Sunday, July 02, 2006

I Like Rocks A.K.A My Trip to Ottawa

Many months ago I had met Owen Hewitt through the McGill Improv Summit. Carlton University had come all the way from Ottawa to compete. I had again met Owen a month later during Vaganza 6. Since then he'd been inviting my out to Ottawa. I finally took up his offer and went out there this past weekend to celebrate Canada Day.

Friday evening at 5:05pm I was on a VIA Rail train headed to Ottawa. The whole ride was under 2 hours! I read a magazine half of the time and fell asleep for the second part. Once I reached Ottawa, Owen was there waiting for me. The two coolest guys in Ottawa were ready to party.

We reached Owen's lovely home where I met his parents and had a nice chat with his mom. She was very pleasant and had left us an amazing turkey dinner to eat. The highlight of the evening was when during our conversation, Owen's mom commented that I had to most elegant hands, to which embarrassed Owen. Also, him and his parents talked a lot about politics and history and religion - all subjects I"m not too knowledgeable on - which spawned our inside joke of "I like rocks..." Which one is to say when you are completely lost on the topic of a conversation.

After dinner, we had our first beer of the weekend. Well, Owen had more than one, but I'm a slow drinker and I had almost one. He showed his book collection and when I commented on how I always wanted to read The Life of Pi by Yann Martel, he gave me his copy! He even wrote a note. That means when he becomes a famous poet I may have in my hands a one of a kind item. I can't wait to read it.

The evening was spent at his long time friend's Tina's house. She was turning 22 and to celebrate her birthday had a few friends over. I met a few cool people and we all chatted in the kitchen which was the tiniest room in the house (see Andrew, it's not just at your place that this happens...). Tina was having a fun time drinking and I got to watch her play this checkers game where each piece is a shot glass and when you lose your piece you drink it. It was fun to watch because she started to drink all the pieces, the ones she lost and the ones she moved and just anyone she felt like drinking. Her boyfriend Steph showed up and he was a cool guy. Owen and I got him cracking up so hard. The highlight of the night had to have been when Tina fell on the ground and withered like a fish behind her couch.

Around midnight I think, we called it a night for we had a big day ahead of us.

I got woken up at 9am and headed down to the kitchen for soem of Owen's world famous pancake mix pancakes. By 10:30 we were out of the house and on a bus to the downtown area. Already I was starting to sdee red and white everywhere.

Once we reached downtown, there were already tons of people outand about. Owen was dying to go see one of his favorite performers, Buck 65, who was to perform twice that day, so we headed immediately to his stage. Unfortunately we showed up near the end but I got to witness one of the coolest things. A bunch of performers - Buck 65, Kinnie Starr, some guy who played amazing accoustic guitar and this group called K'Naan, were all sitting on the tiniest stage just listening to each othet while a bunch of spectators like myself and Owen were able to just relax and listen. It was the chillest thing ever. I really admired how the other artists bobbed their heads to the one that was performing. We had only come in on the last song but I was told that each artist played 4 songs and they each took turns. We had missed Buck 65 but shortly after the show got a chance to talk to him while he was selling/signing cds. Owen got him to sign his lucky hat and had a nice chat with him.

Right next to the cd table was a both with this special guitar called the Six String Nations Guitar which was handmade from a bunch of historical pieces aof wood and what not including a piece of Pierre Trudeau's canoe paddle and gold from Maurice Rocket Richards' gold ring. I even got a picture taken with it and will have it sent to me by e-mail. There was even a suggestions ballad for a name for the quitar to which I could only come up with "The Canada". I know, original...

It being the hottest time of the day, we headed to the Highlander, a Scottish pub that Owen traditionally goes to every Canada Day. There we listened to soem duo play classic rock tunes while we eat great pub food and had some beer.

After lunch Owen was kind enough to give me a tour fo the city and talk about all the historical sites and buildings. He really knows his stuff especially since h's studying history and wants to be a librarian. Once our tour ended, we hit the grass and I dozed off enjoying the cool breeze. When I had awaken, the sky had begun to get grey but thankfully no rain. We walked off our haziness (I think the sun/beer mix had hit me) and we had a quick dinner just after finding out that France had kick Brazil out of the World Cup.

By 7pm, we were back at Major Hill's Park to catch K'naan, Kinnie Starr and Buck 65 perform ful 30 minute sets. When Buck 65 came on, everyone rushed the stage and really got into it. He put on a great set and Owen was rocking out.

After the show, we had bumped into thsi girl that Owen had been playing phone tag with and had a bit of a liking to. I only later found out he had met her only once before but we were going to try and hang out with her and her 2 friends for a bit. As we followed them, I noticed then and all day rather, that someone had been writing on the ground with chalk stuff about "Bring Peace and Justice" etc. I think i even made a coment to Owen. Then suddenly his friend stops and starts to take out chalk and write the same thing to which I immidiately thought "oh...".

Nothing much was going on so we ditched that group and were about to head home until I rememebered about the fireworks and convinced Owen to let me stay and watch them. He knew the perfect spot to view them and they were AMAZING! Some were SO big and loud that you could feel the ground vibrate and it looked like they were going to fall on you. It was spectacular.

On the way to the bus, I could tell that all the families had left, leaving behind tons of drunken people read to fill up the bars since it was only 10:30pm.

Once we got to his stop, we debarked and somehow ended up walking right in the middle of a group of 14-15 year olds since teh sidewalk was narrow. Figuring we;d split directions at any moment, Owen and I made no attempt to pass the first half of the group. Unfortunately this went on for what felt like TEN blocks.

The night ended winding down in Owen's basement watching a hilarious episode of South Park to which the gang goes to Canada and it is all done in the style of the Wizard Of Oz. My favorite part being on "French Canada being the Best part of Canada".

Sunday morning I managed to sleep in until 11am. Really needed that. Thsi time I had Owen's world famous pancrepes because they came out kind of thin but tasty none the less. To kill time, we went and caught Superman Returns. My brother didn't like it that much but I thought it was pretty good. The effects were crazy but the bad guy plot could have been a bit better.

We returned back to Owen's and had a delicious BBQ with his parents and his brother Andrew who had come from Edmonton to stay with them for a week or so.

5pm came and it was time for me to say my goodbyes and head to the train station. Owen left me off and I got inside just in time to board the train. Almost an hour and a half later I had returned home to Montreal.

All in all I had a great time and a much need break from school.

1 comment:

Mariana said...

Sounds like an excellent trip! I didn't do anything fun for Canada Day, I was too exhausted. I thought I heard some fireworks in the distance once but that was it.