As my brother has been blogging, his wife surprised him by flying him to Ottawa for a long weekend with friends and, as an added surprise, Nellie and I. He flew back to England this evening; Nellie and I returned to Toronto yesterday. It was a fun few days for us. I’ve known many of his friends since 1996 when I lived there with him for the summer, and it was good to hang out with all of them again. It was good to see Ottawa again too; I’ve not been there in a while, but it still feels a little like home. Best of all, though, was getting to help celebrate my brother’s 40th birthday in such great circumstances.
Highlights: an awesome Porter flight to Ottawa; surprising (kinda) my brother at our hotel; the food and drink at the Wellington Gastropub, including the Beau’s and a 2005 Raymond Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (also overheard a great Grant Lee Philips cover of Echo & The Bunnymen‘s “The Killing Moon” on the stereo there); getting silly (where exactly did “chicken sodomy” come from anyway?) and reliving some memories at a Royal Oak (warning: awful, obnoxious music embedded in site); struggling the next morning until I could get some sausage and toast into me at the Elgin Street Diner; Winterlude ice sculptures; marveling at just how far Lego has come since we were kids; awesome homemade pizzas at mblogler/imspycat‘s place; playing the Wii with the kiddies; breakfast at the Metropolitan Brasserie with our aunt (where we loudly berated the Senate, even as Art Eggleton dined next to us); more pizza and beer at the Prescott where people who used to work with my brother were invited out to see him (funnily enough, three of them walked up and started talking to me, thinking I was him…by the third I just said, “Hey, how are you? That’s Tim over there.”); cheap pub breakfast at the Aulde Dubliner in the market; walking (not skating…couldn’t be arsed) down the Rideau Canal to the hotel before flying home.
That’s obviously an abuse of the word “highlights” but it really was a great weekend. My biggest problem with it was that I got very, very sick. Saturday night I felt a cold coming on; by Sunday morning it was severe, and by Monday morning it was brutal. It kept me in bed most of Sunday, made me miserable for all of Monday, and made our plane’s descent into Toronto excruciating. But it could have been worse: I could’ve been sick the entire weekend, or worst of all, my brother might have been sick. So it all turned out for the best. I didn’t even mind the cold; chilly as it got, the sun stayed out most of the time.
It was a great weekend. I’m really glad I got to be part of it.
[UPDATE: Ooh, ooh, almost forgot: the brother and sister-in-law brought me some Pierre Marcolini chocolate from Belgium. Zowie.]