Its funny, I've lived an hour and a half from Ottawa for 20 years.
I went to school an hour and a half from Ottawa for 20 years.
Everyone I know has seen, been inside, or taken a tour of Parliament Hill.
Then why the heck haven't I been? Its kinda like I lived in Toronto for almost 9 years, I visited every summer for so many years after that and never went up the CN tower.
So yesterday, my Mom and I took a little road trip. The basis of the trip was to find the building where the classes I am starting in the fall are housed. Get timing on the trip, and a general sense of whats nearby.
Then we had the rest of the day to do whatever.
We were in the Byward market, when Mom pointed out the building where my cousin works. On a whim, I plucked my phone from my purse, texted him, and discovered he was not that far away, and not busy. He would finish what he was doing, and meet us in the market in a little while.
We hung out, grabbed something to eat at the Patisserie where Barack Obama bought cookies on his visit to Ottawa, and looked through the stalls. Some were very tempting. Especially the one with Disney princess dress replicas.
Then we split up, and Cousin S took me on a walk around Parliament Hill. Doesn't sound that exciting, but its been something lacking in my civics education since I was in elementary school. And my cousin, he knows a lot about Ottawa, the history, and some really neat little facts.He's in the media, so he is often on the ground when interesting things are happening, and he has a knack for sharing his knowledge and his experiences that makes it all really enjoyable.
Like I said, we ate where Obama stopped for cookies, he showed me where the PM pulls up with is motorcade, gave me some of the history of Parliament Hill, and the refurbishment of the exterior, showed me where he was during the riots when Bush was in Ottawa, took me to the "cat house" where the stray cats from parliament hill live, and some other neat little things that you never know about until you live there.
It was an enjoyable day. I don't often get to spend time with this particular cousin, the last time we spent time together without distraction was when we were writing a very difficult eulogy, which we would deliver together the next day.
We ended this day in a Scottish pub, watching the England - US match of the FIFA tournament, waiting for my mom to find us. Cousin S's theory, Scottish pub would be supporting England, and Mom could find us by smelling for the single malt.
I am so glad I pulled my phone out of my purse and texted him.