Jun. 8th, 2017

bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Woke up around 6:30 before the alarm and let Gary sleep in while I took care of some urgent business. We quickly dressed and had breakfast at the hotel. After a stop at the ATM, we caught the bus north to Parliament Hill, waiting with a cute young bear in a plaid shirt. We arrived at 90 Wellington at 8:40 and waited for the ticket office to open at nine, behind a nice couple who I later learned were conversing in Dutch. We got tickets for the 10:20 tour, and spent the hour exploring the war memorial and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the triangle in the middle of Elgin Street. Two soldiers in full dress uniform with rifles stood stiffly at attention, and Gary asked the Military Police officer how long they had to stand there. The MP replied they serve one-hour shifts during normal business hours. At half past, they executed a series of precision drills to ensure they didn't seize up from enforced immobility. More statuary around the corner.

Met our tour guide by the flagpole and entered Centre Block through the visitors entrance. Outside the metal detector the guard said I could keep my suspenders on but I knew they would beep and they did. The guard who gave me the once-over with the wand was cute and cubby though. It took Gary a bit longer to clear security probably because there were more people ahead of him. First stop was the Hall of Honour where two of our party held up a photo printed on cloth of the House of Commons chamber since we couldn't go in there. Next the Library of Parliament and then the Senate lobby, and surprise! the Senate chamber itself. Finally a brief gathering and then up the elevator to the top of the Peace Tower. As I left the elevator I overheard the tail end of the old joke about how Canada was named: "'C', eh? "N", eh? "D", eh?" as told to the cubbish constable. After spending some time taking pictures from the tower, we descended and visited the Hall of Remembrance before exiting the building.

Next we made arrangements to meet Gary's brother Mike at the Rogers TV studio where he works. We saw preparations for the live broadcast of "Daytime" including two cowboys from PBR (Professional bull Riding), and met many of Mike's colleagues including Ian who is a really cute father of new twins (awww...) The three of us had lunch at Clocktower Brew Pub across the street. Then Mike drove us to the Museum of Canadian History across the river in Gatineau/Hull, Quebec. Big First Peoples exhibit followed by a special exhibit on hockey. Had a nice moment watching Gary and Mike absorbed in a video of Peter Puck explaining the rules of the game, From there, walked around to a vantage point on top of the building next to the museum, overlooking FestiBiere (Beer Fest) and across the river to the locks and Parliament Hill. Then back to the hotel to change and charge phones.

Mike drove us out to Lansdowne Park for the Ottawa Redblacks vs. the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the first preseason CFL game of the year. We sat up in the nosebleed section on the south side. There's a big rivalry between the two grandstands. Two red cubs sat at the end of our row, one with an extra long beard and the other with some interesting ink peeking out of the sleeve of his T-shirt. Dude sitting in front of Mike accompanied by two ladies in front of Gary and me has a thick black beard and wears a black ball cap and Gott #63 jersey. Almost identical dude traveling back and forth past us on the steps (no number or name on his jersey though). Flag as in penalty in French sounds like "bourgeois" (update: the word is "mouchoir" and it translates to "hanky" or "Kleenex"). It got used a lot tonight. Big young bear in the next section with a vuvuzela noticed Mike's vintage Giants Super Bowl Champion T-shirt. All of a sudden the chant went up from the next section: "Shoe Beer!" Sure enough some dude hoisted a well-worn black loafer (presumably right off his own foot) and a can of beer, ceremoniously emptied the beer into the shoe, and then tipped the shoeful of beer into his mouth. Toward the end of the 3rd quarter vuvuzela bear started trash talking with an unseen Ti-Cats fan very loudly. The contingent of maybe 8 or 10 around vuvuzela bear left with him shortly thereafter, perhaps as a result of a call to security. Spotted a dude climbing a decorative grid or trellis to get into a nearby apartment where there was a game watching party via the balcony. Final 30-27, decided in the final 2 minutes of the game.

Mike dropped us off in front of the Zesty Mart, where we bought tea and snack mix. We stayed up till 1.

June 2017

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