Ottawa Days 1-2 : The First Snow
Saturday morning we woke up, said goodbye to the puppies, grabbed a bite at Chick-fil-A and hit the road to Charlotte to catch our first flight. We didn't have any issues with security and our flights from Charlotte to DC and DC to Ottawa went smoothly. You may have seen in my previous post about how to pack a winter carry-on that I've been using the new Cotopaxi Allpa as my new travel pack. Well... turns out it was too big to go in the overhead compartment in our tiny airplanes. Luckily, it fit well underneath the seat in front of us and I stowed my purse in the overhead bin instead. While gate checking a bag wouldn't have been the end of the world (or resulted in any extra fees), it would have slowed down the debarkation process so I'm glad we decided to try to squeeze it in!
Alex's cousin picked us up from the airport in Ottawa. Luckily, she and her husband only live about 10-15 minutes from the airport so we arrived at our home for the week quickly to drop off our things. After showing us around and unpacking a few things in our basement suite, we headed into town so that we would make it to the Camera Trading Company before they closed. Alex's one big bucket item for our Ottawa trip was to visit a couple of camera stores I found that still sell film and film cameras. I stumbled upon Camera Trading Company but their storefront is only open on Saturdays so we rushed over to check it out. The store was really tiny and there were already a few people in line so Chrissy and I walked down Bank Street a bit before popping into Bridgehead for some scones and hot chocolate (mostly to escape the cold). We picked up some things from the Independent grocery store at the mall so that Matteo could make us some homemade pasta using his Nonna's recipe when he arrived home from the Senator's game. I think we brought bad luck to the Ottawa Senators because all the American teams beat them while we were in town! We also stopped in the LCBO to grab some Canadian beers that we can't find back home.
While we were eating our supper, a couple of Chrissy and Matteo's friends came over. We had planned to have a chill game night but we ended up just chatting for hours! Alex chopped some wood for the fire earlier in the day and we all just sat around drinking and chatting to keep warm! We hadn't had a fun date night hang out with friends in a while so it was really cool getting to know everyone a little better. I called it a night just before 11 p.m. and fell to sleep quickly in anticipation of the morning snowfall.
Sunday morning we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow on the ground and the biggest flurries I've ever personally seen! Alex and I were like kids in a candy store and layered some jackets over our PJs and pulled on our boots and gloves to go play in the snow for a while before everyone else woke up. When the rest of the crew woke up we had oatmeal pancakes with some homemade maple syrup. I mean, come on... does it get any more Canadian? We had a pretty leisurely morning. The guys shoveled the snow and we played some board games indoors before getting showered and ready to visit Alex's Gram.
We had a really nice, quick visit with Alex's Gram before going to Russell for the afternoon. She lives in a senior care facility and we all chatted in this darling library nook on one of the top floors. I had someone ask me the other day if Alex's family feels like my family now since we've been a couple for over ten years and they truly do! When we're together it feels like we see them all the time even though it's been three years for me already.
I think I was most impressed by everyone's driving abilities in the snow. In South Carolina, the whole state shuts down at the mention of snow (or ice) so it was amazing to see people just zooming around like normal thanks to their snow tires! We arrived at Alex's aunt and uncles house in the early afternoon and were greeted by their sweet puppies and lots of snacky appetizers. We caught up for a bit while we waited for more family to arrive. We had a feast in store for us! We had scalloped potatoes, ham, broccoli and all the fixins. It's nice to be able to pick up where things left off. It's hard to believe that it's been three years (since our wedding) that I've seen the Canadian side of the family and even harder to believe that it's been five years since my first trip to Canada!