After a long day of plane travel, we have just checked into our hotel in Kanata and put the kids into bed. It is past midnight Ottawa time but only around 9:00 PM. Tomorrow morning will come early. The plan is to do some shopping for some furniture we need which will also help to make the place livable while we await our belongings. Not much visiting yet since we are quite busy but soon…
I am sitting in a bar in our hotel by the San Francisco airport updating our website and sipping a Crown Royal and coke (can’t get ginger ale here reliably, another benefit of Canada…). Our cars are loaded on trucks. Cynthia’s left first and should more or less greet us in Ottawa. Mine left today. Our stuff is loaded on a third truck which also left today. Tomorrow we fly to Ottawa.
We will spend a few days in a hotel but plan to move in to the house before our stuff arrives. We will be getting a new spare bed, a new microwave and much more. Between that and some loaners from friends and family, we think we can rough it for a while.
So, to everyone in Ottawa, we hope to see you all soon.
With only a couple weeks before our stuff was loaded on a truck headed for Ottawa, we had to throw a party to say goodbye to the friends we made in California. Cynthia ordered two jump houses for the kids. We had two so the larger kids could act a bit wild without risk of hurting one of the smaller ones. However, that didn’t stop them from mixing things up.
Later in the day, I did my best to empty the freezer and cooked lots of chicken breasts, served with several different salads and home fries. We also baked a couple of cakes, removing those from our pantry. I guess everything was ok because there wasn’t too much left over when it was all done.
We have lots of pictures of the kids with their friends. We will miss all of you and hope to visit again sometime in the future.
We were offered the opportunity to attend a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation event at AT&T stadium and see a Giants game. After my experience with WWDC, I convinced Cynthia that the way to get downtown was by train. It brought us within a couple blocks of the stadium. Before the game, we were provided with a BBQ dinner. The kids spent much of their time in a jump house.
Then it was time to watch the game. It was getting pretty cold so we got a couple of hot chocolates to keep us going. Honestly, I can’t tell you who was playing and I probably only watched a few plays. Such is life with a two year old. After a few innings, it was time to catch a return train. We didn’t get home until about 10:00. Matthew and Samantha were exhausted (to say nothing of Cynthia and I). I don’t know if there is still a baseball team in Ottawa and it was a great opportunity to see a major league team play before we moved back.
Since Apple announced the ability to write your own applications for the iPhone, I have been working on different things. I even have an app up on the store right now (see www.halcyontouch.com for more details). Every year, Apple holds a developer conference in San Francisco and I hoped to attend before we moved back. Sure enough, when the dates were announced, it was a couple weeks before our move so I bought myself a pass.
Everyday, I caught a Caltrain at 7:13 AM which is a bit early for me. And I often wouldn’t be back home until 10:00 or later after attending different parties in the evening. I was there for the announcement of the iPhone 4 but more important were the technical sessions and the labs. At the labs, I could show my app to an Apple engineer and get assistance on something I was having trouble with. Sometimes I learned I was doing this correctly but often I would leave with a longer list of things to improve.
The different evening events were great. On Tuesday night, there was a “Stump The Experts” event where the audience and about 20 Apple employees tried to out do each other with arcane technical and Apple history trivia.
Wednesday night, I got to see and touch some of that Apple history. At this party, they had several old machines like a Lisa, a Macintosh 512 and even an Apple I owned by Apple employee number 16 who was there to demo it. I snapped a bunch of pictures and chatted with people about what machines the we had used. I told several people that I had bought an Apple I replica kit so soon I would assemble my own reproduction of history.
Thursday night was the big party put on by Apple. It was pretty crazy. I met several people like Bill Atkinson who are as close as it comes to celebrities in the Apple community. Later, Ok Go came out to perform. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay to the end but I had a train to catch and by then, the weeks activities had me pretty exhausted.
It was pretty expensive but doing it after our move back to Ottawa would have costed much more. It was a great chance to learn more about my iPhone development hobby and indulge my love of all things Apple.
In early June, we went on a trip to visit Alcatraz. First, we had a short trip across the bay. I followed the kids around as they visited the bow and the stern of the boat. Matthew was disappointed that he didn’t see a shark. That was probably influence from our visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium the week before Maybe if we visit Grandma and Poppa he will have more luck with that.
Once at Alcatraz, we started the tour. We got the audio tour machine for everyone, including Samantha. But it was very quickly apparent we were going to be able to do that. Samantha wasn’t going to be patient enough for that to work. So Cynthia and I removed ours but Matthew continued to listen. We wandered through the prison and Matthew would tell us about what he was listening to. They would rarely match up but we figured it out.
Before long, it was time to return to the mainland for dinner. We went to the Hard Rock Cafe and had a pretty good time there. It is noisy enough in there that Matthew and Samantha couldn’t bother anyone if they tried.
It was another item off of our list before our return to Ottawa.
On Saturday, we spent the day on the boardwalk. Samantha loved the rides before she passed out in the afternoon. So, we relaxed in some shade for her to rest. Matthew and I visited a “haunted walk”. You had to be 13 to enter alone so the attendants and I discouraged Matthew. But he assured us after peeking in that it didn’t look too scary. So we pressed on. It was dark and Matthew was pretty scared! But he survived and had no interest in trying it again.
Later, we had an excellent meal at a restaurant on the beach. I had a wonderful mahi mahi fillet and Cynthia had salmon. It was the first time in quite a while since we were at a nice restaurant and it went pretty well with the kids there.
The next day, we drove a bit further to Monterey to visit the aquarium. We had been there and it was actually the first tourist-y thing we did in California. At the time, we were determined to go back and this was our chance. Samantha was a bit older and she loved it even more. She spent a long time at the areas where you could reach in and touch different things. Matthew waited for quite a while to touch a ray but never got the chance. Still it was a great day and we returned to our hotel for one more night.
The last day we spent on the beach. It was just a tad cool and the water was cold but that didn’t deter us too much. Everyone spent some time to varying degrees in the Pacific. Matthew went the deepest – up to his waist. Most of the time was spent playing in the sand and just enjoying our time together. And unlike at Bodega Bay, we weren’t dealing with 30 mph winds.
Before long, it was time to pile into the car and head back home. It was a great time though, especially at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.