Thursday, October 16, 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving

So its been almost 2 weeks since my last past and that's not a good thing, but its been pretty busy since I came back from my trip to the UK (post to come eventually), we spent a few days being a couple again and then we took a trip to Ottawa for Canadian Thanksgiving.

This was my 2nd Canadian Thanksgiving, last year some 30 or so friends from the Keith and the Girl and Team Drunk Ottawa communities made their way to Ottawa to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving and to have an excuse for drunken revelry. Last year I drove in Canada for the first time, took 6 other people with me (Kata and 5 friends, 2 from the USA) and after 13 hours in one direction and 11 hours in the other direction, we had accomplished a Thanksgiving to remember (for mostly good reasons).

This year Kata and I packed our belongings and our dog Blackie into our rental car and made our way to Ottawa on Saturday. The drive out took approx. 8 hours (we left around 9 and arrived just after 5) and was relatively uneventful. We were staying at a pet friendly hotel in downtown Ottawa (the Comfort Inn just off junction 115 of the 417 highway) and settled in for a couple of hours before we headed out for an evening with our friends at the Heart and Crown pub. The year before we had gone to the same pub and taken up 3 large tables, this year we all fit on one large table and we had a great time with our friends catching up and enjoying the food (really good for pub grub). We hung out for close to 4 hours and then headed back to our hotel to rest up for the next day.

The next morning we awoke relatively early and joined the other residents of the hotel for our complimentary continental breakfast (always a good thing). The selection was decent, mostly baked goods (bagel, english muffin, muffin, waffles, bread) some cereals, fruit, coffee, tea, etc. After breakfast we headed out to visit Kata's uncle George and her parents who were in Ottawa to have thanksgiving with her uncle. We only visited for an hour as her parents had a lot planned to do that day (the day before they had visited a tractor museum, Kata's step-dad is a tractor "nut" who has his own show tractor and plowing tractor which he competes in plowing matches with) so we headed back to our hotel to relax a while before heading out to a friend's house for the thanksgiving meal.

We picked up a couple of our friends from the Ottawa Jail Hostel (a number of our friends had stayed there the year before also) and we headed out on the 417 highway into the wilds of the Ottawa countryside. The drive was around 30 minutes and we ended up at our friend's house where we were to have our Thanksgiving meal. It was a pot luck and people were bringing all kinds of food (mostly desert). We brought a Tofurky with us (for the vegetarians amongst us) and our gracious hosts (the McDonalds, Dr Bri and Juanita) took care of the turkey and most of the fixings, vegetarian stuffing, potatoes, all manner of vegetables and other delicious, if not vegetarian, savoury foods (a beef roast was also brought by one of our friends (Mr Rhi)).

All manner of deserts were laid out after the main course, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheese cake, an apple pie (can't remember the exact type but it was delicious), blueberry muffins (from scratch), McCain frozen cake (a Canadian classic) and peanut butter pie (one of our friend's speciality pies, thanks as always Rickeh). I'm sure there were some other deserts but my mind has been clouded by the sugar overload (wink).

After all the wonderful food we all relaxed, talked and made merry. After an hour or so, a chorus of "happy birthday" began, I was bemused, no one had told me it was someones birthday, then it dawned on me my friends were singing for me, my birthday isn't until the 20th, but coincidentally thanksgiving was the 1st anniversary of my living in Canada, so they had sprung a double surprise on me. Our friend Amy had arranged with my darling Kata and our friend Rhi to get me a cake, with purple icing (one of my favourite colours of late) and celebrate my time in Canada so far. It was really adorable, the cake had "happy birthday dev" on it (my nickname of course) and they had a "1" candle for me to blow out. The candle managed to blow itself out thanks to the breeze from the aircon (or from the open window) and then I cut the cake whilst Kata took pictures. Everyone was already stuffed so not much cake was eaten (I took a slice) but the thought and execution totally counted.

The evening continued with a viewing of the previous week's Family Guy (I dream of Jesus) and later a game of Scene It on Xbox 360 (my team came 3rd the first game and 2nd (after leading for much of the game) in the 2nd game). By the time we were finished playing things were winding down, people were starting to get tired so we headed back to the city, dropping off a couple of friends at their respective hotels and then returned to our hotel to take care of Blackie and head to sleep ourselves.

The final day, Thanksgiving day itself, we had breakfast again, packed up and checked out of our hotel. We then headed over to Rhi's apartment where we planned to leave Blackie for a few hours as we were heading out to the Elgin Street Diner for our 2nd annual Thanksgiving farewell brunch. Many of our friends had the Poutine, for which the diner is most famous and after the repast we said our farewells and headed back to collect Blackie.

The drive home was relatively uneventful, although traffic was quite dense in a number of places (near Oshawa and Cobourg and some near Milton). Despite the traffic, the drive home took around 9 and a half hours and we rolled into our apartment's parking lot around 11pm, tired but glad to be home after another great Thanksgiving weekend.

p.s. here's a link to pictures Kata took over the Thanksgiving weekend

1 comment:

kataish said...

It was a lot of fun and I already can't wait to go back next year. There were a few people missing that should be there next year (GUNNER!) hopefully.