Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A Food Post

Ottawa has some GREAT places to buy food. In the market, there are stands full of fresh berries and vegetables grown on local farms. There are tables full of all things maple. There are adorable French bakeries and shops devoted to nothing but cheese.

However, none of these compare to the Italian grocery store I found yesterday. Imagine -- a store with nothing but floor to ceiling pastas, pasta sauces, olives, cheeses, desserts, espresso beans, aaaahhh!! It was sensory overload. I walked through every aisle. I bought fresh fettucini, roasted red pepper sauce, a wedge of fresh parmesean, a tub of hand-selected olives from the olive bar (squeal!), a six-pack of Pelligrino, and, best of all, a box of mini chocolate chip biscotti. After I came home and cooked the food, I brewed some coffee and indulged in about half the box.


I am already hungry for dinner. I think I will stop at the hot dog stand on my way home. This isn't just any hot dog stand. The lady grills them while you wait, and she has about 7 jars full of different toppings. My new fave topping: dill pickles.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My Busy Weekend

My first full weekend in Ottawa consisted of the following:

A bike ride that accidentally went too far and ended up being about 20k long. Ouch. All I wanted to do was bike along the canal. I got to a stopping point, decided I wasn't tired and made the fateful decision to take another trail along the Ottawa River. By the time I decided I was tired -- I had to bike all the way back. Uphill. God bless the person who decided to open up a hamburger stand on the bike trail. It made a nice stopping point about 3/4 of the way through.

A 2k walk to the Museum of Civilization on Saturday after the 3 hour bike ride, then a tour of the Canadian history exhibits from Vikings to Pierre Trudeau.

A worship service at the First Baptist Church across the street from my hotel where I unexpectedly ran into someone I knew -- a friend from work who was part of the Stanley Cup watching party last week.

A walk to the War Museum and a tour through Canadian conflicts from the Boer War to the trenches of WWI (I actually walked in a trench--Ottawa museums are so interactive!!), WWII, Korea, the Cold War and peacekeeping missions of the 90s and present.

An unexpected walk through the Aboriginal People's festival in front of the War Museum. Native Canadians are known here as Aboriginals, First Peoples, and sometimes Mohawks. They were wearing some of the biggest feathered headdresses I have ever seen and I got to see part of a dance and hear the drums.

Groundhog sightings: 2
Chipmunk sightings: 1

Thank you Gator for asking follow-up questions. This blog is intended to be interactive. To answer your question about the weather, it's been sunny and very refreshingly temperate with highs in the upper 70s and lower 80s. In other words, the weather is ideal.

I LOVE Ottawa and am looking forward to showing my visitors around in the next two weeks!!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Things I Like in Ottawa: The National Gallery

This was my view last night from the beautiful National Gallery of Canada.  I loved the museum. It was a very interestingly-designed building containing all different types of art - modern, classic, experimental, and with a special collection of Italian art on loan. But the best part was sitting outside at the museum's cafe with this view of the river and the back of the Parliament building. The weather was perfect, the birds were chirping, and the atmosphere was so peaceful.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I've Landed


Day 1:

I've arrived in Ottawa. Day 1 of new travels is always the hardest because you're in a completely new place and don't know where anything is, don't know a single person, and basically feel like a fish out of water. I spent the afternoon trying to get settled in my hotel and learning my new surroundings.

The flight was NOT what I was expecting as far as transit from one major capital city to that of its closest ally. There wasn't even a jet bridge to get on the plane so we had to walk down metal steps then back up more steps to actually get on board. The plane was the same size as the ones that fly from Dallas to San Angelo. The flight took about as long too -- a little under 2 hours.

The Ottawa airport was tiny too! Very clean and modern looking, but definitely small. I got new Canadian money from an ATM then got a taxi to take me to the hotel.

The drive from the airport to my hotel was really pretty. We drove along the Rideau Canal and I saw lots of people out on bikes and kayaks. I unpacked all my things then went for a walk. I found the national art museum (love!! I can't wait to go through) and the Beaux Arts neighborhood where there were a LOT of really neat, different restaurants with sidewalk seating. I found one that looked good and had a sandwich, fries and raspberry wheat beer.

Now I'm about to walk to the grocery store and will probably have an early night.

Bye from Canada!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Wild and Precious is Going International!

We'll be brining you blog postings from our neighbor to the north! And I don't mean Oklahoma!

Scarlett is going to be in the land of maple leaves and Mounties for 5 weeks and there's no WAY she would leave Scout behind on a trip this major. They have big plans for the Ottawa Invasion.

Watch this space for more on the Canadian adventures of Scarlett and Scout.