Happy Belated Canada Day!

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Yes, I’m well aware that Canada Day was already two weeks ago, but what can I say? These are the lazy days of summer, and I’m quite sure you all have better things to do with your time than read blog posts from me at this time of year, am I right? After all, my mundane day to day activities really aren’t that much to write about 😉 However, there are certainly a few things I can fill people in on, as well as just letting you all know what I’ve been up to. Gotta keep things fresh, wouldn’t you say? So, in that spirit, I’ll jog off a few paragraphs about what I’ve been up to up to Canada day, and hopefully fire off another post shortly about what’s been going on since then. Of course, my website re-design is also a bit off the rails at the moment, but not to worry, I’ll put something together at some point. Till then, why not check out our pictures from Canada Day, and then read on?

The first thing I could let you in on was another reason that I’m a bit behind. You see, the two weeks leading up to Canada Day were actually traveling for work weeks for me. Yup, I had the distinct pleasure of being whisked off to Toronto one week for the Canadian Telecom Summit, and the following week getting sent on assignment to Montreal for the Biennial ITS Conference, an International telecommunications conference. I can assure you, both were pretty much as dry as you might be imagining. I did get the chance to enter several draws for door prizes like Xboxs and iPods, but I didn’t win any.

To make matters even more boring, the Toronto conference was located right out by the airport. Yup, smack dab in the middle of nowhere. So, conference all day, then basically nothing to do but hang out in the hotel room. Thank goodness for free high speed Internet there ;-). The Montreal conference was definitely a little better, as the conference, and my hotel (the Hilton) were right downtown, across the street from the train station. It was so convenient that Jody even joined me for a couple nights, so that she could do some shopping. It was also a convenient starting point for the Canada Day long weekend (broken by one day of work).

On the plus side in Montreal was also the fact that the Montreal Jazzfest was kicking off on Thursday night, and the fact that Great Big Sea were in town on the Tuesday night, so I was able to meet up with my buddy Kris for a quick bite to eat the night I rolled into town. The conference itself was fairly academic, with a lot of pretty intense economic papers being presented, so I was sort of beat at the end of the days, and ready to relax. Jazzfest was fun, and the first time I attended the event. We just wandered around all the outdoor stages, and caught a bit of a Cuban-style band, then a more bluesy band. We didn’t stick around for the Leonard Cohen tribute, as it was looking like it would rain, and I was pretty tired.

Once back in Ottawa from Montreal on the Friday, it was time to start some random craziness up in time for the holiday. Yup, Jody and I headed over to Alix and Matt’s on Saturday evening for a barbecue and some movies and video games. Of course, not just any movies or video games. Nope, we started off with some tasty bottles of wine with our bbq, then decided to watch Borat while switching to drinking large jugs of Beau’s Beer. Tasty. Once sufficiently primed, we turned our attention to playing SingStar, a Karaoke game for the PS2. We kept at that till the wee hours of the night, until we finally gave up and just played some records on Matt’s turntable.

Sunday was a day primarily for recovering and doing some chores around the house. We had decided to host an impromptu bbq for anyone who wanted to come over on Monday evening, so we had to get the house in order. As it turned out, the plans were too last minute, so we did all the work for nothing, but at least the house was clean now 😉 The other notable thing going on was that this would be the last few days that the Lacroix’s would be in town before moving once again to California for a few years. As such, we were planning to do a few things that Andy wanted, which included some pints at the Dominion Tavern on Monday night, since it would be relatively quiet. Well, apart from the fact that the next day was a holiday, so in the end there were a number of people out after all. We had a good little group there, including Alix, Matt, Rob, Anna, Coco, Rob’s brother Eric and his new wife, Andy and Irene Ann, as well as a couple friends of Alix’s. I had a few drinks, then headed home to get a reasonable night’s sleep to be set for Canada Day.

July 1st morning Jody and I had decided to do the traditional Ottawa activities, so we were on a bus early in the morning bound for Parliament, in order to catch some of the parade, the changing of the guard, and the musical ride. We quickly remembered why it was that we rarely bother going downtown for this. It’s a ZOO! Even at 9am, there are throngs of people milling about, and the chances of getting a good view are pretty much hopeless. Oh well, at least we can say we did it once again. I was more interested in the next part of the day, where we’d be catching the Lucky Ron Canada Day show at high noon at the Laff with a bunch of friends.

Actually, in the end, the show started really late (like after 1pm), and the group of friends never really materialized. It was just Jody and I, along with the Lacroix clan. Regardless, the show was top notch, and I know that Andy was might glad to have caught one final Lucky Ron gig before heading south. At the show, we plotted out another little plan, which involved heading over with Al and Matt to where Andy was staying for the final days, as they had a pool, and we could go for a swim in the hot sun. This would be a stopover on our way to a BBQ being hosted by Dave and Meghan. Sounded delightful to me 🙂

Once again, Jody and I caught a bus home, to walk the dog and throw some stuff together. We then hopped on our bikes, and cycled over to get Al and Matt, who were waiting. From there, our little convoy biked over to Andy and Irene-Anns temporary home. The sun was shining bright, so we were more than happy to go for a dip in the pool there, with some beers in hand. Ahh summer, what could be better right? After about an hour and a half, we then pedaled over to Dave and Meg’s for their little bbq. Unfortunately, by this time, I was feeling mighty exhausted from another tough weekend, and a couple late nights. We didn’t even last till the fireworks at 10pm. Jody and I opted to cycle back home, and were along the river when the fireworks were starting, but we were too far along to actually see them. We got home just in time to catch the final few minutes in high definition on TV though. They looked pretty cool.

In the end, it was a great Canada Day weekend, with plenty of excitement, and just enough rest to get ready to face the next big challenge, which was going to be our annual pilgrimage to Ottawa Bluesfest, which was starting at the end of the week. However, that clearly deserves a complete post of its own, so I’ll end this post now, and try to get cracking on another one soon 😉 Hope everyone else had a good Canada Day.

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