- My hotel was walking distance from the Byward Market area. There are a lot of cool restaurants in this area.
- The panhandlers are a bit pushier/more aggressive than in Chicago. There's an air of world-weary defeat in many of the panhandlers in Chicago. In Ottawa they were coming up to me and were quite persistent. I'll give money to street performers and what not, people who do something to "earn it." Accosting me as I'm trying to walk into a pub for a quick pint is NOT the way to get money out of me. This was one of the only downers of the trip.
- Ottawa is beautiful in the fall. Driving on Colonel By Dr. along the Rideau Canal with the fall foliage was rather breathtaking. I've been to Ottawa several times, but this was the first time I'd ever been there in the fall.
- I tried Haggis for the first time at the Highlander Pub. I absolutely loved it! It helped that it came with a dram of Scotch. And the nice smooth malty Scottish beer (Caledonian 80 Shilling) certainly didn't hurt either.
- I have a new favorite beer (see above)! Caledonian 80 Shilling is the nectar of the Gods. It was the smoothest beer I've ever had and easily the best tasting as well. Sadly this wonderful brew is not available in the U.S. so I will have to imbibe of it on my visits north of the border.
- I tried Ethiopian cuisine for the first time as well. My friend, Erin, drove over from Montreal and we celebrated our respective birthdays on Wednesday evening-- mine on Thursday hers was on Friday. After dinner we went to the Highlander pub and I introduced her to Caledonian 80 Shilling. Her assessment was similar to mine. Scorpios of a stinger stick together (or something like that), I guess.
- Unrelated to my trip... Over the weekend I was channel surfing and noticed that on ABC Family they'll be showing Poltergeist. Is it just me or is there something peculiar about Poltergeist being a "family film?" Many of the people who starred in the first 2 films died shortly thereafter or even during the filming. And the subject matter isn't exactly what I'd want any kids I know to be exposed to. That being said, it could have been worse, they could have been showing Poltergeist II, which imho is MUCH creepier than the first one (in particular, the late Julian Beck as Kane was far creepier than Freddy or Jason could ever dream of being-- his very brief performance exuded a much greater menacing evil than all of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street movies COMBINED).
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Last week I was in Ottawa on business. Some non-work highlights/observations from the trip: