After a week of camping and a four day canoe trip, I returned to my hometown of Ottawa and made a concerted effort to act civilized.
Three days, how difficult can that be?
To start, I arrived around midnight at my mother's house and proceeded to do laundry until noon of the next day, all the while junking up her foyer with all my wet camping gear. Nice, eh? No pictures of the siege. I should have taken more pictures on this trip, I'm mooching all sorts of pics from friends and family!
My stepdad and I took our dogs for a ramble in Gatineau Park, in the rain... it's a recurring theme on this trip.
Next, the Southern Barbarians descended upon my cousin Phil's house. Cole had to be taught how to descend steep stairs.
However, lounging on the couch is a task he has already mastered.
Phil, his mom and girlfriend treated me to a feast. In true viking fashion, I showed thanks to my host by attacking him, repeatedly. Even if I had the photos, I probably wouldn't share because it was beyond embarrassing. What prompted me to think that my few classes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu could help me overwhelm a much stronger opponent with years of martial art training? It wasn't pretty.
What happens when two Redneck cousins get together? They stay outside until 11 PM throwing knives.
Phil sent them with me to Alabama because I definitely need to add knife skills to my repertoire (seeing as My Brazilian Jiu Jitsu needs backup).
He also sent me home with a pair of snow shoes.
The odds are not in favor of a major snow squall hitting me in Alabama, but it doesn't hurt to be prepared!
I even got a good run in at the Experimental Farm and National Arboretum.
For lunch, I migrated over to my cousin Mona's house. Another feast and great company.
Notice the adorable pointer. Cole wanted nothing to do with his canine cousin, Sushi.
Unfortunately, Cole and I had to leave in order to make it over to my cousin Fabien's house for supper.
He and his wife, Kate, put on a spread... which is what my midsection will do with all this grazing across the Ottawa Valley. You only live once and can I have a second serving of Moroccan Lamb Stew? It was a treat to spend time with my Uncle Bob and Mary, who had driven in for the occasion.
The next morning, we managed to wrangle my little cousins before they ran off to school.
Shortly after, I ran off to my Uncle John's farm for lunch. When he's in the kitchen, it's serious business.
Phil and I did the mandatory run and play in the barn.
Then John and I loaded a box up with a bunch of his homemade preserves before I sped off to another dinner date. This time with long time family friends, Doug and Gloria. The duo had the most delicious homemade pizzas cooking when I arrived. Yeah, my life is pretty rough.
The next morning, I crossed back into the USA-- without incident. Which totally shocked me as my previous reentries into the US have been very stressful due to another person with my name being on the most wanted list. When the sirens didn't go off and the officer handed me back my ID, I wanted to ask if I was finally therefore off the No Fly List, but I decided not to press my luck and slink away.