Oh, Ottawa!

Oooooo! This summer has been filled with mini travel adventures.

There was an excellent seat sale on Porter.ca … So I decided to spend a little over a week in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city over…

 Canada Day Long Weekend!!

Here’s a recap of what I did AND what I wore …when I remembered to take pictures 🙂

Oh, Ottawa…. so many monuments, buildings, pretty views and beavertails to enjoy.  For outfit deets in these pics…click here 🙂

Things To Do In Ottawa!

This may have been my first visit to this Big-Little City as an adult.  And I have to say it is beautiful in the summer!!!

The first half of the week I stayed with friends right in  The Byward Market.  Within an area of roughly four blocks, you’ll find museums, cafés, specialty food shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, pubs, salons and more!   Often there are musical buskers performing and so many patios to sample!  I did my fair share of sampling a few afternoon pints and bites throughout my week there.

There was one spot that had a fabulous Brunch menu – called Lieutenants Pump Pub.  For my food review click here.

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Brunches were meant for mimosas, eggs benny, babies and old friends 🙂

And I finally got to wear my flamingo summer frock I picked up from Tatyana Boutique on WQW, Toronto.

It got oh-so many compliments from strangers all throughout the meal and beyond 😀

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Flamingo dress from Tatyana Boutique

I found a delightful shop called Workshop Studio & Boutique  – who had so many fab unique pieces!! I definitely wanted to support the local handmade loveliness.. ❤

Check out a few trinkets I picked up for myself 🙂   If only the frocks they carried were larger I would have spent a fortune in there.  Le sigh… #plussizeplease

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Oh Yeah those are flamingo ceramic earrings you’re looking at…and button earrings and pins…the cutest!

I had excellent summer weather the first half of my trip…which meant there needed to be a dedicated Lazy, Hazy,  Beach Day!!! 🙂

Mooney’s Bay Park seemed to be a super  popular summer destination for swimmers, rowers, and volleyball players.

The beach is located on the east shore of the Rideau River just south of Carleton University.  There appeared to be a lots of set-up happening for Dragon Boat Racing when I was there too.

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Outfit deets: Swim coverup, Old Navy; Hat picked up in my travels to Malaysia earlier this year.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, then you know that I’ve been on A BABY TOUR the last few months.

Nearly all of my long-time friends have coupled off, started having babies and often moving far, far away.

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Baby Bonanza of a Summer!

The first half of my trip was spent catching up with a gf AND her adorable little fella ❤

Mornings were spent with Dora the Explorer.  The Wiggles.  Elmo & friends.  Thomas the Tank Engine. Bubble Guppies.

Bubble Guppies…Bubble Bubble Guppies.

Oh yes…that tune was my jam … this song kept playing in my head all week and beyond friends.  It’s so freakin’ catchy 🙂

And I was lucky enough to have him as my beach date!!

Look at him in his stylish swimwear and whale-printed matching sun hat ❤

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OK…if you haven’t had one of these PalmBay frozen cocktails yet this summer…get yourself to a LCBO stat!!!!             WARNING: Goes down way too easily **hiccup**

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Swing Dancing.  You know I needed to checkout the lindy hop scene in this city! There seems to be two big nights of swing dancing weekly in Ottawa:

FRIDAY NIGHT

Every friday the  The Ottawa Swing Dance Society (OSDS)   holds a Swing dance. Admission is $5 (unless there is a band) and it includes an introductory lesson. Social dancing till 12:30 am. No partner required  For more details and events calendar please visit http://www.swingottawa.ca/_home.shtml

SATURDAY NIGHT

Hosted by Swing Dynamite, SNS features two lessons (an introductory lesson and a specialty lesson) and social dancing till 1:00 am. Doors open at 8:15 pm, lessons start at 8:30.  Social dancing starts at 9:15 pm.  For more info please visit http://www.saturdaynightswing.com/

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This is what I wore for Friday night dancing, click here for outfit deets
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This is what I wore Saturday night dancing.          Outfit deets: Dress from Old Navy , Jellyshoes from my Asia trip

Did you know that there are many FREE passes to various Ottawa sites and museums that can be checked out at the local library?

