Saturday, November 21, 2009

O Canada, our home and native land!

We're in Ottawa visiting Dan & Carlynne!

Time spent with Dan & Carlynne is never dull. They picked us up at the airport for our midnight arrival, but had unintentionally thrown away their parking stub (as Clyn was ever so diligent and cleaned out the car directly before our arrival). Without the stub, the parking attendant wanted $20 from us even though the car was there for less than 30 minutes. On principal (i.e., refusing to pay the exorbitant amount), we found the garbage can and Dan & Carlynne rummaged through the clutter in search of the stub.

Find it they did, and $14 we saved!

(PS- As you may notice, Daniel's got a pretty impressive Movember 'stache goin on).

After a late night, we had a late breakfast this morning before strolling along the Rideau Canal and touring downtown Ottawa.

During the cold winter months, the Canal is transformed into a skating rink- complete with stops for hot cocoa and Beaver Tails.

This boat was hanging out in the drained locks of the Rideau Canal. We're not sure what the deal was, but we documented the occasion anyway...

We got up close and personal to the parliament buildings- Lowell’s first time in the nation’s capital! We’re saving the indoor tour for a less busy weekday, but thoroughly enjoyed the view from the great out of doors.

We asked a young lady to snap a photo of the four of us in this very nationally significant place. She took this photo…

…then said, “and now I’m going to zoom in” while she ran closer to us-- zooming-in the old fashioned way!

As we were exiting the grounds, we were recruited to sing 'O Canada' for a couple attempting to win their way to the Olympics (as spectators/bloggers). They’re planning on piecing together clips of several people singing the national anthem. Once the final product is up on their website, we’ll share it with y’all as we’re more than likely to be the stars (jokes jokes- I’m a little more humble than that…although they DID tell us that our version was the nicest one they’d heard all day. But again…not bragging…remaining humble).

(Note the camera in the bottom/centre of this picture. That's who we belted out 'O Canada' to!)

After the Parliament Buildings, we perused the outdoor market and scarfed down BEAVER TAILS. For you non-Canadians, a beaver tail is a very Canadian (and delicious!) pastry SHAPED like a beaver’s tail (Canada’s national animal)… to my knowledge, no part of an actual beaver’s tail was involved in the beaver-tail-making process).

We also had a little taste of an "Obama Cookie" (named such because Obama tried one at some point and liked it)...

They do appear to be RATHER CANADIAN, however, and I wonder if it wouldn't be more appropriate to refer to them as "Harper Cookies" (as I'm sure he'd like them too). Lowell responds to this small scandal with "what an Obamanation!" (let the record show that we are still huge fans of Obama)...

After continuing our refreshing walk along the Rideau Canal, we drove to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s home and felt much like the paparazzi snapping photos on the other side of a sturdy cast iron fence. I may or may not have used our 18X zoom to get a better look at what was going on close up...

There was even a cat in the yard, and I remain convinced that it was indeed the Prime Minister’s cat. So this, folks, is somewhat of a celebrity cat (in my opinion)…

It's been a spectacular day- and it's not over yet! As I write this, Daniel is preparing a birthday supper for Lowell, Carlynne, and I... complete with a bear cake which is appropriate given my unusual interest in bears as of late...


Katie, Bakersfield, CA said...

Hello my Canadian friends!

Wonderful pics! I love the pic with you and Lowell in it.

Take care and our thanksgiving is around the corner. I went to a packing party today to pack boxes for thanksgiving dinner for needy families. It was fun.


Anonymous said...

What a fun post for us to see having just been in those same places with your wonderful hosts!! Looks like a lot of fun! Happy Birthday Dinner! How are you all going to return the compliment at the end of January?
We are about to sit down to a Tangy BBQ Beef supper-thanks to you!!
Love Mum and Dad :)

Bloggy Mama said...

So fun. I have a dear sweet friend living in Ottawa and we traveled there when I was prego with Sus to have a visit. We can't wait to get back there. Someday...

Shelley said...

I've only ever been to Ottawa once and i think i was about 4 years old so i don't remember it. But i DO have a picture of my 4 year old self standing in front of the parliament buildings.

And sad as this might be...i've never eaten a beaver tail. But i have been taught how to BBQ beaver which is sort of the same...but not.

have fun!!

HighFive said...

Yes, you were the best singers at Parliament Hill! (please don't repeat that to any of the other hundred people we said that to) - oops.

To watch your performance, check the website later this weekend at

Please be sure to pass it along to your friends, and help get us to the Olympics!

You guys are awesome!

Marna Nightingale said...

I realize that this post is five years old - I found it by chance on an image search.

I can answer your question about the ship in the lock, though, so I thought I would.

The canal locks are, when drained, by far the largest dry-docks in the region, and so the tour-boats use them as winter storage every year at Hartwell.

The First Seven locks - the ones in your picture - aren't filled every winter, but every few years when serious hull-work is necessary the local tall ships - this one is the Black Jack out of Britannia Yacht Club, she and the Fair Jeanne alternate - are brought in on the last day before the canal is drained and taken back out again when it's flooded in spring.

Typically her hull is scraped to remove mussels and so forth, seams are checked and welded, rust is scraped off, and she gets a new coat of paint.

If the lock wasn't available she'd have to be winched onto the shore and propped with timbers, which is much more expensive, dangerous, and cumbersome to work around.

I'm glad you enjoyed Ottawa and hope you come back, if you haven't already.