We arrived on July 1, 1986, and went straight to the Parliament Buildings to take in all the pomp and ceremony of our nation's birthday. The girls had their photo taken with an RCMP officer, all decked out in his official attire. They waved their Canada flags along with all the other party goers and we had a great day. However, it was so hot that we finally had to retire to our air-conditioned hotel room - after treating ourselves to ice-cream, of course.
Ottawa is a very interesting city on the banks of the Ottawa River that runs between Ontario and Quebec. Having very extreme temperatures, we found that winter was the most fun. If and when you adapt to the icy cold, there really is a lot to do there. One of the most fun days we had was when we took the girls to the Winter Festival on the Rideau Canal. In winter, a section of the Rideau Canal passing through central Ottawa becomes officially the world's largest skating rink and here is the family in front of the sign that reads, "The World's Longest Skating Rink 7.8km" and for those who don't know metric, that's almost 5 miles long.
Our house was made of brick, which seemed unusual to us, coming from the West Coast where houses are mainly built with wood. But we quickly felt at home. Our front lawn had quite a steep slope so once the snow hit, out came the new sleds and snowsuits and the girls and their friends had a great time sliding down.
When the deep deep freeze set in, my husband thought it would be fun to make a skating rink for the girls in the back yard. A lot of fathers would run a hose on top of the snow so their kids could skate around, but my husband was not one to do that. He got out his brand new snow blower and worked on that rink for days! Here he is starting the rink by blowing all the snow aside.
Then he hosed the area down and let it freeze. But, no! The rink was not ready yet. Every night after work he'd go out in the dark and scrape that ice rink smooth. He'd have the hose to fill in little holes and cracks until he was satisfied that it was the best rink he could possibly make. And even after the girls started skating on it (and all the neighbourhood kids came over to try it out, too, because word got around), he'd still go out every night to "fix" the rink so that no one would trip on a hole and hurt themselves.
So day in and day out, if the girls weren't at their formal figure skating lessons, they were outside skating! I'd call them in for dinner and then they'd go outside and skate in the dark. Well, it wasn't really dark because their Dad set up a lighting system so they could see to skate out there in the dark. And, since their Dad was a hockey fanatic, he bought them hockey sticks so he could play with them, too.
We had lots of other adventures during our 3 years in Ottawa, and I will post about other places we visited when the alphabet fits. Hope you enjoyed this little sojourn in Ottawa and I recommend you visit the city and its environs to see all it has to offer.
ABC Wednesdays is brought to you by Mrs. Nesbitt.