|Christmas in Canada 2008...||(Entered Jan. 02, 2009)
Although visiting Canada in the dead of winter isn't quite as ideal as visiting in the summer, it still has it's charm. Winter in Ottawa tends to start sometime in early January, and many years it's not really that cold in December, and often doesn't even snow until around Christmas. Not so this year. We arrived on the 19th to a temperature of -29 degrees celcius and lots and lots of snow. During our vacation Kumi got to experience all the fun of a Canadian winter packed into about 10 days: three blizzards, a high of +10 degrees where the snow turned to slush, then a freezing rain which turned Ottawa into a big, murderous skating rink. I had planned on various outdoor activities like skiing but the bizarre weather put an end to most of them, so this vacation ended up being mostly about food and family, which isn't a bad thing really.
When I'm back home there are some things that simply must be eaten and I managed to schedule enough time and stomach space for all of them. Below is the world's best store-bought cake made by supermarket giant Loblaws (which has been on this site before). Just once slice contains enough sugar to last you an entire year. If you eat a slice with a rose on it, you're almost guaranteed diabetes. I only managed to eat about half of it this time around.
Harvey's makes the best hamburgers, fries and onion rings in the world! I know I know, you thought I was a diehard Burger King supporter, well forget BK, they've got nothing on Harvey's. Now that Burger King is back in Japan I can eat there anytime, and usually don't.
This is my niece Annabelle who's 3 and a half. Being away for such long periods it seems like she grows in the blink of an eye.
And here's the youngest member of the family, my other niece Sasha. Last time I was home she had just been born. Now she's 1 and a half.
Here they are on Christmas morning having received about a gazillion presents, with another gazillion not yet opened.
There was just one day where the weather was nice. Kumi and I went out for a walk in a one of Ottawa's many large parks. No one around except us, the trees and a few small animals.
Kumi getting in on the action.
Apparently Tokyo has a few squirrels somewhere, but I've never seen any. Ottawa abounds with them though. Here's a large grey squirrel munching on some seeds while a small bird patiently waits for his turn.
Nearby a smaller (and rarer) red squirrel also waits.
Some houses really go all out when it comes to Christmas lights. One street in particular is famous and every year all the houses on it try to outdo each other.
Most of my family and friends couldn't make it for Kumi and I's wedding here in Japan, so my parents organized a smaller, informal gathering for the two of us.
Sushi cupcakes as well!
Then before we new it, it was time to leave again. Looking forward to coming back again soon Ottawa! But hopefully in the summer...
If You Build It, They Will Leave...