Monday, July 10, 2017

Ottawa, Eh?

Ottawa, Ontario. The land of Parliament and Poutine.

While the locals love to tack "Eh?" on to the end of everything they say, we spent our 3 days in Ottawa saying "Ehhhhhhhh" in response to almost everything we encountered. As in the kind of "Ehhhhh" that makes you shrug your shoulders with a complete lack of enthusiasm. The kind that is only slightly above "Bleh."

Campground? Ehhhhh...
Weather? Ehhhhhh...
Traffic? Ehhhhhh...
Food? Ehhhhhh...

Our bad for visiting only a few days after Ottawa's Canada Day 150 celebration, which cost the country over 500 million dollars and then was poorly attended due to rain and super long lines for security checkpoints.  That's half a billion dollars, folks... And only 66 thousand people showed up.

Mark wants to point out that this cost the government $7575 a person and that they would be better off to just pay the people to stay home.

Ability of the Canadian Government to appropriately budget for parties? Ehhhhhh......

Mark wants to point out that it won't take them long to replenish the coffers with that 13% sales tax.

Despite the heavy post-celebration break-down construction that blanketed the city, we slapped on our sunscreen and made the best of it. Let's do this! At least we can look forward to walking the beautiful grounds of Parliament Hill!

Parliament (when you angle your camera upward)....

Parliament (when you allow your camera to capture what's really going on around you)...

It was clear that this city had been chewed up and spit out by Canada's 150th Birthday Celebration. Mark remembered feeling something similar after his 21st birthday celebration.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Hill.

Deciding that our best bet was to head indoors, we spent our days focusing on Ottawa's wonderful museums. A $35 National Museum Passport in hand, we got to the business of seeing stuff...

Mark wants to point out that this is the pre-tax price (he gets so fired up about taxation). With tax, which is charged even when visiting Nationally-owned museums, the total was nearly nearly $40. However.... Hey! They're Canadian bucks. We're winning on the exchange rate right now, fellow Americans! Yay!

April wants to point out that maybe Mark spends a little too much time thinking about taxes... and exchange rates... and math in general. But then again... thank goodness somebody does. 

First up, Diefenbunker: Canada's Cold War Museum.  Remember a little thing called the Cold War? Well, Diefenbunker was where Canada's most important people were supposed to hang in case of a nuclear attack.

Beneath this unassuming shed is 100,000 square feet of bunker fun and 2 escape hatches in case the entry tunnel were to collapse from... you know... a nuclear bomb.  The bunker began operation in 1962 and kept on with its bad self until it was decommissioned in 1994. It was given National Historic Site status the same year and became a museum in 1998.

Loving the military theme, Andrew was looking forward to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa BUT... go figure... their parking lot was closed for an upcoming Blues Festival.  We opted instead for the  Canadian Museum of Nature, which was fantastic!

Day 2 led us to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum. Here, we checked out some cool barns, drove a "tractor," and saw a newborn baby calf just hours after birth. The calf was adorable and ready for a nap... just like Mark :)

After the farm, we checked out the Canadian Museum of History. Their Children's Museum was the best we've ever seen, and the kids agreed.  As we left, Max jumped up and down and exclaimed "That was so awesome!"

As we left, Max took a moment to walk the outdoor water area... check out that view of Parliament Hill in the background! 

Having had our fill of Ottawa, we stopped by Whole Foods to stock up on groceries.  As Max asked incessantly to get in the basket (cart), out of the basket, in the basket, out of the basket, etc... he bumped April's phone and Siri gave her impression of the situation.

Despite our initial Ottawa hiccups, lots of wonderful things happened in this town as well! April turned 38! Max tried Chicken Shawarma. We found the most excellent breakfast sandwich at The Scone Witch. And, finally, we received this hilarious Facebook post (along with many others that were not RV-related) from Annie Everett for April's birthday. People really get us. 

Time to take a break from city life! We're heading to Mont Tremblant!

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