I have never understood people talking about spending summer Maine, Minnesota, Northern Michigan, and other places I have stereotyped as “not mountains/not beach/not hot”. I get it now – it is basically a warmer version of fall, clear skies, low humidity, and if you are near water, generally spectacular. Spent a lot of time in Ottawa this summer, but this was first weekend where I stayed over and Sharon joined me. Perfect weather (escaped the summer monsoon of DC) and we got out on a bike ride with a group one day and a boat ride the other day then I headed to Toronto for the rest of the week – and stuck in Toronto now with a late flight due to another DC monsoon. One thing about Canada that seems consistent – even when it is “crowded” it isn’t crowded and it always seems that you are walking into a great event by luck and it isn’t sold out. First example – Friday night during our inbound flight delay due to monsoon, a AirBNB experience for a bike ride came up and I was able to get booked in less than 12 hrs in advance. It was a good setup with a local guide who took us around to parts of town I hadn’t yet seen, along with a French family. Best of all was a pregnant lady whose frequent bathroom stops worked great for me….lots of pictures and Sharon made the FB page of the tour guide. But I didn’t? Later we were walking on the Prime Minster’s grounds pretty much by ourselves and it was only secure at the house (found out later he was staying in another house on the grounds).
We were told of a fireworks show – so we when to Byward Market for dinner. In the winter, I stayed there and it was a ghost town – now it has about 50 outdoor restaurants and bars – all look very crowded but it is usually a short wait to sit. We asked about fireworks and the waitress said it was a long walk and probably too late to make it – and very crowded. It was a 10 minute walk – kinda crowded but not enough that we couldn’t walk to a comfortable spot. Watched best fireworks show ever, then walked out without hassle. Then ran into the nightly laserlight show on the side of Parliament that had the history of Canada. Crowded enough to make it interesting – but not overwhelming.
Boat ride on Sunday – pictures attached and when we got off on the French side in Gatineu, we noticed some odd plants and after investigation, noticed it was an exhibit. No line and in 5 minutes we were in and, again, pretty spectacular find just wondering around. Finished the day at a brew pub built into a old waterwheel from the 1850’s.
A couple pictures below from prior trips – including a fox sighting. As I was taking this picture, a guy came out of the woods. Said I should pet the fox – when I said that was ok – he started laughing and said “he’ll bite you” and the worse Uber driver ever.