Our last couple days in Ottawa, Kathleen had a cold and I felt the start of one.
We got moving about 12:30, and headed out — for the first time since Monday — with no clear idea what we were going to do. I’d posted a photo to Facebook hinting that we were in Ottawa, and predictably many friends had many suggestions. Some of them we’d already done, some we had yet to accomplish.
After spending a few minutes at the War Memorial, mostly so I could get some photos, we made our way to Wellington, the street that faces Parliament. As we’d only made it so far to Parliament, we decided to keep walking west down Wellington and see what we found. This brought us to the Bank of Canada museum, which was a) open and b) free. We went in and checked it out.
They give you these rubbery little wristbands with some kind of NFC whatzit embedded in a smiley face. Kathleen’s was winking. You’re encouraged to create an avatar and name it — mine was Goofter, and Kathleen’s was Katy — and then use the NFC device to interact with the exhibits. It was a fun little tour, mostly aimed at kids, but still edifying. (I learned, for instance, that in the early days of the TD bank, rural folk had to be convinced that a bank was at least as secure as burying your money or stuffing it in your mattress. So they created literal “banks” for the farm, a metal scale model of the home office that you’d drop your coins and bills into. Different slots fed different accounts. Once a month or so, a representative of the bank would come by on a tour, with a key that would open the bank. He’d take the money back to the actual bank and deposit it for you.)
After that we kept on going west, passing the Canadian Press Club, the actual Bank of Canada edifice, and sundry other historic landmarks. I got a couple photos of the Supreme Court, and then we headed south on Lyon, headed roughly back to the hotel.
Kathleen wanted a pharmacy, and we discovered a Super Thrifty a couple blocks from the hotel, where we got some medicine and stocked up on toothpaste and Halls. Then we wandered some more, finding Scone Witch around 3 PM, and had a super late, super delicious lunch.
One of our friends helpfully recommended that we check out Cupcake Lounge, which, as it turned out, has a location in Byward Market. On the way there we stopped in again at Lindt, and I broke down and bought 10 chocolate bars for $30. Once we found Cupcake Lounge we shared a delicious chocolate-chip-and-peanut-butter cupcake and had coffee.
We returned to the hotel about 6 PM and lounged for a while. At 10:00 PM we ventured out again to check out the WWI names projected in memoriam on the side of the Federal Conference Centre as part of The World Remembers.Step count: 11012
Kathleen checked on Saturday night about the changing of the guard at the War Memorial. There are honour guards at the two front corners from 9 AM to 5 PM daily.
Sunday morning she wasn’t feeling very well, so I let her sleep and ventured out on my own to the Memorial. I got outside and saw that I’d just missed a rainshower — the streets were wet and shiny. Then at the corner of Albert & Elgin, it started to drizzle — a sunshower. By the time I got to the memorial, the sun had disappeared and it was raining in earnest. I took shelter under a tree and waited it out. It was about 8:40 when I arrived.
The rain intensified, so that the tree wasn’t really much shelter anymore. I waited. After a while I realized that the rain had actually ceased, and what was pouring down on me, now, was the water from the leaves, so I emerged from the canopy.
At about 8:58 I heard the bagpipes and saw the honour guard marching out, six strong including the piper and the sergeant. They did their ritual, and I got it on video.
When they’d finished, the sun broke through again, and I got a couple snaps of the memorial in full sunlight. Then I headed back to the hotel, for breakfast and shower and shoe shining.
After that we found our way to the resort where I shot the wedding. I’m not allowed to post photos of the bride and groom, but here’s one of Kathleen from the reception.And then on Monday, at 7:30 AM, we flew home, and our vacation was in the history books.