Wednesday, October 31, 2012

24-Hour Vacation - Part II

Did you enjoy Part I of our trip so far? Are you sick of seeing all the pictures I took? If so, feel free to skip this post. As a little background, we haven't done anything of this sort in almost two years. We used to go on dates and trips and stay in hotels semi-regularly and then I got sick. So this was a pretty big deal for us, especially me. Which could explain why I went so nuts with my camera....

The next morning we woke up and got ready to leave. I had to fast for 12 hours before my bloodwork so after my snack of chips the night before, I had nothing. I hate waking up hungry and not being able to eat. Fortunately my appointment was at 9:00am so we woke up at 8:00 in order to not leave me too much time to focus on my grumbling stomach. We checked out of the hotel (so sad to leave it) and headed to my appointment. It went really well and I love the staff and how comfortable they made me feel. They took five or six vials of blood (I didn't look) and then I got all light headed and queasy. So they tipped me back in the chair, got me a cold cloth for my forehead and gave me a 5-Alive juice box. Woot woot for losing blood when already in a weakened state. The good news though, is that my consultation appointment is scheduled for November 30th! Which is way sooner than I was expecting. We'll be heading back to Ottawa for another mini-vacation in a month.

Upon leaving my appointment, we decided to head to Tim Hortons for a quick breakfast before heading downtown to play tourist. But as we turned out of the parking lot, a belt in the car broke, we lost power steering and were running on battery power only. Fortunately I married a handy guy and we headed off to the nearest Canadian Tire to get the part to fix it. We made it there safely and Dan investigated the damage.

Dan checking it out

Found the culprit
So we headed into Canadian Tire to get the needed belt. We purchased it, came back to the car, and discovered that the belt was too small. Back we went to get the right one and exchange them. Back to the car we came, only to discover this one was too big. Ugh! Back to the parts counter to get yet another belt. I'm sure the lady at the exchange counter thought we were nuts. Third time was the charm and we finally got it back together!

Putting the pieces back together

Finally the right part!
 By this time it was almost noon and we were both famished. We decided to get a good breakfast instead of just a quick muffin or something at Timmies so we made our way over to a Chez Cora's.

I orderd eggs, sausages, hashbrowns and toast and Dan ordered the April 89 crepe. I of course forgot to take a picture before we started eating but I did get some "in progress" shots.
My yummy food

Dan's last bite of crepe. He obviously eats faster than me.

He then had to finish my breakfast/lunch. What a sacrifice!
After we finished our breakfast/lunch, we headed downtown to park and walk around. These weird cat sculptures were all along the parking garage. At first I wasn't sure what they were and we still don't know their purpose. I wouldn't say its for looks!

We then walked around the Byward Market and enjoyed all the colours and sunshine.

We then made our way up the hill towards the Parliament Buildings. I, of course, had to stop along the way to take more pictures.

Playing tourist with some weird sculpture

Pretty building

Rideau Canal

The Parliament Buildings!

The ever-burning flame
We were so lucky to have gorgeous weather for our day there. It was 23 degrees (Celsius) and sunny. The skies were so blue! We even got really hot and had to take a break in the shade. Definitely not common for the end of October.

Resting in the shade and looking all cute like

The gorgeous library

The view from behind the Parliament Buildings

I think this is my favourite statue there

Drinking tea

I joined the tea party
At this point I was getting tired and feeling kind of sick so I suggested we head back towards the car. But first, we had to do some geocaching! Now that Dan has an app on his phone for it, he always wants to go. So we followed our map (and had to make detours thanks to all the construction) but finally made it to our destination: the angels of Hope, Faith and Courage.

The angel of Hope

Found the cache!
The contents
 We then went back to our car and took a leisurely drive along the river and enjoyed the sun and the colours. It was beautiful.

So beautiful
 Unfortunately, this nice drive took us the wrong way and all the way to the other side of Ottawa. So when we finally decided to head home, we were stuck in traffic for over an hour. Woohoo.

