For the past three years, I have wanted to go to Ottawa to see the Tulip festival. Each year, something has happened, sick kids, sick car , etc. So this year, I decided to take Olivia and Tori, since they were more interested in it than Justin, and just go. So we did. We made some mistakes. Mostly by not printing out a little map to tell us where to go and by going too early in the season. We all had this idea of what the Ottawa tulip festival would be. A city chock a block full of tulips and color against bright blue spring skies.
Mom loaned us her GPS, we changed into jean skirts at Connie's, sent Gilbert home with Daddy, and took off, expecting great things. It was all very exciting for Orianna and Lily, two bridges and CANADA. They asked about 15 times if they were in Canada yet/still.
I know the way to Ottawa, but it had been 2 years since I was up there, so I decided to trust the GPS. (I hate trying to pit my brain aginst a machine that was made to be smarter than me.) Apparently the GPS likes backroads. Not bad backroads, just not as fast as 401/416. And that, is pretty much how the whole day was. Nothing really went truly wrong it just wasn't as expected.
Anyway, Ottawa was there, being itself. The million tulip bulbs they have are spread out all over Ottawa, not congregated in one glorious, kaliedescopic mass. The cold spring made the tulips buds, not blooms. The sky turned from fluffy clouds and blue to a disheartening gray. Having yearned to see this for years, it was disappointing. Still, we wandered around Parliment Hill, which is beautiful. And we got to drive down one way streets the wrong way. Twice none the less. Olivia and Tori are probably scarred.
Awesome wrought iron fences
Aged copper roof (isn't that what makes green?)
This flower bed was as tulip-y as it got near Parliment Hill.
I think a lot of my disappointment has to do with the fact that I realized that I am much more of a country bumpkin than I thought. I just simply did not enjoy the city. I loved the beautiful parliment buildings with their stone and green roofs. But I didn't like all the modern buildings juxtaposed next to them. As we wandered around trying to find some tulips, ANY tulips, or a place to park, I decided I would really just be happier if we went home. I have never been too citified, but I loved Anchorage, and so I just always thought that I liked cities. To most people though, Anchorage does NOT qualify as a city. Which just shows what a hick I am. I just like greenness. And space. And streets that aren't one way. And having my husband doing the driving. I think my independent, sophisticated self vaporized sometime around.... well, to be honest, maybe it was more of a vain sort of illusion than a part of me.
So what made my Mothers Day weekend? Staying up late talking with Justin. A gorgeous fluffy sky-d Saturday. Meeting Owen's outrageously aggressive and haughty llama. Watching the kids play outside. New spring leaves. Doing taking-care-of-our-lawn stuff with Justin. Mowing the lawn. Rocking Gilbert to sleep. Garage sale. Sweet little hugs and kisses.
We tried this once. Senor Llama definitely thought it was beneath his dignity.
Immediately previous to Senor Llama biting Justin. Look at those long eyelashes though!
I will take all of that over Ottawa any day, every day, all day long. I love, love, love all that.
I will admit that I am slightly ashamed of how provincial and small town hickish I am.
So there you have it. No beautiful selection of tulip pictures, no enchanting city stories. Just sweet life.
There is some saying from a Mary Engelbreit Calendar that has hung on our fridge from CO, AK, to NY.
Just to be is a blessing. Just to live---is holy.
I am so lucky.