Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Trip To The Great White North: Day 3

(Sorry for the delay!  Things got busy at work and I didn't spend much time on the computer when I got home.)

Teri's conference had ended the day before, so this was the first day that we had the whole day to ourselves. Our goal for the day was to find the yarn stores in the area. We knew of a small one right around the corner from our hotel, Yarns Etc., but unfortunately, it looked like it had mostly acrylic and it wasn't what we were looking for. Before coming to Ottawa, I had looked up the yarn stores on KnitMap so we knew we would have to take a trek down Bank Street to find some.

Once again, it was a crystal clear, sunny day - I love how the sky looked so sharply blue. And it was cold... probably the coldest day we had so far. We bundled up, and headed out in the direction of the Parliament Buildings. Teri was making fun of me for snapping pictures of everything and looking like a tourist, but I didn't care. People usually make allowances for you when you are a tourist.

Before we even hit the Parliament area, we came across the Laurier Hotel:


It looks very much like a castle, doesn't it? I think that this sort of sets Canadian cities apart from a lot of American cities I know - Victoria has a grand old hotel in The Empress as well. We continued walking, and came to a lock leading from the Rideau Canal down to the Ottawa River:


If you look about 3 stages down the lock, you can see a boat sitting there. Someone told me that there is always a big rush to get the boats out of the canal and out of the river before it all freezes over (because trust me, it is all frozen!), and if a boat gets stuck in the lock, the owner gets fined quite a bit for it. I can't imagine it is good for the boat, either.

We continued to walk up Wellington Street, and came to the Canadian Parliament Buildings. To be honest, I expected to see protesters. Prime Minister Stephen Harper had just prorogued Parliament - this is the third or fourth time he has prorogued (or canceled/discontinued) Parliament when he hasn't got his way and it has not won him any friends. Turns out they were mostly protesting in his home riding.


We continued down Wellington until we hit Bank Street, knowing that we still had quite a walk ahead of us, because Yarn Forward, the yarn store we most wanted to visit, was way at the other end in the Glebe. We had only walked a few blocks when I stopped to take this picture:


Maybe out of all the pictures I took while in Ottawa, this one embarrassed my sister the most - who takes pictures of bus shelters?!?! But my point is for my American friends, who I don't always think believe me that McDonalds serves stuff in other countries that they don't have in the US. I have never seen a Chicken Parmesan wrap in the US, or McDonalds Pizza (although that goes back a long while). McDonalds served hot dogs for breakfast when I lived in Japan, and they also had a seasonal (autumn) burger with a fried egg on it.

After a long (and cold!!) walk down Bank Street to the Glebe, we found Yarn Forward. Teri wanted to get some yarn to make Dharma a sweater and some roving for a craft project, and I just wanted to get some souvenir yarn. My rules with souvenir yarn is that it cannot be something I can get in my LYS, no matter how pretty it is. And honestly, the US and Canadian dollars were pretty much at par, so it wasn't like I was going to get any fantastic deals, either. This is what I ended up with:


On the left, Fleece Artist Nyori and on the right, King Cole Splash. The Fleece Artist Nyori is a sock yarn with some silk in it, and is quite soft. The King Cole Splash is a self-patterning acrylic - I am always looking for this stuff in pretty colours to make childrens' hats out of - and this skein has some pretty hefty yardage - 320 yards - so I will be able to get quite a few hats out of my $6.

Here's a close up of the Fleece Artist Nyori. It's really yard to classify the colour - I chose it becuase to me it looked like an autumn scene with the gold, brick, aubergine - but you could still see the aqua of the sky. I'm very interested to see how it will knit up.

Fleece Artist Nyori

We stopped for lunch at a Spanish cafe and had beef stew for lunch, then continued on our trek back up Bank Street - and we came to the conclusion that Ottawa has pubs like some other cities have Starbucks. We were almost at the Sparks Street Mall when I saw the word 'Yarn' on a sign on the other side of the street - somehow we had completely missed Knit-Knackers on our way down Bank Street! Knit-Knackers is on the second floor and in a very large space they share with a spa-salon (a great combination I think - buy yarn, then go have a massage). They had a great selection of yarn and even spinning wheels, but there wasn't anything there I wanted that I couldn't get at home, so we continued on our trip up Bank Street.

