Storming the Capitol

Last week the kids, my Mum & I went on a little adventure to our nation’s capitol.

I think the last time I was in Ottawa I was in grade 9 or 10 & my parents, sister & I had driven up for a Vintage Clothing sale. To this day I regret not buying that sheep skin coat. It was probably a Lincoln, dyed a deep orange. I was deeply into my Janice Joplin phase then & it reminded me of her. Instead I bought a red silk velvet bias cut dress. I still have that dress.

This visit had a different purpose, my Mum & I are on the hunt for military records for 3 of my relatives. Unfortunately, when we visited the Library & Archives, we were unable to obtain copies, but the staff were super helpful & as I now am the proud owner of an access card for their archives, the next trip should prove more successful.

The kids were alternating between being excited & nervous of the trip as this would be their first real trip complete with sleeping in a hotel and traveling on a train!!! I’m a fan of train travel & really wish train travel were easier in Ontario. So many of the lines have been cancelled over the years that travel anywhere other than the Ontario/Quebec corridor is a challenge.

The kids enjoyed watching the countryside fly by. 027

But the arrival of the snack trolley is what really excited them!


I had made sure to pack books and a travel board game to keep the kids busy as well as gave them each a blank travel journal along with water colour pencil crayons & some water brushes (these are a brilliant invention!). All of this kept them mostly occupied for the 4+ hour trip.


We spent a total of 2 full days in Ottawa. The first morning, we set out for Parliament Hill. We passed the Rideau Canal on the walk over.093

We wanted to see the Changing of the Guard, so arrived early and had some time to wander around before things got going.


As we came across different monuments/statues & the kids asked questions, my Mum was much faster than I at giving them a quick history lesson. The Famous Five & the Persons Case were of particular interest to them.100

And then we started to hear the drone of the bag pipes that signaled the beginning of the Changing of the Guard. Abi was super excited to see two of the pipers were women…she is now asking about bagpipe lessons… 153

After we visited the Archives, which proved a bit of a bust, so we set about doing touristy stuff. We saw the Supreme Court.


Went to the National Gallery to see the Alex Colville exhibit we had missed at the AGO. Abi was quite taken with the Chagall exhibit too.


The Canadian Museum of Nature has Animals Inside Out which my Mum (who having been a nurse) greatly enjoyed. The kids were alternately fascinated & skeeved right out.


Ottawa is a nicely walk-able, and man did we walk! I should have brought my pedometer! The hotel we stayed at is great for families! We booked a two bedroom apartment complete with a kitchen and then took advantage of the Byward Market’s offerings so we didn’t need to eat out all the time. It was also nice to come back to the hotel with two tired kids who would retreat to the 2nd bedroom which had a tv to unwind.

We came across a great shop called Workshop Boutique in our wander of the market. They carry handmade Canadian fashions, housewares, kids stuff etc…basically it was right up my alley!

Then it was time to head back home. After 3 nights, I was very happy to be back in my bed!


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