Click to enlarge photos
We have had a fair amount of snow this past week, so on Saturday 18 December we decided to go and try skiing the Wetlands. The temperature was just -1C and the snow was shallow in places, but we were able to ski from Hunt Club Road all the way to Walkley Station without any difficulties. In fact, judging by the tracks, at least one person had been out skiing there before us!
Matt and Katia both came down from Montreal to see us on 20-21 November. It was great to have them here for the weekend before winter sets in and makes travelling a bit more unpredictable.
Matt came to visit in November for the weekend and got a free Mom-haircut into the bargain.
We don't usually have snow on the ground for Halloween in Ottawa, but this year we got 6 cm of snow that fell on the night of 30/31 October. Is this a portent of an early winter?
Autumn in Ottawa is time for fall colours and so we went to Gatineau Park with Jane for a nine km hike, including lunch at Shilly Shally. Our thanks go to Jane for providing the ride to this car-only accessible park.
Every fall Carleton University's Biology Department puts on a live tropical butterfly show, hatching hundreds of beautiful butterflies and moths in their indoor greenhouses. The insects only live a few weeks but the public is invited into the hot and humid greenhouses to watch the butterflies fly. It is a truly beautiful experience!
On top of some still photos we also made a short video.
Here in Ottawa we get the odd hurricane or tropical storm up from the Caribbean. By the time they get here they are usually just a bunch of rain and wind and don't usually do any damage. If the storm is on its way in the evening the high clouds that it creates ahead of the areas of rain usually result in some very spectacular "hurricane sunsets". With Tropical Storm Nicole on the way we got a great sunset from it tonight. People were standing out in the streets looking at it. This photo I took was featured by Ian Black on the television CBC Ottawa News at Six!
In September we decided to take the train on a short holiday and go to Quebec City. Neither of us had ever spent any time in the old city, which was founded in 1608. We had a marvellous time there exploring the battlements from the Seven Years War, including the Plains of Abraham, which is now a park. We also visited Canada's only chocolate museum, the bakeries and markets and the Citadel, too. The old walled city is a maze of narrow cobblestone streets from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, long before cars. Everywhere we went the people were so friendly and helpful. Quebec City is such a great place to visit we would recommend it as a destination for anyone, provided you don't mind climbing hills. We also shot a video of some of the highlights of our trip.
At the end of the summer Rachael announced that she intended to return to college in the Toronto area to live on her own and pursue a new program of study. She left by VIA Rail on 1 September.
Nick came up to Ottawa for a couple of days in August. Nick and Rachael made cupcakes and we all went to the Canadian Museum of Nature, newly reopened after its huge restoration.
On 21 August 2010 during Barbara's visit to Ottawa some of the Merkis family got together at Witold and Vicki's house in Ottawa.
Rachael graduated from Mohawk College on 15 June 2010. She wasn't able to be at her graduation ceremonies due to work commitments and so just got her certificate today!
For the Victoria Day weekend we decided to organize a bike trip to Lac Leamy in Quebec for a picnic. The weather was great and Jane, Ruth and Adam did the 44 km trip, with Adam making an extra side trip up to Les Bicyclettes de Hull for a few Catrike parts.
Ruth is pretty adamant about not getting birthday presents, but this year she insisted on no cake as well. I did manage to convince her that it would be okay to bake something special for her birthday and so she agreed that at her age bran muffins would be appropriate. There were candles, however.
It snowed on 27 April and sure fooled all those people who planted their annuals in March when it was hot outside.
With college completed Ruth's daughter Rachael left Burlington and moved in with us.
As part of our volunteer work with Computers For Communities we volunteered to do an upcoming tradeshow. The one problem is that C4C doesn't have a tradeshow backdrop to use in the booth. Ruth said, "no problem, I'll just sew one up" and so she did. It measures 6 ft X 3 ft.
Rachael came to visit us for a week starting at the Easter weekend. We even went to the Byward Market for lunch and petted the cats on Parliament Hill.
Ruth has been on a crocheting binge recently, making lots of hats, slippers and scarves. She decided to take on a bigger project and create a dress from a pattern of her own design and it worked out very well.
Stephen Harper said that Canadians don't care that he prorogued Parliament, so 3500 of us showed up to protest on Parliament Hill. Tens of thousands more joined us across the country and around the world. Guess he was wrong.
We decided to hold a Dim Sum Party at the Emperor's Dining Lounge and invite lots of friends. It was a successful mid-winter party!
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