I’ve been in Ottawa for a day and a half now. Thank goodness for breaks. I am not looking forward to another full week of interviews and related festivities. So tiring. At least we are driving to a few places this week. That will be a nice change of pace.
Also, heads up… This post contains a lot of pictures. And for those family and friends who have me on Facebook, heads up, there will be many more in my CaRMS album once I get around to doing that (likely after CaRMS).
I arrived in Ottawa yesterday afternoon, just as it was starting to snow. Despite this, I decided to go out on a food hunt (I had yet to have lunch) and then do some touristy stuff. I found a Harvey’s and excitedly went in and ordered a burger with lots of hot peppers, onions and pickles, my favorite. Harvey’s is significantly more exciting for me than your average Canadian because there is not one where I live or anywhere within a reasonable distance. Thus, I ate as if I was starving and ordered with the excitement of a four-year-old getting cake.
With a belly full of stinky products, I proceeded to head toward the Rideau Canal. This was actually more interesting for me because of the debate between Winnipeg and Ottawa and who has the longer ice skating trail. Due to the warm weather, the Rideau Canal was closed (likely good because I would be risking broken limbs if I ventured onto it), so I instead walked along the canal and enjoyed the beauty of Ottawa with the lightly falling snow (and rather slushy foot paths). I could see the parliament buildings and got it in my head that I would go to see those.
As I got closer to parliament, I saw large gaggles of people and police. Then I remembered… It is NHL All-Star weekend. And thus, there are festivities! Sweet! There were ice sculptures of all of the team logos, an ice sculpting demonstration and jerseys frozen into blocks of ice. So cool. I took excessive volumes of pictures.
It was snowing harder, but I chose to continue on my journey to parliament. It was neat to be there and actually get to admire things (I was in Ottawa on a cadet trip when I was in high school, but it was so cold out, we couldn’t really do anything outdoors). I found that this journey helped me to appreciate the history of this country more. We are so fortunate to be free and to have so much. Seeing these magnificent buildings and scenery really helped to remind me of this.
Post-parliament, I hiked back to the hotel (stopping for bubble tea, without the slimy balls) and stayed there for the rest of the night. There was an Italian restaurant in the hotel, so I ventured down for supper. It was apparently a couples’ type place. Whoops. So, socially awkwardly, I sat alone and read a book and ate my pasta, which was appropriately called Torino (Patrick and I are going there this spring to see a Coldplay concert).
This morning, I went to church in the University of Ottawa… It is a church somewhere in the suburbs that wants to reach more of the students and downtown core. Cool. It was a nice service, lots of young people. The message was about how good God is and how we should worship with joy even in times of trouble. If God is good sometimes and He is never changing, then He is always good. It really hit home for me, especially given how ridiculous this past week has been. For being a visitor, I also got a free book, The Case for Christ. Sweet. I love free books… and this is one I actually wanted to look into.
Post-church, I went to the Canadian Museum of Nature. Such a good choice. The museum building itself is over 100 years old and housed parliament for a few years when the original parliament was being repaired post-fire. It was recently renovated. So, I wandered around with all of the young families and took a ton of pictures of everything. This museum had everything. Lots of stuff for kids to touch and interact with. Fossils, dinosaurs, mammals, birds, fish and water life, “supernatural” things (like ufo sightings and phospholuminescence) and lots of rocks. I was quite impressed.
I napped and ironed this afternoon. Had fantastic café mocha from a local coffee shop. Social number 4 tonight. We are going out for Thai (oh boy!). Interview number 5 tomorrow.