It was a wonderful day, and the full slide show is at the end of this post.
8:40am and I missed my bus. I normally wouldn't even be awake this early. I ended up walking almost 40 minutes to get to St. Laurent, which was closed. To get to the lower level of the bus station, I joined a group of people in venturing into the upper level construction zone, and then climbing over a large barrier at the bottom of the staircase, jumping down to the lower level. We were so adventurous!
I finally got to Rideau Centre [only ten minutes late, considering I had walked a great distance rather than the quick and easy bus. I met Darryl and Mando, and we walked up to Parliament Hill, where I guess they were a bit slow because even though we were late, we were still on time to hear the anthem and see the Canadian flag raise. They said it would be at half mast due to the death of former Governor General Romeo Leblanc, but that was a lie. We couldn't see the changing of the guard or the musical ride, so we decided to head off. We took a large detour since not many gates were open, and eventually headed down to the Rideau Canal locks, where we sat around watching the boats go through, while Darryl threw ants into the water because he's evil.
Next, we decided to search for some lunch. Of course, we started looking for a sausage guy after 10 feet after we passed the last sausage cart, so we toured around the market and none were found. We climbed up to Major's Hill Park and eventually grabbed some pizza, which we ate on the lawn. It was delicious. While we ate, the Snowbirds did their flyover which was pretty sweet, because I don't think I've ever seen them before.
I grabbed a lemonade from the big lemon, and we headed off across the Alexandria Bridge into Gatineau. We did the tour of the Museum of Civilization. It was great as a child, but it was a bit boring. Its an older museum, so it doesn't have all the awesomeness and interactive things that I require for a museum to capture my attention while attempting to educate me. We took a few hours, and then went outside and hung out along the river, looking back at Ottawa. Mando and I had Slush Puppies. Delicious! There were about ten drops of rain, which concluded the predicted day of thunderstorms. Thanks mother nature! :)
We walked back across the bridge and finally got the sausages we were looking for, just outside the National Art Gallery. We ate them in a square of shade provided by a sign. We watched a minor fight, some guys peeing in a bush, and then some children crawling where the guys peed. Good times.
We headed back to the Hill just in time for the start of the evening concert. Mando chose to go home, because she didn't want to stand for a couple hours through crappy music [that's what she thinks!]. Darryl and I started back by the Centennial Flame, and slowly moved up as the night went on, to end up near the TV infrastructure. So maybe 30 rows back from the stage? There were some good acts, such as Les Respectables and Sarah McLaughlin. When it was all over, the fireworks began. They were pretty much the same as last year, but who doesn't love fireworks?
It quite a long time for the ~100,000 people to leave Parliament Hill, in a slow but steady flow of people onto Wellington/Rideau St. and then dispersing into the rest of downtown. The buses were set up stupidly though. Instead of using the spacious transit hub of Mackenzie King, everyone was shoved off to the very cramped and incredibly overcrowded Laurier stop. Buses would arrive with no number, and then a guy would tell them what route they would be. As soon as the route number flicked onto the bus sign, a mosh pit of people would trying forcing their way onto the bus. At some points, there was much shoving and even some bus windows being broken. Bad people. They should be ashamed.
Since my route isn't so popular, it took about 90 minutes to finally arrive. It was a long bus. I was one of 5 people on it. No ultra-crammed bus for me LOL. I got home at 12:30am with sore feet that walked about 14km, plus hours of standing. It was a good day!