Thursday, September 02, 2010

A Long Drive for a Long Weekend

It's a little bit delayed, but the following recounts a wonderful birthday weekend spent in Ottawa with Meaghan.

As it would be our last real chance to get "away from it all" before the weddings began - and as I have to beg to get a weekend off from work anyway - we took the opportunity to go up and over to Ottawa over my birthday weekend. Ottawa, of course, is not exactly the most glamorous destination, but there is enough to do, albeit touristy, and the important thing, of course, was time away together. The nice thing about Ottawa is that, like Vegas, much of the "fun stuff" is all within walking distance.

We didn't have much time to do anything on our first night, especially after the five-hour drive, so we decided to do a Haunted Walk. Now, having both done Haunted Walks before, we thought we knew what we were getting into. What we did not know, however, was that there would be a gaggle of professional Haunted Walk participants who added their own running commentary to the evening. The high point was the lady that asked the Haunted Walk tour guide why no one has ever told the ghosts to "walk into the light." To her credit, the tour guide responded, "Well, it would make the Haunted Walks pretty boring."

A slight drizzle had begun, so we decided to call it a night.

The following day, we fell squarely in the tourist stereotype, doing a tour of Parliament, taking a visit to the Mint and stopping by Byward Market for a little while - oh, and reading lamp posts. Mock us if you will, but there's a reason hundreds of thousands of people do all the tourist-y stuff every year - it's fun.


We had two particularly enjoyable moments on the Parliament tour:

While showing a picture of Queen Victoria, the tour guide asked what her significance to Canadians was. An American tourist raised his hand and said, "She was Queen of England during your war of independence." The tour guide responded with, "Well...sort of. You guys had a war, we just had confederation."

The second was seeing Jean Chretien's recently finished portrait. Very yellow.

Chretien.  Jean Chretien.

We also saw Salt on the Saturday, which, if my ambition remains, will be reviewed shortly.

On the Sunday, wanting to get a bit of a head start on the long drive home1, we hit Byward Market again, I had a Beavertail that I didn't need to eat, and we hit the mall in Kanata. The reason for mentioning the mall in Kanata is that, in our search for a refreshing juice beverage, we had our very first Booster Juice. Freshly Squeezed is better. Just sayin'.

And then began our trip home! And concluded a wonderful birthday weekend that I did not deserve.

1 - Made longer by the accident on the 401 just outside of Belleville

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