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My Trip Home {Ottawa, Canada}

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Back in March for Spring Break, I took my kids {sans husband cause he was still in Missouri at training} back to my home in Canada to visit my parents. It was so fun seeing the cousins we haven’t seen in a long time, plus my parents! It was a great vacation to break up the 5 month training for sure.

Except before we even left for Ottawa, I had to DRIVE TO VANCOUVER to get my passport. It was a long story, but I got my passport with 1 day to spare before we flew out to Ottawa. So thankful for my friends who took my kids so I could make that drive by myself! I can’t imagine driving there and back in less than 24 hours with 2 little ones. Yikes! Here are a few pics from my day trip to Vancouver before we actually made the super long flight to Ottawa.

Downtown Vancouver!




Tim Horton’s Boston Cream Doughnuts are some of my very favorite things in the entire world!



Beautiful blooms in downtown Vancouver ๐Ÿ™‚


I found a few delicious spots via Yelp. This french restaurant/bakery was called Thierry and had amazing almond croissants and macarons.


Seriously so gorgeous!


Ok, here come the Ottawa pics!!


Brooke and her cousin Lucious. They are 1 1/2 years apart but the age difference didn’t seem to matter. They loved bonding over the iPads. Ha!ย IMG_0252_edited-1


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It also snowed while we were there, so of course we made a snowman!! Grandma Ernhofer helped us build it too!


Cousin Mimi was not impressed with my camera all up in her face. This is the face she gave me when I said “SMILE!” Lol!! This girl is hilarious.


But then Grandma comes around and she’s all smiles. WHATEVER, lady.


Do you see? Grandma and her own Mom are the only people in her life that she will crack smiles for. Mayyybe Uncle Matt, too.


At some point, I took Brooke and Blake to Chapters {like the Canadian Barnes and Noble} to read, play and enjoy a little Starbucks ๐Ÿ™‚ Brooke somehow convinced me to buy her a stuffed animal. She called him Duke.


Grandpa Ernhofer took these kiddos and the dog on walks to the mailbox and back. It was too cold to go much farther! Oh Canada.

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My parents had never tried my Cinnabon recipe, so I made these for them one evening. They were devoured, especially by my Dad! My love of carbs is inherited. Obvs.


Cutie pie Blake!


My mom and I ventured out one afternoon to ice skate with my kiddos. Blake all bundled in his car seat! Love those baby blues.


So, we skated in downtown Ottawa at city hall. Do you see the parliament buildings? We had the rink to ourselves.


Blake didn’t skate, he watched cars and trucks go by with Grandma.





I was pretty impressed with how quickly she picked up the ice skating! I was a little rusty…oops.


Hi Dallin! {This is my younger brother.} He’s got Downs Syndrome and is probably one of the funniest people I’ve ever known.


This is Uncle Matt, my older brother. Blake LOVED him. Actually, all the nieces and nephews LOVE him.


Suzy Q Doughnuts in Ottawa–just go and behold the glory. Amazing doughnuts!


Got together with some friends…they all know what is delicious food is. Cough cough brie cheese.


We were able to do an early Easter celebration with egg dying and all!



At one point, Blake and I made some green juice and he ate some watermelon. Crazy haired kid.


Quincy the dog.


Fabulous green juice! Kale, parsley, pineapple, carrot and apples. So so good!

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Blake loves green juice!


Before we headed out to the airport, my Dad took us to Tim Horton’s one more time for timbits {doughnut holes}.


Blake demanding more. Typical.


They have a new salted caramel kind that is amazing! Also good: the chocolate and sour cream glazed.

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Somewhere along the 11 day trip, my parents got me addicted to pistachio ice cream.

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And pretzel croissants. OMG.


After we got through customs and back into the US,ย I was able to use my phone again! #bathroomselfie


The last flight home was rough. Brooke couldn’t get comfortable and was exhausted; Blake was too small for his own seat but too big to be in my arms. It was a long 3 1/2 hours! And then once we landed in Portland, Brooke threw up without me even noticing because of how bad Blake was behaving. Someone came running up to me and was like “did you know your daughter threw up back there?” I felt awful! And of course she was too embarrased to say anything. Luckily I had some clean clothes and shoes for her to change into.

Nothing like ending our international trip with a bang, right? Ha!

I’ve decided that next time I travel, I’m bringing my husband…no matter how much those darn flights cost!

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31 Responses
  1. Chantal Coutu

    Prior to this post, I had no idea that pretzel croissants were a thing! I did manage to find them and try them. SO good!! ๐Ÿ™‚ Ottawa has so many tasty treat options… there’s always something new to discover.

  2. Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet

    Nothing beats a trip back home! And Ottawa looks like a great place to go home to. Great pics, adorable kids, and I LOVE pistachio ice cream!!

