Sunday, January 3, 2016

Last Day in Canada

We came home from our holiday trip on Tuesday, December 29th. That morning a snowstorm blew into Ottawa. It was funny because the weather reporters mentioned the "air from Texas" causing some of the problems. While we were in Canada, a friend sent me this picture:
Apparently, we missed a lot of unusual weather while we were gone. Several tornadoes ripped through some communities near Dallas. I have family in that area, but their towns were not hit. Scary! Another friend told me they had a little bit of snow on Monday. The crazy weather was being blamed in part by the El Nino effect out of the Pacific Ocean.

We had trouble leaving my in-laws house. The snow was coming down hard when we were loading the truck.
The day before you could still see green grass in part of the neighbor's yard.
Boogs likes snow but he was ready to be in the house or in the car. The wind was pushing snow off the roofs.
You could not tell where the yards ended and the street started.
GP could not get out of the driveway. Luckily, a snowplow came by and cleared the driveway so we could get out.
We slid all over the road. At one point, we thought we were stuck. It took nine tries backing up and revving the truck forward to get over a hump of snow to get on a larger road. It looked like the snowplows had been on the roads several hours before but could not keep up with clearing the snow. It was a white-knuckle drive to the airport. I seriously doubted that we would make it.
We were very lucky. Our flight from Ottawa to Toronto was delayed a little over an hour but was not cancelled. We were one of the last flights to leave the airport that morning. We sat on the tarmac for quite a while and watched 6 snowplows, lined up in a diagonal line, clear our runway. As soon as the snowplows moved out of the way, we took off.
We had a small delay in Toronto and eventually made it to Dallas. We were pleasantly surprised when all of our luggage made it back, too. Last year, it took several days to get our luggage back. Our drive home from Dallas was easy and uneventful.

We were happy to be home to celebrate the new year. We miss you GP and GM. See you in a few months.  Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Gatineau Park Quebec Hike

We arrived in Canada on December 21st and it finally snowed on December 27th. We were so excited to see the snow. We wanted to get out and enjoy it. On December 28th, Grandpapa took us to the mountains at Gatineau Park in Quebec to go hiking.
Gatineau Park has some very good trails. They are well marked and well maintained.
Daddy and Boogs liked the view from the bridge.
The start of the trail led you into a winter wonderland.
It was only a matter of time before someone picked up a big stick. Daddy tried to use this entire tree for a stick battle.
 Then Daddy and Boogs started a snowball fight.
 Boogs was finding huge clumps of snow to throw.
 There was so much room to run, hide, and play on these trails.
It finally felt like winter. We were all bundled up and still a touch cold. It was only 21 degrees F. (-6 C)
Daddy kept trying to photo bomb Boogs when I wanted a picture of Boogs by this fallen down tree.
Ha, I finally got a pic without part of Daddy's body in it.
We went up a steep little part of the trail to this small cave. I love this 3 generation picture.
 GP and GM posed by themselves.
 Daddy and I had to pose, too. I call that my puffy coat sleeping bag. Yeah, I got teased a bit for my huge puffy parka coat.
 Look how rosy Boogs' cheeks were getting.
 Boogs and Daddy went off trail to tackle some more rugged areas of the park.
GM and GP stayed on the trails.
 GM and Boogs
 GP and Daddy
 Hmmm... I think GP and Daddy look a little bit alike.
This little snow covered tree was only as tall as my hand. So cute. Boogs called it a Charlie Brown tree.
I have no idea what these two goofy guys are doing. I think they were singing.
This area of Quebec is so beautiful. I could have stayed out hiking all day long.
Daddy called Boogs over to see something on ground.
When Boogs was trying to find what he was talking about, Daddy shook a snow covered branch right above Boogs' head.
Boogs thought it was hilarious but vowed to get revenge.
So, Daddy kept running ahead and "hiding" on the trial behind various trees.
It is so great that Boogs gets to have these kinds of adventures with his grandparents.

When we got near the parking lot, Daddy picked up Boogs and showed him what a "face wash" is.
 Poor Boogs!
On our way back to GP and GM's house, we stopped to take a look at the Rideau Falls in downtown Ottawa.
The last time I saw the falls, they were mostly frozen. The weather has not been cold enough yet to freeze the Falls or the Rideau Canal.

We had another great day of outdoor fun. We were so happy we got to play in the snow before we headed back to Texas.

This post is linked to:

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Traditional Feed-the-Birds Hike

Every year, we make it a tradition to go on a hike to feed the chickadees. Boogs loves these hikes. He has always been very patient while waiting for chickadees to land on his hand to get sunflower seeds.
This is a picture from 2006, the first year he went with us to feed the birds. He was 9 months old.
Boogs was bundled up in a snowsuit and sling to keep warm. I remember how still he would get while he watched the birds landing near him. We put some seeds on his arm and a few birds hopped on his arm. He would squeal with glee and then settle down and get very still and quiet to wait for more birds. He has always been a very patient child.
We were looking at photos of our past bird feeding hikes. Boogs noticed that he always wears a red and black jacket.

This year our hike was easier than usual because there was no snow. We still enjoyed hiking through the woods and feeding the birds. We actually took an extra long hike because it was such a warm day - around 30 degrees F.
We kept hearing this woodpecker pecking. It took us a while to locate him up in the top of a tall tree. We could barely see him.
These two look ready for a long walk.
Boogs had his own camera. I loved watching him decide what images he wanted to capture. He spent a long time by a partially frozen stream trying to get the light to shine "just right" on the ice so you could see the leaves trapped under the ice.
Daddy had no trouble getting the birds to eat out of his hand. He had to keep moving away from a squirrel who wanted to jump on his hand and grab a few seeds.
 GP likes to call to the birds to get them to come. They do.
Eventually, the squirrel made a leap to a nearby bird feeder. He came back to the feeder again and again while we were there.
Boogs' patience paid off. This little bird hopped on his hand and stayed for several seconds before flying off.
 For a little bit, it looked like they were communicating with each other.
 Boogs found a fallen tree to practice his balancing skills.
 Daddy and Boogs like to pick up big sticks and have stick sword fights.
 Lots and lots of sword fights.
 Grandmaman grabbed a stick and challenged Boogs to a duel.
 They could spend hours hunting for and playing with sticks.
Daddy took Boogs on an off-trail adventure. There were times we had no idea where they were. They always managed to find the trail back to us.
 Sometimes the going got tough off the trail.

I love this picture. Boogs is staring off into the trees.
Grandmaman said she enjoyed the hike. You can see Daddy and Boogs in the background with more sticks.
They were playing a game where a person lost if their stick was the first one to lose contact with the ground by hitting a bump. Because of the leaves and pine needles you could not always see the roots and rocks sticking up in the path.
 We were surprised at how empty the trails were. It was a great day for hiking.
We loved our bird feeding hike, even though there was no snow.

This post is linked to:Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall