Monday, June 1, 2009

Ottawa Bachelor Party Trip

So, this past weekend, I went to Ottawa for my friend Alex’s bachelor party. I wasn’t expecting to be able to attend, as I was supposed to be on my Phase 3 Infantry Course. However, for those of you who don’t already know, I was medically taken off the course the day before it started and will now be spending the summer in Kingston.

Friday 29 May 09:

On Friday, I went to the train station to catch my 1200 train. I also booked tickets for the month of July. VIA rail is doing a promotion in which all military members can use the train for free as often as they want during the month of July. So, I am going to Ottawa the first weekend, Montreal the second, Toronto the third and Quebec City the last weekend of July. It will be a great month. So, I boarded the train, which arrived 10 minutes late, no big deal, I wasn’t in a rush, and found a seat next to some girl. I wasn’t planning on introducing myself, but she pulled out her laptop and put in BBC’s “Planet Earth”. So, I leaned over and said “I’m Alex, this may seem weird, but does your laptop have two headphone jacks”, to which she replied “I’m Katy, no it doesn’t, but we can just share mine”. Katy and I proceeded to watch the first episode of Planet Earth together, and it was amazing. I can’t wait to watch the rest of the episodes. The rest of the train ride was uneventful. Once in Ottawa, I got picked up by Scott, a friend of mine who just moved to Ottawa a few weeks ago. We went back to his place, dropped my gear, he changed out of uniform and we hit the town.

We wandered the Byward Market area for awhile and began to get a little hungry. So, we went to Highlander Pub, had some beer and dinner, at 4PM. Since we weren’t meeting up with Alex (the bachelor) and Steve (the best-man) until 10PM, we hit as many bars and pubs in Ottawa as we could. We went to The Brig (where we got free drinks), The Rainbow (where a really bad band was playing), the Cabin (totally empty at the time), Pub 101 (lame!), Patty Boland’s (pretty good), Cornerstones (really nice) and others. We had an interesting experience. Early in the night, we went into a bar called “The Lookout”, which was totally empty at the time. The service was great and the few people that were there were really nice. We went out onto the second story balcony, which overlooked the Market and hung out. Later, Alex texted me to ask where we were. So, I messaged back “The Lookout”. His response was “The Lookout? That is a gay bar … seriously it’s a gay bar”. So, we looked back through the door, into the bar, which had filled up while we were on the balcony and yes, it was definitely a gay bar. Everything started to click. We quickly finished our beers and moved on.

Eventually, we met up with Alex and Steve at Cornerstones. We had a bunch of drinks, Scott left to meet up with some other friends and we continued our pub crawl around the market. Eventually we went to McDonald’s and home. Nothing else happened ;).

Figure 1 - At the Parliament Buildings.

Saturday 30 May 09:

Saturday morning was a bit of a late start, but eventually I got moving, only to realise that Scott was not home. He stumbled in soon after, so we napped a bit and proceeded out for a much needed coffee. I was supposed to meet up with my friend Ashley around noon, so I called her, in order to sort out what we were going to do. Once we figured it out, I got a ride from Scott to Place D’Orleans and walked over to Ashley’s place. From there, we went out for Sushi with a bunch of her friends. We all ate far too much, but had a great time, plus it was delicious. From there, four of us (Ashley, Tara, Dave and myself) went climbing at an indoor gym called Coyote. It was really fun. Although, every time I go to Ottawa, I think I won’t climb, so I don’t bring my gear, and every time, someone wants to climb with me. I think from now on, I will bring my gear with me. From there, Ashley gave me a ride downtown. I wandered around until I met up with the bachelor partiers, who were out paintballing all afternoon. We had a great dinner at Vineyards in the Market. I met a bunch of Alex’s friends, family and soon to be family, that I hadn’t met before. They were all great. A hilarious coincidence occured at the the restaurant. The priest that will be marrying Alex was having dinner at the same restaurant. He made sure we all knew that God was always watching. After dinner, we went to Patty Boland’s for some drinks. Eventually, the Dad’s and a brother in law left. So, we continued drinking at Patty Boland’s … and nothing else happened … right ;).

Figure 2 - At the War Memorial.

Sunday 31 May 09:

Sunday morning was a bit of a late start. After two nights out, I was wiped. Eventually, I got up and Alex, Lynne (his fiancĂ©) and I met Alex’s dad for breakfast. It was a good meal and we reminisced about the night prior. Alex’s dad had to go back to Toronto and Alex and Lynne had errands to run, so they all left. I stayed downtown, as I was meeting my friends Nathan and Pudge for lunch. I toured around downtown and eventually sat on a bench by the War Memorial, which quickly turned into lying down. Soon, Nathan arrived, so we chatted. Then Pudge showed up, so we headed towards the Greyhound Terminal to check the schedule. A bus was leaving in an hour, so we went to Harvey’s for lunch. They took me back to the terminal and we unloaded the gear Pudge had brought up to Canada for me. I got on the bus to Kingston and headed home. Once home, I shared a cab with two others downtown. Got to my apartment and found the power to be out. Apparently, it had been out for several hours. So, I headed to my grandparent’s (who are out of town) house. I will likely spend the night here.

Figure 3 - Recovering from the night before.

Figure 4 - Relaxing on a bench at the War Memorial.

All in all a good weekend. I got to see old friends, make new ones, see Ottawa and picked up all my climbing gear. It was great.