Blog Archives

Time flies . . . . .

Time does indeed seem to fly.  I have been ‘off’ blogging this summer….’off’ taking photos….trying to become ‘off’ facebook…..to some degree I’m kind of ‘off’ people….whilst still enjoying life….FYI – ‘people’ doesn’t include Johnny or the girls 🙂

Last post was a camping weekend in the Gatineaus June 6th.  Whatever have we done since then…honestly, the summer has been so busy that we’ve started cancelling some of our plans….we need a break!

This was the year of the ‘Staycation’ – all of what we have done in June, July and August is in Ottawa or within a 3 hour drive of Ottawa.

So….Ottawa Jazzfest 2016 took up a WHOLE lot of our time – June 22nd to July 3rd there were multiple performances daily.  We didn’t get to every single one but we saw a whole slew of acts!  We prefer the slightly younger musicians with interesting twists on the old style.  In fact, I am not a fan of the classic Jazz style and am always happier when there is a more bluesy sound.

July 1st – Canada Day – this is a HUGE event in our fair City of Ottawa – the Nation’s Capital~!  We celebrated with friends and family and had a blast!  We could see the fireworks from our new home in the Byward Market.

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Ottawa Bluesfest 2016  took up less of our time – it’s a lot of music and a lot more expensive with tons more people – we went to two nights only and the music was great and I was OK with not spending more time there.  We did see Billy Idol, and some of my favourite Canadian (and non-Canadian) blues style artists.  Monkey Junk hosted an All Star Blues Review most evenings and it was amazing – small venue in the War Museum…very up close & personal…great music!

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Camping – hrm….. after Lac Philippe we went to Lake St Peter Provincial Park July 8th to 11th – it rained most of the weekend…but as always we HAD fun!  We did get out hiking on the one nice day.  I love camping 🙂  We also rented some kayaks on the nice day – but they were awful kayaks..not as enjoyable as the nice ones we had on Lac Philippe.

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August long weekend we went camping at Presqu’ile Provincial Park on Lake Ontario.  We stayed in a campsite with water view – we had a very open campsite, not nearly as private as we are accustomed to.  It also has much more of a Southern Ontario feel – not the ‘northern’ atmosphere we are accustomed too.  My cousin came to visit on the Friday, we went for a major hike on the hot hot day Saturday and of course left beach day to Sunday – and it wasn’t really a nice beach day *sigh*….headed off fairly early on Monday morning and meandered back along the shores of Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River – lunch in Kingston….

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ONE weekend we toured our own fair city!  Double decker hop on hop off bus tour, we went to see the new Star Trek movie.  Next day we went on a plane ride in an open cockpit vintage airplane over the downtown of Ottawa and then to the Star Trek Experience at the Aviation Museum….we had a great weekend….Ottawa is an amazing city with lots to see and do!

Fireworks!  Last night we saw the 4th of 5 Fireworks in an annual competition hosted by Casino  Lac-Leamy.  We saw the first two China & The Netherlands from our Balcony, Estonia we walked over to Major’s Hill Park to see it and last night it was Australia and we were on the bridge between Chateau Laurier and Parliament Hill and then walked down beside the Chateau Laurier to Major’s Hill.  I’m fairly certain that Australia was the best – it remains to be seen which they pick though!  Saturday night (20th August) is the finale of the event with the Canadian fireworks company.  Hopefully, we will remember in time to get a good vantage point!

OK..places to go, people to see ….. I will dig up some photos of all that I have described above and post them in a few days …. ciao ciao!  POSTED!

p.s…….. we have commenced the planning for winter 2017! yee hawww!

 

 

Lac Philippe

We manage to find ourselves at Lac Philippe at least once every year for a walk or a hike.  It’s a beautiful little lake in the National Capital Commission (NCC) ‘s Gatineau Park.  This weekend we camped there for the first time!  We arrived Thursday around 5:30 (after a very very stressful work day)….the weather was beautiful and it wasn’t long before we were cooking beans on the Coleman stove and sausage over the fire.  We only saw one other couple that night and they weren’t camping anywhere near us.  We were all alone in our sector of the park.  It was idyllic, quiet, dark – oh so peaceful!

