Friday, June 27, 2014

Ottawa on a prayer....

After our last day biking Le Petit Train du Nord, we decided to stay the night in Ottawa, rather than drive the five hours or so back to TO all in one go. We had not booked a hotel in the capital, because we weren't sure what our plans would be. Who stays in Ottawa on a Monday night anyway, not even most politicians, I bet!

Well, someone was taking up quite a few hotel rooms on this particular Monday. On route, I had phoned about 4 or 5 chains and they were all full. Yikes!! By the time I ended my last call to someone in the middle of nowhere to book a Holiday Inn room near the ByWard market, we were in downtown Ottawa. What do we do now?

Mellos, not Velos

It was 4:30 and it looked like rain. We passed a street sign that suggested a tourist office was nearby, but where? "Try that mall," my husband said. I jumped out of the car, while he looked for a parking spot. I ran into the mall, nothing screamed tourist office, I asked at the LCBO - they know everything, don't they - No, apparently not. A customer there said it was at the front of the mall - they have sides? I went to the opposite entrance - nothing. Now I was out on a street I didn't recognize. Who am I kidding. I didn't recognize any street in Ottawa. Where did my husband park? Panic! Where was I and where was he? Now, I know why I have a phone and why it has to be charged.

Fortunately, when I turned a corner, I saw him talking to two woman. They were both trying to remember where they had last seen a tourist office - it could be a long night. Luck was with me, this time, though. After rolling my eyes, I happened to see, out of the corner of one of them, the word "hotel" on a building, on a side street, just over there. I extracted my husband from their reverie and sprinted over, as best I could after five hours of biking!!

Too bad it was a Monday Night :)

Eureka!! They had an empty room!! It was $150.00, plus parking but no senior's discount. The Capitol Hill Hotel was, as it should be, very close to the parliament buildings and walking distance to the ByWard market. Finally, I could relax in a surprisingly spacious room with a door out to a balcony, that was shared by all the other units on the floor. I decided not to worry about security. We walked to the market area and had dinner at Navarra because it was written up in my husband's bible, Where To Eat In Canada. The food was delicious.

We took our time walking back, taking pictures. We might have even had a good night's sleep had the fire alarm not gone off at 6:00am. It could have been worse. It could have been 3:00am.

My husband jumped out of bed, into his clothes and said, "We have to get out of here."
I said. "Call the desk to see if there really is a fire."

Cookies for Canada Day

No need to panic, someone had just burned their toast in one of the suites. It did, however, take the fire department about 20 minutes or more to respond. They probably called the front desk too, finished their Bridge game and decided to pop over and turn off the alarm.

After breakfast at the market, we headed home with a stop for lunch in Kingston. Chez Piggy, here we come!!

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