bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
[personal profile] bigmacbear
Got up at 8:30ish and puttered around the room till about 9:15, then headed downstairs for breakfast. From there we checked out the laundry room and gym in the hotel, then walked a few blocks to a Sobey full-service grocery with a picnic area out front. On the way we passed an older, white-haired and muscular bear, followed by a darker-haired cub wearing a Clockwork Lemon T-shirt and chunky headphones. We picked up the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, some tea and lemon-limeade, and a tube of toothpaste. Then Gary and I returned to the room (passing Clockwork Lemon again on the way), wrote some postcards and set out to mail them en route to the National Gallery. It was a bit difficult to find the Canada Post office (which was co-located with a stationery and greeting-card store) because the front of the building where it resided was all torn up for construction and we had to find the side door.

We stopped for a break in Confederation Park, and decided to cross the Mackenzie King Bridge which has an entrance to the Rideau Centre for lunch at Michel's Bakery Cafe, of quiche and potato bacon soup. After that we headed down Sussex Drive past the Connaught Building (part of the Canadian Forces national headquarters) and sat and listened to the tail end of a performance of "Don't Worry, Be Happy" on a stage at the end of the ByWard Market Inspiration Village.

Passing the American embassy, we arrived at the National Gallery of Canada and spent a couple of hours exploring the exhibits. Most memorable were the Canadian photography exhibit, a series of drawings by a famous father and son, two skeletal whale sculptures made entirely from polypropylene lawn chairs, and full-body plaster casts of a female artist and two of her male friends.

We made our way back to the Rideau Centre to pick up a bus back to the hotel, where we chilled out for about an hour and a half before making our way to the Elgin Street Diner for dinner. Just before we got there, Mike got hold of Gary by phone and we saved him a spot at the table so he could meet us there. The waiter was a tall and nice-looking young black dude wearing a T-shirt with a poem of sorts on the back: "Roses are red/Poutine is delicious/Poems are hard/....Poutine!" Gary had a lemon-herb chicken dinner, I had a Montreal smoked meat Reuben (including the sauerkraut this time) with coleslaw and poutine (which the place is known for), and when Mike arrived he just ordered a plate of poutine with smoked meat on top. Over dinner we talked of many things. Also, a woman of a certain age, carrying a heavy bag in one hand, staggered into the street and wandered in the travel lanes for quite some time before finally making it across.

Afterwards Mike drove us out Sussex Drive and showed us an overlook at Rideau Falls and where the Prime Minister and the Governor-General live, then dropped us off in front of the hotel. We spent much of the rest of the evening watching Toronto at Seattle on the TV.
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