  • Maleficent wasn’t a movie I expected to like, but Angelina Jolie plays the character in such a way as to not be completely over-the-top, which makes it a massively entertaining twist to the tale of Sleeping Beauty.
  • Daddy’s Home is a very entertaining family comedy starring Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell. 

And if just the wife and I want to play Netflix BINGO, we can try out some of these new releases:

  • inceptionNeighbors is described as a “raunchy comedy” starring Seth Rogan and Zac Efron.
  • Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle was the movie that resurrected the incredible career of Neil Patrick Harris, even though he wasn’t even considered one of the stars of the movie. 
  • Inception is, simply put, one of the most incredible movies ever made. The acting, special effects, directing, and story are all amazing and it’s definitely worth your time to sit back and watch.
  • American Pie 2 wasn’t nearly as good as the original, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen it that I imagine my wife and I will have a blast re-living the hilarious exploits of Jim, Oz, Stiffler, & the rest of the gang.
  • The Revenant is a movie my wife couldn’t watch all of the way through, but I was mesmerized by the Oscar-winning performance of Leonardo DiCaprio. I’d totally watch it again!

So there you go…plenty to choose from! If you have the opportunity to play BINGO with your family (or just with your “better half”), what movie would you pick?

Where My Shoes Have Taken Me – Saint John, New Brunswick

Continuing my blog series of telling my stories through photographs, my most recent business trip took me to the historic city of Saint John, New Brunswick. I actually lived close to Saint John when I was a kid, out in the Gondola Point area (which is now considered part of Quispamsis).

While I wasn’t able to do a ton of sight-seeing, I still did the most to make the trip memorable…

These are my new Skechers: the Mark Nason Vesper shoe. I was a little concerned about the fit at first, primarily because they felt a little snug along the sides even though there was plenty of room near the toes. I can tell you that after two days on my feet, these shoes were FANTASTIC! The Memory Foam Lux insole made me feel as though I was walking on cushions the entire time. No word of lie...these shoes are awesome!
These are my new SKECHERS: the Mark Nason Vesper shoe. I was a little concerned about the fit at first, primarily because they felt a little snug along the sides even though there was plenty of room near the toes. I can tell you that after two days on my feet, these shoes were FANTASTIC! The Memory Foam Lux insole made me feel as though I was walking on cushions the entire time. No word of lie…these shoes are awesome!
I left the office at 1:30pm. It is a 4 1/2 hour trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous summer day and the drive went by rather quickly.
I left the office at 1:30pm. It is a 4 1/2 hour trip from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Saint John, New Brunswick. Thankfully, it was a gorgeous summer day and the drive went by rather quickly.
My home for the next couple of days. This chain was recommended to me and, as of today anyway, its been a good choice. I never have issues staying here...and no, that is NOT a paid endorsement.
My home for the next couple of days. This chain was recommended to me and, as of today anyway, its been a good choice. I never have issues staying here…and no, that is NOT a paid endorsement.
The first stop in the city was to eat, so I went down to Market Square along the waterfront. I love this part of the city, as its very open and includes not only shopping, but also the local library and the New Brunswick Museum.
The first stop in the city was to eat, so I went down to Market Square along the waterfront. I love this part of the city, as its very open and includes not only shopping, but also the public library and the New Brunswick Museum.
I had heard very good things about Ryan Duffys, which is a surf-n-turf restaurant located in Market Square. I was famished and it had already been a long week, so I was very much looking forward to a great meal.
I had heard very good things about Ryan Duffys, which is a surf-n-turf restaurant located in Market Square. I was famished and it had already been a long week, so I was very much looking forward to a great meal.
I asked my server for a local red and was given Picaroons, which is made in nearby Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was okay...a little too dark of a red for my personal tastes. Still...I'm all about supporting local.
I asked my server for a local red and was given Picaroons, which is made in nearby Fredericton, New Brunswick. It was okay…a little too dark of a red for my personal tastes. Still…I’m all about supporting local.
This was my meal: an 8-ounce, Alberta AAA wet-aged filet mignon and a side of lobster mac & cheese.
This was my meal: an 8-ounce, Alberta AAA wet-aged filet mignon and a side of lobster mac & cheese. Trust me…you do NOT want to know how much I paid for this.
I have to be 100% honest here...the filet was a little too blackened on the outside for my tastes (the bottom was worse than the top; pictured here). The inside was my requested medium rare, but the majority of my bites were flavourless because any seasoning that was on the meat initially was seared off or lost in the crunching of black pieces of meat. It wasn't bad by any stretch, but I have had a LOT better.
I have to be 100% honest here…the filet was a little too blackened on the outside. The inside was my requested medium rare, but the majority of my bites were flavourless because any seasoning that was on the meat initially was seared off or lost in the crunching of black pieces of meat. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, but I have had a LOT better.
This is Ryan Duffy's take on Lobster Mac & Cheese, which consists of Atlantic lobster, macaroni, spinach, tomatoes (which I asked to have removed), and a three cheese sauce all under a corn chip crust. If you look closely, you'll see there isn't any crust on the dish at all. Not inside...not outside. And it really could've been "mac & cheese soup" for how watery it was. The flavours were okay and lobster is never bad, but I'd rather make a batch of Kraft Dinner and throw some lobster in it myself. Hmmmm...that actually sounds REALLY good.
This is Ryan Duffy’s take on Lobster Mac & Cheese, which consists of Atlantic lobster, macaroni, spinach, tomatoes (which I asked to have removed), and a three cheese sauce all under a corn chip crust. If you look closely, you’ll see there isn’t any crust on the dish at all. Not inside…not outside. And it really could’ve been “mac & cheese soup” for how watery it was. The flavours were okay and lobster is never bad, but I’d rather make a batch of Kraft Dinner and throw some lobster in it myself. Hmmmm…that actually sounds REALLY good.
I took a quick walk around Market Square before heading back to the hotel for the evening. One of the beautiful things about Saint John is the historic architecture, as you'll find buildings that are over a century old.
I took a quick walk around Market Square before heading back to the hotel for the evening. One of the beautiful things about Saint John is the historic architecture, as you’ll find buildings that are over a century old.
Something to keep in mind if you're ever in Saint john is that it was Canada's first incorporated city way back in 1785, so the history of the city has always been something locals are proud of...and rightly so!
Something to keep in mind if you’re ever in Saint john is that it was Canada’s first incorporated city way back in 1785, so the history of the city has always been something locals are proud of…and rightly so!
After a good night's sleep, I woke to a gorgeous sunrise out of my room's window. It was a great way to start the day!
After a good night’s sleep, I woke to a gorgeous sunrise out of my room’s window. It was a great way to start the day!
After a couple of nights in this historic city, I was ready to head back home...but not before going to the best location in the entire city: The Saint John City Market!
After a couple of nights in this historic city, I was ready to head back home…but not before going to the best location in the entire city: the Saint John City Market!
Open year-round, Monday to Saturday, the Saint John City Market offers a unique shopping experience for locals and visitors alike. Nowhere else in Saint John can you experience a traditional "farmers market" while shopping for such a wide selection of local goods and imported foods.
Open year-round, Monday to Saturday, the Saint John City Market offers a unique shopping experience for locals and visitors alike. Nowhere else in Saint John can you experience a traditional “farmers market” while shopping for such a wide selection of local goods and imported foods.

