Only 5 more sleeps to our first ever beach Christmas! This weekend we attended Johnny’s Christmas Party at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel here in Ottawa. It’s a beautiful old hotel and a lovely place to celebrate Christmas!
Busy week this week with work, appointments, dinner at our daughter’s house, lunch with friends, cleaning the house, laundry, packing and then finally our flight will leave at 6 am on Saturday morning…wooo hoooooo!!
We have been de-cluttering/minimizing for years now….starting back in about 2009 with the knowledge that we would be selling our 4 bedroom home in the burbs within the next few years….we put it up for sale in 2011 and we had divested ourselves of a great number of personal effects – and of course we had to because we were moving to an 1,100 sq. ft. condo apartment with one small storage locker for the ‘extras’. Living with less just felt better. Of course one always over minimizes in the beginning and we did have to replace a thing or two… Next step, we sold the 1,100 sq ft condo after 4 years and moved into an even smaller condo in 2015…we are down to about 950 sq ft….and yes….100 sq ft makes a difference when it comes to storage. Honestly, we had to rent a 2nd storage locker because we are still holding onto some family treasures that will be passed along to our daughters once they have homes, we still camp…..so lots of camping gear….golf clubs….but honestly my real estate files, signs and general *stuff* takes up a lot of our extra locker space.
Our vacations are for the most part done using a carry on bag now…..our camping trips we try to take only what we absolutely need, we no longer buy things for the home. What I didn’t take into consideration was that now I have started doing a few hobbies…sewing, painting (acrylics)….so I have had to recently re-organise our very tight space to accommodate these things. Our new little cottage in P.E.I. will start to absorb some of our ‘extras’. Bottom line is….minimizing is quite cathartic, you can turn your attention to other things – such as watching great documentaries on Netflix! De-cluttering your space, then your mind …….. experience life .. not your phone (which I am VERY bad with)……live in the moment…..watch the movie….I think you will enjoy it!
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.
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!
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.
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….
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!