A couple of weeks ago, Cynthia’s dad and Nannette came for a visit. It was their first visit since we moved back. On Saturday, they joined us at our house and we gave them the tour. The next morning, we went to their hotel to enjoy the wave pool with them. Matthew went into the deep water and made good use of his goggles. Samantha played in the shallow water, jumping over the waves and just having fun.
Afterwards, we had brunch with them in the hotel before we said our good-byes so they could make the return trip back to Toronto. Since then, we spent a night at their house in Toronto on our way towards the London area to visit my family for Thanksgiving. It is great being back in Canada and close to family and friends.
I have uploaded a few pictures from our move back to Ottawa. You can see the trucks come to take our cars, our place in California being emptied, some shots with us en route and then finally some pictures in our new home.
The truck with all our possessions came today. Unfortunately for the movers, the temperatures were in the mid-30’s (Celsius for our friends in California which is in the 90’s Fahrenheit). I made a few runs for supplies like large jugs of Gatorade and more to try to help them fight the heat. We weren’t much better in the house where the temperature climbed to 31. We had to have the AC off most the day because the doors were open most of the time. So, we didn’t do a whole lot other than direct boxes to their proper location. It was just too hot to start unpacking.
The movers estimate that the weather cost them about three hours because they just couldn’t sustain the effort. Frequent breaks were well deserved. By 5:00, I took everyone’s dinner order and made another run to pick up some food. At 6:00, everything was in the house and around 8:00 all of the beds and shelves were put together and they gladly called it a day.
This house is much bigger than our place in California. Here, we have lots of boxes everywhere but it is still easy to navigate through the house. In California, the garage was pretty much full of boxes and much of the rest of the house was a maze. The space should make unpacking much easier, which will start in earnest tomorrow.
We were lucky enough to have moved back in time to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa. We spent the day at Stefanie and Dan’s house where I had to brave the cold water in the pool twice because Samantha wanted to go swimming. Stefanie is Cynthia’s sister and it was our first chance to visit with them since we moved back.
After that, we came home with no intention of seeing any fireworks. We hadn’t really packed much warm clothes and it can get very cool at night, especially when waiting for some fireworks to begin. But, at about 10:00 PM tonight, I heard the sound of fireworks. That isn’t too unusual but what was unusual is that they sounded very close. I looked out a window and there were fireworks in the soccer field right across from our house.
Matthew was ostensibly asleep but I knew better. Opening his door, I found him watching the fireworks through his window. I quietly told him to get dressed and we slipped out the front door to watch the show. It was a great way to top off the day and when the fireworks were over, we just crossed the road and went back inside. I hope this is a regular event. If so, we will invite people to join us in the future.
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.
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.
Over the long weekend (Memorial Day), we went on trip to Santa Cruz. We booked a hotel for the weekend even though Santa Cruz was only about 40 minutes away. We had plans for the entire weekend.
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.