YUP!!!  Its true.  That’s how me and a gf explored the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum one afternoon.

Want the experience of flight but prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Here is your chance to sit at the controls of an aircraft without taking off! Friendly, knowledgeable Museum staff will assist you in boarding one of three cockpits:

  • the Tutor (CT-114)
  • the CF-18
  • the MIG-21

Don’t ask me which one is which.  I have no clue.  I just wanted to sit in as many cool planes as they’d let me!

Outfit Deets: Dress, Forever21+; Seafoam/Lepoard Scarf, Winners; Sandals, Birkenstocks; Purse, Aldo

We chose to explore the Museum’s amazing collection at our own pace and moved from aircraft and exhibitions as throughly as we wanted.  Which meant we had plenty of time for cheesy tourist photo ops like the below shot 😉

You really do need an entire day there.

So maybe the below plane was in a roped off section … but I managed to sweet talk one of the volunteers to let us into the area 😉

I really, really, really wanted to sit in this wee plane.

Learn how an ejection seat can save a pilot’s life. Listen as the Museum’s enthusiastic guides describe the ups and downs of ejecting from a fighter jet.

Then, sit in an authentic ejection seat and learn how pilots use this essential piece of equipment.  Like I did below 🙂It was pretty cool discovering Canada’s contributions to aviation from the days of early aviation to the jet age and on into space exploration.

I highly recommend visiting this museum if you get a chance!

Niner-niner.  Charlie. Foxtrot. Bravo.  Pew! Pew! Pew!

No “Irene vacation” is complete without a day-o-SHOPPING!!! 😉

With the Canadian Dollar doing so poorly these days, I’ve been avoiding my cross-boarder shopping trips.

But I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Ottawa has an outlet mall:  Tanger Outlet 

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Now…the shops selection was decent, but there weren’t too many “deal-deals”, if you know what I mean.

But I did find a few gems that followed me home:

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Fringed purse, with option cross-body strap was from Aldo for $20!!!   BONUS: They shipped it to my home in Toronto for FREE!
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These crisp white loafers with gold piping detail were from Naturalizer, for only $20!!!

CANADA DAY-o-Fun!

Oh man! As a proud Canadian…I was super excited to be spending Canada Day in my Nation’s Capital!!!!   The crowds and crowds of people dressed in all kinds of patriotic get-ups ALL DAY LONG.  The concerts on Parliment Hill.  The close up fireworks!   It really is something to see and be apart of ❤ ❤ ❤

Naturally, that meant there was outfit planning to be done…and here’s what I put together for my Canada Day look:

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Outfit deets: T-shirt, Old Navy; Headbands and Moose Earrings, Ardene

Now….it should be noted that the below look lasted exactly 22-mins 😦

As soon as we got out of the car, picked up our Starbucks and began heading for Parliament Hill —- it began to POUR!!!  Raining cats and dogs, and squirrels and raccoons and the like.  It was madness.

We did our best to get ourselves back and hid under a giant patio umbrella, until my gf’s hubs could turn the car around and pick us up again.   #wettshirtcontest

Did you know that on Canada Day, entry to museums are free?  Thank goodness for that…cuz we needed somewhere to spend the day drying off so we could be ready for the evening fireworks!

So, our day was spent in the Canadian War Museum

Three proud patriotic, rained-on Canadians, ready to explore the War Museum on Canada Day

There was a special exhibition called: Gladiators and the Colosseum – Death and Glory.   

What would you have seen at the gladiatorial games, nearly 2,000 years ago? Maybe you would have seen an emperor, a helmet, or a crocodile?

You can see it all in this special exhibition, complete with a guidebook to help you find all the stops along the way and collect the stamps to discover what you would have seen at these ancient games.

Introducing Gladiator Ireneus!

