Family & Fun in Ottawa

In mid-June, right around the time I found out I would be returning to Cornell, D’Arcy learned that he had been chosen as the Nova Scotia representative to mark the PCAP Assessments, a Science Exam written by Grade 9 students across the country. He was scheduled to be marking from Tuesday – Friday from 8:30 – 4:30 daily. This meant that the kids & I would be having some adventures on our own for the week.

The first morning we were in Ottawa, after D’Arcy left for work, the girls & I were moving slowly. We drove back to Kanata, and when we got to Kathleen’s, we discovered that Evan, Alex, Reilly & Erin had caught a frog in a nearby pond. Kathleen suggested a swim in their next-door-neighbour’s pool, so the cousins shared their bathing suits, and everyone had a fun morning staying cool in the 36*C+ temperatures. The neighbours also had a sweet dog, Bailey, so Olivia was in her glory playing with him. We made sandwiches for lunch, and then I took Evan, Alex, Sarah, Olivia and Erin in to Ottawa to take a tour of the Royal Canadian Mint.

“Percy Jim McDonah” – the frog. “He was released back into the “wild” shortly after this was taken.


Alex & Reilly

Evan & Erin


The Canadian Mint makes commemorative and investment coins, as opposed to circulation coins. I was amazed by how much trivia Alex knew about the history of our currency. Things like the fact that since 2006, the cast of the Queen on the back of all of our coins no longer has her wearing a crown. Apparently she made this choice because she wants to appear closer to the people. We learned that Canada holds the record for producing the purest gold coin in the world. At 99.999% pure, the $1,000,000 face value coin is 52 cm in diameter and 3 inches thick. There were only five of them made, and they feature a maple leaf design. The monetary value of each is now over $6.2M.

Royal Canadian Mint

Cousins, waiting to tour the Mint

Team work – lifting a 28 pound solid gold bar

The solid gold $1M coin we learned about. One of the five is in Saudi Arabia and has been turned into a coffee table by its owner.

Happy in Ottawa


After we finished our tour of the Mint, we went to the hotel to pick up D’Arcy and then we all went back to Kathleen & Bill’s for a barbeque. We had steak, potatoes, salad, and corn-on-the-cob with ice cream sandwiches for dessert. The kids played hide-and-seek, went to the nearby playground and hung out. It was a really great evening.


Fun while waiting for supper

With my brother-in-law, Bill

*This post was written while we were traveling from July 1st – 15th. We are now back home and are welcoming guests.