Crappy traffic

The end of a lovely mini-vacation
That wraps up our trip to Ottawa. We had perfect weather and really enjoyed ourselves.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

24-Hour Vacation - Part I

As promised, here is my post on our mini-vacation to Ottawa. We had such a great time and I went a little picture happy. So beware, this post will have a lot of pictures.

I had a doctor's appointment there at 9:00am on Friday morning and had to fast for twelve hours beforehand. Given this information, we decided to make the 4 hour trip on the Thursday night. I figured it would be better than waking up at 5:00am, not eating, being stressed about getting there on time and for sure feeling sick. We left right after I got off work on Thursday and the drive was gorgeous! It was that perfect time of night when the sun just makes everything look beautiful. The added bonus, we were driving East.

Super excited to start our trip!

Pretty barn against the blue sky (yes, I know it's blurry).

235 km to Ottawa!

The colours in the sun with the rocks. Stunning!
 There was a big accident that we drove by. Two transport trucks were overturned/upside down in the ditch. They also looked like they had caught fire. I didn't get any pictures of them though because there were a lot of people and I felt uncomfortable taking pictures. Sorry!
The accident

More pretty colours
We arrived at our hotel at 7:45pm and I forgot to take any pictures of the outside. It was super fancy and we felt a little out of place. We got a good deal for it on hotwire, so we didn't pay that much. It was a nice treat. I did take some pictures of the lobby while Dan was parking the car.

Where I waited for Dan. It was so cool!

Everything was so shiny and big

The Jazz Lounge
Our room was also pretty awesome and I went a little picture happy. I made Dan stand off in a corner while I took pictures of everything before we messed it all up. Can you tell we don't get out much?

The pretty beds all nicely made

The bathroom

The housecoat and umbrella. I've never seen an umbrella offered before.
 Dan had to do some work so he set himself up at the desk in the corner while I set myself up on the bed with chips and watched "Say Yes to the Dress".

Dan working

Me eating and watching tv

The view from our window
I think that I will stop this post there. I feel like if I were to put all the pictures and adventures that happened during those 24 hours, this post would be way too long. So stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bring on the Boots!

I realize that I'm a little late in getting out to snap pictures and do a post on fall, but unfortunately this is all I've got. I've just been so busy these past few weeks that I didn't get the chance to photograph all the fabulous colours. Also, in my opinion, the leaves all fall too quickly anyways and then we're left with a bit of a bleak season. After the leaves fall and before the snow comes, that's where we're at now. But I have also learned that it's so beautiful. We can still enjoy the outdoors and appreciate the beauty of this time of year. A friend also reminded me to not just hide away from it all and not take pictures or post because I think it's ugly. Where I live, we have four distinct seasons. Some places don't have that. So, I thought I would do a post of the bleak(ish) days of October. This is for you Erin.

I snapped some shots of our road last Saturday while driving home. It was a grey rainy day and I kind of liked how it made everything feel gloomy.

Coming down our road

The Sole Tree - Lost Souls Found Here

The view of the river coming up to our house
After taking all of these rather dull shots, I thought I would liven things up a bit. Tuesday was absolutely beautiful with sunshine and warmer weather. I ran outside to capture some of it while I still could. These are the results.
Our empty garden ready to be tilled

Our back yard is full of sumac tress. So pretty in the sun!

I had to throw a picture of Mia in here. Isn't she adorable?
Something nice about fall and loosing all the leaves, it clears the trees and gives us back our view of the river. Can you see it peeking through here? This is the view from our front yard.

The river

Our house in all its fall glory!

We finally got all our wood stacked. We still have to get a tarp to cover it but are slightly concerned about doing this since there is a certain little puppy who thinks it's her calling to destroy everything. I guess we'll just have to try it and see.
Our woodpile
 Mia likes to steal firewood from our pile. Silly dog. She has quite the collection going on!

Mia's woodpile :P

Our backyard
 So that's my post on fall and the beauty that can still be found outside. The sun obviously makes things better but I still kind of like the drearier days too.

One awesome thing about this fall weather, I can bring out my vest and boots! I'm loving this look these past few weeks and hopefully can still enjoy it for a few more.

That's it for today folks. Check back in later this weekend for a post about our mini-getaway to Ottawa!