I’ve taken a bunch of photos the past several years that get transferred from my camera to my computer and then I forget about them. I figure why not post them for random people to stumble upon every now and then. I mean, I intended for this blog to be about photography, sewing, and calligraphy, so I might as well share some photos….First up in the ‘Photo Dump’ Series is Ottawa, Canada.
**Please excuse the poor quality of some of these photos, especially the ones taken at night. I only brought my old point and shoot digital camera, which doesn’t work very well in low light situations.**
I went to Ottawa, Canada in Winter 2012 (soon after I started this blog) for a work thing. My first visit to Canada was some time before 2010, when I went to Montreal for several days with a group of friends. I loved Montreal! So I was excited to head to Ottawa even though there wasn’t much I knew about the city. The only things I knew about Ottawa were (1) their hockey team is the Ottawa Senators, and (2) there is a canal that freezes in the winter and I SO BADLY WANTED TO GO SKATING ON THE CANAL! I first learned about the canal years ago while watching some hockey special on TV. It looked so cool and I have always wanted to go ever since, but really, why would I go to Ottawa?
Enter: a project in Ottawa that I happened to be able to work on.
I actually worked on this project for over a year before I was sorta required to go to Ottawa. My boss joked early on in the project that if I didn’t do well, then they would send me to Ottawa in the dead of winter as punishment. Little did he know I was secretly hoping I could go when it was frozen over so I could go ice skating on the canal!!! Well, the stars aligned and in the Winter of 2012 I was beckoned to Ottawa for a week. Holy Moly, it was FREEZING! FREEZING!!! Although, all of my coworkers (that I finally met in person for the first time) kept reminding me that they were having a “warm” winter. I was severely unprepared and under-dressed for my week in Ottawa. ‘What do you mean thin fleece gloves won’t be warm enough? Isn’t a peacoat a winter coat?’ Hey, at least I had my LA Kings tocque to keep my ears and head warm!
Our last day of meetings ended early and while most of the people booked it out of there for their designated weekend at home, I had the rest of the evening to myself since I wasn’t flying home til the following morning, thanks to the lack of direct flights between LAX and YOW. As I left the office I decided it wasn’t “too” cold at the moment so I went back to the hotel to put on as many layers as I possibly could (including two pairs of knee high socks) and hightailed it to the nearest skate rental.
A coworker warned me that the canal ice is very different from rink ice and oh boy, he wasn’t kidding. I looked like an amateur skater out there. With the ice shredded to sh*t, the sun slowly disappearing, and the temperature rapidly dropping, I slooowwwwly made my way down the canal just trying not to eat it.
Bridge over Rideau Canal
I made it as far as I could before I realized I was losing feeling in my fingers. The trek back to the skate rental kiosk was a bit painful since my legs were so cold and I couldn’t really feel my feet. I kept telling myself that this was an opportunity of a lifetime for a SoCal girl! I didn’t have any regrets being in so much discomfort because it was totally worth it. Skating on a frozen canal in the dark? LOVED IT! (I should add that my mom would not have approved of my solo skating adventure in the dark.)
Home Stretch of Rideau Canal
I quickly got a beavertail (another recommendation from a coworker), ran through the ice sculpture exhibit (part of Winterlude, an annual Winter festival….I don’t even know…), and made a pitstop in a coffee shop to warm up a bit before heading back to the hotel to regain feeling in my extremities.
Ice Sculpture at Winterlude
The next morning I walked around the City for as long as I could stand it (not very long) and got more photos of the Canal:
Rideau Canal with Chateau Laurier hotel in the background
As well as the Parliament building:
Parliament Building….are you kidding me?! Could it be any fancier??
My next trip to Ottawa several weeks later wasn’t nearly as exciting. The newness had worn off. The “warm” winter rendered the canal closed for skating. I made sure to stay indoors for as long as possible.
If you’re interested, additional photos from this trip can be found on my Flickr account, including a selfie of me on the Canal; I had to get proof that I was actually on the Canal despite how unflattering or terrible the photo is. If you ever have reason to visit Ottawa, I highly recommend going for one day during the winter so you can experience skating on the Canal! Especially if you’re like me and have never skated outdoors. It’s amazing!