a peek inside the fishbowl

29 Jun, 2018

The first day of summer holidays

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

… well, it’s not really the first day of summer holidays. Yesterday was the last day of school for many of my friends with younger kids but the eldest has been home from university for some time now and the youngest had her last exam of grade 11 last week.

For a few years, I had a blogging-related tradition that involved “live blogging” the first day of summer holidays. Mark reminded me of this post that I wrote on June 26, 2008. I had totally forgotten about that day.

Fast forward 10 years, to June 26 2018.

I got up, made coffee and had breakfast long before the girls got out of bed. They were binge-watching Queer Eye on Netflix while I decided whether to do my usual 5K powerwalk or go down to Westboro Beach to swim a few laps. I’ve never actually done that before. We’ve gone swimming there many times of course, but I’ve never gone alone with the intent of Swimming for Fitness. I put on my bathing suit, threw a coverup over top, and went on my way.

It was a pleasant walk, and it was quiet at the beach, although there were already a few families with buckets and shovels who’d obviously been there awhile. I spotted Robot Missions doing some testing, but there was no one in the water. It was early and the lifeguards weren’t on duty yet. I left my belongings in a pile on the sand and went in the water. It was cold at first, but after the initial dunking, my internal temperature stabilized.

I swam four laps along the back of the partitioned swimming area and called it a day. It’s weird. I used to enjoy swimming, a lot. I swam competitively when I was in middle school and part of high school. I used to love the feeling of the water, the steady rhythms of it all, but those feelings left me long ago and I can’t seem to bring them back again. I will also admit that  I am out of shape. The strength I used to feel cutting through the water was gone and it wasn’t even fun to try anymore.

I got out of the water, toweled off, and sat on the hill overlooking the beach while I dried off a bit. I walked back home, feeling slightly woozy and tried to figure out what the rest of the day would look like.

As it turned out, the rest of our “first” day of summer was pretty good. Us three girls (plus Piper) packed a lunch and set out for Lime Kiln Trail. (I should mention that I picked up freshly-baked croissants from a new bakery in Westboro called Mamie Clafoutis, which made the basis of some stellar ham and cheese sandwiches.)

We’d been to Lime Kiln lots of times as a family, but it was especially nice going back now that the girls are older. It’s a totally different experience. We walked past the ruins and completed the trail loop. There were garter snake sightings and lots of birds. We tried feeding the chickadees and nuthatches but they weren’t too interested. (What’s a group of nuthatches called? A NUTBATCH. Haha! #Familyjoke) It was hot and dry, and we were all bushed at the end of it. But like with any walk in the woods, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes with it.

A walk in the woods

In the evening we walked to MHK for sushi. We swore not to stuff ourselves again, but somehow we always end up breaking that promise. The food is too good here. We waddled home, happy and full. I’d say that was a pretty good first day of summer.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human offspring: Emma (23) and Sarah (21). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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