Autumn in Ottawa

We really do live in a beautiful city. Probably one of the greatest things about moving to a new city is watching how each season changes the horizon just a little, or in Ottawa's case - a lot. In just 2 short months, the vibrant green trees have turned to red, gold, orange and yellow; people have broken out their sweaters and boots as the temperatues creep lower and lower; with thanksgiving just passed, the smell of turkey, stuffing, cranberries, apples and cinnimon filled the streets. Now, pumpkins with elaborate expressions and frightening scenes are popping up on the leaf covered doorsteps. Halloween is just around the corner, and you can already see the excitement in people of all ages. While October has always been my favourite month, there is something a little extra special about my first October in Ottawa.
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Classic Rock Junkies: fastforward and smell the roses

Lucas and I are admittedly Classic Rock Junkies (CRJs) and like many in our group are quick to state, "Music is just not what it used to be" or "there is no good/great new music". CRJs really are obsessed with some of the best music ever produced: the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, the Who, the Guess Who, Supertramp and the list goes on. This is some heavy competition for today's artists. The constant covers of hits by these bands shows that many of them know this, trying to revamp what shouldn't really be touched.

But I'm not writing this to hammer home this point. I'm writing this because me, Lucas and other CRJs are wrong. We really need to think twice before stating "there is no great new music". The more we go on with that mantra, the more the below artists go unrecognised by us. And it really would be our loss.

The Black Keys

From the website:
"The Akron, Ohio-based duo The Black Keys is well known for its concentrated, hermetic approach to recording, hunkering down with rudimentary equipment in an unfinished basement or commandeering the floor of a vacant local rubber factory to create terse but soulful rock that seems to have time-traveled into the pair's amps from some long-ago radio show."

John Mayer
While he may be a bit more mainstream than the above mentioned talent, there is no denying that John Mayer is emerging as one of our time's greatest guitarists. He's played with Eric Clapton on numerous occasions and even Lindsay Buckingham was excited to see his performance above all others at the most recent Grammys. As far as I'm concerned, that's something to take note of.

Joss Stone
I first saw Joss Stone perform with Melissa Ethridge on the Grammys in a tribute to Janis Joplin. My mouth dropped and I was out the next day to pick up her album. Her own music did not disappoint. When I found out that she was only 20 at the time of this performance, I was a life long fan.

AND some other honourable mentions:

Duffy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHvOm-o3AA8

Sharon Jones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EB69Ij5X6AE

If you have any more, please feel free to share.


Stornoway Garden Party

This past Wednesday was the epic staffer's Garden Party at Stornoway (the residence of the leader of the official opposition...or Ignatieff's place). It was everything I expected and more. There was lots of great food, wine, Canadian beers, and even better company from Ignatieff himself to Justin Trudeau, Ken Dryden and many more. It was a night of excitement, laughter, awe and just plain old good times with good people. It was definitely a night that Lucas and I will never forget.

The highlight of the night: Meeting Ignatieff

Good times with good people

Lucas' highlights: Meeting Ken Dryden, Ignatieff and Justin Trudeau

The After Party


Tulips, OLO and more!

BE WARNED! I am about to bombard you with photos! :)

Liberal Pics

Me working at my desk in my office on the Hill :)

At the Victory Fund reception held at the National Gallery

Ignatieff speaking to the crowd. To watch his speech, click here

Decorated ramp to the main reception area

Me sitting at Ignatieff's desk at OLO (Opposition Leader's Office)

Around Town

One of the many views from our rooftop patio

Lucas and me standing at the entrance to the largest tulip display in the city :)

SO beautiful

I think yellow was a favourite colour for me that day :)


Just this past weekend, Lucas and I went our separate ways for our own little adventures in Quebec. He went to a cabin with some guys in Tremblant and I went to visit Jake in Montréal. In the battle for who got to take the camera I, sadly, lost. Thus these are the only pictures I took - they are of the John Lennon and Yoko Ono exhibit at the Musée des Beaux-arts. Forgive the quality as they were taken on my phone.

La musée

John Lennon's piano. This was in room themed around the song, Imagine.

This is one of my favourite photos and I so wish I had had the camera to have it in better quality.

John Lennon's guitar :)


National Capital Trails

With such a beautiful day, we couldn't resist getting out on our bikes. We started from home and went out to Westboro which is like a little piece of Vancouver in Ottawa (picture W. 4th and W. Broadway). We spent some time here before heading to the National Capital trails which took us along the Ottawa river, up to Parliament and the Canal.

The Ottawa Tulip Festival started May 1st and we caught a glimpse of my favourite flowers along the Canal. They were beautiful! Ottawa receives thousands of tulip bulbs from Holland in thanks for our help during WWII. Next weekend we are going to visit all of the tulip spots so look out for new pictures soon! :)
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I am so sorry that I have been slacking on keeping my blog updated lately. There are a few good reasons but no need to bother with excuses!

Everything is going very well for me and Lucas. The new job is fantastic! I love coming into work every morning and couldn't ask for more than that. Bonnie Crombie is the MP that I work for and she is a delight to work with.

Other than work, Lucas and I have been keeping ourselves busy visiting the various pubs and restaurants of Ottawa, taking in the museums in the area and just generally enjoying the increasingly warm temperatures (up 27C today!).

We don't have many new photos, but these are my favourite and were taken on Easter Sunday along the canal. :)