And now we’re home from Ottawa, in the land of flurries and frost warnings and the start-of-autumn paving mad rush that a CBC listener termed “pavement panic season”.
Sunday was my cousin Chad’s wedding to his new wife, Katherine. It was a lovely day, a nice brief ceremony, and a great supper and dance. It was about 1 am when wet got back to the hotel and crashed.
Monday we got up and had breakfast with the family, then said our goodbyes. We did a quick tour of the Diefenbunker, the bomb shelter meant to protect the federal government in the case of nuclear war.
Then we headed to the airport, to catch our flight home.
We lazed around in the morning, reading and whatnot. Around 12:30 we headed out for lunch, walking about a kilometer or so to Flora Hall Brewing, where we shared a ploughman’s lunch and had a beer apiece. It was all delicious.
Then we headed out to the airport, to pick up Susie. We took her down to the Byward Market for a birthday chocolate feast, and then wandered around a bit, being touristy. Then we headed out of town, to Kanata, where the rest of the family is staying at a hotel in preparation for Sunday’s wedding. We met up with them for snacks and drinks, and then, feeling ridiculously stuffed, we headed back downtown to our hotel.
Bed soon, and tomorrow we leave downtown Ottawa for the hotel in Kanata. Our vacation draws near its end, but we’re starting to feel ready for it to be done, too.
A much more relaxed day. We meet up with my aunt Veronica and uncle Marc and wandered around downtown. Kathleen found some shoes for the wedding, since her good shoes had a broken strap when she opened up her luggage; then we went down to the Byward Market again and had some chocolate at Cacao 70. Marc gave a little impromptu tour, and then he and Veronica headed home.
We headed out for supper, to a place of seen on an episode of You Gotta Eat Here: Burgers and Fries Forever. It was delicious, especially the parmesan-and-herb-covered fries.
Back at the hotel, Kathleen fell pretty much instantly asleep, while I stayed up writing. I finished the first draft of a short story, which will need a lot of editing before anyone else gets to read it.
I don’t think I took a single photo today.
Series: Ottawa 2019
Today, we toured the Supreme Court…
…where I got to close the door in the actual Supreme Court, since I was the last to enter the courtroom.
Next we toured Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General.
And then, because the day wasn’t full enough already, we went and spent a few hours in the War Museum.
Then we had supper and went back to the hotel, where Kathleen is currently asleep and I don’t think I’m going to last much longer.
We got moving late, and went down to the Byward Market for a quick brunch at Le Moulin de Provence. We shared a cheese croissant, a fruit-and-custard–covered Danish, and a cookie.
After that, we headed off to the Canadian Museum of History, where we spent four hours or more. I didn’t really take any photos.
(Amusing anecdote, though: The national museums in Ottawa and Gatineau have this deal where you can buy a “museum passport”: $35 for any three museums, so long as you visit them within three days. The History museum was going to be our final entry in this passport.
So, as we were crossing the bridge to Gatineau, Kathleen asked if I had my passport. I gave her A Look and said, “No,” assuming she was being funny, since we were crossing over into Quebec.
She proceeded to give me A Look as well, and I realized that, no, she meant the museum passport. “Oh,” I said, feeling a bit foolish. “Yeah, I have that passport.”
…OK, maybe you had to be there.)
On the way back, we stopped in at the Mill St. Brewpub and had a fantastic, and filling, supper. And then back to the hotel.
This morning we went on a couple of Parliamentary tours. First we checked out the Senate, in their temporary location (where they’ll be for the next 10 years or so, while Centre Block is renovated).
Then we headed over and toured the West Block, where the House of Commons will be housed for the next 10 years, in a roofed-over courtyard.
We lunched at Café Bibliothèque in the basement of our hotel. We never managed to get there the last time we were here. It was all right.
Then we went to the Canada Science & Technology Museum, but I didn’t take any photos there. It was a worthwhile visit. That’s #2 of our three-museum pass. Tomorrow, I think we’ll end up at the Museum of History.
We went to the National Gallery today, and spent about five hours wandering the various galleries.
And then, since the doors were open, we went into the Notre Dame Basilica across the street. (You can see its silver spires in the photo at the top of this post, along with Maman, who stands guard in front of the National Gallery.)
(You can tell Ottawa’s a government town: someone painted the trees.)
I recently had a look at my submissions on The Submissions Grinder, and noticed that I’d sent “Me and the Bee” to two markets over a year ago, with no updates. I emailed the both of them, and one of them replied to me:
Our editorial team really enjoyed your story, and we were holding onto it for a while as we figured out our plans for our next issue. Unfortunately we’re now on hiatus as we have decided to restructure our journal. I’m sorry again for this disappointing news, but I think your story is very strong and has a good chance of being accepted elsewhere.
So… it’s not accepted, but it almost was, I guess. So close.
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.
I hammered out 1,100 words, give or take, in “Summertime in the Void”, which is a new short story about a man left behind by the Singularity.
Here’s a sample, but be kind, it’s first draft material:
His dad, not long before he left, had told John that you can’t ever cross the same river twice, and John had asked why not and his dad had just smiled and told him “You’re smart, figure it out.”
Because the water’s never the same, he decided. Sometimes it’s swift and deep, and sometimes—like now, after a long, hot, dry summer—it was shallow, lazy, and muddy.
I’ve got about 3,900 more words to make this into a coherent story. I think I can make it work.