In exactly two weeks from today, I will be getting on a plane (business class — fuck you Air Canada), and heading out east for some time in Ottawa and beyond. I’ll be taking the red-eye, (which I swore last time I’d never take again, since I rarely sleep on planes, and that’s basically the whole point of the red-eye) and will get into Ottawa sometime early in the morning on the 24th of August. From there, I imagine I’ll head to my hotel, which is only a few steps from the Supreme Court of Canada and Parliament Hill, and probably grab an hour or two of sleep. And then, I’m gonna wake up, have a shower, and start drinking.
Photo by Steve Gerecke
Ottawa is, without a doubt, the city I have had enjoyed myself the most in. I spent the time between when I was 23 and 25 living in the downtown core, and it was such a great experience. The people in eastern Canada are generally so much friendlier than people out here, and I find myself missing the laid-back atmospheres of the bars back there whenever I’m out pubbing here. In Ottawa, you can walk into a bar, sit at a table by yourself, and pretty much be guaranteed to meet a bunch of other fun people that want to drink beer and hang out.
For the most part, people don’t really go to bars out there to pick up. While I’m sure it happens, the majority of people generally just go to have a good time with old friends, and be receptive to meet new friends. The best area of Ottawa to party in is an area called the Byward Market. What makes it so amazing is that in just a few square city blocks there exists a high concentration of bars, most of which haven’t even heard of the concept of a cover charge. Which means that you can realistically bounce from bar to bar all night without the hassle of line-ups or overpriced entrance fees.
I’m going to help my friend Rob set up for the wedding on Friday night, and hopefully have a few catch up beers with him since I haven’t seen the guy in a few years. Saturday is the wedding, and Rob’s first request is that everyone gets together for some beer-filled frisbee golf in the morning, something I’m definitely looking forward to. After that, we’ll be heading out to Manotick for the wedding, followed by a great reception (Rob’s familiy is from near Saskatoon, so most of the people there will be small town people, and I can’t wait to mingle with them all). I’m booked into a hotel until Monday, at which point I will either head to Toronto, Montreal, or possibly even back to Vancouver (depending on how cheap I’m feeling).
Boris is coming for the trip too, and I hope we all get some R & R time in some Ottawa bars (in fact, I really hope we end up doing a +40C pub crawl in the market on the Sunday, something I haven’t done in about 5 years).
To say I’m getting excited would be a pretty big understatement. I really haven’t had a “vacation” in a long time. I took a week off in February, but it wasn’t very relaxing and the weather really sucked. Prior to that, I had booked a week off to go to Mexico, but ended up in surgery that week instead and had to cancel it all. I can’t even remember the last time before that where I went away and spent a week just having fun. Probably Costa Rica I guess, nearly two years ago.
I received a cheque in the mail today from some stock I cashed out last week, and my next paycheck on the 15th (thanks in part to a really nice bonus at my company) is going to be insanely large, so I’m basically going to be starting my vacation with a fair chunk of change in the bank. Suprisingly, I’m usually pretty cheap when I travel, to the point where I’ll often go home early instead of paying for a hotel (which is really rather stupid, considering I can drop $100 in a bar fairly easily back home and not think about it), so I hope I’ll be able to force myself to be fairly liberal with my spending out east.