CAPITAL TOURISM | winterlude in ottawa

If you've been following my blog, you likely saw that just a few weeks ago I was in Ottawa. Ottawa isn't exactly close to Toronto (where I live), it's about a 4.5-5 hour drive, or you can fly there for about $200-250 with Porter Airlines (they have free beer). The thing is, I've really taken my whole #TakingBackWinter thing to heart, and since Bryon is a first year resident, we rarely have time off together. Winterlude was on our list along with skating on the Rideau Canal, so to kill two birds with one stone we went to Ottawa last weekend while he had a weekend off.

If you're familiar with Canadian weather, you'll know that it's unpredictable. Sitting at my desk at work on Friday I wasn't so sure if it was a good idea to go, but Bryon assured that although it was snowing as though the apocalypse was occurring, the highway would "just be wet" and not bad. LOLLLLLL so so wrong! By the time we both got home from work and had a bite to eat, we were out the door at 7pm and at my friend Cristina's condo in Ottawa at 2:30am. I feared for my life several times on that journey. But we made it.

I LOVE Ottawa. I did my undergrad there, and so it has a special place in my heart. The weekend was totally devoted to Winterlude festivities and meeting up with Bryon's aunt, uncle and cousin for lunch. On Saturday we brunched at The Rowan, which is basically beside Cristina's condo and had the tastiest French Toast you could ever imagine. There's a direct recommendation from yours truly. And then we took our very full bellies to the canal. Now, contrary to popular belief, I'm not the best at skating. The canal was a slight struggle for me, but I had so much fun. We also walked through Confederation Park to see the ice sculptures and then we took Bryon on a very brief tour of UofO campus - he didn't seem overly interested, but I think he appreciated the warmth of being indoors.

Skating back to Cristina's we stopped for Beaver Tails and hot chocolate (it's a sin not to) demolished them, and got ready for dinner with our friends. We had Mexican at Poncho Villa and it was SO good! Every time I leave Ottawa I always miss it. I likely won't be heading back again until the summer because we just booked flights to Calgary / Banff for my birthday in May.

Enjoy the photos, and if you have any questions about Ottawa let me know :)

(Wave to Justin Trudeau! Parliament Hill is just behind us)

(I look SO awkward in this photo. Canada turns 150 this year, so there's lots of really cool things happening across the country.)

(Yup, that's me, struggling for life on my skates)

(If you've never had a Beaver Tail, you're not living)

(Below are shots of us putting a lumberjack jacket on Cristina's dog Oliver. He looked so lumbersexual)

And in case you were wondering where Bryon was, here are some iPhone photos :)