|Britania Park at Sunset|
Nature Inside City LimitsEveryone warned me and many laughed when I told them I was moving from Seattle to Ottawa.... "Canada?? Don't you know how cold it is up there?" Yes, I knew, but it definitely couldn't be worse than living 4000 miles from the man that I loved.
The winter before I arrived, Ottawa had record snowfalls. Looking at photos of six foot snowbanks wasn't encouraging, but I had learned to drive in the snow, and having been a motorcycle rider I knew that staying warm was all about the gear.
My friends were right. Winters aren't easy here. Chipping a thick layer of freezing-rain ice off car windows is no fun. However, relaxing in front of a crackling fire with Pierre, Copper, and Penny more than compensates for the harsh climate. And have I mentioned that Ottawa is stunningly beautiful?
I used to say that Seattle was Paradise. I've learned that there is more than one Paradise on Earth. This federal capital of just under a million people -- a quarter of the size of Seattle -- contains a whopping 850 parks. Seattle Parks and Rec, on the other hand, maintains only 400. So even though I can't gaze out at (or take a short road-trip to) Mount Rainier's majesty, nor see the rest of the Cascade nor Olympic mountain ranges, my sweetheart, dog, and I are able to romp every few blocks in lovely open fields dotted with a huge variety of trees.
And when, like today, I can no longer stand being so far from the sea, we can visit one of the meandering parks along the Ottawa or Rideau Rivers and listen to the soft rhythmic waves swish up to the shore.