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A Day At The Beach

Bren and I have already developped our Canada Day tradition. For the past two Canada Days, we have packed a picnic lunch and spent nearly the entire day at Meech Lake, just about 20 minutes outside of Ottawa on the Quebec side. It's great. We're away from the overwhelming crowds of downtown and we don't end up dead on our feet from walking around on them all day. In addition, we never have those moments where we are dehydrated or hungry because we always have food and beverages at our disposal.

This past Canada Day, we headed out just before lunch time. Bren expressed interest in stopping into one of the museums on the way. Last year, we had decided on the National Gallery of Canada. But we have been there recently, so instead he suggested that we go to the Museum of Civilization this year. Currently, they have an exhibit for mythical creatures so I definitely thought that it would be interesting. Honestly, who wasn't fascinated with unicorns, dragons, etc. when they were a child. In addition, I love th Museum of Civilization. Their permenent exhibit is so lifelike that I feel the need to go see it every couple of years whether I have company to bring around the city or not. The exhibit did turn out to be good. I particularly liked the section that was devoted to the cyclops (you know, the one-eyed creature from Greek mythology). I read Homer's "The Odyessey" just a little over a year ago and the my edition of the tale contained an intriguing footnote about the cyclops. Apparently, the root of the belief in the creature stems from a discovery on the island of Sicily. Sicily used to be home to an ancient breed of elephant and their skeletons can even still be found there today. The skulls had big hole in the middle of the face area where the trunk would have been during the elephants' life. Of course, one who wasn't sure what the animal originally was may have thought that this whole was actually for a gigantic eye. This was the assumption and thus the myth of the cyclops was born. This section actually did contain the skull of one of these anicent elephants just to show where the belief came from.

We went onto the beach after leaving the museum. Our usual spot is a deck in one of the more isolated areas of the lake. It is so relaxing. We have our privacy and comfortable place to sit or lay down. The weather did co-operate with us for the most part, with the exception of one brief storm (fortunately there are a few big trees near the deck, so we did have sufficient shelter during the storm). But the stop subsided and the sun dried everything off very quickly. We spent most of the day just talking on the deck and enjoying the food and atomosphere. But at the warmest point of the day, we went in the water. I love the wildlife in this area. Every time we go to that spot, we see fish of different sizes. The smallest ones will swim right to the shore and are very time. They always come so close to my feet. I just like to watch them. Bren seems more fascinated with the bigger ones. They usually stay near the deck. We have found our trips to the lake to be a great way to spend time together away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

As the sun was setting we packed up and headed to nearby pub for dinner before returning to Ottawa to watch the fireworks. The fireworks were impressive as usual.

Canada Day was certainly a good way to start off our summer vacation. It was the day where we really get to relax and let loose for the first time since we got off work. The only downside were the sunburns that we got. Note to self: only wear a two piece if there is sunscreen available. Fortunately, 3 days have passed and they don't look too bad anymore. Bren's looks almost completely gone. As for mine, I'm just avoiding tank tops and anything too low cut until it has faded a little more. Oh well. It was a small price to pay.