A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

The earlier you start the better off you'll be...

Snow is fun. Winter is fun... if you have snow. November is a terrible month around here - reminds me of our winters in Richmond, Virginia or Dresden, Germany... coldish, wet, grey, windy... I'd rather have snow any day.

Like I said, snow is fun for the girls, so getting them out to have fun for a bit - and to help a little with the shoveling the walk or brushing off cars is good for them.

Yup - finally arrived, the first real snow. It might last, it might not - but it's that time of year where it just might stay. Nice heavy, packing snow fell overnight - maybe 10cm. The girls were up early and raring to get out and make a snowman. But what's fun for the girls means a little work for me...

First snow, means first snowman and first shoveling... Let me tell you - if you're not one of those guys with the snowblower - go out and get yourself a scoop!
I killed my back several times last year, with the massive amounts we had then, and finally got a scoop near the end of the season - where it was impossible to really use because of the 6 foot snow banks! But if you start out with a scoop, you can push that snow anywhere you want and not have to do any bending or breaking.

Back to the snowmen... Emma and Meghan each made their own today. Displaying impeccable technique for only their second real winter.

Just like in the Frosty cartoon - everyone knows the head is the hardest part:

Finishing touches...
We nabbed some carrots for eyes, nose and mouth and some twigs for arms... and VOILA!

As the snow was wet, and some wintery mix was in the air - their mitts got soaked before school so had to make a quick change before running off to school. But they had a great time with it - let's see how long those snowmen last. The first of the season rarely lasts 'til the end...

Snowman Homicide!
The first snowmen of the year came to a cruel and horrible end... they fell not of natural causes (warm weather and melting) but, were taken down by one very close to them!
See the gruesome scene...

So I didn't do so well keeping up with our activities in October. I spent a number hours working on a sort of memoirs of Dresden, describing some of the highlights from our 2 years living in Dresden, Germany.

At the end of our delegation, I had some time to myself to close things out, and had this new website - Rimrocked - that a friend was working on - integrating GPS with social networking - so I took this little tracking device and my little Sony Camera on a bike tour to do some BETA testing...

This little bike ride around Dresden was a way for me to remember the good things about living there and wash away all the bad memories...

To see more of what comes with the trip - click on the pointer bubbles. That will show you pictures of that area, and any journals that might be associated with the spot!

However, in some of the write-ups - some of the bad stuff bubbled up - but helps with the process too... This isn't done - I have lots left to say about our time there. But this should give you an idea of what it was like to live there, and I wanted to have something that the girls could read when the get older - to help them remember.

Check out the various points, most have pictures and journals with them - so you can see what it looks like in the different parts of town and how we lived day to day. It's quite a bit different from life in Canada...

We get some pretty crazy weather in Ottawa in Octobers... Some days can be nice, some wet, some cold, some snow...the whole thing.
This October - we were worried about our Hallowe'en! 3 days before Hallowe'en we got whacked with 15cm of snow! And the following week, it was near 20c!

Lucky for the girls, it didn't last - and warmer weather was on the way. By the time the girls were ready to go trick-or-treatin, it was 15c and an absolutely perfect night for going out and getting candy!

October is a terrible month for us... We love the weather, but rarely get the chance to enjoy it. Meghan and Emma have their birthdays, I'm usually travelling, we have our wedding anniversary and Hallowe'en gets in there too.

It's our second fall back home, and wanted to take advantage of the nice weather we had been having... We found an afternoon between birthdays and decided to head downtown to take a boat tour on the Ottawa River. We had heard some really good things about the trip, especially in the fall with a all trees turning colour.
It was a beautiful day - 20C, sunny and we figured there would be plenty of others wanting to do the same, so we went down early bought our tickets and walked around the canal for a little while.
The Canal was built after the war of 1812, to provide a path other than the St.Lawrence River between Montreal, Ottawa and Kingston. There were no boats moving through on this day, but the girls have seen the locks in action before, further up the canal (it runs for 200km!). In the winter, we'll come back and enjoy the worlds longest skating rink!

We finally boarded, and got some nice seats on the side so the kids could have a good view. In the video footage, you can hear the tour guide of course speaking in English and French - attempting the same bad jokes in both official languages. We started up river for a nice wide look at the Parliament Buildings, the Chateau Laurier and the National Gallery. Not too far upriver before we had to swing around to head back down on the Quebec side. We passed the Museum of Civilization on the way to mouth of the Gatineau River. At this part of Gatineau it looked like a little riverside town, with an old school church, small marina and an eclectic mix of homes.
As we entered into the open waters of the Ottawa River, the boat stopped for a few minutes to allow us to look around before heading back up the Ottawa side. The colours on all the trees - the red, the orange, the yellow, the browns lined the hills. It was really nice to see. Too bad it only lasts a week or two... We turned back right around Rockcliffe Park, and for those who don't know Ottawa, Rockcliffe houses many historic homes and foreign embassies, not to mention the Prime Minister and the Governor General. Up on the hill overlooking the river, you can see the Prime Ministers house. Not too shabby...
Heading back to the dock, we got a great look up at the Ottawa Canal locks. Looks like a series of steps heading up into the downtown. As it was approaching 6, and the sun was heading down, the girls were happy to see that it was coming to an end - it was a little cool in the open air deck without the sun to warm them up.

We finished the evening with a walk in the market, and dinner downtown.
Pretty good day for us in October!

    About Me

    My photo
    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!