Bottom line is this…anytime I get to spend quality time with my kids is FANTASTIC.
Not the running around crazy kind of stuff…when you can’t quite catch your breath and you’re taxiing from one place to the next while trying to fit in work and groceries and appointments…but the planned time spent together.
Which is what happened last weekend.
For Christmas, I gave the kids tickets to Justin Bieber in Ottawa. My thought was that we’d spend the weekend together now that The Tall Blonde is living there…and she could show us around, PLUS, catch the show.
And it didn’t disappoint.
We’re busy. Each of us. Me with work and commitments. Spiderman with work, school work, hockey and his social life. Bones with volleyball, riding, boyfriend and schoolwork. The Tall Blonde with school, work and her life with Eli.
We check in…on a regular basis in a group chat named “Ohana”…but this was a complete weekend away from everything normal…where we’d get to spend a little time together to re-group and catch up.
We arrived on Thursday evening and had a lovely look around The Tall Blonde and Eli’s neighbourhood…then grabbed a bite to eat in a local pub before having a glass of wine and a chat and then heading to bed.
Friday morning started with the most wonderful breakfast at a little cafe around the corner from The Tall Blonde’s place, called Red Door Provisions…a sweet little spot that had fresh-baked everything and lovely service. I had the most fabulous “scone board” with home-made jam and the perfect cup of tea to start our day.
And then…we headed off to the Diefenbunker!
I’ll say this…while interesting, in an incredibly creepy and weird historical way, (knowing what we know now and thinking that maybe all the planning in the world would have been for naught)…the tour we were on was a solid hour too long. It definitely could have moved faster and kind of dragged on in the end…but then my kids did this…and made it all worthwhile!
(Side note: I’m not sure what a three headed dog has to do with the Diefenbunker Museum…but it certainly made me laugh.)
Also, I’m told they have an awesome Escape Room that is completely and solidly booked until October…and has rave reviews from those who’ve visited so if you’re in Ottawa…check it out.
After the tour, we headed out into the Ottawa sunshine and off to the Byward Market to drop Eli off at work and have a bite to eat at a wonderful Italian Market that has a fabulous restaurant at the back…La Botega.
The food was SPECTACULAR! Not a crumb was left on my plate and our server, Peter, was fabulous. There are NO pictures since my children made me put my phone away and we had a lovely “Late Mother’s Day” brunch as the tab was picked up by The Tall Blonde! (Making it my favourite of all the restaurants we visited!)
From there, we headed to the outlets…and Spiderman entertained me by posing for THIS photo in the Calvin Klein store…
Next up…the concert.
We had a great time…nose bleed section and all! Bieber put on a show that included a number of props and dancers, a stage that did some pretty phenomenal things including a great amount of acrobatics, bouncing on a huge trampoline and a downpour of rain for the finale. The show itself was a big part of the performance…but mostly, I just enjoyed being there with the kids in a crowd of 14,000 shrieking young girls!
Here’s some shrieking if you want to hear what I’m talking about…
And also…this one…of my girls singing Baby!
(Also…I REALLY need to remember to turn my camera the other way when I take a video!!)
All in all, Friday was a fabulous day and by the time we got back to The Tall Blonde’s apartment, we were ready to hit the sack.
Saturday was another full day that started with a trip to Parliament to check out what the other Justin has been up to lately!
MAJOR ADMISSION COMING…I know VERY LITTLE about politics, the House of Commons, the Senate…how it all works, who sits where and why etc…etc…etc… The Tall Blonde on the other hand…knows a LOT. Not only that…but she deeply and truly loves everything about the history of our country and was thrilled to get the job as a tour guide at Parliament while attending school and then even more so, when it continued to a summer position. I was worried…I had a feeling I was going to be BORED OUT OF MY MIND but I was oh so very wrong.
We had a private tour with our wonderful tour guide…and she explained so much. There were multiple stories about everything you could imagine and not only did I walk away a whole lot more educated and a little bit in awe…I was absolutely, 100%, super PROUD!!!
As in…I taught that kid everything she knows PROUD!!!
From there, a bite to eat and a trip to the mall…a photo at a statue…
…followed by a trip to IKEA as what mom doesn’t load her kid’s new apartment up with some new fun things!
Bones wasn’t feeling all that well and Eli had to work, so myself, The Tall Blonde and Spiderman jumped in an Uber (OK, so that was cool) and headed to an Asian Fusion restaurant, Datsun.
AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING. SHRIMP AND WATER CHESTNUT DUMPLINGS. BRAISED BEEF PENANG CURRY. PORK BELLY STEAMED BUNS. AMAZING. AMAZING. AMAZING.
It truly was one of the best spots to eat and the staff were fantastic. We had food we’ve never eaten before and each and every item was better than the one before.
We finished the night off with Cards Against Humanity…where the kids threw away more cards that they “didn’t want to read in front of mom” then we were actually playing with! BUT…there was a great amount of laughter and some fabulous time spent together…even though I lost the game and they don’t, in any way whatsoever, get my humour!
The following morning…a quick trip to the two level SportChek so Spiderman could check out all of the higher end skates and bikes and fabulous things…and our weekend was quickly coming to an end.
We had one last meal together at the most fabulous bakery, Art Is In Boulangerie where I had the most delicious Eggs Benny and Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice I’ve ever had…the atmosphere was perfect, the food was phenomenal…the company was perfection!
All in all…Ottawa didn’t disappoint and it was truly wonderful to check out where The Tall Blonde is now living…get a feel for her surroundings and the people she spends her time with!
I plan to be back to check out Rideau Hall and the Art Gallery and spend a little one-on-one time with her again…just as soon as I can.