  3. Andi

    Umm yah, that TIm Horton Boston Cream Pie donut has my name written all over it! Also the donuts from Ottowa look amazeballs! And donut holes! Forget the family visit – it was an amazing donut adventure!

  4. Marilyn Brennan

    Oh Lauren what a delightful post! I do have to say that when finishing the end of reading your post, I could not believe how hilarious it was that Brooke threw up in the airport and you didn’t even know it!
    Of course, the whole post was great, but that was the kicker for me!

  5. Glory Gooding

    Lauren, i so enjoyed seeing all your pictures of your vacation, home in Canada! How do you stay so thin??? I’ve seen all the goodies you eat!

  6. Susie

    Your blogs are honest and real, it was refreshing to see your trip with all the sweetness and some bumps I love that you’re Canadian…Go Canada! Your brother is adorable and I bet that having a brother with Down syndrome shaped who you are today. I have a child with Down’s and his siblings are so patient, kind and accepting because of their brother. Thanks for sharing. It made my day!

  7. Carrie @Frugal Foodie Mama

    We love Tim Horton’s here! ๐Ÿ™‚ My 16 year old actually works at one now, but we first fell in love with their donuts and Timbits when we lived in Columbus, OH. The Boston Cream Pie also happens to be my son’s fave.
    Looks like you had a wonderful trip back home… well, other than that flying back alone with two kiddos part, lol! You are a brave mama taking that on.

  8. Susie

    I enjoy your posts even more after seeing how real and vulnerable you can be. Not only are you creative with your recipes, you’re Canafian…Go Canada. I think that having a brother with Down syndrome has shaped you in so many positive ways. I have a child with Down’s and his sibjings are more patient, kind and accepting because of their love for their brother. You’re an inspiration Lauren!

  9. Bobbi Lynn Peters

    awwww Thank you for sharing such beautiful memories with us!

    So….might we get a recipe for salted caramel glaze and/or pretzel croissants anytime?????????????

    Happy you were able to go home for a visit!!!

  10. Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life

    All that gorgeous food and your beautiful family! It sounds like you had a wonderful time ๐Ÿ™‚
    Oh those little doughnut holes that come in salted caramel sound so dangerous….I might have to engineer those in my own kitchen!

  11. edgar

    Nice pictures; thank you for sharing those beautiful moments with family. Canada is a beautiful country indeed. I wish we, in Australia, have some of your snowy winters, but we do have nice weather here in down under as well. I am sure the food you had is as delicious as it looks, especially the pistachio ice cream hmmm.

  12. Paula

    I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip back home to Ottawa. I lived there for 14 years and retired an hour outside of the city. It’s always nice to go back and visit (my daughter and her family live there.)
    It’s hard to travel alone now what with flight delays, customs, security etc., let alone with young children and no help. I’m glad it all worked out (reasonably well) ‘cept for your daughter’s sick spell. I’m sure the grandparents, cousins, uncles, etc., were delighted to have that special time with you and the kids. You took some wonderful pictures, thank you for sharing!

  13. Dee

    thanks for sharing your pics! wow those doughnuts do look delicious! & made me hungry looking at all the yummy treats!

  14. Karen @ On the Banks of Salt Creek

    Wow, you’re amazing. And brave….very brave.
    Great pics. Your family looks lovely.

  15. Jenniffer Ebeley

    Nothing beats a trip home even when things happen ;). I am in Illinois now but originally Kitchener/Waterloo,Ontario.

  16. Suzanne ludwic

    I moved to Florida from Michigan and I seriously miss Tim horton’s. They used to have the best butter tarts!!! Do you have any butter tart recipes to share? I have tried a couple I found online but they left much to be desired. I would be eternally grateful and a few pounds heavier if I could replicate Tim Horton’s butter tarts!

    1. Lauren

      My Grandma had a wonderful butter walnut tart recipe…I’ll have to check with my aunt to see if I could get a copy and recreate it for the blog! They were some of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Alicia

    Hey! I grew up in Ottawa and now live in Utah. I didn’t know that you are an Ernhofer; I can now totally see the resemblance. I knew Shayna. Glad you had a fun trip home. I miss it so much and miss donuts from Timmy’s. Thanks for sharing all your yummy awesome recipes. Your talent is amazing!

      1. Alicia

        Mostly Stake functions, dances, youth conferences, that sort of thing. I was in the Chapel Hill ward. She was always a sweetie.

  18. N Fox

    Welcome home to Ottawa. Being a Canadian you should know it is not “Ottawa, Canada” It is Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Americans never say “Portland, United States” Just saying. It really annoys me when Americans leave out the Provinces. Makes it seem like Canada is just one big land with no boundaries. Hope you enjoyed your “Timmies”