Wanna see me look short? I hung out with giants all weekend. Serious.

What an INCREDIBLE weekend with family!! I had known for 2 years that I had to plan this particular family reunion and have been doing so actively for the past 6 months and I can’t believe it’s over…but a what a weekend it was!!

Everyone arrived Friday night and we met for dinner at a great Italian restaurant – Johnny Farina – and started to catch up. The restaurant has a great idea to keep younger kids entertained – they give them pizza dough to play with. It’s not going to destroy tables or clothing AND the kids can put it in their mouth!  Jackson LOVED it!

Saturday morning we met at 9:30 at the Terry Fox statue…please tell me you know who Terry Fox is…if not, you MUST google it.

My bro, SIL and Jackson

And then watched the Changing of the Guard. It’s a MUST see if you’re in Ottawa during the summer months. It is a formal ceremony during which “sentries” are relieved by a new batch of “sentries”. It is elaborate and precisely choreographed. And has a full marching band as well! They march through the downtown (yes, EVERY morning at 9:30am) with police blocking traffic 

and then perform the actual “changing of the guard” on Parliament Hill before marching back through the downtown.

Here is some video – much better in person, but gives you an idea. Also, their “costumes” are not heat friendly and if you’re lucky, you’re there on a day when one of them passes out! LOL! What was NOT fun was a few years ago, while marching, one of the soldiers slipped and was impaled by his bayonet!!

Because of the yelling of commands (which, by the way, has to be done in French & English…*rolling my eyes* because of the bilingual law here), Jackson found the soldiers, while fascinating, a bit scary. But after “the show” a soldier took the time to make Jackson feel more comfortable!

We spent the rest of Saturday on a double decker tour bus, having lunch and just hanging out around Ottawa – and the weather was GORGEOUS! That night we gathered again on Parliament Hill for its nightly Sound & Light Show where they tell the history of Canada through sounds and lights with the Parliament Buildings as a back drop.

This is minutes before the show…

And then here are some shots of the show…

I have 8 male cousins and 5 of them were there this weekend (the other 3 are weird…and never come…LOL!). They are much younger than me ranging in age from 16 to 23. Not that you would ever know that by looking at them. I pretty much laugh the entire time I’m with them. I’m 5’8 – and usually feel quite tall…


My brother is 6’1 and I think of him as tall…and yet this is him with the 16 year old (the one in the pink shirt above) who is 6’6 (and still growing!!).

They are an awesome bunch of guys and Jackson absolutely fell in love with them and referred to them as “The Boys” all weekend long. This is Jackson in a parking garage when we were going to meet people for dinner.

And as you can see by his face, he just loved hanging with his big cousins!!

The family left at around noon yesterday and I then headed out to the field hockey turf to watch the guys I played with in Chicago (some from Ottawa others from Nova Scotia – about a 14 hr drive from here). It was a tournament put on by the Sikh community here and while girls could play, you’d have to be VERY brave (or crazy) to do so in a tournament like this. My boys lost in the semi-finals and the other semi-final game ended in a shoot-out…here is a clip…and it might give you a taste of why I am happy to watch from the sidelines…tell me the goalie isn’t a little terrifying!!

I am not new to Sikh or Indian run tournaments…if I could, I would go to one every weekend…for the food. They make TONS of it and it is on offer ALL DAY LONG and it is SOOOO good and they WANT you to eat it!  So I of course stopped by the food tent and helped myself to some legit Indian food!!

This morning’s workout was long hill repeats. 6 of them. Please note, I am not complaining, just helping you to understand my environment…for the last 2 weeks, each morning it has been about 54 degrees for my run (THAT I was complaining about!). This morning, with the humidity, it was in the low 80s. And, um, let’s just say that I might not have had the most hydrating weekend. So even my warm-up this morning was a challenge! My interval times were fairly consistent but not the way I’d want them which is getting faster with each one:

1- 1:14
2- 1:15
3- 1:16
4- 1:11 (no joke, there was a hot guy on the hill and I had to make sure I looked strong! LOL)
5- 1:11 (was irritated w/ myself for changing my effort for a hot guy so made sure I did it again)
6- 1:13 (just no gas in the tank left!!)

Warm-up photos on the left…hill on the right…the top of the hill is up at the very top around that bend just out of sight!

Am going to be doing some serious re-hydrating today. 🙂

Happy Monday!!

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