Easter Weekend in Ottawa

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

For Easter this year we got to go back to Ottawa. Because of the freezing rain Thursday night, our friend drove us in on Friday morning. We arrived too late to go to the Good Friday service, so we went to a GoodLife near my parents’ to deadlift. (Yeah, not going back to that club, it’s overrun with bros who wear cutoff Popeye’s shirts and improper form.)

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

We had a relaxing day with my parents talking, colouring, crosswording, reading, and “watching” March Madness (I went on Pinterest and probably read more).

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Saturday morningwe got to go see Kelsey (and her dogs!) then went to get coffee.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Where would we go for coffee except Suzy Q’s for doughnuts! I had the carrot cake doughnut, the one in the middle. It was phenomenal.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

It was so great to catch up with Kelsey and show her both our wedding album (she was my maid of honour, and we haven’t seen her since I made the album) and the 2015 album.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Saturday afternoon Dad went for a bike ride, so Mom, Nic and I went to the Greenbelt for a nice walk. The sun was so bright, so the snow was slowly melting.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Poor squirrel was being chased down. He had to run for his life.
Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

A bag of seeds had obviously exploded, and this chipmunk was LOVING it.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

 
We drove to Nic’s parents for dinner, and then went to Hogsback Falls with them for a nice walk. The sunset was beautiful.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Nic wore an adorable bowtie for Easter Sunday.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

This is Flopsy. One of the youth brought his adorable bunny to church, and Mom and I were so happy to hold a bunny again.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Gypsy hated being held like that, but that’s the only way Flopsy likes it!

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Happy Easter from us! We had Easter lunch at Nic’s parents’, and my parents came over. It’s so convenient having our parents live in the same city, and be friends! #InLawGoals

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Sunday after my parents left, we went for a walk along the Ottawa river with Nic’s parents. It was a BEAUTIFUL day. SO bright.

Easter Weekend in Ottawa - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

What a wonderful walk and a wonderful weekend!

Allan Gardens – Free Things to Do in Toronto

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
I have wanted to go the Allan Gardens in Toronto for a while. We rotate between two churches, Grace Toronto and the Downtown Meeting House, and Grace’s newly purchased building is beside the Allan Gardens. One of my university friends (who attends Grace) often stops in after worship, and posts the most beautiful pictures on her Instagram. We finally decided to visit on a Saturday afternoon after my shift at work. 
We were not disappointed by the beautiful greenery!
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca


It’s very easy to get to the Allan Gardens – on line 1 of the subway, get to College station, and take the streetcar east to Jarvis.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

The conservatory has many rooms, and they are themed differently.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

I love turtles. So much.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
My husband in the jungle
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

One of the ponds with beautiful (koi?) fish. Also, that massive white one.

Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
The main room is gorgeous. They even have a little stage in the middle, presumably for weddings or performances. 
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Nic said he felt like he was in Jurassic Park, and I completely agree, with those huge fronds. 
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
As expected, the cactus and succulent room was my favourite. 
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Someday Nic and I hope to make a vertical garden like this!
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Allan Gardens - Free Things to Do in Toronto - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

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!

Chickadee
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.

Weekend Getaway to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake

The first weekend in December, Nic and I drove down to Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake for a nice date.

What an adorable squirrel!

Love dat husband.

Our bed-and-breakfast room was real into the Captain theme.

Of course, I had to go into the Christmas store.

For dinner we went to Kitchen76, the restaurant of The Two Sisters Vineyard. We shared a margherita pizza and one with spinach, truffle oil, mushrooms (I didn’t hate them cuz they were so small!) and pesto. The pizza was great, especially with the homemade chili sauce they provided. I also loved my Riesling, but that’s almost always the case.

Every year in Niagara-on-the-Lake they have the Candlelit Stroll, where we donated some money to get candles in containers, then walked around the beautiful homes listening to carollers and other acts.

It was really great weather for it, especially since I was wearing a skirt and tights for our dinner. Afterward, I got a caramel apple spice from Starbucks.

Saturday morning we had breakfast at the B&B, then walked around the town to check out the waterfront.

Home to Ottawa – Hometown Tourist

This past weekend I took the train “home” to Ottawa to check out OttawaU for grad school. I’m very scared, but I’m applying to the Master’s of Globalization and International Development. I hadn’t really wanted to tell people, in case I don’t get in, but so many people asked me why I was home, and what I’m planning on doing further from now. I’m currently hard at work on scholarship applications, and very excited about what the future holds for me and Nic.

After talking to professors and to people in the Graduate Studies office, I walked around the Rideau Centre (waaaayyy quieter than the Eaton Centre, I can’t believe I used to complain about it) then took a reading break along the river.

Saturday morning, Kelsey and I went to Suzy Q’s for doughnuts. We love that place. If you’re ever in Ottawa, check it out. 
We also had to go to IKEA, and loved every minute of it. I had such a great time catching up with her. 
Kelsey and her dog, Rogue

I had a great weekend at home, staying with my parents. After my time with Kelsey, I had lunch at my in-laws, and supper with some friends. I certainly missed Nic (five months of marriage on that Friday, and we’d never spent a night apart since the wedding) but it was good to be back. 
Who knows? Maybe we’ll be moving there in August. 

Manitoba trip for Grandpa’s funeral

I got Nic “The Last Kingdom” to read on the trip, and I’m looking forward to reading it after.

My Dad’s dad, Leonard, passed away on Sunday, November 8th. The funeral was in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on November 14th. Mom managed to get Ryan, Deanna, Nic, and me flights on her points, so the four of us were able to get out there. It was Nic’s first time in Manitoba!

Friday morning the four of us drove out to my aunt and uncle’s farm for a family lunch. Since moving to Toronto, I’ve definitely missed seeing wide open spaces all teh time.

Uncle Bob and Aunt Ruth’s dog, Casey

Grandpa’s funeral was on Saturday morning. All four of the children shared different aspects of Grandpa’s life. It was really cool to find out so many things about him that we hadn’t known. It’s also always a shock to realize somehow those four kids survived all their shenanigans growing up on the farm!

The Mann cousins

We had the same flight back to Toronto!

Exploring Toronto’s Distillery District

On Saturday Nic and I decided to go to Toronto’s Distillery District. I’ve heard lots about it, but mostly at Christmastime. When we arrived, we realized that there were Pan Am Games stuff happening, so it was a little busier than we would have liked. However, we had a nice afternoon walking around the shops (finding some REALLY weird things in them), had drinks on a patio, and stopped for soft serve on the way home. 
Locks of love in the district
Weird wooden penis bottle openers. Only $30. 
I love looking through vintage stores, and this place (other than the penises) had some very beautiful things.
Patio season

 Nic and I love patios, and since my lower back was getting real tired, we decided to stop and get a beer. I don’t like beer, so I was going to order a raspberry lemonade that had liquor, but Nic suggested I get the “beermosa,” which was on special at the time. Whoops. A wheat ale and pineapple juice doesn’t sound that bad, but I had to force it down, to make us feel like we hadn’t wasted $5. Better luck next time, Mill Street Pub.

As it seems from the last time I posted an outfit, all I wear in public is my black maxi skirt from Costa Blanca (loved their going out of business sale, even though it means they’re gone), as well as this grey crop from H&M. Lipstick is Revlon Lasting Finish by Kate #110.