Saint John 15

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Its here that you can browse for Maritime crafts, imported items, and items hand-crafted by the City Market's own resident artists.
Its here that you can browse for Maritime crafts, imported items, and items hand-crafted by the City Market’s own resident artists.

Saint John 20

Saint John 19

Saint John 18

"The
The biggest reason for me going to the City Market, however, was to pick up a delicacy that isn’t available everywhere: DULSE. My wife was VERY happy to receive this gift when I got back home.
Do just what is dulse? It's a red alga that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It looks like seaweed and is a well-known snack food.
Do just what is dulse? It’s a red alga that grows on the northern coasts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It’s a type of seaweed and is a well-known regional snack food.
Dulse is a good source of minerals and vitamins compared with other vegetables, contains all trace elements needed by humans, and has a high protein content. It is commonly found from June to September and can be picked by hand when the tide is out. When picked, small snails, shell pieces, and other small particles can be washed or shaken off and the plant then spread to dry. Some gatherers may turn it once and roll it into large bales to be packaged later. I think it's gross, but my wife LOVES the stuff.
Dulse is a good source of minerals and vitamins compared with other vegetables, contains all trace elements needed by humans, and has a high protein content. It is commonly found from June to September and can be picked by hand when the tide is out. When picked, small snails, shell pieces, and other small particles can be washed or shaken off and the plant then spread to dry. Some gatherers may turn it once and roll it into large bales to be packaged later. I think it’s gross, but my wife LOVES the stuff.
After two days and two nights, I made my way back home to Halifax. Thankfully, it was another beautiful day and the views between Saint John and Sussex, New Brunswick were phenomenal. But there was still one more stop I needed to make before getting back home...
After two days and two nights, I made my way back home to Halifax. Thankfully, it was another beautiful day and the views between Saint John and Sussex, New Brunswick were phenomenal. But there was still one more stop I needed to make before getting back home…
...I stopped by Moncton and surprised my son for lunch! I had spoken with his mom, who agreed it would be great for me to surprise him. It wasn't a long stop, but he'll always remember that his dad dropped by whenever he was passing by the area. When he's older, those types of memories will stay with him...and that's the kind of memory of me that I want him to have.
…I stopped by Moncton and surprised my son for lunch! I had spoken with his mom, who agreed it would be great for me to surprise him. It wasn’t a long stop, but he’ll always remember that his dad dropped by whenever he was passing by the area. When he’s older, those types of memories will stay with him…and that’s the kind of memory of me that I want him to have.