For dinner, we stopped for a proper Canadian dinner: POUTINE from Smoke’s Poutinerie

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I splurged with the Prime Beef Deluxe Poutine …mmmmm

As dusk approached, we made our way to Parliament Hill, to be amongst the crowds …

We even got to watch a few musical performances Canada Day Concert on the Hill.  Pretty good sightless, considering 🙂

And last but not least, there were fireworks and impromptu group singing of O’Canada ❤

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Happy Birthday Canada!! 148 Years Young!

Are you following me on INSTAGRAM? If so, you’ve likely seen a few more pics and video clips as I took them during my trip.

Search for the hashtag: PPMeowTravels to see more of my adventures there.  Thanks for following and reading 🙂

What a pretty view…even with overcast skies. The Ottawa river’s Gatineau shore

If you’re planning a summer city getaway, hope you’ll check out this beautiful city!

Thanks for reading and re-living my trip with me!

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#OOTD: Go Canada Go! + Sunday Brunch

I’m not a sports fan. Buuuut when a work colleague instant messaged me Friday afternoon to give me grief about the fact that I was working…when I should be a patriotic Canadian, by stopping everything I was doing and watch the Olympic Men’s Hockey US vs. Canada Game… how could I argue?

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As y’all know….Canada dominated moving into the finals! And at 6am this Sunday bars everywhere  opened their doors to die-hard Canadians who support our athletes by drinking beers and cheering at big screen TVs with complete strangers in unison.

I too wanted to be apart of this hoopla! However, unable to commit to the extra early wake up call that is required to get up, dressed cute and out the door to a crowded bar to maybe find a seat at the wee hours of the AM with a possy of peeps, just wasn’t panning out.   I ended up watching the game cozy in my snuggie with the pup from my couch instead.  But I did venture into the city for long-standing Sunday brunch plans.      

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Sadly, try as I might, there is no way to get my hands on one of those cute 2014 Red-White-Black pomp-pomp HBC touques – If anyone has connections for getting me one of my very own – speak up friends!   In an effort to make up for not representing in person at 6am, my Outfit of the Day (#OOTD) needed to be a nod to our Canadian Olympic athletes doing us proud over there is Sochi. So here’s what I’ve come up with:

       

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Love this Dorothy Perkins dress I picked up a few years ago on sale.  I especially love the detailed double-puff of the short-sleeves.  It is a bit short to be worn on its own once all my T&A fill it out, so I often wear it as a long tunic or simply fold or tuck as I did today.  The black n’ white polka dot Diva pants worked out perfect to add a bit of interest/pattern with this all solid colour look.  Plus, these pants fit easily within my over-the-knee/thigh-high boots.  I kept the make up uber simple, avoiding heavy eye-make up – just masscara and a bit of gloss.

I walked into The Annex from my place, to have a catch-up Sunday brunch at Insomnia Cafe with a few gfs – new & old!  I’ve only been here once before, Xmas Eve two years ago after midnight mass with a few friends who were visiting from out-of-town.  However, this spot is apparently known for their Brunch menu.  And a fantastic little surprise – they have a $5 mimosa special!!!  They have an entire section devoted to Eggs Benny (my fav!).  I had the pull-pork option…and as they say, “you eat with your eyes first”…see my plate below…it was fantastic!  We had a particularly lovely server today too – which really made leaving the comfy chairs/sofa area they sat us in, oh-so difficult.  Looking forward to visiting this spot again, as they have daily deals on drinks as well as $10After10pm menu options!  Woot! Woot!

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How I got The Look:

Red puffed sleeved dress by Dorothy Perkins, from The Hudson Bay Co. (Yonge & Bloor Sts)
Accessories from Laura Petite – Earrings & Neclace (picked them up yesterday in my kill-time-in-the-mall-mini-haul)
White wide-belt with silver details from Lane Bryant
Black n’ white tiny polka dot, Diva cut from Old Navy [see Best. Pants. Ever!]
Over-the-knee/Thigh-high black wedge boots from AdditionElle (Queen & Yonge Sts)

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