Ottawa is the sweetest (in summer only).

Can I tell you how much I enjoy pretending that I live in a Real, Proper City? (Where by Real, Proper City, I mean a city which I can navigate by foot and stroller, popping in and out of shops, while grabbing a quick ice cream lunch to keep our energy up?) Yes? Well, a lot.

I'm not actually in a city right now, but I won't let that deter me from reminicing about my pretend Real Proper City Life. 

Herewith, the next installment in my obnoxious pictorial retrospective of our four week vacation.

Ice cream for lunch. It happens. At least twice.

Stella and I spent about a week in Ottawa, my hometown. We stayed at an super friendly AirBnB right in the heart of the Glebe (which, for those not in the know, totally adorable and full of the greenest parks and the brickiest houses). We imagined ourselves as veritable Glebe residents, complete with a high performance, rocketship running stroller, fairly traded, handmade, artisan knitwear, and and an organic vegetable patch in the back garden. I did, however, feel the scorn and side-eyes of the entire neigbourhood when, over a breakfast of organic almond milk and hemp protein smoothes, I pulled out my kid's iPad, and enjoyed my coffee sans drama or distraction. 

At which point it became plain: I'm not in Asia anymore.

My sister and her partner came down for a few days to sip hemp protein smoothies together as a big happy family, and shower us with Montreal bagels. Which, amazing. 

Of course we had to visit several playgrounds (three? I think?) and take my geriatric dog Chloe for walks. (She was visiting O-Town with my mum, fyi)  Poor old Chloe has been my pet since I was about 16? Which makes her 103 in dog years. Anyway, regardless of our history, she will henceforth be know as Perry c/o Stella who also insists that she is actually a he. Toddler logic. Anyway, there was lots of this: "Perrwy! Perrwy! Come here! Wisten! Perrwy! Wisten to me! WISTEN, PERRWY!"

Would you believe that only hours earlier this kid was terrified of that dog? All it took was a name change and the business end of a leash to modify the equation. 

Our days were packed, visiting aunties, Grannie, cousins, new babies, friends, and the mums the kids I used to run around with years ago when I was barely able to run. We also made a solid effort to enjoy the green grass and blue skies, while walking more miles in six days than I've logged during my entire time in Indonesia. 

Other big news? There were several epic stroller naps and a couple 7 AM sleep-ins as we rode out the tail end of jet lag. So that was pretty major.

It was a great, but totally exhausting few days, and I'd go back in a second (between the months of June and September.)

Okay. Now for a million pictures.

One of the best things about Ottawa may just be the amazing bike / running / walking trails. All that green and alfresco exercise made me consider moving back. Until I remember that it's only like this for about three months a year. 

Admiring a little inlet along the canal. At some point during this exercise one shoe was lost. 

Here's the Canal. Which, during the winter months is a gigantic skating rink. Upon which people commute to work by blade. I'm not even kidding. It's real life in Canada. 

We discovered that sitting down in grass is about the best thing ever.

Visiting my high school buddy, who gained major cool points with the toddler by the fact that she drives a nino-nino car (aka ambulance.)

Canada. Duh. 

Flowers in the Byward Market. It sure is pretty down there.