We're in Florida! June is currently eating chips off my plate, Flora's napping and the temperature keeps rising so fingers crossed we can go swimming this afternoon! Regardless of the weather (it's been pretty unseasonably cold?), we are having such a wonderful, wonderful time together as a family. After a couple days in, both Mike and I can feel the stress barometer falling and the sun is an extra bonus (apparently it's a massive snowfall and -7 back in Ottawa so let's be honest, anything *not* winter weather is tropical for this northern family. ;)
Last week my parents were visiting and we took a little road trip to Boldt Castle. I had never heard of it up until a year ago (which is strange since we live so close!) and when I mentioned it last Spring to my dad as something I wanted to do this year he jumped at the idea (I think all things history and love for old monuments kinda runs in the family). The trip there was so pretty!! the Castle is located on an island just off the shore of Alexandria Bay, New York. From our place in Ottawa it's about an hour and a half drive which makes it the perfect day trip. We drove down alongside the st. Lawrence river (on the NY state side) and the views were spectacular! (I took a bunch of video on the drive down and you can see it in the little clip I put together below or here).
So we're kinda weird but I made my family "celebrate" Canada Day a bit early this year. We live in Ottawa and I couldn't *not* take the girls downtown to be "in Ottawa" for the 150 birthday celebrations... but I also just couldn't picture me pushing around a toddler who bolts and maneuvering the craziest crowd ever with a newborn. I know they're only very little but I vaguely remember when the Olympic torch came through my hometown when I was barely 4 (if that!).... or maybe I don't remember it at all but I have the candle that everyone in the crowd got to hold as part of the celebration? Either way I can say "I was there when" which, when it comes to stuff
Over Easter Weekend we popped in for a visit to the Memory Junction Railway Museum . I've been there before on account of it being one of *the* highlights to visit in my hometown, but this was June's first visit and I've found that things are just a whole new level when I'm doing it with her for the first time. She's the perfect age for it because trains, cars, "big trucks" are all the rage right now (if you have a toddler i'm sure you know what I'm talking about). I'm always surprised at what she'll spot out the window in the backseat of the car while we're driving around.
We've had an extremely action packed last couple weeks and this is me just getting around to putting something together on our trip to NY! I started a new job (!!) (more on that) and my computer completely crashed on me so it was touch and go there for awhile if I'd ever get back at this again but here we are!
We're here visiting the Big Apple for a few days (do people still call it that?) and I'm falling in love with my daydream of living in this city again. It's amazing how quickly I feel like I could give up my country roads for a chance to live here. Yesterday as we were walking around I was describing our hypothetical life to Mike; "and this is where I could jog and we could walk cliff, and oh! We'd have to figure out where to buy our meat from and hopefully find an apartment with a rooftop so I could have some planters (priorities)"
We got back from South Carolina at the end of last week and I've been sifting through all the photos and video Mike and I took collectively of our trip since. I think I went a little overboard in the name of "this is our first vacation together as a family." This is the dilemma of modern day parenting, am I right? So many digital files to save properly... and to remember that we'll probably regret it big time if we don't print them out and have memories saved in albums as well!
When we were in South Carolina last week, we took a day trip and drove down to Charleston where the flowers are in full on bloom and the sun shines all day long (at least it did for us!) and ok, it is such an incredibly beautiful city!
We found the sun!! We're in South Carolina visiting mike's parents and I just talked to my sister who's back home where it's minus 19 (Celsius!) Since its plus nineteen here, we really know how to pick 'em!
Last weekend Mike and I got away, just the two of us, to Montreal for the night. We had been looking for a little get away since Christmas when I said to Mike "Can we just go away somewhere together so I can sleep?" (It came after a particularly bad string of nights where I'd been up hourly with June.)
And then all of a sudden it was September and I'm looking at these photos from last week going, that was in the "summer" (I know summer isn't officially over until later in the month, but for me summer is basically over when September hits.)
To me, the ideal holiday involves time to run and sweat. This is a good thing because in my opinion, holidays are also about good food and if I don't mix a bit of exercise in there, it's so easy to feel sluggish. And then when I get home, I feel the need to overcompensate. Ideally, the holiday IS the cleanse, as opposed to the crazy juice concoction you force yourself to drink to get rid of the Las Vegas you brought home with you....
We found the lake and not a minute too soon since August is closing in on us. (How did that happen? Honestly it seems like yesterday it was the beginning of June and I was a gazzillion months pregnant!) It is actually a little piece of heaven here. This lake and the rocky shores are so breathtaking, and I'm reminded of how embarrassingly lucky we are here in Canada to have this in our backyard.
We made it to the Muir Woods National Monument when we were in San Francisco. So beautiful. So, So beautiful. I've never seen trees so tall (and I'd love to go back to California someday and take another tour because apparently there are even taller, wider trees? It seems incomprehensible. It must just blow your mind away.)
These are some of the things I want to remember about our honeymoon:
We arrived in San Francisco without my luggage. We’d traveled through Phoenix and I had thought it important to ask the United Airlines hostess at the boarding gate to check and see our luggage had made it from our smaller flight in the short window of time we’d had since arriving in the Sunny city with a very air-conditioned airport.
You all know how I feel about Disney - but did you know that when you attend Disney at Christmas, they pull out all the stops? Apparently the way to my heart is through Snickerdoodles (which until last week I had no idea existed outside of story-books) but when we went to Disney, I figured out they were very much a real thing because our tickets included hot chocolate and endless snickerdoodles.
The Sunshine State really is a happy place. Before we left, I had a really hard time wrapping my head around the fact that I was leaving a cold place, and would step off the plane in a hot place (there's a first time for everything right?) and then when when it came time to come back to Canada, it was just as hard for me to understand that there would be snow on the ground. In fact, we landed in a snow-storm. It was actually poetic when the entire airplane groaned at the Stewardess' joke about "watching your step disembarking from the plane, there's snow on the step."
Hello my friends! Is it snowy where you are? When we stepped off the plane on Saturday I immediately wanted to share the feeling of hot air with everyone in my life. I've never experienced the feeling of leaving a cold and snowy landscape behind - and let me tell you it's pretty much my new favourite feeling.
We're off on a road trip this weekend to see two wonderful friends from grad school tie the knot! The suits and dresses are packed and we are ready to dance. Cliff respectfully declined the invitation in lieu of spending time with my parents and sister's family :)
I’m writing this on the bus during my Monday morning commute. Less than 7 hours ago I was behind the wheel of the Honda on the highway between Montreal and Ottawa. It was dark and the roads were empty. We were listening to people rant about the afterlife on “Coast to Coast” late night AM radio to try to stay awake.
There's something decidedly great about a road trip: Confined, cramped spaces for many many hours, breathing recycled air, and of course the road food, all leading to a progressively grouchy driver and drowsy passenger. What's not to love? But the allure gets to me every time.
If there was ever a cliche it would be this. But I swear, you can't make this up people. I used to hate wine. My sister's would rub their sophistication in my face as I sipped on a Mike's Hard Lemonade. And then I grew up a bit. It just so happens, that the way it happened, seems to have come from a postcard. But every word of it is true. It was on that day: