Monday, December 10, 2012

A Bed and Breakfast Weekend: Christmas in Ottawa

I was three and standing with my family in line to go up the elevator to the Peace Tower. We had been waiting for a long time, especially when you're three. And, here we were. Almost to the head of the line. But there was a problem. I was three years old and I had to go to the bathroom. Right now. My dad missed the short elevator ride and the beautiful view too.  

I only have a vague recollection of this and I don't remember anything else about that trip to Ottawa. In fact, I'll admit, I can't even guarantee that this actually happened in Ottawa. Perhaps it was some other tall building in some other city with a beautiful view. Regardless, until this past weekend, that trip when I was three years old and missed experiencing the Peace Tower because I desperately had to pee was the only experience I've had with Ottawa.*

Occasionally, I still like to blame my elementary school for messing up my civic education. They used to do a grade 8 Ottawa trip, and perhaps they do again, but for some reason, when it was my turn to go, they opted to take everyone to Camp Celtic instead, which even the camp staff incorrectly pronounced with a soft C. When the group of us decided that it was time to visit the Ottawa contingent of the Husband's university pals for our annual Christmas dinner, we decided it was a good time to rectify the situation and see a little bit of Canada's fourth largest city. We booked a bed and breakfast and drove down Friday afternoon.

Our B & B was perfect. An old house decorated beautifully and simply. Immensely friendly hosts with some mad breakfast making skills. A beautiful, old Weimaraner to stave off any pangs of longing for my puppies.

(Need a bed and breakfast in Ottawa? I would highly recommend calling up Christine and Brock at the Avalon Bed and Breakfast. We stayed in the Sable - cute, comfortable, clean.)

We visited Parliament Saturday morning. My favourite part was all the ceilings.

And the library. Oh, be still my heart, the library.

On Sunday, before leaving town, we went to the Canadian Museum of Civilization. 

And, of course, we did plenty of walking around staring agog at the beautiful limestone house, the beautiful brick apartment buildings, the ancient churches. I could envision myself living in Ottawa. The list of cities I could see myself moving to is shrinking the longer I spend in Toronto, but Ottawa? Ottawa I could make my home.

I love Ottawa.

* We did drive around the city a few years ago when visiting family and friends on the outskirts, but nothing close to a proper experience of ones' capital city.


  1. Hahaha! My Grade schoold did the same thing - we didn't get to go to Ottawa becasue the teachers had to go every year and they were bored.We went to Sudbury intead. SUDBURY! While the big nickel was interesting it lacked some of the history that an Ottawa trip would have had.

  2. I love Ottawa too! I went once in 2009, and thought the downtown was just beautiful. I wish I had more time.

  3. It was Ottawa and I have still never been up the Peace Tower


  4. I have never been to Ottawa! As a Canadian living in Ontario I feel that I should be ashamed of that fact!

  5. Don't feel ashamed, but definitely go! You only need a weekend, really, and it's such a pretty city to experience. So much beautiful architecture!

  6. Sudbury?!? Seriously? Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one.

  7. NK_StyleingwithChildrenDecember 11, 2012 at 9:13 PM

    It's always interesting to see your city through the eyes of a visitor :) glad you had a good time

  8. Hooray for Ottawa! I lived there for four years and loved it... still do and miss it terribly. Just not the brutal cold winters. I'll never miss those winters! ;)

  9. I live in Ottawa and it is beautiful.. Lately the winters haven't been that bad. Think London (England) with snow. It is a big city with a small town feel.