Friday we rented little kayaks and paddled around the lake.   We paddled around the entire perimeter of the lake, saw many beaver huts (no beavers though), a loon happily diving for fish, a big blue fish which we have no idea what kind he was (coloured fish are fairly unusual in Canadian lakes that I know of), birds galore!  At the far end (near the entrance to Lusk Caves) we banked the kayaks and had a picnic on the beach, then headed back down up the other side.  We stopped at a little island and did some exploring and took the kayaks back.  It was a great day…oh so quiet out there!

Saturday was big hike day – we hiked to Lac Taylor (another lake within the same area), passing Lac Renaud on the way.  We picnicked at an empty campsite overlooking the Taylor Lake and then looped back through the forest trail and old logging road back to our campsite.  We think it was about 11 k altogether.  Lots of wildlife along the way (as is evidenced below).

Our evenings consisted of reading by the fire (with our geeky headlamps on)!  Nights got COLD….down to about 9c (with the day times in the mid to high 20’s).  Sunday morning we awoke to a lot of sounds..weren’t really too aware of what it was…and then it started to rain…once we looked out we realized that everyone who was near us (those that arrived Friday night) had all been smart enough to pack up and head out before the BIG RAIN started.  Needless to say we left with a lot of wet gear.  It was only 9:30 in the morning, so we grabbed Tim Horton’s breakie and coffee near Wakefield and decided to go for a drive up the valley to Maniwaki.  If you live in the Ottawa area and haven’t driven up there it really is a nice drive (in spite of the crazy drivers).  I had no idea that Maniwaki was so large, with traffic lights, Canadian Tire.  A section near the main street was cordoned off with police blockade and a huge police bus.  When we got home we read that a young man had been found dead in the area.  Sad 😦

Once home we stowed the gear, showered the wood smoke off and headed to Murray Street kitchen for a delectible meal!

That’s it – no more camping until July 7th.  City work & fun until then!

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Beaver Hut in the background

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A2 was our home for the weekend

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Rented kayaks on site for 4 hours and paddled around the perimeter of the lake.

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Melva

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Wee fish near the beach where we rented the kayaks

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More wee fish

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Mom? Dad? & Goslings…

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Oh Deer

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Cute little guy

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Ants at work

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Same Goslings with Mom? Dad?

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The biggest, tallest trilliums I’ve ever seen (above and below)

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the requisite selfie – I shouldn’t wear hats or go without make up…OR do closeups – Johnny’s good though 🙂

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I’ve never seen caterpillars at this stage before..not sure what the heck is next (above & below)

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I should have left some space between our last hiking photo and our dinner the next day 🙂

Below – Johnny’s meal on top – Fred’s Pork – my meal below – Joe’s Fish.  The menu has changes/additions almost daily.  The ‘names’ of the dishes stay the same – but the dish itself may change.  My walleye (pickerel) was amazing..YUM YUM!

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A camping we did go…..July 17 to 19th, 2015

If I had my choice I would spend every weekend camping….unfortunately, the nature of my work doesn’t allow for it…..love love love the fresh air…..sleeping on the ground……..sitting by the camp fire…….cooking over a propane stove…….no clue why…..perhaps because it reminds me of ‘once upon a time, long long ago’ 🙂  This weekend was the 3rd weekend we snuck off to camp.  We left around 3:30 on Friday, it was raining, we set up camp in the rain (tarping first).  It rained all evening and crazy heavy in the night, but we remained dry!  I had brought some brain teasing games along and we had a great time in the evening under the tarp trying to figure out word puzzles and brain teasers by the light of our headlamps!  Next day was gorgeous, we went for a number of walks, wandered through the wee village of Fitzroy Harbour, walked one of the scenic trails in the Park and just generally wandered about!  Saturday night was camp fire night and we played a few more brain teasing games!  That night it rained like crazy again, but once again we survived!  Unfortunately, I had to work at 10:45 in the morning, so we got up early, ate our breakfast and broke down our soggy camp, rushed home & I was showing homes by 11:15 a.m., Johnny put my Open House signs up while I was showing houses & then I did my Open House.  An exciting weekend where I managed to relax, get fresh air & work!  The usual photos below 🙂 !

