Christmas cont'd

Trip Start Feb 22, 2005
Trip End Feb 11, 2006

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Thursday, January 5, 2006

Well I'm still here trying to fill in all the gaps and catch up to where I'm currently. So anyway, where I last left off, I was just leaving Stittsville to head up to Newaygo to spend New Years Eve with Doug and co. As always it was great to get reacquainted with everyone there, the four kids certainly know how to keep an aussie cousin on his toes, especially Johnny with his neverending questions and constant attempts to practice his boxing on my groin. While up in the mountains there, I managed to get another couple of days on the slopes, on my second night there I went with Katie and the kids to Mont Avila and while they all went tubing I decided to consolidate my snowboarding skills with another few hours of practice which certainly went quite a bit smoother than the previous attempt although I did have one rather impressive and painful face plant but then again, as they say, "no falls, no balls!" The next day I again hit the slopes but this time at Mont Ste Sauveur which was a bit more of respectable ski hill so I jumped back on the skis again and had a good afternoon and evening riding along with Dori, Ani, Greg and Erin. Apart from the skiing and boarding a lot of time was spent relxing that was for sure, and I got to meet some of Doug's acquaintances from around the lake and we spent some good nights just sitting around the table drinking wine and not doing a whole lot of any significance. I did actually do another first while up at the cottage, in that I went tobogganing for the first time ever with Peter and Johnny just down the hill at the back of the house and was amazed by the durability of the two boys who are just 7 and 8 (I think). As I commented to Doug, it's amazing how much of a beating kids can take when they're having fun, it especially seemed to be Peter who would go down with Johnny behind him and would inevitably end up underneath both Johnny and a toboggan at the bottom but would be straight up and running up the hill in the blink of an eye.
On New Year's Eve we were joined by Sheila, Pat and their kids for the celebrations which also involved Doug's friends and business partners Jacques and Helene (I don't know if that's spelt right) for a delicious fondue party followed eventually with champagne at midnight. My last few days in Canada after new year's was spent with more of the same relaxing, a bit of fun in the snow, I did go skating again and still didn't have any more luck than my last effort in Saskatoon and then later Sheila and I went out on the lake to spread the festive spirit br writing Happy New Year in the snow for all to see and that's about it for the Canadian portion of my travels. To sum up my month in Canada though, it was definitely one of the highlights of my trip, to all the folks in Canada that took care of me, I really appreciate all the help you gave and I really enjoyed catching up with all of you and can't wait to come back although next time I definitely have to come in the summer, after three canadian winters I think I'm due. Hopefully though, before I'm back in Canada some of you will have made it down under and allowed me to return the favour.
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