A Victoria Day Long Weekend in Ottawa

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Last Monday, Canada paused to celebrate the birthday of a long dead British monarch—yes, it was Victoria Day.

Most people are looking forward to enjoying a long weekend.

I’ve always dreaded them.

When I was an hourly worker, a long weekend meant losing money since I wasn’t usually scheduled to work and I wasn’t getting paid. Then, when I became eligible for statutory holiday pay, I still couldn’t enjoy the time off since Feng’s parents usually drove over to visit. Now, as a freelancer, I don’t care much for a Monday off and since the daycare is closed, we have to entertain Mark for three days straight.

Don’t judge. Long weekend without sanity breaks are… long.

On Friday, we had what you might describe as a perfect storm. Feng was sick, I was exhausted and very busy at work, Mark had been cranky lately and he had a stomach bug. The house was a mess, it was stormy outside and the fridge was empty.

Three days. We had to make it.

I sighed and set my mind to it.

I strapped Mark in the stroller, crossed the Experimental Farm (we had a great discussion on horses and cows) and headed to a place that would win me the Mother of the YearTM Award: the fire station. In Ottawa, firefighters are super friendly and if they aren’t busy, they usually let kid check out the trucks. Indeed, they opened the fire station’s garage for Mark and I, let him climb in the truck, turned the lights on, let him try the helmet and even gave him a “Ottawa Fire Department” patch. Mark was so amazed he was momentarily speechless, but he told me all about the visit during the five-kilometer walk home—as if I had already forgotten where we had just been.

Mission accomplished, Mark was happy and in a good mood. I got a nice workout (ten kilometers there and back pushing the stroller), had the chance to tan a bit and play the MILF with two firefighters ten years younger than me (what?!).

Then we took Mark to Parliament Hill, one of our first visits there this year—it’s not a nice hangout when it’s cold, snowy and windy. Mark was so excited he ran to the Centre Block (he loves old buildings and towers) and then up and down hill. And up. And down again.

We also checked out the Tulips Festival at Dow’s Lake, the amusement rides, took Mark to eat out at McDonald’s and played at the park. Many peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches were eaten and many cups of coffee were drunk but we made it without major drama.

And I think we all had fun.

Thanks, Queen Victoria!

No if you will excuse me, I had to clean up the mess and get back to work…

You can see the com­plete set of Spring in Ottawa on Flickr.

Downtown Ottawa

Downtown Ottawa

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Where do we go now?

Where do we go now?

Mark very excited to see the Parliament

Mark very excited to see the Parliament

Mark discovering his shadow

Mark discovering his shadow

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Parliament Hill

Running Downhill

Running Downhill

... And Uphill

… And Uphill

Tulip Festival

Tulip Festival

Where I have to ride a train with Mark

Where I have to ride a train with Mark

Checking out the rides at the fair

Checking out the rides at the fair

Riding the train

Riding the train

Haunted House

Haunted House

Haunted House

Haunted House

Writing in dirt

Writing in dirt

In a tree

In a tree

I have no idea what he was pointing at

I have no idea what he was pointing at

Many sandwiches were made and eaten

Many sandwiches were made and eaten

Mark Counting

Mark Counting

Mark Counting

Mark Counting

Mark Counting

Mark Counting

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

14 Comments

  1. Love nothing more than to see a little man with grubby hands and knees – signs of a fun day! I was sick over the long weekend too. It sucked.

  2. You did a lot of fun things. The Tulip Festival sounds nice.

    Oh my gosh, you’re wearing shorts! It’s shorts weather!

    Ha ha, I see McDonald’s was open this time.

    • Yes, exceptionally, McDonald’s was open. Unbelievable 😆

      (The truth is, with Feng sick and hot and humid weather, I didn’t really feel like cooking!)

  3. Martin Penwald on

    Fortunately, I was in the U.S this monday, so I could work and win money. I won’t starve this month. Next monday it is a holyday in U.S, but I’ll probably be in Canada. And as long as I don’t have to pick up or deliver a load, I can almost always work.
    Can I take a fire truck and drive it around the block ?

    • C’est super populaire au Canada. Un truc de fou… comme Canada Day. Les deux trucs qui rameutent du monde à Ottawa 😆

      Dis, j’arrive pas à commenter sur ton blog… j’ai vu que mon commentaire d’hier (l’histoire de col) ne s’était pas affiché :-/ C’est juste moi, ou…?

  4. Je me souviens encore de ton post de l’année passée sur le sujet… Je vois que mark grandit plus vite qu’une tulipe !! et que je ne suis pas la seule à appréhender les longs week-ends 😉

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