20190705 DayNine_Ottawa to Toronto
We rolled out and went to the Byward Market in Ottawa. We got there around 10:30. Things get moving around 11am. We got food. There are a lot of options. I got a plain Beavertail and a Montreal bagel with smoked mystery meat. Merryweather got sushi. Charbonneau got a crepe. Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment got a croissant and some macaroons.
The bakery was visited by the President of the USA in 2009. The bakery was strongly in favor of presidential visits. There are still pictures and promotional material. I got a commemorative cookie in a tin, just like the President of the USA (#thanksobama). The president also visited Beavertails. I bet he liked the Beavertails better than the decorated sugar cookies. He was midwestern in a addition to being born in Kenya. We also got cigars from Cuba, because Canada believes in freedom.
We also visited the NHL Ottawa Senators gift shop. They had some cool stuff not available in the Stanley Cup winning St Louis Blues gift shop. The NHL Hockey Hall of Fame is reporting that they have received Blues playoff memorabilia. I am going back this weekend to sign off on the display.
It was hot and also hot and humid. We got a ride up to Parliament, which is on a hill. It was so hot that the fountain was on fire. It is under construction or renovation. We didn’t get to do yoga on the hill. We did see the Hogwart’s choir walking by. We sweated a lot. A helpful guide wasn’t helpful enough to understand that I thought the pretty lawn was in back. The back side of the thing is a steep hill to repel invaders. There is a canal which goes from Ottawa to Lake Ontario and thence unto the St. Lawrence seaway. So if you would like to attack Canada, use the canal. The back way is all up hill in the heat and humidity.
We walked back to Byward Market via the air conditioning at the Hudson Bay company. Also called “The Bay”. The air conditioning was also bae and totally fetch.
We tried to experience two other things about Ottawa but it’s confusing. We left.
We drove to Toronto. On the way, we stopped back in Kingston, Ontario. We had dinner. I was tired of sitting. I went to the Smith Army Surplus. It was one of the best surplus stores I have ever seen. One, they had some real surplus. Two, it didn’t smell. Three, they had kilts. Four, they had a nice assortment of genuinely useful outdoor gear. Five, they had the thing I wanted as a souvenir from this trip. I got a French pocket knife that is painted red. I will use it for cheese and champagne etc. Many people will ask… “Don’t you already have a bunch of Leatherman Multi tools that you carry around all the time?” Yes, and now I have a French pocket knife for farmer’s markets and cheese cutting and taking up space in my knife drawer. I am tentatively planning on cutting the shit out of my thumb with it tomorrow.
Kingston has a Busker Fest going on right now. Busking is where you give people on the street money for being entertaining. Usually, magic or juggling or dancing or remembering all the zip codes or something. Busking is my plan B. I love it. It was still hot and humid. So we stood in the shade and shifted like sweaty weather vanes in search of a breeze. Kingston is also alongside Lake Ontario. People say it is a Great Lake. I give it 3.5 stars. Pretty good for a lake.
We kept driving to Toronto. It was not very fun. A Chinese tour bus tried to pass me on the right. A Bus sized Chinese tour bus tried to pass me on the right. I almost called the State Police. I would have called the State Police, but we were in a province. I was driving at least Two Demerits fast. The drive to Toronto required paying attention. It was packed. Two lanes. It never really settled down to cruise control. Two and a half hours. We should have stayed and watch the buskers.
I did see one guy on the street that I found entertaining. He had a pair of ankle high moccasins. It didn’t appear that the look was working for him. He seemed to be distancing himself from his shoe choice. There was a panhandler who was difficult to describe. He will definitely be the main character in my new movie script. “Burned, shirtless panhandler in a wheelchair sitting in the sun” It is a working title.
Down shifting back to English as a first language has been slow. I was taking the French thing pretty seriously. Ottawa is English first. Prit near everyone in Ottawa spoke in English or the Canadian equivalent
. Best accents ever. I was “Pardon en moi”ing my way back to Ontario, without regard to the fact that I was the only one bothering to speak French.
We got checked into the last place. It’s on the other side of downtown Toronto. So many hip young people. I managed to park the shit out of the truck once again. Smack dab in the middle of a concrete post and a Mercedes SUV, three stories underground.