Film: Beans

We’ve spent a beautiful week in the mountains.

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Booked a cottage on a lake so we can always be somewhere pretty.

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Climbed up Mont Tremblant ski hill and took the gondola down.

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This is the first year that everyone had an easy time climbing all the way up.

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The next day we went to the Mont Tremblant Park.

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Climbed up to the La Corniche lookout.

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We needed a little break and hang around the neighbourhood on Saturday. Markus was really excited to finally try kayaking.

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Scrambling up and down trails at Montagne D’Argent was the funnest hike.

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Between the surprise (to us) meteor shower and kids fighting less than I expected them to, we had another wonderful holiday.

Film: Manchester by the Sea

My spring project involved taking the kids on bike rides.

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Our most frequented location is, of course, the Britannia Beach
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Trev expressed interest in seeing more of downtown so here we are at Lebreton Flats
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And Dow’s Lake
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We checked out Bell’s Corners to take a look at the school Owen will be going to next year
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Hog’s Back
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On a day that was no good for riding we took a walk around Mud Lake
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Ride to Almonte was my favourite of the year so far
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We did an “University Tour” by biking through Carleton and Ottawa U campuses one day
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Trevor expressed interest in seeing the Golden Triangle but then only decided to look at a single block of it (hence the picture of him on the way there only)
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As a promise of more ambitious rides in the future we biked to the starting parking lot in the Gatineau Park
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We are keeping it simple during the hot months and just going for coffee and sandwiches for now

Film: 40 year old version

Ski season this year was short but sweet. In January and February we spent a lot of time on the golf course and on the Wesley Clover trails. As soon as we were able to go to Gatineau, we headed there.

Our first trip had a few exciting stops. We started from P7 and got the first very climby kilometre out of the way. Starting the trip with a steep climb did not make me the favourite mom at that moment, but as soon as we got to the first lookout, the mood changed.

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Lookout over P7

Following a hilarious bit where Owen fell off the groomed trail into deep fluffy snow and then I fell in too trying to get him out, we made it to our picturesque lunch spot by the Shilly Shally cabin.

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Shilly Shally

Followed by cookies and bird watching at Huron

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Huron shelter

The day was beautiful and in the spirit of exploring new places, we made it to the Champlain lookout. Yes, yes, not a new place for me but the boys have never been.

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Sharp shadows at Champlain lookout

I had completely forgotten where the faux ruins were when the boys saw them by the trail and had to take a closer look.

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Brutalist folly

The next two outings were a bit more challenging. We picked a Pink lake loop from Asticou, up the Parkway well past Pink Lake and then back down the Pink Lake trail through the forest.

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SnOwen

A day when snowman is easy to make is not usually a good day for skiing. On the way up the Parkway I had the worst clumps on my skis. I had to get out of the tracks because it felt like I was walking on stilts and I was making huge holes in the trail. The conditions improved after our snowman making stop at the Pink Lake lookout. On the way through the forest path Owen slipped and fell on the first serious downhill. He did not get injured but he was banged up and uncomfortable making his ski skills regress to last year’s level. He managed to rescue the day by “slipping” off the trail and into deep fluffy snow about 50 meters from the parking lot. Hilarity ensued.

The last big trip was the most challenging. I will not go back to McKinstry for at least another year or two. It is serious climbing and the day was chillier than I expected.

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Picknick at McKinstry shelter

The saving grace of the trip was that one of the boys is stronger on the uphill and the other on the downhill. As I hang back with the kid that is behind, I got a lot of one on one time with each.

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Hot chocolate break
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On the way up the hill

The winter was mild and ended much sooner than I was ready. We attempted one more ski with the whole family but it was a comedy of errors (I did not pack my poles, we missed the parking lot and ended up on a different trail, the trail we went to was not groomed due to this year’s different parking configuration, the trail we ended up on was icy and full of debris…). We called it a season after a few kilometres.

We had a little awards ceremony to recognize the fun we’ve had on skis this year. Trevor took away the “Best overall time” and Owen earned the “Most Valuable Player”.

A few months of staying close to home

And somehow it is summer.

First things first, remember this lady?

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This is where I am thinking “One day I will home school my children”. NOT!!!

That was twenty years ago. I have been living like a grown up for two decades now.

We wrapped up home schooling. Apparently actual schools are going to open up in September.

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One room schoolhouse

Of all the things I thought I would do in my life, home schooling was not on the list. It turned out ok though. There was a lot of yelling, sure, but at the end of the day everyone handed in their assignments. Markus was working with nona which meant on a good day he would finish all work before she showed up so he could get out of doing the lesson. On a bad day they would argue for two hours about having to do twenty minutes of work. Ultimately, his reading improved so I guess it was all worth it.

Owen somehow managed to get behind and had two months of assignments to catch up on. I worked with him a lot on this and I am glad I did. It helped me understand what kind of things he finds hard to do and where he gets frustrated. I kept an eye on Trev as well, but once he got used to doing work from home, he was quite independent.

I also instituted physical ed class and got the boys to bike or take a long walk every day.

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After school team practice at Britannia

They got really good at it to the point they can go get ice-cream at Britannia beach by themselves.

We were not able to have friends over to the house, but some ducks came by for a few weeks.

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Houseguests

Since then we have been busy with home renos. The boys are somewhere between fighting and having the best time with each other. Trev made a list of things he wants to accomplish this summer and one of them is to get Markus to like him.

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Best frenemies

Trevor has been busy creating new things like train layouts and aquarium stands.

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Diarama

I was able to get back into randonneuring after a short break last year.

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Before the brevet

Film: Where did you go Bernadette

After absence of many years, this October we returned to the Adirondacks.

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We rented a lovely cabin a little away from Lake Placid and enjoyed almost a week of fun and relaxing.

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Our first order of business was hiking. We climbed Porter and Cascade peaks.

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The next day we checked out the Olympic village and hiked to Cobble Lookout.

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We checked out wild animal sanctuary and went rafting in the Ausable Chasm.

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