July 1. Ottawa. One of my favourite days of the year! And this was the best ever!
This year, Darryl and I headed down to Sparks St. to meet the gang [they are Phil's gang, but I'm adopting them as my own].
This is Phil.
This is Steven.
This is his husband TJ.
And you all know Darryl!
So the gang got together [there is more gang than shown here] and we headed up to Parliament Hill, where they just happened to be setting up a barricade close to where Queen Elizabeth II would arrive. We got ourselves some standing room right at this too-good-to-be-true barricade.
While waiting, I spied some snipers on top of West Block.
I also spied this adorable wee girl behind us in the crowd. Look how cute she is!
So there were are, standing and staring at the exact location the Queen will arrive at, when the band shows up and stands right in front of us!
She arrived to much fanfare, and I glimpsed Her Majesty through the band and over some guy's head, as she inspected her guards.
CF-18s did a flyby. Lots of people remarked that it gave them shivers. I don't quite know why... its not like a war was suddenly breaking out.
And then, miraculously, the band gave up and went home, and THERE WAS THE QUEEN OF CANADA! It made my life.
Also making my life was a photograph with Philip. Good times!
Not to be outdone, the Snowbirds flew over, not once, but twice.
Speaking of form and grace, we ran into Ian [who just moved here from Montreal, yay!] and Yanick, as we were headed off the hill.
We did a tour of the market, ate some delicious sandwiches at Major's Hill Park [courtesy of the Chicken Farmers of Canada], and then hit up Rideau St. to see the crowds.
Next, we headed to Kevin's apartment for drinks and bathrooms. Along the way, we came across Dave and his friend who commented about my loud all-red outfit just moments before Dave and I saw each other. I snapped this from all the way across the intersection. Sneaky!
Later, back near the hill and after a costume change, I ran into Colin who was enjoying his first Ottawa Canada Day. Yay!
Darryl and I watched the fireworks from behind the Parliament buildings, along the Ottawa River.
What a great spot to watch the show, and much less crowded than on the hill. There were even kayakers.
The night ended at the bar. It was a fantastic day.