Just when I thought I would certainly not be leaving the house until at least March, the painful cold has lifted just in time for a weekend of fun and gallivanting, and so I thought I’d break down some of my weekend highlights for anyone who finds these kinds of things interesting. Ottawa is taking some warming up to (is that a pun?), and so, to have a weekend where I felt somewhat at home was refreshing.
[A small aside: It behooves me to mention that this was the first day in 2014 that I left the house wearing something other than my Sorels and wool socks. I think that in itself is something to celebrate. With snow up to my ankles and heavily salted sidewalks, wearing anything but my waterproof, ass-kicking Sorels just would not cut it. But finally, the roads were clear, the air was mild, and I wore my favourite pair of ankle boots which are typically part of my everyday uniform come spring and fall. It was glorious.]
Festibiere d’Hiver// I have been looking forward to this with the exuberance of an eight year old since we received tickets as a Christmas presents from Matt’s littlest sister. Suffice it to say, by the time Friday rolled around I was a mess of enthusiasm. A mess! Hosted at the Museum of Civilization, it was really fun to sip four-ounce samples while gazing at beautiful, gigantic, totem poles, you could also wander outdoors to a bonfire, or cozy up in a wood-stove warmed yurt.
Skating on the Canal// I earned my Ottawa stripes this weekend by finally heading to the Canal for a skate. It was busy and the snow was falling slowly; this is an Ottawa must. I am far from the capable skater I once was, but have a mini goal to get better at it. The lure of ice-side food and drink shacks will the lure I need to visit a couple times a week.
Thrifting in Hintonburg//I scored two pairs of high-waisted trousers in suiting fabrics for one dollar each at St. Vincent de Paul in Hintonburg. Thrilling! I will post some photos once I stop being so photo-lazy, because they are hilarious and amazing. Additionally, for only $3.50, I am now the proud owner of a copy of Marx’s collected works which includes his piece on the civil war in France which I have been dying to find….*snore* I know, my book choices aren’t always very exciting.
>>>>EAT & DRINK
Brasserie Dunham‘s Saison du Pinnacle// Of all the Quebecois beers I tried at the Festibiere, this was my hands-down favourite. It wasn’t the boldest, biggest or strangest; Brasserie Dunham’s Saison du Pinnacle was simple, super aromatic with notes of citrus fruit and white flowers, with a fresh, fruity, sessionable taste that wasn’t heavy or cloying. It was a taste of spring. Let’s be honest: A few tastes of spring.
New Mee Fung//If you’re ever in the Chinatown, swing by this Vietnamese restaurant for Pho, rice bowls, and more. One of my current favourite meals is from their “Roll Up with Rice Paper” menu. You are delivered a stack of steamed rice papers and a mountain of fresh toppings. From there, it’s a fun game of how much of a mess you make trying to deliver the food to your mouth.
Forno Antico// This wood-oven pizza restaurant located on Bronson near Powell offers gluten-free crust options and so when a friend was visiting on Sunday, we decided this was a must. Wood-oven pizza is one of the greatest things on planet Earth, and though gluten crusts are tricky, these were alright. I have pretty high standards for pizza, so I would only say this was a “mediocre” experience; though, I should reserve judgment until I have the opportunity to try their pizza made with ..er… “real” pizza dough.
My Mad Fat Diary// Based on a book called My Mad Fat Teenage Diary, this show is funny and dark and the cinematography gives it a little extra something. The first season is only six episodes long, and it’s returning for season two very very soon! If you are looking for something a little different, this show is interesting, unexpected, and the lead character, Rae, cracks me up. Set in a small, English town in the mid-90s, the show is about a group of sixteen-year-olds who are endearing and terrible in turn (as I imagine I was at age sixteen). From 90s tunes to 90s fashion, I like everything about it. I’ve watched season one two and a half times.
The Needle Drop//The internet’s busiest music nerd! I am obsessed with his channel. This guy’s music reviews are high-energy, frequent, and I regularly find some new music to peak my interest.
Romantics Anonymous//It was a French-themed movie night on Sunday! This adorable French romance is for you if you’re feeling like watching a quirky film filled with adorably awkward characters. It is akin to Amelie; a lovable pair of mismatched characters battling their own demons (social anxiety, nervous sweating, etc) while falling in love. Bonus! It’s set in a chocolate factory. Available on Netflix.
The Painting// Another French movie to round out our French movie night, this modern-fairy tale is set inside a painting and features a beautifully crafted, beautifully illustrated world. Inside the painting, there are three classes of people: The Fully Painted, Almost-Painted and the Sketches. The Fully Painted, with their magnificent colours, reign supreme and launch a genocide (of sorts) over the Sketches, and ostracize the Almost-Painteds. Three characters go on a mission to find the Painter and ask him to finish the painting…. Another cute and whimsical movie, though there are moments of tension they are quickly resolved. Available on Netflix.
Hope you enjoyed that little round-up! Let me know what keeps you busy on weekends.