Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

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Finally home

On the way home we stopped at a fast food place in Great Bend, PA. As we're sitting eating our sandwiches, we noticed a historical marker next to the road describing that Joseph Smith lived a few miles east of where we were. After lunch we drove 5 minutes to Harmony (now the Township of Oakland) to the home Joseph Smith was living in when he translated the Book of Mormon and was baptized. I had been there as a child, and it was interesting to come by again. Olivia was just grateful for more time out of the car.

Driving from Chapel Hill, NC to Montreal, Quebec took 16-17 hours of actual driving. Add to that stopping every two hours for a diaper/food/crying break, plus the car not defrosting, and a day to enjoy NYC, it took us 3 1/2 days to make it up to Canada. We were anxious to make it home and Olivia was such a good sport, we made it all the way to Baltimore at 8pm on our first night (12 hours from Ottawa, 5 hours from home). We could've kept going, but realized we wouldn't be home until after 2am anyway, so might as well stop close to Olivia's bedtime and let us all get a full night's rest. As you can tell, Olivia and I enjoyed watching sports for the first time in weeks. She was very playful and happy all day the next day; she loved bathing in her own tub and playing with her own toys.

New Year's Eve in Gatineau & Ottawa

We took a long walk outside where it was -25 below (celsius), which is something like -13 degrees F. Afterwards we enjoyed a nice picnic at the national park's visitor center.

Sarah ad I visited one of our favorite restaurants in a great neighborhood in Ottawa. We lived in the Ottawa region for a year and really loved it, though I had forgotten just how cold -13F feels.

Olivia LOVED being with and mimicking her older cousins, and exploring the younger as well. I loved being with them too!

On another frigid walk:

Christmas in Montreal

We had so much fun in Montreal, here are some pictures of spending time with Sarah's sister and her family (including Olivia's newest cousin), as well as good friends of ours and there little baby.

Christmas morning

On the Road North

On the way north we stopped in NY and had a coule great days with my Aunt. We also enjoyed visiting my old neighborhood and favorite pizza place (Exclusive Pizza on 181st between Ft. Washingtn and Pinehurst, 212-795-0550). It was nice being back home in the city.

As I wrote about previously, we didn't have enough energy to make it all the way to Montreal in one shot. We didn't get started until later in the day and ran into a bunch of traffic, so we stopped at a hotel in upstate NY. Olivia seemed to love traveling (once we got out of the car, that is).

Montreal had a ton of snow just before we arrived, and it snowed even more our first night. Here's what we awoke to that first morning. It only took 15 minutes to dig out, but then I had to double park at our destination so I could dig out a spot, then dig us out of that spot as we leaving to go back to where we were staying, and finally dig out a spot for us to park there. Winter is so much work, I love the south!