Winterlude in Ottawa

Yes, I chose to go to Ottawa in the middle of February. And yes, I am insane. And soft - who knew after only six and a half years in Vancouver, that I have become completely unable to handle winter? This weekend pretty much confirmed this for me. All that being said, it was a very fun weekend.

I arrived late (well later than i should have) Saturday night, thanks to a three hour delay in Toronto, while Air Canada pulled their usual tricks. That's OK - I was engrossed in Guy Kay's latest book Ysabel, which I read cover to cover during the delay. For anyone who has not experienced this outstanding author, I highly recommend him. After being picked up by Mom and Dad, we met my cousin Emily and her boyfriend for dinner.

Well, here we are months later, and I'm just getting around to finishing this post. Horrible of me - and of course now a lot of the details have faded, so it's not going to be much of a post. But I will add pictures, so that should make it a bit better. On with it... 

Sunday, we were up and at it a pretty good time, and headed downtown to go for a skate on the Canal. Dad had scoped a very central place to park during previous visits, and he got us nice and close to the start, down by the Parliament Buildings. It was a beautiful day - sunny and clear - and damn cold. But once you got going, it wasn't bad. The way the weather had gone this year, everyone was raving about how good the ice was - and it did seem good. Of course I had no previous experiences to compare it to... 

We ended up skating the full length of the Canal, and back. It was a lot of fun - skating on natural ice, outside is always amazing. It was pretty busy - a lot of people were out enjoying the day, but that was to be expected. We stopped at the far end, and I had my first BeaverTail - a local tradition. Damn tasty. 

After skating back, we went and had lunch at nice pub across from the Parliament Buildings. That got us warmed back up, and gave us some energy to wander around downtown a little bit, before heading back to Emily's place for a little while. We ended up back downtown for dinner.

On Monday, Emily had to work, and mom and dad had to head back home. We all took off at about the same time, with mom and dad planning to drop me off downtown at one of the Museums, before heading out. Ahh the best laid plans... Of course, I failed to consider that most galleries and museums are closed on Mondays. So after swinging by the Museum of Civilization (which looked very cool!) and the Art Gallery, and finding them closed, we made a short stop at the snow sculptures. It was nice because there was no one around on a Monday morning, so we had the place to ourselves.

Snow sculptures in Hull

Snow sculptures in Hull

Mom and dad dropped me back at the Canal, and I went for a second skate. Monday was even better than Sunday. It was colder (not a bonus), but the cold had made their nightly flood very effective - the ice was even better than the day before. Oh, and I had the damn thing pretty much to myself. It was really nice just skating along at a leisurely pace for a couple of hours. 

I made some time to go a check out the ice sculptures (very cool!). Then around lunch time, I headed into the Bytown Market area, and after browsing in Chapters for a while to warm up, wandered over to one of the local pubs. After an hour or so, my friend Christine dropped by, and we hung out for a while and got caught up. It had been quite a while since I had seen her, so it was nice to have some time to catch up.

Emily got off work around 4:30 or 5:00, and I met her close to the University. We took in a movie, grabbed some dinner and had a great night just hanging out. I don't get to see a lot of my family, and it was awesome to just have a low key evening where we could talk, and get caught up. 

Tuesday morning, Emily was kind enough to drop me off at the airport on her "way to work". Way out of the way, but it was appreciated. It was a really fun long weekend - even if it was damn cold!