Beaver Tails, Rideau, And Déjà Vu
Trip Start Jan 30, 2011
262Trip End Nov 16, 2011
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Where I stayed
Best Western Plus Ottawa Downtown Suites
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Read my review - 5/5 stars
What I did
We were graced with a clear blue sky and not a bit of breeze, which meant for a melting face of make-up as we made our way along the locks towards the river; a series of locks meant it took boats an hour-and-a-half to get through them and onto the river
We sailed along the Rideau river spying on the houses of various ambassadors, Britain’s wasn’t on the riverside for some reason, and the apparently ‘honourable’ Stephen Harper, the current Canadian Prime Minister; from what I’ve heard over the past few months he’s not really eligible for that title, and definitely not for the $17 million dollar home. The apparent highlight of the tour was the ‘waterfall,’ but I’m not sure whether it was the fact that I’ve seen Niagara and the Smoke That Thunders in Zambia that warped my view of its classification or the fact that it was a trickle running over a dam that underwhelmed me. I felt guilty for being dismissive, but at least it sprayed the wild children enough to keep them quiet for a few minutes as they rearranged their hairdos.
An hour-and-a-half later we stepped off the boat to the tune of the tour guide asking for tips because he was a ‘student’ and made our way up the hill towards the National Gallery along with the numerous runners and cyclists. Following Kerri’s advice about getting into the cafeteria for free we asked for a tag to get us in and made our way through the grand corridor towards the eatery; with just a few hours to spare before meeting up with Margaret’s daughter Kristina we were wary of doing a tour and missing buses as we normally do
Salad had been our choice due to our intentions of having a famous Beaver’s Tail later on, for which we made our way towards the place visited by President Obama; I had one in Vancouver, but Ottawa is supposed to be the home of the Beaver’s Tail, so it would be rude not to try one over here too. After we’d visited the souvenir shop and resisted Dad’s urge to get a Davey Crockett hat we stopped in at the famous pastry shop and ordered the traditional Canadian snack. Careful not to get too much around our mouths and on our clothes we didn’t get to Dad in time to wipe the maple butter from his mouth before he asked the assistant for a souvenir paper bag; he’d asked this morning if I’d be there to wipe his dribble when he was old, but he got his answer a little sooner than expected.
A search ensued for a drink to wash down all that sugary goodness that took us on a circuit around the market and parallel ‘dodgy street’ before ending up at the café just next to the Beavers’ Tail store for a few cold bevvies
We wandered over to Elgin Street to the bus stop, passing a woman skipping like Dorothy down the road, to find a number five bus just leaving and a glut of traffic in the way of the next one, as it was only five-fifteen we weren’t worried, but with each car that slowly dribbled by, making us feel like animals on display at the looked at the peasants catching the bus, we began to get a little worried about our six o’clock deadline. Just as we pulled out our pennies in anticipation of the bus arriving it appeared on the horizon, and stayed there for the next five minutes as it slowly made its way towards us; we boarded at five-forty, and at five-past-six were still sitting in traffic. Google Maps said it was just three stops from where we got on, and had Dad’s hip been better it most certainly would have been quicker for us to walk, but instead we sat on the mile-an-hour bus and watched as a man walked past with shopping bags, obviously went to the grocery store, and then reappeared with bags full to the brim
We were treated to some traditional squeaky curds, apparently the squeakiness shows they’re fresh, and drinks, as well an audience with the gorgeous cat Henry and a tour of their new house; unfortunately we had to use the servants’ staircase at the start of the tour, but we must have been well-behaved as we descended on the owners’. With no time to stop and stare at the automated cat-feeder, it goes off at six a.m. every morning to feed Henry and save any early alarms, and the amazing mustard chair that Kristina found on the side of the road, amazing, we headed off to the bistro where we had a table booked.
Kristina and I seemed to pick up a pace beyond the reach of Mum and Dad and left them in Adam’s capable hands as we chatted about everything and nothing on the way to the restaurant, retracing the bus route that we’d not long taken; as we neared the bus stop we’d waited at for half an hour, the ‘ribs and wings’ place we’d passed last night, and eventually small pub opposite where we’d sat last night, it slowly dawned on me that we were booked in at the same restaurant as last night
With no insults from the waiter about being hobbits or from Middle Earth we were happy to tip him following a set of tasty meals, even if my Tostada was hidden beneath a mountain of salad that took me an eternity to find. We walked back to their house, retracing our steps along the route for the third time tonight, and settled in for a cup of Orange Pekoe tea and a chat listening to the Kings of Leon. I hope we didn’t put them off meeting us or more of the Telford Smiths again, I think we behaved, and hope to see them again, if not on this trip then certainly on the next. With Express Deals on the net every day there’s no excuse.
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