We decided to go down the Sparks Street Mall and avoid the traffic - it was late in the day - maybe 4pm by then - so some stores had started to close, but we did find a Zellers where I could find Heinz Tomato Soup (so yummy - puts Campbells to shame - and can someone please tell me why if the Heinz company is from Pennsylvania I have to go all the way to Canada to find Heinz Tomato Soup?!), and we found this iconic sign:


Okay, Canadian friends and family members, *please* don't spoil this question. American friends - can any of you tell me what this sign is? I may even throw in a prize if the Canadian contingent (ahem!) doesn't give the answer.

We saw these neat statues along Sparks Street - I think I caught them just at the right time with the sun setting - I love how the light is reflecting off of them:


We exited the Sparks Street Mall and came upon the Canadian World War I Memorial - I had to take a picture because I was amazed by all the different expressions on the men:


And I have to tell you, my hips were absolutely aching by this point - we had been walking and shopping for about 6 hours. How far did we go? 

Yarn Walk

Map courtesy of KnitMap

Well, our hotel was right near the flag at the top near the Byward Market. We walked past Parliament Hill, and continued to turn left onto Bank Street (that is the street the other two red flags - the yarn stores - are on).  We walked down Bank Street nearly to the Rideau Canal (that is down near where it says Brown's Inlet), then all the way back again!  We knew that we were not going out again to a restaurant - we were both beyond exhausted.  We ordered in a pizza, and stayed in the rest of the night.

Oh - and somehow I had forgotten this picture with my Day 2 post...

Rogers Chocolate

Okay, this chocolate is not native to Ottawa at all - but rather somewhere much closer to my part of Canada!  Teri and I were in the National Gallery gift shop and I was paying for my 99 cent poster (that will be in another post) when I noticed these Rogers Chocolates near the cashier. Rogers Chocolates are from Victoria, BC and are very rich and decadent.  I can't believe I managed to get it home intact - I think Teri at hers as soon as we got back to the hotel!  It looks like I will have to eat it soon, though - that expiry date is fast approaching!

Tomorrow: Day 4 with treks across to other provinces, totem poles, and more connections to home.


Trillian42 said...

Ooh - I think I was in a Rogers Chocolates shop in Victoria when I was there with SeaSocks. That was some GOOD chocolate!

Interesting on the chicken wrap - I know there are non-US items at McD's elsewhere. I wish we had that chicken parm wrap here - it looks good!

Not a clue on the sign. I'll be interested to hear.

tara said...

The McDonalds by my mom has grilled cheese kids meals. Love it.
I know the answer.

Karen said...

I would eat a chicken parm wrap from mcD's!

And no clue on the sign either...

Batty said...


Uh, sorry. Got distracted. Looks like you had oodles of fun... and yarn! The reason to load up on souvenir yarn? It doesn't count as stash!

Bezzie said...

I think Texass has more Mexican-ish offerings at McD's...and the regionality of it all pisses me off. A #2 Value Meal in NJ is NOT the same #2 Value Meal you'll get west of the Mississippi.

So is taking that picture under that logo the same if say I went to Atlanta and stood at CNN's headquarters?

I cheated and looked it up. I'm glad I didn't know. I get Canadian/Alaskan jokes all the time. (insert eye roll here)

Jo said...

And we have a winner! And it's not cheating if you have to look it up :) Extra points if you can name the network!

kemtee said...

I knew the sign… but that's because I'm a hockey fan from waaaaaay back. (Peter Puck, anyone?)

Love Fleece Artist colors in any manifestation. Can't go wrong if that's your souvenir yarn.

And if you didn't go clicking like a tourist, how could you possibly share it all with us?

kingshearte said...

How did I not know I could get Rogers Chocolates right here? Damn!

For the record, this is Harper's second temper tantrum prorogue, and we are very irritated with him at the moment. We did protest, but I guess you missed it. It's a touch chilly to just be out there for days on end, though, when no one's even in the Parliament.

Glad you seemed to enjoy your trip here, and do we really have that many pubs? I'd never really noticed, but I guess there are a few...

freshisle said...

You were soooo close!
Yarn Forward is wonderful, Knit Knackers, not so much.

Nell said...

What beautiful buildings! Glad you had a fun trip.