This is a Boarding Message. Those heading to Ottawa, please proceed to Train 57 for the 3.05 PM departure.
The train ride lasted two hours and arrived precisely at 4.54PM. Thirty minutes later we left for dinner at Smoque Shack. As soon as we walked into the restaurant most of us striped off our coats, the warmth of the place heating up our chilled bodies. Despite there being hardly any vegetarian options Andrea still “MANAGED TO FIND THE SALAD” and it was the first time I tried tofu. It was also the time I realized I wasn’t fond of it especially with so much BBQ sauce. Fortunately, for those who couldn’t finish their food, we brought along a human-disposal machine. Willie. Their cheesecake with whipped cream and strawberries was something I would go back for alone.
After dinner we split off. Some heading back for an early rest, others going to the Byward Market Harvest Festival and Street Party while a few people participated in the event in the HI-Ottawa Jail hostel’s pub.
I still haven’t stopped telling people I woke up in “a jail cell” that weekend. It was pretty weird turning over and seeing the bars above and below the door, with the early morning light shining another reminder on the walls and floor. The walk from Floor 6 to Floor 4 for the showers took no time at all. With a handful of clothes you could feel like an escapee pushing open the big doors for the stairs.
When the front desk said sound traveled while in your room, they weren’t lying. In the middle of the night, if I wiggled a toe my bed would proceed with its attempt to wake the entire floor. There won’t be a time when I no longer find that hilarious.
We toured the jail before noon on Saturday, getting all the gruesome details of the hostel’s history. A quick walk to The Grand Pizzeria for lunch turned into a long table full of mature college kids who had moved their consumed pizza’s to the side to practice circular breathing by blowing bubbles into the glasses of water.
Obama cookies. Enough said there. Yum!
The Canadian Museum of History connected our trip to Quebec’s with it’s featured exhibit of The Empress of Ireland. I accidently spent most of the time available reading and listening to every word in the entire exhibit with Scott.
During free time we separated to go explore on our own. Mary and I got lost in the gigantic mall. I’ve never seen so many clothing stores all packed into one huge three or more story building-with-bridges-connected-to-other-buildings-across-the-street.
The day ended at Shanghai Restaurant for dinner. About an hour after enjoying some confusingly named dishes, China Doll appeared for the start of some fantastic karaoke. There was a horribly funny attempt at the wrong version of The Safety Dance to which hardly either Cory, Scott or I knew the lyrics to. A good number of us went up. It took quite a bit of begging but we all managed to ‘persuade’ Willie, Jack and Andrea to get up to the front to sing Tik Tok. The best. The bachelorette party there with us was having quite a bit of fun.
The last activity we did was tour the Parliament building on Sunday. Despite collectively forgetting to check out everything worked out fine. We missed the first English tour by a few minutes and while we waited we skipped right to the Peace Tower. You could hear the bells going off as we enjoyed the sights of Ottawa. The tour itself was pretty cool. There was so much art, sculptures and terrifying mental images of artists painstakingly carving out hundreds of little flowers by hand for the beautiful library.
Sandwiches had to be quick at La Bottega in order for us to make it back to the hostel, check out, take the cab and make the train back. We had plenty of time once we reached the train station to enjoy our lunch that we had taken to go. Even though the ingredients were put together within minutes it tasted nice and fresh.
Attention. This is a Boarding Message. Train 52 leaving for Montréal at 2.13PM due to arrive at 4.17PM, please proceed to the gate immediately. Thank you for choosing this awesome weekend trip.
– Amanda Hollick, Game Art & Animation Major, Fall 2014