Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tourists for the day

We haven't done many touristy things in Ottawa yet so when a friend asked if we'd like to join a group on a boat trip on the Ottawa river we went for it. About time since we'll be leaving Ottawa fairly soon. We set off from the bottom of the Rideau Canal lock system and puttered about for an hour and a half. We learned a little more about the city and then checked out the free bit of the Bytown Museum that shows you how the locks work. Afterwards, joined another family and went up the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. We found out that there is a law forbidding any building from being taller than the flag on the Peace Tower and we counted (or lost count of) all the Canadian flags visible around the city. 

They enjoyed the bus journey there with friends, playing and eating on the boat, seeing the huge bells in the tower, ice cream at the museum and rolling down the big grassy hill by the locks.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

A long awaited camping trip

This place is almost too good to be true. A perfect spot for camping with kids, and especially good for keen paddlers. We joined a family who live on our street. One of the many families we are going to miss when we move on from here. But I'm not thinking about that yet- more about the camping...  

A gorgeous beach, right by our campsite in the trees. The river widens here and a giant eddy of sorts means still water with a gradual entry but not far from some great rapids for a bit of whitewater fun. We took our good canoe and pootled about on the quiet bit of the river while our friend did some whitewater paddling upstream. He also played rescue boat and cheerleader for Siobhan and Regan when they bravely donned life jackets and launched themselves into the river just upstream of the biggest set of rapids. John said it was just like a roller coaster only better, and 100% natural!  

The kids enjoyed hours of beach time, plenty of nakedness, swimming in the river and smaller rapids, jumping off a rock, paddling to an island, and exploring a bit in the evening and (very) early morning- we spotted a skunk, some deer, toads, caterpillars, fish and john caught a snake for a closer look. And we had a tame chipmunk hanging about. The weather was perfect until the last minute when it began to chuck it down.

Here are a few photos... More to come and I may get round to making a little movie as there were a lot of sweet moments caught on video.

After leaving this awesome place, which is purposefully being kept a secret from the  rest of Ottawa ;) we went to visit some friends at their cottage on a lake nearby. As always it was fun and inspiring to spend time with such a big family (7 kids-makes us want a bigger family too). We drove ATVs through the muddy woods in the rain, each boy riding along in front with a grin from ear to ear, and then jumped off a cliff and platform into a pristine lake. Steve and I jumped from about 30 feet- crazy stuff!!