Fitzroy Provincial Park – July 10th!

We had a one night stand (sleep 🙂 in Fitzroy Provincial Park!  My daughter had friends from out of town visiting so we gave up our place for the night and headed out to the park for a campfire night!   Guess what?  You need to bring as much stuff for one night as you do for one week!  Still, it was worth it and we enjoyed the campfire, the hike in the morning and the relaxation!   We took the long route home, Quyon Ferry through the Gatineaus, took a drive around Meech Lake (would have stopped but NO parking)…..then back  home!  We may just do another ‘one nighter’ in a few weeks (I’m booked to work every Sunday until our vacay in August)!  The usual photos of our wandering!   This time taken with my new phone – Samsun Galaxy S6 (forgot the Nikon D5500 in our haste to pack)!

Camping – Murphy’s Point

Johnny, my daughter Sandra & her husband Morgan & I went on a spur of the moment camping trip!  We downsized our camping gear last year to nothing but a tent & sleeping bags, so I had to do some last minute scrambling to get everything we would need for a weekend away.  Once there, we realized it was going to rain for the whole 2nd night into the next day, so once again had to scramble to buy some tarps to cover up!  I love tarping campsites….not sure why, but I do – in my past life I was known as the Tarpaulin Queen (ok, perhaps self-apponted) 🙂  First group of photos here are close-ups of the wildlife we encountered along the way (excluding mosquitos and ticks)….poor Topanga being a low slung dog ended up with a belly full of ticks 😦

Murphy’s Point (website here) is only 94 km from our home, the perfect distance and a pleasant drive!  It’s just outside the quaint little town of Perth, Ontario (website here) and it’s on Big Rideau Lake which is part of the Rideau System that runs from the St. Lawrence Seaway right through to Ottawa.  It has a number of nice hiking trails, a variety of historic buildings and an abandoned Mine.  We had the very worst campsite (as we booked las tmoment) – right next to the privy and garbage – but heck, when I got up in the middle of the night I was ‘close’!!!  We ate traditional camping food, hot dogs, weiners & beans with eggs & cold cuts for breakfast!  The 4 of us went on one hike about 5 km and then Johnny & I went on a 2nd hike to the mine which was 2.5 km.

Saturday night we played Euchre (Morgan & Johnny are Euchre newbies), Sandra has some experience and I’m a Euchre shark that taught them all the aggressive Euchre playing techniques I know 🙂

I took hundreds of photos with the new camera, unfortunately, I haven’t done any of the on-line courses for it yet, so essentially, it was point & shoot on auto setting.  I hope to learn how to take better more interesting photos down the road! Morgan & Sandra left fairly early on Sunday morning, but Johnny & I hung in drinking coffee under the tarp watching the amazing fire that we had built (in spite of the rain)……of course, we discovered ‘liquid’ fire starter, which goes a long way to make the fire roar!!

Did I mention that we are the little tent campers with no mattress?  Hardy souls we are 🙂

In the past few weeks we have become obsessed with the locks along the Rideau system.  The locks are great places to stop and go to the washroom in a clean setting 🙂  They are also lovely areas for picnics, small walks/hikes & simply to watch the locks and boaters in action.  I didn’t take any photos yesterday but on the way home we stopped by Narrow Locks (click here), Newboro Locks (click here) and Poonmalie Locks (click here).  The Narrows are my favourite because they have bigger open water on both sides, lots of picnic places, a really nice blockhouse AND they have a swing bridge.  It was pouring rain, but at each lock we wandered around taking in the sights.  We ‘picniced’ in the car at Newboro and then went into the best store in the world and one you shouldn’t miss if  you are in Newboro/Westport area – click HERE to see Kilborn’s website!  Their web presence doesn’t do them justice, they have the most amazing array of clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry and the list goes on…all latest fashion and high end.  If you’ve never been your jaw will drop as you walk through (don’t miss the upstairs)!

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