Tag: Life in Ottawa

Back in Ottawa

Drove back up to Ottawa with James yesterday (well, James is the one who did all of the driving, thankfully!).

James also checked in on my place while I was away, and left many nice surprises around the apartment. Aside from fixing a few things that I hadn’t had the time or energy to take care of before I left, he also bought me a new table (and plants to go on it!) and a new shelf! And some new lamps! This was such a nice welcome back to my apartment. He’s been busy for the past two months…

When I walked out of my apartment today, I realized how strange it is to be able to walk down the street without needing a map, guide book, or someone else to point me in the right direction. It’s been weeks since I’ve been able to walk somewhere and already know the route before starting out.

I’m so lucky to arrive back here as spring is underway. The temperature is comparable to what it’s like in many parts of New Zealand at the moment (approximately 15-19 C). Still, I’m not quite sure what to wear. Aside from being uncertain about whether I’m going to be warm or cold, I’m also a bit baffled about what to do with a whole closet of clothes to choose from. The simplicity of having just one bag of clothing for several weeks was really appealing. Hopefully I’ll go through with my plan of getting rid of a lot of the clothes and things I just don’t use – easier said than done, though.

I still have a lot of notes to write down from the last week I had in New Zealand (and the one day I spent in Singapore). I’m hoping to add this to my blog in the next week or so before the details fade away. Once I get the chance to move my photos from my camera to James’ computer I’ll start the process of organizing them as well. Probably still a while before they appear online (nearly 900 pictures to sort through!).

Where pedestrians dare not tread

James and I have something we do in Ottawa about once a year or so.

We go where you are only supposed to go by car.

Once it was a trip to the Science and Technology Museum, in the dead of winter (I think it was February). From what I remember, the bus ride there took a few hours. Even the walk from the bus stop to the entrance of the museum took quite a while and felt like a route few people had actually walked along.

Our next notable jaunt was when I was shopping around for furniture. We made it out to Ikea and Leon’s in Ottawa’s west end – not only did the intersections feel like they weren’t designed for people to use, but the lack of sidewalks on the way to both stores made us feel like we just weren’t supposed to be there. And after we had crossed a major highway by bridge and everything.

Most recently, we decided to make the trek out to Best Buy. And it went quite well! The most difficult part was not quite knowing where we were (this time we were east of downtown, near the train station, but we weren’t sure of our bearings). But since we managed to avoid getting drenched by the 3-foot high splashes the passing cars made, we considered the trip a success!

Categories: Life in Ottawa_, Friends and Family_

Weekends in Ottawa

Well, I’ve had the luxury of two relatively free weekends in Ottawa (in a row!). This has meant that I’ve had a lot of time to prepare for my upcoming trip – whether or not it is really good to have extra time available to prepare has yet to be seen. Less than two weeks to go and I’m still not sure if I’ve got everything covered.

Dave came up to Ottawa to visit James and we spent some time running around doing touristy things. Pete also dropped by (from Lindsay) and took us camera shopping. So now I have a digital camera! I started taking a few pictures…

I should probably practice more before leaving on the trip. I just hope I remember to use my camera while I’m away!

Feist concert

James and I finally went to the much anticipated Feist concert in Ottawa, despite a few roadblocks that could have stopped us from getting in the door.

Roadblock #1: Julie and Raf weren’t able to go! We introduced Raf to Feist’s album, and we really wished they could have gone to the concert with us. But they are en route to New Zealand. We missed them a lot at the show!

Roadblock #2: Ticketmaster received our order and payment, but somehow the tickets didn’t arrive. This wasn’t too alarming at first – what are the chances of tickets totally disappearing? We booked well in advance! Then I found out that the concert was sold out and I started to panic. Luckily, James has an honest face and the people at the Ticketmaster office were able to print us new tickets. Phew!

Roadblock #3: Memories of the Metric concert (January 2005). Now don’t get me wrong – James and I really enjoyed the Metric concert that we went to at Babylon last winter. It was right down the street from my apartment (about a 3 block stroll, and you can’t beat that!). Unfortunately, we had taken the Ticketmaster agent seriously when she said we should arrive around 8 pm for the 9 pm start. The opening act didn’t even come on stage until 10:30. This made for a long night for James and me (I never thought I’d feel like one of the oldest concert-goers in the room! But I really did feel this way, and I wasn’t eager for a repeat of that experience.). So it was with a bit of trepidation (and an emptying out of our pockets, and a leaving behind of any heavy objects that would weigh us down while we were standing patiently, and a promise to check our bulky winter coats, and a decision to not arrive the moment the doors opened…) that we headed over to the Capital Music Hall on Rideau St. Not too far from me, although MUCH further away than Babylon (30 minutes walk instead of 10 minutes). We even managed to catch a bus there, so we arrived just a little after 9. To our delight, the opening act was already on the stage! And they were good! We even considered buying one of their albums. Since we could understand their lyrics the first time around, the album definitely had promise. Then they got off the stage. And the SECOND opening act came on. What’s with that? Yet another great band. But our backs were starting to hurt (OK, I’d actually injured my back the day before, but I really wasn’t looking forward to standing through another 30 minutes of mystery music). Anyway, this band finally wrapped up and eventually Feist hit the stage! And this was before 11 pm (I think – I wasn’t actually wearing a watch.)! Very exciting indeed. After the long wait, Feist did not disappoint. Aside from the crowd really wanting to hear the songs from the album Let it Die and not really knowing what to do when these favourites appeared in a less-than-familiar way. But we listened politely while Feist shared with us a bunch of new songs that would eventually be released on her upcoming album, once she records it. All in all, it was a very fun show. I liked how she pulled the two other bands back up on the stage with her in a Broken Social Scene styled song or two. But I kind of felt that this should have cut into their opening act time, not the official concert time.

So the concert came to an end, and the as-old-as-we-are audience made a very orderly exit from the Capital Music Hall. This was the last show there before the concert hall closes (I think it’s being demolished so that some more condos can go up in the Byward Market area). Some other fans helped us avoid icy patches on the stairs on our way out. We made it home safely. We were glad we had gone.

Speedy plus lazy

Much to our amazement and delight, the VIA trip back to Ottawa was a speedy one! Luckily, James and I didn’t have a hedgehog along to interfere with our scheduled stop.

The first week back feels like it’s been a busy one. Yesterday we managed to be VERY lazy and ended up watching many episodes of Battlestar Galactica (which I’m surprised to find that I enjoy, although James may now have watched a few episodes too many).