Friday, August 8, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Museum of Civilization

Today's trip out took me to the Museum of Civilization (one of the many places I wanted to hit before heading back to the Maritimes .. so that means, I'll have to hit the National Gallery of Canada on my way back to Nunavut, as I leave for NB tomorrow night).

All I can say is WOW. I could have spent all afternoon there (three hours in all today - most of it spent down on the first floor exhibit) in the Grand Hall exploring the Native Peoples of Canada’s West Coast exhibit and the The First Peoples Hall that celebrates the diversity and contributions of Canada’s First Peoples from their earliest origins to the present day. Spending my time down there and seeing some familiar sights and even just knowing where and what some of the "artifacts" were and what they were used for brought it really to life for me.

Then I went off and spent some time after lunch perusing the The Canada Hall and the Face to Face: The Canadian Personalities Hall (yes, even teachers do go off for history lessons during their summer months - aren't we a crazy lot?). The Canada Hall took me on a "tour" of Canada's evolution, from our humble beginnings living in tents and cabins, all the way to the modern comforts of today and how Canada changed province to province. Upstairs in the Personalities Hall, I got my fill on Canadian political, religious, military (and so forth) figures that have all impacted Canada in one way or another.

It still amazes me how they can fit all of these exhibits into that museum - the architecture inside what just amazing.

Monday, June 16, 2008

So much to see and do ... so little time

I have finally begun to feel a little more "human" again and am getting back into the groove of being a crazy southerner again ... well... for a while.

Since this is my first summer off in more years that I care to admit, I am doing the complete tourist thing - one way or another. With any luck before I head back to the Maritimes I will be able to visit a couple of places up here in Ottawa that I would love to get to:

National Gallery of Canada

Canadian Contemporary Museum of Photography

And I figure, while I'm downtown in Ottawa, might as well also visit the Parliament Buildings (considering that I have never been there before).


Oh I know, strange thing to be excited about .... but when you live above the tree line ... trees are a wonderful sight!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Southern update 2

Today was a pretty lazy ass day .... slept in late, drank coffee, lounged around, read a book and sat outside listening to the rain and thunder roll through Ottawa - how I missed the sound of rain and thunder! It's strange what you miss hearing living way up North. And did it ever rain and thunder - all afternoon! It was great! (well to me it was at least).

Tomorrow, should the roads be dry and not a lot of rain in the forecast, I'm going to be heading out for the morning / afternoon on a bike, just touring around .... and chances are I will get lost in the process .... so I"ll be sure to have a 20$ on me for a taxi should I need a rescue.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Southern update 1

Here I am, in the south .... it's been a couple of days since I left Arctic Bay (and how do I ever miss the much cooler climate of the North!).

Thursday, as we were driving to my relatives (with whom I am crashing with for the duration of my stay in Ottawa), we stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some grub for the night ... well, I was completely in shock in the store. Anyone living in the North knows what some of our selection is like .... how much it costs ... and in general, what our grocery stores look like. Let's just say, I was walking around there with my eyes practically poping out of my head. The produce section was bigger than our Northern back in Arctic Bay. And it was the little things that amazed me the most ... 2L bottles of pop, 99 cents .... fresh bread, fruit, unfrozen meat .... I was quite giddy!

On Friday, I headed out to the mall to see if I could find any summer gear (the little that I need) while in the south ... found a couple pairs of shorts ... and of course, a bunch of stuff for the North (what else is new right?).

Today, I headed out to Westboro to hit up MEC - I (heart) MEC!! ... As we were driving there, for the life of me I couldn't remember why Westboro sounded so familiar ... until we got there, and it hit me - Westfest is going on! (Thanks for pointing this out to me Tristan! It was quite a sight to see!). So, of course, I picked up some new winter and fleece gear for the North, as most of the stuff I had with me up there this year has either worn right out, was near wearing out or I just couldn't handle wearing it any more (it does happen, we do grow very tired of the clothing we bring up north very quickly) and I just gave it away for others to use ... and of course MEC was having a nice sale on their "old" winter stock, which made this process even more difficult. I was at home in MEC ... so now, all I really have to get for next year are a couple of pairs of jeans and I'll be all set.

So far, I'm doing alright in the South .... but it is kinda strange not being in the North.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tales from the Arctic ... over the Arctic (pt.2)

More thoughts, meanderings and rambles from on the "road"

Success! We landed in Iqaluit .... and we are also going to be departing Iqaluit on time for Ottawa! Whoop-whoop! Arriving in Iqaluit, I ran into many people from Arctic Bay who were on their way back up North, as well as many other southern teachers and RCMP members who were heading either out to other communities or down south for the summer - we all had a good quick chat, and then realized that we better hurry our butts into the security check line as it was getting pretty long (with two packed flights heading to Ottawa .... and the massive amount of electronic gear I had on my back, I knew that it was going to take a while).

