Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas Break 2008

Playing with Amber

Another year come and gone and once again we find ourselves making the Christmas day drive back to Peterborough to celebrate the holidays with friends and family. This year was pretty much the same as any other except with a few more photographers clicking away to help document the daily events. Yep you guessed it, Santa dropped off a new digital camera for both the kids and even Mommy. Having just received a new camera for my birthday, I opted for the new 1.5 TB external hard drive that will soon be used to store all of these photos. Needless to say the new toys were a big hit on Christmas morning.

Dinner this year was hosted by my aunt Sharon and uncle Wayne while the food was prepared (for the most part) by cousin Amy and her husband Will. Paula and I had some very yummy memories of a delicious turkey dating back to Christmas 2001 when dinner was last held at this address and we're happy to say that this year's turkey did not disappoint. It was cooked to perfection. Well done guys!!

Barn with snow Barn with no snow
snow ...... no snow

Shortly after Christmas day the rain started. We had just received a few centimetres of snow the day before but then the temperature swung up to 10 degrees and the rain started falling. By the next morning nearly all the snow was gone and we were looking at green grass and lots and lots of mud. Yuck. No holiday skiing or tobogganing this trip.

We did manage to get this group shot on the hay bale before all the rain washed away the snow. The kids had a lot of fun with Amber as she raced up and down the bales jumping over them as they lay sprawled out like cars at a Monster Truck rally.

Group shot on the hay bale
Picture 228 Picture 232

This was Amber's first Christmas and as such Paula and the kids decided to get her a present. A nice red nylon squeaky bone. Well she loved it for about 12 seconds before she chewed a hole in it and started to rip out the stuffing and Opa took it away from her. Oh well, it's the thought that counts.

Merry Christmas Amber Chewed a hole in the new toy

After Peterborough it was off to Bowmanville to visit friends. It was an incredibly short and busy visit (sistas Lindaloo and Jilly were also hanging out) but as per usual, it was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast shooting videos with their new camera.

Rocking out with Wii Emily Osment and Carol the magician/football player

Happy New Year everyone!!

Sunset on 7
This sunset photo was taken on Christmas day along hwy 7 on our drive to Peterborough.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas lights tour

After picking up my free birthday Blizzard from DQ we headed off through the streets of Barrhaven on our annual Christmas lights tour. I must say it was a bit of a disappointment. I'm not sure if it's the penny pinching during this economic downturn or the blizzards of snow-maggedon that caused the locals to go easy on this year's xmas light show. Oh well... here are a few snaps of the better ones.

From the Jones'
Snowman Christmas decoration Christmas lights
Christmas lights

Here's a shot of the kids' 2008 Gingerbread House. This one came complete with a gummy worm rain spout. Oh how they grow up so fast...

Gingerbread house

Merry Christmas from Lusk Cabin

What an awesome fire

Gatineau Park: P19 Lac Philippe to Lac Lusk (13 km)
P19 Lac Philippe: N45 37.394 W76 00.546
Lac Lusk: N45 35.100 W76 00.772

The last time I was out at Lusk Cabin was April 14th (see blog). It was my last x-c ski of the season and skies were blue and it was 8°C. While the skies were blue today, the temperature was a crisp -28°C. Wind chill or not, it was a great day to be out on the trails.

Surprisingly the drive into Lac Philippe from west side Ottawa was essentially traffic free. I'm beginning to think that it's the striking OC Transpo buses that cause all the congestion in the first place.

Signage at the Lusk Cabin trail junction
Lusk signage
Trail down to Lusk Cabin
Tripper at Lusk Cabin
Lusk Cabin

There were only three others at the cabin when we arrived. One guy was skiing/training for the next upcoming ski marathon. Marathon number 31 with all 30 badges of honor sewn on his backpack to prove it. Although he didn't say anything to me, I don't think he approved of my Gatineau energy drink. One bottle of Rock Art Brewery Ale from Vermont. To each his own I suppose.

The other two in the cabin were hoarding all the space on the woodstove with their mitts and toques in various pots and pans. What's up with that? Needless to say Mike and I had no problem shuffling everything to the side so our aluminum foil wrapped sandwiches could warm up. After all, what's more important, their toasty fingers or my toasty chicken and cheese sandwich? (that's what they call a no brainer folks)

Mike chopping wood

About 15 minutes after arriving all the other guests left and Mike and I had to the cabin to ourselves. I quickly stoked up the dying fire with some fresh kindling chopped by Mike himself. With a proper fire, the cheese in our sandwiches quickly melted and ready to eat. Yum.

By 1:15 we were back on our skis and heading for home in order to beat (the non-existent) traffic. Another great day in the GAT - even if it was a little on the chilly side.

We make fire
Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Birthday ski in the GAT

Birthday ski

Gatineau Park: P16 to Healey Cabin (10 km)
P16 Pine Rd: N45 34.345 W75 53.134
Healey: N45 34.318 W75 56.019

Today was my birthday and what better way to celebrate one's birthday than with friends, family, and the great outdoors. My father (aka Opa), Sara, Emma, and I hit arrived at P16 around 9:45 and we didn't make it far down the trail before being joined by Ken and Mike. Together we all skied into Healey Cabin under what proved to be perfect temperatures and ski conditions.

Opa on skis
Special guest, Opa.

Today was even more exciting due to the fact that we were all testing out our new waxless skis. Sara, Emma, Opa, and me all purchased new waxless x-c skis within the last week. Other than the odd hum when zooming down the hills, these new boards are simply awesome. No fuss, no mess.

Smiley face says hi
Trailside break
Break time.

This will make it my second GAT birthday ski in a row. Cheers to me and everybody that joined me on my first ski of the 2008-09 season.


Now get out the pen and mark this day down on your calendar for next year folks.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Trip to P-dot

All is clear from up here.

Last weekend we made one last pre-Christmas trip to Peterborough for a small birthday party for Sara and Opa. Here are some photos from the whirlwind weekend.

The kids had a blast wrestling and running with the puppy.
Come her Amber!
A game of tackle Wrestling match
Emma and Amber

Spotted this while out on our hike. I'm not sure how the poor fella got that stick in the eye but it appears to have cost him his life. I guess now he knows his mom wasn't kidding when she said, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye."

Fun until he got a stick in the eye