A quick recap of the last three weeks. A week preparing to go on holiday, a week on holiday in the Dominican and a week catching up from being on holiday. The Dominican Republic and the resort of Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace (no less than a palace for the Fergusons, although I'm not sure it was palatial, thankfully) was beautiful. Here is a selection of pictures.
This was our second foray into the hitherto unknown world of all inclusive resorts. I think I was scared of them before and I distinctly remember before going to the Bahamas 2 1/2 yrs ago planning all sorts of activities to do around the island, the thought of staying in one compound for a week being unbearable. Needless to say I did not even approach the resort entrance for the entire week and was very happy. Three years of disrupted sleep, a house move, numerous trips and travels with the little ones and I have now wholeheartedly surrendered, morally, ethically and perhaps even intellectually to the ideal of not cooking, shopping, cleaning or driving for seven glorious days in a row. Add to that not putting on snow suits, hats, mitts, gloves, boots, scarves or even socks, trousers and sweaters. And add to that walking for 30 seconds before seeing, feeling and smelling the ocean, everyday, whenever you want. This is not the end of adventures in the Alps or of rain-soaked bike trips or hours sitting at dusty train stations but as they say here, it is what it is and what it is is a wonderful break.
When we got back to Ottawa, three hours late at 11pm on Sunday night, it was -10C and there seemed to actually be more snow than when we left. This is mixed time of year - long days have already arrived, 12 hours of sunshine if the clouds abate, but also a time of freeze-thaw, grey and brown snow giving way to grey and brown grass or lakes of floodwater. The garbage of winter, held for so many months in those snow banks, is given up to lie, salt crusted, on the sidewalks and verges. The city's big spring clean is still to come, the volunteers who tidy up the parks and the contractors who sweep away the road grit lie in wait. But until then on dry days the streets are dusty and grim and when it rains there is a soup of grime hiding the broken roads and treacherous pot holes.
But there is much to look forward to. Easter weekend is upon us already and later in the month Crystal and I are going on a weekend Wilderness First Aid course together. That's how we roll! Partly in preparation for our separate summer adventures, Crystal to Gros Morne, me to the Yukon and partly just because we like to spend a lot of time a little ways from help and increasingly with the kids. There's a 10k at the end of the month with a group of Crystal's students. At the beginning of May is a band trip to Washington DC for Crystal, the Spring Chicken enduro for Simon, then the Rideau Lakes bike tour and hopefully a whitewater canoe course, both for Simon (#understandingwife - that's a hashtag; it's 2015 after all). And there's meant to be a girls cottage weekend in there somewhere just to recharge Crystal's batteries for all of Simon's excursions. What about the kids?! Their world is small! Really, it is. They are happy when they don't spend too long in the car, when they get to go to the park and play with water in the back yard and see their friends and scooter and get muffins from Grandma and Nono. We are however planning to do a summer overnight canoe camping trip with them.
Back to now. This morning we went to the park.
Felicity wore her helmet because under the play structure is a sheet of ice. It is nice to be out without getting cold or wet. It's -5C so ideal. Otherwise it's a lake out there. Felicity has been going to the pre-school program at Dovercourt twice a week and she starts swimming lessons after Easter. Need to get Toby a tricycle with a push handle to save my back! 'Tis the season to get excited. It's been a long, very cold winter.