|Sammy found this statue: "mommy! there's that guy with the metal leg!"|
|Gluten free goodies|
The rest of Ottawa pales in comparison to my mocha opera chocolate layer cake, though it was a wonderful day. We visited the Rideau Canal and saw a boat going through the Locks (so interesting... though without any guard-rails I was a bit nervous with the kids so close to the edge of the canal). Just walking among the historical buildings made us realize how truly young our own city is. Even the kids remarked that Calgary has boring buildings.
|Watching the boat go down the locks|
|Tomb of the unknown soldier at the National War Monument|
We noticed a large security presence in Ottawa. Everywhere around the Parliament buildings there were pairs of police officers visibly armed. Just to get into the parliament buildings required a 20 min wait through security which was just as thorough as an airport check. Inside the building there were also many armed officers in every room and corridor we went down. It definitely changed the ambiance of the place - and it was odd the way the tour guide didn't mention the shooting last year, or even entertain my godson's question about it. She just brushed him off and moved on.
|Library in the Parliament buildings- only part of the original building left after a fire in the early 1900s.|
|House of Commons under renovation|
The evening light show on the Parliament buildings was even better than the tour. I have never seen anything quite like it. It was a cross between a movie, fireworks, and a museum - with the architecture of the building being the screen. If you've ever seen a disney light show it was similar to that, but better.
The narrator took us on a voyage through Canadian history including the great accomplishments of Canadians and all that make us a great nation. For the finale, they played O Canada with the buildings lit up like a huge waving flag and we all stood up and sang along in French and English together. It was quite touching.
|Light show didn't start until 9:30 so it was a late bedtime for all, but one we will remember for a long time!|
One of the more annoying, but amusing parts of the day was trying to acquire the tickets to go on the free tour of the parliament buildings. If there's one thing I have to complain about this country, it's the complete disregard for families who are larger than the usual 2 parents/2 kids. They would not allow any group over 9 people onto the tours, even though there was room for 35 people. Dana and Kevin tried to explain to them that we would like 15 tickets but they would not allow them to do it, even if Dana ordered 9 and Kevin ordered 6. It was quite the secret spy operation for us to figure out a way to let our 15 person group onto the same tour. Sean and I had to go in to ticket line pretending we didn't know each other and stall long enough to see which tour time the other was selecting. It was a close one, but we did it!!
All in all, it was a full but enjoyable day. We left feeling proud to be Canadian and anxious to continue east, exploring more of our great country.