Christmas 2016 - JanessaMann.Com


Nic and I had a wonderful second Christmas together. On Christmas Eve we woke up and shared presents, cuddled with Toby (whom we’re bunnysitting) and went for a tea date at Black Squirrel Books. In the evening I had the privilege of singing in the service.

Christmas 2016 - JanessaMann.Com

Christmas Day Nic and I drove out to my parents’ house where we celebrated with them and my brother and sister-in-law. We had lots of fun singing Christmas carols, opening presents, playing games, and exploring in the snow. We even got to see 5 deer running across our path, although the pictures didn’t show much.


On Boxing day we hosted both our families for games and pizza, then went to see Rogue One. December 27 we had Christmas with Nic’s family, which ended with a rousing game of Boggle as usual!

We had a wonderful Christmas catching up with family and friends, were blessed with great meals and presents, and got to play outside in the beautiful white snow. Merry Christmas to you, and I can’t wait to get to the cottage for New Year’s on Friday!

First Cross-Country Skiing of the Season

Cross-Country Skiing in November - JanessaMann.Com

On Thursday, November 24th, we got lots of beautiful, fresh powder in Ottawa. I waited very, very impatiently through class, and Nic coming home from work, for us to go cross-country skiing. We walked to the Rideau River, and then skied along to Vincent Massey Park.


We definitely got weird looks when we were walking down Bank Street with our skis, but once we got to the path, there were a couple tracks that looked like skis. We’re very lucky to be so close to an easy trail, right by the water.


Nic and I chose the wrong wax for my skis for the temperature, so I couldn’t move much at first until we scraped it all off. Once we did so,  I could ski much faster.


I’m looking forward to learning how to photograph at dusk. And in the winter. Not sure which setting this was, so I’m pretty sad.


It was such a beautiful evening, I can’t wait for more snow to come soon because I’d love to go for longer. That can be my cardio.

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa’s Greenbelt

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt

When I was younger, I didn’t get the appeal of cross-country skiing. It felt like so much more work than downhill skiing, you’re so much slower, and you sweat or freeze the entire time. In the past few years I have come to appreciate it. It’s a slower pace, but you can commune with nature a lot more.

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt -

As I have said many times, one of my favourite aspects of Ottawa is the Greenbelt. It surrounds most of the city and is a protected greenspace where there are lots of hiking trails. They don’t maintain or groom the paths in the winter, so it’s free to ski on! (Unlike in Gatineau Park in Quebec, where it’s almost $20 per person to cross-country ski.)

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt -

I’ve been using the same Toko Junior skis for years- technically they’re too short for me, but I like being able to dodge things a lot faster.

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt -

I really want to get a hood for my camera lens like my dad is using, because it was pretty wet out while we were skiing, so I was getting snow on my lens.

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt -

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt -

Dad always brings his GPS along to track his mileage. It’s hard to get lost on these trails because of all the markers, and there are many posts telling you how many km back to whichever parking lot you were in.

Cross-Country Skiing in Ottawa's Greenbelt -

If we’re living in Ottawa next year, Nic is very excited about being able to go skiing most weekends!

Christmas in Ottawa

Nic and I were very thankful to go home to Ottawa for a week and a half over Christmas. Our parents still live there, so we had a lot of fun.

The Cobers

Nic’s dad does Bonsai, and this is his gorgeous jade
Pileated woodpecker

One of my favourite aspects of Ottawa is the Greenbelt, which is a protected natural area surrounding the city. My parents live an easy drive away for hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.

It was surprisingly cold

Snow, at last!

I love feeding chickadees in my hand!
Mann stockings

My brother and sister-in-law arrived, so we had Christmas with them, next.

Nic’s loving the foot of snow that dropped!
The Manns
National Gallery of Art

Deanna wanted to see the Art Gallery, which is always one of my favourite places to go.