Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Day Off

That's what it was to be sort of — a day off, or at least off from celebrating our anniversary and on to other things. If it hadn't been raining, some cycling and gardening would have taken place. Alas, it was raining, so we puttered around in the morning and found ourselves babysitting in the afternoon and then staying over for supper. (I apologize in advance because this post is going to be prosaically chronological, but it is what it is; it's late and I don't have the energy to try to be interesting, but I want to get this posted for the record.)

Yesterday, however, we quite tuckered our little selves out. When I look back at it, I'm not sure why we were so tired by the end of the day, but we both were, even though we didn't get going until close to noon. We took the back route into Ottawa and drove along Queen Elizabeth Dr, beside the Rideau Canal to see the tulip beds. Surprisingly, because it's late the the year, most of the beds were still in pretty good shape and made quite a wonderful display on a beautiful, sunny spring day.

It's the final weekend of the annual tulip festival, but even though it's our fourth spring here, we've never made the jaunt into the city during this interval. There are all sorts of goings-on — concerts, lectures, performances etc — but we stuck with wandering around the parliament buildings and Byward Market, enjoying the weather and looking at tulips and people. Lots of people down there on a Friday, including lots of kids of school age. Go figure.

We usually park at the National [Art] Gallery and wander around from there. It's only a short walk to Majors Hill Park where we saw our first tulip bed (aside from those we had spied from the car on the drive in). So, I took Cuppa's picture, which shows that wonderful church in the background. I've been inside but can't recall it's name right now.

Here is a closeup of the purple and white tulips in this bed — in my faux art mode.

The same bed again from a distance with the National Gallery in the background.

We began to ambulate from Majors Hill to Parliament Hill and found some lilac bushes beginning to flower (with the parliament building in the background in this photo).

Once we got to The Hill we were a bit surprised that there weren't too many tulips there. But it makes sense because the large lawn must play host to The Changing of the Guard ceremony and the huge crowds that gather to watch the Canada Day concert and fireworks.

Well, we walked along the Spark Street Mall and over to the Byward Market where we browsed and people-watched and ate lunch at the Blue Cactus Cafe. There are many flower vendors at the market. I'm not sure who buys these flowers to lug around, but people must because the vendors are here year after year.

After a number of hours ambulating about the market we returned to our car and paid the $12 tab to leave the lot. We drove along the Riverside Parkway (no trucks, low speed limits) stopping once or twice to sit by the river and meander along the pathways. It was quitting time for the city workers and bicycle after bicycle whizzed by as we sat and looked about. In the following photo, Cuppa is walking along a path.

Next, we drove out of the Parkway to the lovely Andrew Haydon park, also along the river. As the gloaming and cooling began we enjoyed a picnic lunch while we watched people, ducks, geese and one groundhog eating from one lady's hand. We also looked to the horizon and enjoyed the view.

And that was the day. I don't know why, because it wasn't a terribly taxing day, but we arrived home a very tired four-decade couple.

So, it was good to relax a little today (Saturday), for we're off on another adventure tomorrow (Sunday). Stay tuned.


Mary said...


The photos are beautiful. I would love to come to the tulip festival. Maybe next year. Ottawa is a beautiful city. I've been there twice in my lifetime...once as a child and again when Michelle was in eighth grade, so it's been a while.

I'm glad you were able to get to the festival for your anniversary. It sounds like a great day.


Donna said...

I can see Why you two were tired!! The flowers are gorgeous!!!hughugs

KGMom said...

Happy 40th.
Sometimes such days as you describe are tiring just because.
I do love all the wonderful photos.
And the tulips--wow.
We visited Ottawa once--and I liked it very much. Reminded me of Washington DC, not so much in appearance but as a national capitol in the stately beauty, the wonderful buildings.

Heather Plett said...

I used to go to Ottawa a couple of times a year when I worked for the federal government. I kinda miss it.

Kila said...

Beautiful photos!

Anonymous said...

The photos are marvelous. Our 40th we planted a Japanese Maple. It grew wonderfully. In year 8 it was hit by a big bad freeze. We trimmed it and because of the sentimentality of the tree it will stay as long as we do. It represents the hard knocks we all take in life.Its looking pretty good though.

Shammickite said...

One day I am going to spend the weekend in Ottawa during tulip fesival. I am ashamed to say that I have lived in the Toronto area for almost 40 years and I have never seen the Ottawa tulips! Yes, I have been to Ottawa, but never at tulip time. Your pictures are gorgeous.

Lorna said...

I thought I saw your car going by the other day.

Pearl said...

I was going o go take photos of the same places for my aunt. ;) Maybe I should stay home and get copies of yours instead.

The Andrew Haydon park reflection is lovely.

JunieRose2005 said...

This was a lovely adventure! I enjoyed all the pictures- especially that one of the tulips! Oh! and the lake with the reflections is just beautiful too!

Thanks for sharing!


Ruth said...

Gorgeous photos! My next trip to Ottawa will have to be in the spring.

Woman in a Window said...

Ottawa is beautiful. It's an odd place, so earthy. Anyone can own Ottawa if they dare to walk around, sit and listen. It's a good place.

Wonderful shots.