Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ottawa Travelogue.

I tell a lot of people that I’m not a traveller. I say that because I haven’t really done any travelling, and I don’t really care about doing any. There are places I would like to spend some time, but nothing I really want to see. There are cultures I would like to engage with, but considering I live in Canada, I can pretty much do that here. Feats of man, such as the Great Wall, or Easter Island, I can study in a satisfying manner through literature. The Internet is pretty legit these days. While I don’t really possess any sort of travel bug, if people that I love and care to keep in physical contact with, end up anywhere for an extended period of time, I will go there. It is for this reason that I find myself in the air, on the way to Ottawa for the second time in two years. It’s going to be a yearly thing. At the end of my last visit, when Kailee was still planning to return to Moose Jaw, I told her that if she stayed, I would come back to visit her. The next day she was offered a job, and here I am.

Ottawa is one of those cities that is epically ordinary, and like nothing you’ve ever seen, all at the same time. For Kailee, her original move resulted in the development of a small world centered on her school, work, and volunteer opportunities. My first visit included only small departures from that world. Our time was largely spent with her roommates and friends, watching the Olympics, and napping. It was perfect. The one day we spent downtown in and around the Parliament Building, and along the Rideau, was beautiful beyond my awareness or assumptions. The downtown is old and clean and beautiful, and you get a sense of its historical narrative by simply being there.

If the purpose of travelling is to see and live a different world from your own, then that’s what I’m going to do. Isn’t that a nice and ideal plan for our trip? But seriously. I’ve had this list of things I’ve planned to do since I was there last year.

-  Shopping in the Glebe
  • This is going down first thing! Our friends Adam and Kelly live in the Glebe and Adam works at this used bookstore that is also a bar. It’s a bar bookstore. A bookstore bar. Are you kidding me? It’s legitimately everything I have ever wanted.
-       Parliament Library Tour
  • So you have to go on the actual Parliament Building Tour to gain access to the library, but I’m okay with that. Kailee and I went to the Parliament last time and it was so outrageous in its beauty. So I’m okay to be led around the whole thing and hear what the guide has to say. I’m so excited to see the library because of its age, limited access, and the potential for materials that it will hold.
-       U of O/OPL Maker Space
  • A couple of years ago, my friend Amanda went to New York and it was a main point of her trip to visit the New York Public Library. It had never occurred to me to visit Public Libraries in the cities I am visiting. I don’t know how, but I had really never thought of it. So it’s a thing now. Furthermore, one of these libraries has a makerspace. So. I gotta see it.
-       Montreal for the day
  • Did you know that the great city of Montreal is just two hours away from Ottawa? Kailee and I aren’t sure if we’re going to follow through on this one, and if we do, I’m not sure what we’ll do once we arrive, but it doesn’t matter. When I visited Laura in New Brunswick, we travelled four hours to Halifax for four hours of downtown harbor wandering and then drove home, so I’m prepared to do everything and nothing in Montreal.

-       Sussex Drive
  •  I. Do. Not. Know. Why. I am so obsessed with seeing StephenHarper’s residence. Especially when there are cooler politics oriented buildings to see downtown. So this one might not happen, but if it does, expect to see a selfie.
-       Planet Coffee
  • This one is on Kailee. I don’t know anything about it, but I’ll let you know once it’s happened.
-       Hiking
  • Last fall, Kailee went hiking at what looked to be the most glorious mountain/waterfall/meadow. I doubt that’s what it actually was, but we are going to crush whatever is actually there.
  • Furthermore, Kailee and I plan to be fairly active on this trip. She regularly attends spin and yoga classes at a gym in her neighborhood, so I am going to join her. This will affirm the rest of our unhealthy behavior . . .

Imma keep you updated throughout the week. I’ll be posting images and videos on my Instagram using the #ottawatravelogue. Make sure to check it out, as well as videos and images from my last trip.

Travelling is fun. I’m learning this reality.

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