Category Archives: Montreal

Sightseeing in DC is out of this world

What!?! TWO updates in one month?  What kind of craziness is this?  Well, don’t get too excited, this update will be a short one.  After months of living in the Washington, DC area, I finally got out and did some sightseeing.  I’ve been in a rut of going to FSI for class, doing homework, doing errands, etc., and haven’t really taken advantage of many of the very cool things to see and do in the DC area.

So, yesterday, I made the trek to the Smithsonian Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum out by Dulles airport.  Most visitors to the DC area are much more familiar with the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum on the National Mall, but the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum is quite impressive, too.  It’s a huge hangar and has hundreds of full-sized airplanes, from historical pieces like the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, to more recent ones like the Red Bull Stratos that Felix Baumgartner jumped out of in 2012.

And, it’s home to Space Shuttle Discovery!  I will admit that Discovery is the primary reason that I went.  I’m a sucker for space shuttles.  And, this one even had its Canadarm displayed next to it, which ties things back to my assignment in Ottawa where I covered space issues and visited the Canadian Space Agency HQ and saw where they train astronauts on how to use the Canadarm.

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Filed under Canada, FSI, Houston, Montreal, NASA, Ottawa, Pictures, Smithsonian, Texas, Tourist, Washington DC

Busy little bee

Hola!  Sorry for the lack of updates.  It’s been busy!  First, the parental units came for a visit.  They were here for about a week and we got to do a lot of sightseeing.  We went to Parliament Hill, Rideau Hall, The War Museum, The Aviation and Space Museum, the RCMP Musical Ride Training Centre, the Diefenbunker, and of course I took them in to see the embassy!

Then I was back in the office for a day before going to Montreal to help with some visitors at the Conference of Montreal.  It was a great visit and a great event, and I even got to catch up with J, a friend from Ciudad Juarez, who’s now posted in Montreal.

Now, I’ve been back in the office for about a week, trying to wrap up loose ends, get things ready for my successor, organize things for my move, etc.  Oh yeah, and new things keep popping up!  So, it’s been a busy few weeks.

However, things keep moving along.  My packout is scheduled.  I’m where I should be with the checkout list.  I’ve made arrangements for most of the things I need to do with my apartment since this is an LQA post, like scheduling my electric and internet account for cancellation when I move out, etc.  And, yesterday, I officially got paneled for the job in Frankfurt.  It’s a long story, but a series of hiccups pushed the paneling this long, but all’s well that ends well. 🙂  I’ve also made hotel reservations for my trip down to Texas for home leave.

So, I now have less than a month left here in Ottawa.  It’s a shame I’m leaving in the middle of the summer, when Ottawa’s so nice.  Summer and fall in Ottawa ALMOST make up for the winters.  Almost. 😉

So, that’s the news here.  Next up, packout, Canada Day, and the 4th of July!

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Filed under 4th of July, Austin, Canada, Canada Day, Family, Frankfurt, Friends, Germany, Home, Home Leave, LQA, Montreal, Moving, Ottawa, Paperwork, Quebec, RCMP, Texas, Travel

Montreal

Last week, I had to be in Montreal for meetings and went up a couple of days early on my own dime to sightsee.  And, I have to say, that Montreal is awesome.  Montreal is a much larger city than Ottawa and it’s got a lot to see and do.  One of my friends from Juarez, whom I’ll call “J” on here, just got to Montreal for her next assignment and I met up with her and we spent a lot of time sightseeing, wandering, and exploring Montreal.  We went down to Old Montreal, out to the Botanical Gardens, and wandered around Montreal’s massive underground shopping areas.  Montreal has a great Metro system that makes it easy to get around and a lot of the downtown area and Old Montreal is pretty compact, so it’s easy to walk and wander around.

Without further ado, here are some pictures from my trip:

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Filed under Canada, Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Montreal, Travel, Vacation

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, everybody!  Hope everyone has a wonderful Easter.

Good Friday and Easter Monday are holidays here in Ottawa, so the embassy is closed for both of them, which makes for a four-day weekend for me.  The weather has been really nice, so it’s been a nice break, but there’s still a lot of snow laying around and I really wish it would just go away so we could move on with spring and summer weather.

However, as part of the holiday weekend, a lot of stores were closed in Ottawa on Good Friday.  After driving by four very obviously closed grocery stores, I went home and decided that I’d just go shopping on Saturday, even though there were a few things I really wanted on Friday.  However, after awhile, I remembered that the rules were a bit different in Quebec and did a little googling and found grocery stores that were open over there.  Success!  So, I went over to Hull to go grocery shopping and got what I was after. 🙂

That makes two trips to Quebec this week, since I also went to Montreal for the day on Wednesday for a few work meetings.  Montreal was really neat and I’ll have to go back on my own sometime when I can do some sightseeing and not just run from meeting to meeting.

I also took the train for the first time in Canada on my trip to Montreal.  I’ve taken plenty of trains in Europe when I lived in Germany and Belgium, but this was my first time to take a train in North America.  It worked really well and was a lot easier than dealing with parking, driving in an unfamiliar city, etc.

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Filed under Canada, Easter, Holidays, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Snow