Wanna know what happens when you come and visit me in Ottawa?

It might almost kill you, but when you come and visit me you are going to see and do A LOT!! So much so that I will be unable to get up the next morning and run. But it was SO worth it.

Thursday night I met Brad at the airport – his flight was a tad delayed from Toronto but the Ottawa airport is one of the most quaint ones you’ll ever be at so waiting there a little longer is actually quite restful! We have a grand total of THREE baggage carousels. LOL.

Once Brad landed, we got his bags into my car and headed downtown to his hotel – The Lord Elgin

One thing that Brad found fascinating, and is just totally normal to me, is that EVERYTHING is in both English and French. By law. We are a bilingual city. The sign on the hotel advertising for something at one of the museum is an example of it. Even on the airplane, the emergency instructions and all announcements for planes coming into and out of Ottawa must be said in both official languages.
As I said earlier this week, I seem to have created a connection with the corporate sales lady at the hotel who is happy to help make any guests I bring to her hotel have a great stay. Not only did she upgrade Brad to a spacious corner room, but this was waiting for him:

The card was full of “preferred client” cards for local restaurants! And such a nice card. I LOVE this hotel.

Once Brad got settled (and he gave me a pile of gifts that he really didn’t need to bring me!) we walked down to the Byward Market – a VERY neat and trendy spot in Ottawa with enough restaurants to allow you to eat three meals a day there for 3 months and never eat at the same place twice! We went to The Grand for dinner which is an Italian restaurant that I always enjoy – and we were able to eat outside on the patio. 

We each ordered a pizza – Brad ordered the meat lovers pizza – he doesn’t believe in veggies on pizza – LOL!

And then after dinner I had Brad get a BeaverTail for dessert – this is an Ottawa CLASSIC. They used to only be sold during the winter on the canal (which is made into the World’s Largest Skating Rink) but they are now available year round. It’s just deep fried goodness!

Afterwards we walked over to Parliament Hill and watched the Sound & Light Show – lol, yes for the second time in a week! But it was a different experience watching it with someone for who this was their first time in Canada – for instance, I had fears that he really was going to think we were mostly just a land of cold and snow when these were the first few scenes shown:

Yes, because we all live in igloos…

And we travel by snowshoe year-round!

Most of the show are cool scenes like what I’ve shown, but there’s this one part that is freaky – it looks like the Parliament building is jumping out at you! The video doesn’t nearly do it justice, but you can get a feel for it!

After the show I dropped Brad off at his hotel…actually, Brad insisted on always walking me back to my car parked at a VERY secure underground garage. He is a classic gentleman.

Yesterday morning I met Brad in the lobby of his hotel and we went for a short run (he is doing Ironman Lake Placid this Sunday) so that he could experience the beautiful running paths we have here! He said, “This is probably the most beautiful place I have ever run, I could run here all the time…well, in this weather only” – so that means 2 months out of the year! HA!

Up next was the Changing of the Guard which I did last weekend as well, but this weekend I was in a better spot so I have some video which shows some of the precision in which they are able to move in unison in as well as the formality of it all.

Marching into spot…

Putting their rifles together (probably a more technical term but I don’t know it!!)

Uniform inspection – they actually will stop and adjust the soldiers uniform if it’s not perfect – you can see that the “inspector guy” (again, don’t know the lingo) adjusts the the “tail” of the guy’s jacket as he goes around him.

And this one just can’t be what they teach you in rifle safety…but this guy is inspecting the barrel of the rifles to ensure they’re clean! Couldn’t pay me to do that!

Then it was a tour of the inside of the Parliament Buildings which I always love! The best part is the Parliamentary Library but you’re not allowed to take pics (or even WHISPER) in there.

Brad getting ready to head inside…

The Senate (the House of Commons was under major renovations)

The main foyer

We were SO lucky with the weather – these next two views from the Peace Tower (located just below the clock on that centre tower) were incredibly beautiful!!

This is the East Block of Parliament (taken from the Centre Block)

Then it was time for what I had been really looking forward to. Having Brad try a Canadian Delicacy…Poutine. It’s fries with gravy and cheese curds. Trust me, it’s delicious. But there are better made Poutine’s than others and so after polling friends, the clear go-to Poutine Place was “Bob Patate” (English translation: Bob Potato) over on the Quebec side. We forgot to take a pic of the place, but just imagine a shack with a neon sign. I knew instantly that they’d have legit Poutine. And Brad was entertained as I ordered our Poutine in French…on the Quebec side, the official language in French. ALL signs are only in French and while most people will speak some English, they prefer to be spoken to in their language – which is understandable.

Brad was REALLY skeptical…but in the end agreed that it was good stuff!

Then we headed back to Ontario and visited the Royal Canadian Mint. No pictures allowed inside the actual Mint because of trade secrets – but take my word for it, it’s cool. Better yet, come visit me!!

They do let you take pics of yourself holding the 28lb bar of pure gold. It’s chained and there is an armed guard next to it at all times as it’s worth over half a million dollars.

Here is Brad on the face of a penny, but did you know that Canada actually no longer has the penny as a coin? We took it out of production and circulation just over a year ago. I think Australia has done the same thing. So nice not having those dirty little things in your pockets and purse!

After the Mint, Brad got to meet someone very special and the first words out of his mouth when he saw her was, “Oh wow, she is BIG”. LOL!!!

Brad was “lucky” and experienced a walk with her and within about 2 minutes said, “Yeah, she really likes to go at her own pace, doesn’t she?”. And of course, he got to witness some throw downs. Even for that pic of them she’s lying down!!! *Sigh*

Then it was back to the Byward Market for some dinner…and we were STARVING. So starving that I forgot to take a pic of my dinner until I had eaten most of it!!

You’ll just have to trust me when I say it was a burger with bacon and guacamole. And let’s not start rumors…the pot of mayo was very confusing to me. We don’t normally put mayo on our fries. It was an odd addition to my plate!

I caught Brad before he had completely finished his – he ordered the same thing…BUT WITHOUT THE GUAC!! WHAT???

Not that I had ANY room left for it, but after dinner we walked over to Piccolo Grande and had some gelato! It’s much easier to find room in your stomach when something tastes like heaven!!

And so concludes what will happen if you come to visit me in Ottawa! I didn’t get home until midnight and wasn’t in bed until 1am…and so when the alarm went off this morning at 5am I thought I was going to die. I (SLOWLY) got up, walked Abby and then sat down on my bed to just collect my thoughts before changing into my running clothes…and then woke up an hour later almost late for work! LOL! No guilt about missing my run – yesterday was a fabulous day and worth WAY more than a 7 mile run this morning.

I’m serious when I say, “Come to Ottawa”!! It’s a great city and I love showing people around because at the same time I learn about your city/country! And Brad says that I actually LOL in real life as much as I do on Twitter…LOL!!!

Happy Friday!!!

One thought on “Wanna know what happens when you come and visit me in Ottawa?

  1. Pingback: My newest method of delivery for bacon in my diet…and a lil’ bit of running! | 50statecanuck

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