© 2011 jemma

The birth of Jess – Ottawa.

We finally made it to Ottawa. I have never seen Jess as excited as I’ve seen him in the past two weeks – yes we have been in Ottawa for that long, and yes I have been ignoring the blog for that long too.

We arrived by train from Toronto – or Torono as many Canadians pronounce it – a comfortable 4hr journey. I especially loved the refreshment trolley, the pain aux banane and the fact that all the workers were French…Canadian.

Jess’ brother Doug picked us up. He was a little worse for wear having been to a wedding the night before. I’ll let you know that it was 4:30pm. Back at his place we met Kerri his girlfriend and the fun began. We headed to Petrie island, but had to retreat because of the mozzies!!

On our first full day in Ottawa we formed a new tour company with Doug called besttoursever.com.com.ca which consisted of going to many of Ottawa’s bars, meeting new people, going to the bar where Kerri works and seeing where Jess grew up. Oh, we also fitted in seeing some of the buskers on Sparks street – it was busker week – and one of them was the Lady English contortionist that fits herself into a box at Darling Harbour. Small world.

Seeing where Jess grew up was cool. Jess was stoked to find his old Primary school, – Elgin Street Primary – his old day care and his second house on Salisbury Place. It is the one on the corner.
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It was celebrated with gelato!! The people living there now have done it up nicely. They have painted it blue – was yellow – and landscaped the yard. Looks a million bucks and worth close to it now.

During the week Jess and I busied ourselves with touristy things like walking around downtown Ottawa, checking out Byward markets and shops, the Parliament buildings and basically soaking up the fantastic architecture. The Parliament buildings here look like Gothic Castles. Behind the main building or Center Block, is an area devoted to stray cats. A man looks after them now in their little section of Parliament hill and they live in little doll house type buildings. It’s slightly eccentric!

Beside Center Block are the locks that lead into the Rideau Canal. It takes 2 hours for a boat to travel up and 45min for them to travel down. It’s fun to watch the waterfalls and we even saw a fish that was trapped on one of the lock doors come back alive when the lock was re-filled. Hallelujah!! Other nice buildings are the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and all the different galleries.

During the week we also got to see Chris – Jess’ other brother – and meet his wife Lindsey. We went bowling on one night with Lindsey, Chris and Doug, where I kicked butt…surprisingly, and to the Harness racing on another night with Chris and Lindsey. Lindsey and I took their husky Lycan for a trail hike on another day too, but one of Jess’ favourite times was when we went to all you can eat Japanese with Kerri and Doug. My god was there a lot of Japanese food!! We were all pretty stuffed by the end of it.

On the weekend Doug, Kerry, Chris and Lindsey had another wedding so Jess and I were left to our own devices. Saturday was such a beautiful day that we spent the day in the Museum of Civilisation. We had to cross – as Jess calls it – over to enemy territory to get there. You see, just over the Ottawa river is the Province of Quebec, where tourism workers have to say bonjour, hello instead of hello, bonjour.

We crossed the bridge and it was like being in…Canada. It was a truly amazing transformation! It was fun practising French.

The museum was well worth the trip. It is HUGE!!!! Three large stories of wonderful exhibits, from First nations exhibits, the history of Canada, Famous Canadians, Arctic Explorations and the exhibit that we had particularly came to see, Japon. There are three things Jess loves in this world; me and his family, Computers and Japan, with remote control helicopters coming in a close fourth.

The Japon exhibit was awesome. It took you on an adventure through the Edo Period to the present day and showed how although technology is advancing, it is still a refection of past technologies from that dynasty. It had robots, ancient scrolls, books and even the first ever Subaru. It even had some of the original animes. Needless to say a good four hours was spent in that museum.

The next few days we spent at family friends of Jess’. The Aldworths live in downtown Ottawa in a beautiful historic house. We went hiking with them in Parc de la Gatineau to see the beautiful view of Ottawa from across the river, Barb and I went shopping around the markets and Jess took me for a drive in their red hard top BMW Z4. They also asked if we would house sit for them for 2 weeks, which would bring our time in Ottawa to a month…we agreed, not for the Z4, but for the cat FeeFee.

Sick of the annoyingly long bus into town from Young Doug’s place, Jess and I hung around their house for the rest of the week, doing small things around them in the afternoons. We went to the aviation museum with Doug and Kerry and saw lots of planes and more planes, drones and even some motorbikes. I liked the outer space game the best. We also had a picnic with Doug on the Ottawa river.

The weekend however was full of action!! We went camping at this place…
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With Jess in the drivers seat of the Belliveau Interlock truck, Doug, Kerri, Jess, Chris, Lindsey, Lycan and I headed out towards Chapeau to a friend of Chris and Lindsey’s – Erin – family cottage. We met another friend of theirs, Josh, as well. We camped by the lake in the backyard, even though it poured through the night. It was a beautiful setting right on the Ottawa river. We swam, drank shandy’s – well me and Kerri anyway – jumped off the pontoon, the boys fished and we cooked steaks and smores on the BBQ! The boys even had a horseshoe competition that Jess and Doug won. It as a great relaxing weekend.

From camping it was back to Ottawa for the start of our next chapter, house sitting and cat sitting for the Aldworths.

Its a hard life. 🙂