Sunday, August 28, 2005

Five Tuesdays...

Until Serenity opens. Fourteen episodes in the original one-season series (+ three on DVD that were never aired). If my math is any good, that means we have but to watch three episodes per Tuesday and pull an extended four-episode night twice. The episodes run about forty five minutes each -- SHAZAM! Two point two five hrs per night (on the three ep nights). A small price to pay for being all primed and ready to go on the thirtieth.River says "Move It or I'll turn your brain to jelly".


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

XXX-hibitionism (not that kind!)

Took the kids to the exhibition on the weekend. $10 to ride to their hearts desire. They stayed for 8hrs! We pooped out after 5, but thank my lucky stars for aunts, visiting and otherwise. Anyway, you know all about it, but here are some pics for your e-wallet.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Ottablog - Part the third

Once we got to Lee and Sandy's it was more relaxing. The first thing upon pulling into the driveway, Lee was waiting there for us claiming he was just out for a stroll in the dark. Not at all excited to see us. We disembarked and were greeted by a little toad who was hopping through the nearby flower bed. We thanked him for his welcome by picking him up and terrorizing him as he was passed from hand to hand to hand. We finally released the exhausted amphibian and went up to bed.

I will not distinguish the individual days that we stayed in Ottawa. They were slow paced, relaxed and fun. A typical day was like this...

Leora and Anwyn were too hot, too scared, or too awake to sleep well. They got up several times each in the night, making me a bit grumpy and leaving me just as tired as all the driving had already made me. The girls got up at about 6am local time and woke everyone but me. I was lucky enough to sleep in until 8:30 or 9am!

By the time I got up, Leora would have already been feeding the Coy out in the pond for an hour or so. This she did every day for several hours or more in 30 degree heat with no shade. It was by far her favorite activity. The fish would take food right from her hands or nibble it from between her toes.

Anwyn preferred the Jacuzzi. She would already be shriveled and pruney before I was even awake. The kitchen has windows looking onto the jacuzzi and so it generally fell to grandma to keep an eye on her while she was in there. It is a good thing that Sandy loves to be in her kitchen sooo much. If Anwyn was out of the water for more than an hour she was asking to be back in.

When I did drag my sorry butt out of the guest room, Sandy made me coffee in her Tim Horton's coffee maker. Our coffee tastes seem to be similar and we were able to have much bonding on the subject. After seeing Anwyn's latest Jacuzzi flip, spin, or breath holding maneuver, and discussing which of Leora's fish had been eating the most and from which of her appendages, we would often go for a group walk somewhere in the neighbourhood.

One such memorable trip was out to what everyone calls "The Old House", which is as it may sound, old. Greta had a professor date some of the pottery fragments at about 1890. It has trees growing inside and virtually no remaining roof. Old.

Other things to note:
--Lee and I saw an exellent exhibit on Pompeii and Vesuvius.
--the girls loved playing with the doll house
--we visited IKEA and Lee Valley
--we went to the Canadian Museum of Man and Nature
--Lee gave the girls the riding mower ride of their lives
--Grandpa and girls rescued (at least temporarily) the lives of nearly a hundred little fish.

The return trip was relatively nondescript. We drove until we could drive no more and then slept for an hour or so in the van. We did stop in Thunder Bay again for me to sleep. The rest of the family went to Old Fort William. I missed going, but the sleep and quite were good.

It is hard to express how wonderful it was to be back in Saskatchewan. There is so much sky here. The roads are straight (and smoother by compare than you might think). The air smells nicer and doesn't stick to you all day and night. In short, it really is home.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Ottablog-part the second

The OPP (the Ontario analogue to the RCMP) are omnipresent. During this day of driving, I spotted no less than 15 of their cruisers on the highway--AND they have been busy. Many empty cars line the ditches, attesting to what must be the many DUI's over the long weekend. Combine that with the stupidly low speedlimit on the highways (70-90kmph) and it makes for one long day of driving. We anticipated getting to Lee and Sandy's around 7pm local time, but bad news for us, because we found about 3hrs of extra highway somewhere. Speed limits may have had an impact as well as Anwyn's funnel-like digestive tract. During parts of the day, we were compelled to stop more than hourly!
Anyway it was close to 10pm when we arrived at 8161 fallowfield road (googlemaps). Their house is actually right above the google marker and the dark mark beside the house is Sandy's very large and beautiful pond. I was very tired and I'm not sure I've ever felt more glad to be at a journey's end (or middle if you want to quibble).

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

OttaBlog-part the first

It has been a busy few days on the highway. With only minor bathroom breaks, we made it all the way to the Manitoba boarder. We had a picnic lunch at the tourism center with a very large bull and a curious buzzing sound, which turned out to be a miniature motorcycle.

We drove most of the way to Winnipeg, staying at a very well maintained campground called Rivers. Due to the time change, the girls missed playing mini-golf, but we did have a terrific marshmallow roast before the mosquitoes chased us to our tent.

In the morning we drove speedy-quick into Winnipeg and checked out the Manitoba Museum. It was nice. The kids really enjoyed it, but in the end it was like any other museum of man and nature, only with a prairie slant. The one exception to this was the Nonsuch. Describing it would be a sham, but fortunately, I have pictures.

Vin must see. We ate another great cooler lunch and made for Lake Superior. We reached Thunder Bay late in the day (11:30 pm local) and stayed with Wendy’s Aunt Linda and Uncle Allan.

I awoke in the morning to fresh coffee (it was flavoured coffee, but coffee none-the-less), and warm raspberry muffins. Hard to complain about the service. I got rid of my campfire smell and we all went to a nearby farm with a playground and some historical fur-trade paraphernalia. It was fast, fun and free, though nothing like Old Fort William (‘cept the fun part) which we have seen on many previous occasions. We had supper at Aunty J’s with the whole T-bay crew, Huey even showed up late in the day after a great car show a few hours out of town.

We slept at Linda’s again and left early on Sunday morning. What can you say about the North shore of Lake Superior, but “wow!” It is stunning. Expansive water vistaing everywhere and craggy islands lolling about in the water waiting to jut their stuff for the RV masses. [Picture courtesy of Skara Brae Bed and Breakfast in Grand Marais, MN] Sunday we played mini-golf at a place that sold amazing potato wedges, though the mini-golf was substandard. It rained off and on all day long and we were conflicted about whether to stay dry in a hotel in Sudbury or risk a wet departure after camping. In the end we camped at a place called Pancake Bay.

It was a huge oval loop with 480 (or so) campsites! Yikes. (for the obsessive or those interested in the campground, you can click on the image map to find our site with description. I think we were in 462) Despite the numbers, it was quite private. Fortune smiled upon us and it did not rain, nor did mosquitoes seem to inhabit this mysterious bay.