Sunday, 22 April 2012

Parliament Hill

May you live all the days of your life. - Jonathan Swift
Scene of Parliament Hill from across the Rideau Canal

We just had an unplanned adventure.  My children were not very excited on leaving the beaten path...and taking a jump.  They thought I was wasting their time, and forcing them on a needless car ride.  But what can I say, I like to be spontaneous.  So, sometimes you just need to buckle up and hold on for the ride (and I promise not to disappoint).  
My mother in law had a business meeting in Ottawa, the Canadian Capital ( My American friend's please jot that down in your notes...Ottawa, Canada's Capital...Canadians will be impressed if you know that fact).  She was to leave the next day.  I asked if she had room for my family.  Delighted to not be traveling alone, she instantly agreed.  The trip is three hours each way.  We live much closer to Ottawa than we have ever lived before. And to me, every child needs to visit their nation's capital.
So before the sun rose, I woke my sleeping children.  None had a smile.  None were impressed. (But of course I greeted them cheerfully...enjoying every moment of my sinister plan). 
First stop Parliament Hill...
Centennial Flame
  Beside the entrance to the Parliament Building
 Still they were warming up to the idea of taking this adventure...But slowly, ever so slowly, they were beginning to smile...But, I needed some extra help to cheer them up.  A stop at The Cupcake Lounge was just the thing...with wall to wall delicious cupcakes to choose from...their adventure, just got a little more exciting...

The Cupcake lounge, located just a block from Parliament Hill

My children's selected favourites

The Canadian Capital boasts a stunning array of museums...all of them worth exploring.  With only three hours left...and my children finally agreeing to try to enjoy the day....we decided on  the Canadian War Museum. (What can I say...I have one teenage boy, one preteen boy, and a six year old boy...I think the art museum would not impress).
From start to finish...they were in heaven.  Reading every sign, studying every display.  I have to say, this was one of the nicest museums, to which I have ever been.  There were even volunteer WWII vets who were throughout the museum to answer questions.  In addition, there were many hands on activities and display tables set up throughout...encouraging children to ask questions and find out more...

By the time we finally reached the exit door of the museum, somehow, the sun was shinning brightly.  Lack of sleep did not keep them from smiling....and they were happy to have taken this unplanned adventure (I am glad I did not listen to their complaints).  I do think that life is full of possibilities and adventure...but many times we close the door...thinking we don't have time...or we will do it tomorrow.  But today only comes once...and "Tell me,what is your plan to do with your one, wild, precious life...( Mary Oliver)."

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