Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ottawa here we come..

This past weekend was Victoria Day in Canada, commonly known as May 24, and a holiday on Monday so we set off to the Capital City of Canada and home of many interesting sites, stories and the Ottawa Senators, Go Sens! Eh.

A little PSA for any of you whom find yourself in Toronto facing a long weekend, do not leave late in the day, the 401, the main artery in and out of Toronto becomes a parking lot around 4:00. Leave early like around 3:00 am just to be safe. It took us over an hour to go 3 miles, seriously! We arrived in Ottawa a couple hours later then we wanted, found the hotel and high tailed off to the closest watering hole, I mean restaurant and walked right into a Senators Hockey Game. Every TV in every house, bar and public place had the game on and it was loud. True to form, they lost and by the time our food game everyone had left the restaurant so we were able to eat in peace.

Saturday the plan was for Tracy to get a training ride in while the rest of us slept in, one out 2 isn't bad. The day was gorgeous so we could not bring ourselves to go to the museums so we went to the ByWard Market, which is this gigantic outdoor market, farmers market, restaurant, street entertainer area. We watched street performers contort themselves into a ring and roll around in circles and not get sick, that is a talent. Kay had to stop at every shop and look around, she is a serious shopper, the boys not so much. In any event the market was fun, we had lunch at an awesome burrito place, strolled around, Jimmy found and awesome wolves' lid and Billy came up with a kite, yep?, the parental units (whom I might add are going on a cruise shortly) found a backpack that will only hold 2 passports, 2 towels and 2 books, get the picture! We found a small park loaded with tulips and a place for Kay to blow the new bubbles she bought and Billy to fly his kite, Jimmy just sat around complaining about how Ottawa does not have any good restaurants, looking cool in his new lid.
 Dinner was some really random Lebanese place that we all loved sans Jimmy, his first day in Ottawa was not good as far as food.

Saturday night we went on a Haunted walk through the downtown area along the river, a perfect scene for scary stories and weird goings on. The tour was a couple of hours and although we did not see any ghosts, the kids were engaged and had fun, a little too engaged as that night no one could sleep in their own beds. Musical beds in a 2 bed 1 roll away room is not fun.

Sunday it rained, all day and it was perfect weather to be in a museum, the Airplane & Science museum to be exact along with a really cool interactive Star Wars exhibit. The planes dated back to the beginning of time and categorized and chronicled how crazy the early pilots were. Then we headed over to the Stars Wars exhibit which, if you get a chance, you must find out if " The force is with you"

Basically the whole making of Star Wars, character building and design, outfits, human, robot  is there. You are given a bracelet, and a headset and wander from station to station answering questions, learning about human and robot behavior all in search of your own identity. Then you must chose to remain in the rebel camp or go over to the Dark Side.....Guess which 2 of us are now aligned with DarthVadar?

Sunday nigh was low key at the local Irish Pub and relaxing in the room with three amped up kids and a Disney movie.

Monday we packed up and began the trek home. PSA #2 do not attempt to return to Toronto around 6:30 in the evening because everyone that was on the 401 the previous Friday is on it again.
We stopped at this really cool cave and tour place. We learned about this crazy local guy who found the caves and remained alive after trying to kill himself several times while finding the caves, the details are worth the visit. The tour is about an hour and the perfect distraction on the way home.

We arrived in time to join out neighbors for fireworks and a bit of neighborhood bonding before falling in our own beds in our own rooms. There was a bit of news,  a worker at a children's center in Halifax was put on paid leave when it was discovered that several of the kids in her care had duct tape marks around their mouths, paid leave? The movie never ends it goes on and on and on.....
more to come!

We are planning a winter trip to Ottawa we liked it so much. Its got gorgeous bike paths, amazing architecture, 2 rivers and a canal going through town and a really cool European vibe. In the winter there is iceskating on the canal, just like the Netherlands. we'll be back.....
 cool waterfall along bike path

Billys future career, jet pilot

Jimmy and Billy sleeping in and cuddling
Pillow? that's not a pillow!

Picking our species

The guitar Canadian astronaut Chris
 Hatfield took into space

Check out the Star Wars characters we created. Jimmy was the only one to "go" to the Dark Side.

Tracys -