It’s been a very long time since I wrote a blog up here, so I thought I would update you all on my summer antics since I returned from my trip home in June. I love the summertime, when the nights start to get a little bit warmer so you can sit out on the patios to enjoy your drinks, as the sun starts setting later and later so that 10 pm feels like 6pm, and it rises as you are heading to bed, when your boots are changed for flip-flops and the summer dresses can make an (albeit brief!) comeback!
Just before I left for my holiday to England in June, I had landed myself a job as the assistant manager of a tourist cruise company on the Ottawa River, “Capital Cruises”. Being the seemingly lucky person that I am, I had got this job through a friend, just three days after finishing at the pub I had been working at for a couple of months when I arrived. It soon became apparent I had managed to secure a pretty sweet summer job! Cruising up and down a river all summer certainly wasn’t too taxing on me…and certainly beneficial to both my CV and my tan! All jobs have their ups and downs and while the ups were many the downs were few…probably mainly just having to work a week in 50 degrees mid-summer with no air-con being the worst ‘down’ to the job! I bought a bike so I could cycle to work everyday-along a path next to the river passing by parliament and other equally pretty backdrops! Each cruise lasted about an hour and 15 minutes, passing by many ambassadors’ residences, the Prime Minister’s house, The Royal Mint, and stopping briefly in front of man-made falls with the tour finishing in the area between Parliament and the Museum of Civilisation. We had a somewhat tiresome (after hearing it six times a day for six months!) historical summary of the river and Canada’s capital city and each cruise finished up with the Canadian national anthem…not at all cheesy! Ahem! And a few times a week we would have evening dinner cruises with dinner and entertainment on board, as well as weddings, birthday parties and other events.

So the boat kept me entertained for a lot of my time, but I also managed to benefit from many of the summer fun events Ottawa has to offer. Here in Canada they really seem to take advantage of the summer months-the winter months being too unforgiving for outdoor fun. Every weekend seems to host a new festival-of ANY theme it would seem! The Maple Sugar festival, Children’s festival, Irish/Italian/Greek/Turkish/ Caribbean/Lebanon Fest, Sound and Light festival, Blues fest, even the upcoming cupcake festival! You name it-they have the festival! And if for any reason there isn’t a festival to go to (many of which are free) you can just sit back and relax in one of the many parks around town, or roast on a patio drinking the day away-Ahhh…SUMMER!!!

I won’t go through all of them, but I think that Bluesfest had to be my favourite of ‘fests’ I went to! It lasted 2 weeks, although I only managed 2 days of it. It was just down the road from my house which meant a perfect stumbling distance! (You can’t camp at these festivals.) I saw a variety of Canadian bands who were so great, as well as a couple of other more well known bands who still seem to be popular here-anyone remember Weezer?! I also got to see Sting live in concert for free from work which was great to hear an English accent again!

The sound and light display on Parliament Hill was particularly impressive. For half an hour every night Parliament was transformed into a variety of colours and pictures depicting great moments in Canadian history, popular figures in society and so on.
The month of July was renamed ‘pong month’…seeing as which 26 of the 31 days of July we played beer pong. (A great North American game which I seemed to have great beginners luck in…in the beginning anyway!) In Canada you get money back for any empty alcohol bottles, so we now have a ‘throne’ (literally) of beer boxes in our house….partially blocking my cupboard door!

I got to attend my first ever baseball game in Toronto, although as far as I could tell it’s just rounders for adults…!

Its been a long hot summer and a lot has happened-so this blog is going to have to come in two installments!

To be continued…