I went to Ottawa this weekend to visit friends, and to catch the end of Winterlude. The weather was extremely cold. The morning of the day we arrived, they had received a pretty bad freezing rain storm. Everything was covered in a cm of ice and the roads were all covered in snow. On the way up, it was me, Eric, Kenric and Charita.
I drove the whole way, which was a first for me, I've never driven such a long distance before. It wasn't too bad though, on the way up I drove pretty recklessly, reaching speeds of 160 km/h and averaging around 150 km/h. We got there in a hurry! On the way back it was darker and I was a bit more tired and I only drove about 130 km/h. I never once felt like falling asleep although there was once that I felt like the food coma might be falling upon me. Fortunately it never came. There's something about having someone else drive your car. I dunno, I'm sure I would've turned it over had I felt very tired, but there's just something about it. It's MY car. I don't like the idea of other people driving it.
In Ottawa, I stayed downtown with everyone else at Chris and Marion's place. They were situated in the heart of downtown, right by the art gallery and just a few steps from the Market. Man, if Lon and I had a place that close, that would've been so awesome. Although the rent isn't cheap there.
C&M didn't make full use of their place though, I guess because of the cold weather and as students, they didn't have much time. They didn't experience Ottawa like we did as co-op students back in the day.
On the first night, as big-city-folk, we were bored quickly. We spent most of the evening watching Olympics or playing Xbox, while consuming large amounts of alcohol. For dinner we went to a place called The Works, a burger place. It had great burgers, great onion rings. I especially enjoyed the sweet potatoe fries.. very yummy.
I think what's great about Ottawa, is that it's a small town and people live a simple life. There's more time for God.
That's not to say I don't have time for God, as a big-city boy. But that because you're living a simpler life in a small city, you have less distractions. And because I've grown up in this environment, it takes more to excite me. So often I'll be moping around feeling bored and feeling the need to be entertained, whereas in a simpler environment, I'd be content to just sit at home, do some reading, talk on the phone, etc.
That's the biggest difference I noticed when the next day I split off from Eric and Kenric to reunite with my Ottawa friends. We met up at church and then went for PHO. It was amazing to see that Pho Bo Gai had expanded and now had 4 restaurants in total. All in the same general area which is even more amazing to me.
We then went to Dow's Lake for some skating, although I didn't have skates so I just ran around on the ice. It was really cold. I mean really cold. Maybe not as cold as Edmonton, but for a Torontonian.. yikes. I had a Beavertail and it was delicious.
Afterwards we went to Andrew and Lisa's home near Kanata/Bell's Corner.
They have a really nice place. It's extremely nice, almost too nice. It felt like a model home. Everything was perfectly placed and neat and tidy, with posters and knick-knacks everywhere, proudly displaying their marriage photo's, along with a lot of Jesus/God stuff. You'd have to see it to understand. Oh yea, and candles. Candles everywhere, and the place smelled great.
We spent most of the time there just sitting around talking and it was great. I had a chance to share about things I've been working on, learning, and practicing. We talked about our families, church life, etc. Afterwards we had shawarma's for dinner, and then watched parts of the NBA Skills Competition (Iguodala got robbed btw).
All in all, it was a fun trip. I caught some guilt trips with some people who thought that 6 years between visits was kinda bad. I don't disagree.. I should have visited more often.