6.17.2014

Summer Vacation: Ottawa

Last Saturday, we headed to Ottawa to visit my grandmother. Our three-hour flight to Chicago went surprisingly well and as soon as we got there, both girls fell asleep as we were looking for a place to eat lunch. We met my sister, Allison, at her gate and took another two-hour flight to Ottawa. There was no line at customs and everything was going so well when we got to the baggage claim and discovered our luggage was missing!
 
It could have been much, much worse. Luckily, we ended up letting Claire bring her favorite doll on the plane. Our car seats somehow ended up making it, just not our suitcases. And when we went to get our rental car, they upgraded us to an SUV, which was particularly exciting for Allison, who was tasked with sitting between the girls all week.
 
We headed to Target to buy two pack-n-plays, diapers, and groceries before settling into our accommodations. This was our first time using Airbnb and we were really happy with our super swanky house in Little Italy. The only downside was that they had said laundry facilities would be available, but it turned out the washer and dryer were in the locked basement.

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Wait, actually, there was another downside. The front porch steps were extremely steep. On our way to Mass on Sunday, I tripped while holding Maggie and she scratched up her forehead pretty bad. Oh, the mom guilt! At least the Notre Dame Basilica was amazingly beautiful. It was our first experience with a bilingual Mass in French and English. The priest would do half of the reading/prayer/homily in French and then switch to English, so you really had to know both to understand what was going on!

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Right after Mass ended, Adam got a call from the airline, so we headed home to sign for our suitcases and then visited my grandma at her retirement community.

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I love this picture of my grandparents on their wedding day.

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We came back for lunch and naps (for everyone!) and then went to my Uncle Tim's house for a barbecue. They have a pool in their backyard, so we all had a great time swimming and catching up. My Uncle Mark's family was there too and their youngest daughter is just a few months older than Maggie. Don't they look a lot alike?

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I think Claire liked this swing even more than the pool.

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We visited my grandma again the next morning and got to meet the ladies she eats meals with. After naps, we walked around Parliament.

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The locks, next to the Parliament building, lead boats from the Rideau Canal to the Ottawa River.

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Around the back of the Parliament building, there's the Parliamentary library, which is the only part of the original building that's still standing. (The rest burned down during WWI.)

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There's also a great view of the Ottawa River, and across the water, Qu├ębec.

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I bought some little patriotic shirts at Roots when we were in Vancouver last summer, so it seemed fitting to get some shots of the girls wearing them in front of the capitol.

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When we finally get around to filling out the paperwork, Claire and Maggie will be Canadian citizens too, which could come in handy college-tuition-wise, if we continue living in Seattle.

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Of course, we had to stop at the Byward Market for a beaver tail.

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That evening, we decided to try one of the restaurants near our house in Little Italy. It was our first time going to a sit-down place with both girls, so we were pretty apprehensive. The service was so incredibly slow. We waited an hour for our food and ending up just having to get it to go. Claire and Maggie were pretty well-behaved, considering. I think getting to take a bath in this super swanky tub made up for the long wait a little bit.

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On Tuesday morning, we visited my grandma again. It was so sweet to see her with Claire and Maggie. I wish we could visit all the time!

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After lunch, we headed east to Montreal. But that's a story for another day...


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