And as usual ... my little hard drive managed to get me extra screened at the checkpoint. "Mam, what exactly is this?" (security guy pointing to a screen). "That is a hard drive". "Ok, mam, we are going to have to swab test your bag" (security guy taking my bag over to the swabbing area). "Ok" (me rolling my eyes .. sigh). Well, as usual, I made it through the check point with flying colors.

We all made it through, and were all just hanging out in the waiting area for our boarding call ... well, what can I say, the flight to Ottawa basically turned into a great big party in the air - the plane was full of teachers, RCMP, military and a couple of researchers. We just ran around, swapping stories all throughout the flight. I don't think the poor flight attendants really knew what to do with us.

Shortly before 5:00pm, we landed in Ottawa - and boy was it warm (at least compared to what I am used to) ... and long story made rather short, I am now here staying with my relatives for a while and I plan to do the tourist bit while I am here (figure why not! It's my summer vacation!)... and of course, we are going to be doing the oh so important task tomorrow of taking Kennie shopping for some "summer" appropriate clothes - I guess well worn jeans, hoodies and Birks don't exactly cut it down south for summer gear ;-).

So to everyone that is wondering where I am, no worries, I am safe and sound in Ottawa .... and will eventually be making the trek back to NB.

Hope everyone has a great summer break!

Tales from the Arctic .... Over the Arctic (pt.1)

Thoughts, meanderings and rambles while in the air over Nunavut ....

Well everyone, I made it out of Nanisivik this morning. It didn’t look too hopeful around 6:30 as the sky was grey, King George could not been seen and there was this ominous fog drifting in over the sound across the bay. I was pretty bummed out. So I waited .. and waited ... and waited until 7:30 before I called to the airport to find out if my flight was still on schedule. And did I ever hear the best words of the week coming out of Tim’s mouth “Why yes dear, the flight to Iqaluit is still on - are you excited now?” Excited doesn’t begin to describe it. I was ecstatic! Vacation time here I come!

Off I went dancing around the house, pulling together the last couple of items that i needed to stuff into my pack before heading out ... not at all thinking that I should probably give my drive to the airport a call to let him know that the flight was still on.... luckily, one of us does have a brain in the morning and he called shortly after to inquire about my flight status.

The ride to the airport was uneventful, for what a 30km drive to Nanisivik can be - although, we did make it there in record time - got to love it when the driver will drive faster than 40km/hr on the twisty roads. Felt like a roller coaster ride at times (just added to the complete and total excitement that I was already experiencing) - many thanks for the ride to the airport too! I owe you!!!

We get to the airport, and I am pretty sure that he did this right on purpose, as he knew I was wearing my Birks (like I was going to be wearing sneakers down to Ottawa where it is +30 right now - ha! I arrived in Arctic Bay wearing Birks, I leave Arctic Bay wearing Birks), and parked right in a freaking snow bank. So there I am, staring down at the snow covered ground going “Oh &@#! - you did this on purpose!”. All I get is a good laugh out of him, as I see my bag being lugged into the airport.

So, here I now am, 1. 5 hours into a three hour flight, sitting back, listening to tunes, and going to be going back to my nap soon .... my seat mate and I are both "leaning" on each other to keep up from falling over while napping - we are quite the sight!

Here’s hoping that my flight from Iqaluit to Ottawa goes smoothly.


I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well readers, with any luck, my flight down south did take off from the Nanisivik Airport this morning and I am now on my way down to Iqaluit to catch my flight to Ottawa.

I've loved my time up North this year, it's been one crazy adventure! But I am also looking forward to my time down south to catch up with family, friends .... and to enjoy some much needed darkness at night again (it still boggles my mind that the sun is out 24/7 up here ... never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be living in a place that has 24/7 darkness for 4 months and 24/7 light for 4 months!).

Stay tuned for updates during the next little while ... as I imagine I will have many stories to tell about my journey home (planes, cars and buses are in my future) ... along with nearly 3500 KM of traveling too!


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Welcome to North-Down-South

Hello, and Welcome!

This blog is going to be used this summer to detail my vacation down South from Canada's High North. Stay tuned between June and August for updates on my time back down in the Atlantic Provinces.