Tim and Lidiyanna enjoying a snuggle around the campfire
On one of our days during vacation, we drove about 45 minutes to the village of Mont Tremblant. It is a ski resort in a smaller mountain range. During the summer, the village is still alive with activity including shopping, entertainment for the kids, and lots of dining. We enjoyed some crepes and a Canadian treat called Beaver Tails which are flat pastries similar to donuts that have toppings like chocolate hazelnut or cinnamon sugar. While in the village, we rode the gondola to the top of the mountain and enjoyed a beautiful view. Graham and Tim rode the luge which is similar to riding a scooter down a big hill. Graham also tried the ropes course for kids and the mountain climbing. Wesley and I had fun playing on a pirate ship and riding some small boats. It was a fun day in a beautiful village that we'd like to visit some time during the winter so we can introduce our kids to some skiing. Although it was lots of fun for a day, I was glad that we spent the majority of the week in a more peaceful environment that really refreshed our souls.
back at the cottage enjoying the sunset before bed
After a bit of a stressful summer, the cottage we rented in Quebec was a perfect way to spend our vacation. The cottage was located on a small lake called Lake Nomininique in the Laurentians of Quebec. The Laurentians is a region of coniferous forest dotted with hundreds of lakes and rivers. It was a beautiful, remote area with quaint villages that took us away from noise and distraction. We spent the week playing on the lake's shore, paddling around in the paddle boat and kayak, roasting marshmallows on the campfire, and just enjoying each other. God knew it was just what we needed to end the summer.
Last week, the five of us piled in Tim's truck and headed to Quebec to enjoy some rest and relaxation together. We started our vacation with a night spent in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. It's a beautiful city right on the river with some intricate buildings on its Parliament Hill. The city is very pedestrian-friendly so we explored it on foot Friday night and by bike on Saturday.
The Peace Tower on Parliament Hill
changing of the guard
enjoying a break from our bike ride
Parliament Hill behind us
On Friday night we sat on the green lawn in front of the Parliament building to watch a light show that told a little of Canada's history. In many ways, Canada differs from the United States, but some things are true no matter where you live. The people here are proud of their country just as we are in the U.S. I was thankful for the opportunity to see Ottawa and learn a little more about this country we'll be living in for the next few years.
After three months, I'm finally starting to feel more settled here in Canada. We've settled on a church, and that's a great feeling. We hope to get involved in a small group and I intend to join the women's weekday Bible study in September.
We've gotten to know two families that are here with Nissan from the states, and it's been really fun to have some fellow Americans to get together with. Even though their kids are a little older, our kids have had fun getting to know them.
I've made a friend in the area through a connection in Nashville and she and her kids have already worked their way into our hearts. My boys ask often when we are getting together with the Lilley's, and I always feel refreshed after spending time with this family. They are a true blessing from God and I know we are developing a life-long friendship.
We've continued to explore the area and enjoy the summer beauty before it slips away and winter starts to creep in. I am looking forward to the Fall here as I know apple farms are a fun autumn treat. The beach remains to be the boys' favorite summer activity, and we recently found a park that has dirt jumps where Graham can ride his bike. Going on long bike rides with the kids has been my favorite part of the summer.
The summer has been long and challenging at times, but God always provides and I am feeling hopeful about the direction He's taking us in for the Fall.
Nana (my mom) and Grandpa Sam came to visit us this past week. We had a great time having family here and showing them our new home. We went to the African Lion Safari, spent time at several parks and a beach and, of course, enjoyed ice cream together. They were kind enough to babysit so I could get my haircut and go to the grocery store by myself. The kids loved having them here and were sad to see them go. We will miss you guys!!