Sunday, July 17
Did I mention the word hot yet?? Sunday was another hot one and the church was not air conditioned, the morning was hot enough but we got smart and sat a bit closer to the front in the afternoon so that we could feel the fans. Freezies after the second service were a welcome treat for everyone … adults included! We enjoyed some nice fellowship with members of the Ottawa church in between services, Matthew had fun interacting with other kids besides his sisters and playing with the nice train track. He was thrilled to find his friend Sean from back home at the church nursery, which meant that Marietta also got to see her friend Haley … pretty neat to be 6 hours from home and meet up with your friends … and many other people you’re familiar with since there were lots of travellers/visitors in church that we recognized.
After supper we decided to cool down by checking out one of the bigger splash pads/playgrounds in the city at Brewer Park. It was a lovely park, we continued to be impressed with Ottawa and how nicely done things are. The downfall of this park would have been that it had various sections, sort of divided by age levels, making it hard for parents of younger kids to keep an eye on your kids. Seeing as our kids are a bit older and the girls do a good job of watching Matthew it was perfect for us as it has stuff that entertained the older and the younger.
I did not get pictures of the various playgrounds and such since, unfortunately for us, our timing was a bit bad, we arrived not long before a bad storm whipped through the area. As you can see from the pictures, the sun was shining, the weather was nice, all looked fine when we arrived. The kids spent the first half hour or so in the splash pad area and had just begun to venture a bit further out to check out the playgrounds when the storm hit.
The splash pad area was set into a hill, with a wildy fast slide going from the top to the bottom. The girls would fly right off the mat at the end and ended up with some concrete burns on their butts afterwards.
Waiting for the water to dump (holding Matthew so he won’t run off before it falls)
The sand area entertained the kids for some time too. They had a lot of fun figuring out how to dig with the diggers.
These slide actually had the squish foam type mats at the bottom. The one area Ottawa loses points on is the fact that all the parks we went to used sand at the base of the playground. I think I’ve mentioned before “I hate sand”, especially beach sand. While I can see the reason behind why they use the sand, I really much rather see pea gravel at a park, instead of beach sand to make the kids filthy and come home with the stuff stuck in their clothes, shoes, and everything else. The local kids who knew this would come with their pails and shovels and load up their pails with water from the splash pad and bring it over to the playground area. Tons of fun for kids … I agree … but I wouldn’t like it if I was at that park on a regular basis … for holidays I’ll let it go :)
As I mentioned the kids fun was cut short by a storm that came through. The sky had a miserable look to it and since we had parked further away (wrong parking lot) Rob decided to walk on over and get the car before the rain came. The wind began to pick up and things were beginning to blow around quite a bit. I seen that Rob was no longer walking but running, but yet everyone else around there continued to calmly play like this was completely normal. The sky began to turn colour and looked terribly dark all of sudden and I was beginning to worry and listen for the signs of a tornado or something of that assort. I threw everything onto our huge beach blanket and bundled it up like a sack. The kids by this point had come running since there was so much sand blowing around it was getting in everyones eyes and we couldn’t see much. We had just finished gathering everything up and the rain started pounding down when Rob arrived and we ran off to the now-close-by car.
By this time Matthew was in a panic since he has a fear of storms and wind after the wind storm we had in the spring. As we drove back to our accommodations sirens, police, ambulance and fire trucks were a constant sight and/or sound. We learned later that the winds reached 90km/hr (not as bad as our spring storm at 120km/hr), the worst storm Ottawa had had and besides other damage it also blew over a band stand at a concert. The storm came through quickly but left lots of debris and damage to trees and such, as we seen the next day. Matthew needed someone to sleep beside him that night to calm his fear of the storm coming back, but being so tired he was quickly off in dreamland.