Thai food, Cold War & Nuclear Attacks and Burgers – on race weekend!!

Ok, today’s post is all about the fun I had over the weekend! As you probably know, I had my good friend, M, come to Ottawa for race weekend and with that he had to endure my touring him around my city!! 🙂  If you remember, when Brad was here in July, we packed SO MUCH in 24 hours – but with both M and I doing the half on Sunday, we had to be a little more selective in what we did so that we didn’t burn ourselves out.

M had landed in Ottawa earlier in the morning on Friday and since I couldn’t take the time off work, he spent the day touring himself around the city – National Art Gallery, Supreme Court of Canada, War Museum. I’m glad he was able to fly in early on Friday because it was about the only day where it was sunny!! I met him up at his hotel after work on Friday and we headed across the street to pick up our race kit – I forgot to take a pic of the race shirt, I’ll post that tomorrow – it’s, as usual, an awesome one!  Then we headed over to Little Italy for some Thai food (haha!) at my favorite Thai restaurant – Green Papaya. But we had a little bit of time before our 7pm reservations so, naturally, we headed to an Irish pub (also in Little Italy) for a pre-dinner beer. 

We each ordered #32 – which is the dish I always get…except I ask them to make it with a “3 pepper” rating! 🙂


And it was soooo good!! Below is Me and M taking our first selfie!! 🙂


On Saturday, we met at 9:30 at his hotel and headed first to Tim Hortons for some food (see? I’m showing him important Canadian traditions!!). Then we booked our tour of Parliament – which is something I did with Brad but there was an exciting difference this time. 

My fav part of the tour is going into the Parliamentary library – and I’ve only ever been there on a weekday during business hours. This means that you CANNOT TALK or take pics while in there. But this was a Saturday – PICTURES ALLOWED!!!


The story here is that originally the Parliament buildings were built of wood but in 1916 there was a fire that burnt down the entire centre block – to which the library was attached. However, the librarian, while building the library, insisted that iron doors be installed between Parliament and the library (he had had previous experience with 2 other libraries burning down and was determined not to have this happen again!). So, the library is the original wood paneling – and it is GORGEOUS!! Even M, who has seen and appreciated the gorgeous structures in the US, found his jaw dropping when he entered the library.

Then we got some lunch at Subway (ok, my Canadian traditions failed a little here!) and headed to a place I have wanted to visit for a long time – the Diefenbunker. Here are some excerpts I’ve pulled from its website:

The Diefenbunker was commissioned by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker in 1959, as part of his government’s reaction to escalating tensions in the Cold War. The purpose of the bunker was to house key members of the government and military in the event of a nuclear attack on Canada. The safety of its nuclear roof would allow the Canadian government to operate safely underground for 30 days in order to assist with the governance and rebuilding of the country. 
The bunker is 100,000 square feet over four levels. It is made of 32,000 cubic yards of hand –poured concrete and 5,000 tons of steel. It is an extraordinary marvel of engineering, and built to withstand a 5 megaton nuclear blast from 1.8 kilometers away.
The site was completed and began operation in 1961, and remained in continuous operation until it was decommissioned in 1994.  It was the site of some of Canada’s most top-secret communications throughout the Cold War. 

Yup, 4 LEVELS ALL UNDERGROUND. I think I just walked around in disbelief the entire time.


Here is a model of the structure:


Here is the dingy entrance to the massive structure.


This is what you see once you enter

A decontamination shower – one of 2 that you’d have to go through.

The creepy, creepy surgical suite.

Where you’d stay post-surgery/injury – ugh!! (there were nasty stains on the pillows!!)

This was about 3/4 the size of me and we figured it must be some sort of x-ray machine controller.

High tech spy decoding and monitoring equipment! The size of the computers we saw was hilarious – an entire room FILLED with giant computers doing what my iPhone can probably do.

The door to the vault that we would keep all our gold and diamonds in! 🙂

The women’s sleeping quarters…DEPRESSING!! They tried to sell it to us by saying, “Note the calming yellow and green colours on the wall”. This area of the bunker was STRICTLY off-limits to men. I’m sure being a woman locked in this bunker with a 4:1 ratio to men would be really fun…NOT.

This was to be the sleeping quarters for the Prime Minister – note the single bed. People were not to be able to bring their spouses. Can you imagine? There’s a real threat of a nuclear attack and your position/rank gives you refuge in the bunker, but not your partner? Apparently our prime minister refused to live here for that reason.

This was BY FAR the creepiest part. Look at the name of this room:

Yup, that’s a body bag at the back! Yum!

Anyway, VERY cool place to visit! After that we went to my place to walk Abby…WHY DON’T I HAVE A PIC OF THIS??? And don’t worry, Abby didn’t fail in her show of throw-downs to M.

Then we headed off to Mamma Grazzi’s for a carb-filled dinner! I was so hungry that I forgot to take pics until…well…you’ll see…

This was bruschetta – just trust me!

And this had been a beautiful chicken & mushroom pasta dish! 🙂


Then it was time for bed…the race…shower/stretch…and I picked M up at his hotel and we headed over to the Royal Canadian Mint – I had been with Brad on this tour in July so I was able to look really smart and know answers to the quiz questions during the tour when M and I were there on Sunday! 🙂

We went back to my house to walk and feed Abby and M also gave me and Abby gifts – which he really didn’t need to do, but was so sweet!

For me I got chocolate (apparently it’s obvious I like chocolate? LOL!), memorabilia from his desk at Mission Control, the DVD of Shawshank Redemption – which is one of my fav movies but I haven’t seen in year because I only have it on VHS (hahaha) and M remembered me saying this! He also gave me a hilarious card each day he was here! Thank you so much!!


Then for Abby (which was so thoughtful of him) he got something which he thought might give her a challenge to destroy (she is the ULTIMATE dog toy destroyer) – it was made out of fire hose. And it did pretty well…I think it lasted 15 minutes.


To celebrate our race accomplishment and hard work I took M to a very cool burger joint: The Works. It has what seems like hundreds of options – here are just a few:

M had the one on the left and I had the other one!


Then it was time for me to drop M off and say goodbye!  What a crazy whirlwind of a weekend filled with so many emotions!! The lasting one will be the fun of meeting and hanging out with M and getting to show him around Ottawa!! :))

Happy Tuesday!!!

4 thoughts on “Thai food, Cold War & Nuclear Attacks and Burgers – on race weekend!!

  1. Canuck Runner

    Rebecca – you MUST go!! But yes, like you, I kept saying, “One of these days…” LOL!

    Kyle – did you see yesterday's post? That's all I'm going to say about the race. But you my friend, rocked it!! I cheered you on as you were running back up Sussex!

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  2. Pingback: Cold war (literally), Valentine’s Day surprise, and Abby. | 50statecanuck

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