Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Another Birthday and A Weekend Away

I have to say that sometimes, when you least expect it, things happen. I'm talking about a series of events which sometimes fall into place really nicely. So was my last week.

I recently had another birthday. Where do those keep coming from? Of course, for the most part birthdays become increasingly undesirable as we age. This one, was a pleasant surprise.

I awoke to find the kitchen decorated with gifts, balloons, and balloon animals. My daughter had
been busy during the night. Knowing how much hubby likes gifts, she even got a present for him so that he might celebrate his half birthday. Later in the day, we all enjoyed some lovely Greek take-out food, bubbly wine drinks, and a birthday cake...Smurfs.
The next day, my friend and I headed out for Ottawa. I had recently received an email about the Signatures Show, so we decided it would be worth attending.  We arrived at the Novotel in the evening, after cautiously negotiating our way through a rainstorm and the usual construction. We had an unremarkable dinner. (see my Tripadvisor Review of Albion Rooms, Ottawa)

Saturday morning, we left bright and early for the Byward Market. We passed several amusing signs and one that was slightly disturbing....grass fed beef with a picture of a puffin?

We explored, bought some special celebratory Trudeau cookies, and eventually wandered toward the Shaw Centre where the Signature Show was happening. What a treat that was. Admission was a bargain at $6 senior. They were optimistic that we looked like shoppers and we were given a special bag for being one of the first 200 to enter the show on that day. The artisans were amazing. This wasn't one of those, sampling crackers and jam types of shows. There were many creative designers of jewellery, rugs, art, leather, knitwear, and more. There were unique items and best of all, they were totally Canadian. Talented creators had come from Quebec and other parts of the country to show off their work. Not only that, the artisans were willing to chat at length about their skills, talents, and dreams for the future. This wasn't just an exhibit, it was an experience.
By afternoon, we were tired enough for a rest but that didn't deter us from further explorations later in the day. We had seen a store that advertised "no ordinary shoes" and at the time, I hadn't realized that they sold Canadian designer John Fluevog wares. I had seen these shoes before in the Distillery District in Toronto. I often wondered whether they would fit my platypus feet. We had to return to try some, just to say we had. After an hour and a half, and a very helpful and persistent sales girl who was convinced that she could find shoes to fit me, along came a pair of what I like to call, Minnie Mouse/Daisy Duck shoes. They were large, wide, comfortable and most of all, had a heel. It was an interesting heel, but nonetheless, it was a heel. I was ecstatic as I whipped out my birthday money and clung to the shoes as if they were the most beautiful things on earth. Actually, they are...especially when they're on my feet. Now I am the proud owner of "no ordinary shoes". After all, I'm no ordinary person.
Truth be told, we tried every shoe in the store.
Sensible shoes with flare

After an eventful and exhausting day, we collapsed fatigued, woke up early the next day, had breakfast, and began to head home. That's not to say we drove directly home, but we did arrive eventually.

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