Ottawa Senators vs. Minnesota Wild

Yesterday I attended my very first hockey game! And where better to watch one of Canada’s most favoured sports than the country’s very own capital city?

img-20161114-wa0006

Not to mention, our seats had an incredible view:

IMG_20161113_170753.jpg

In the first period Minnesota scored one point, and in the second period they scored again but it was ruled out by the refs because the puck was hit down into the goal by a high stick. Finally the Senators scored at the start of the 3rd period, but no more goals were made. We were tied at 1-1 when overtime began, but quickly lost the game to Minnesota just before the time ran out.

img-20161114-wa0003

Regardless of losing, I had an awesome time. We got complimentary Montreal-style smoked beef sandwiches from the Ledge lounge and ordered some Mike’s Hard Lemonade to sip from our box seats. My school was able to offer all the students a complimentary ticket, as well as a +1 ticket for a cost of $50.

img_20161113_165236

We even got these super cool Senators scarves!!

img-20161114-wa0008

November 14th, 2016

Advertisements

Ottawa food adventures

I don’t tend to eat out much in Ottawa despite my interest in food and the city. Being on a student budget makes it difficult to run a food blog when it comes to food someone else has cooked!

Aside from the delicious samples I tasted on the C’est Bon tasting tour, I have visited 7 places to eat: Nando’s, Presotea, Sash Gelato Cafe, Jay’s Pizza and Poutine, Mu Goong Hwa Garden, Heart & Crown, and Lieutenant’s Pump. I’ve already reviewed Mu Goong Hwa in my first post and the previous two places mentioned were solely for drinks (which are hella expensive here.)

Jay’s Pizza and Poutine offers pizza for $2 per slice, ($2.25 for slices with meat) they’re open late and offer delivery. It’s nestled on the block between 3 Brothers Pizza and Poutine and Shawarma Palace on Rideau, which makes me genuinely wonder how this mom & pop shop could stay afloat. But now I can reason why: the crust is crisp, the cheese they use is St. Albert’s, and the owners are incredibly friendly people. I ate my pizza before I could take a photo of it, but they handed me this nice take out menu which will have to do.

img_20161112_232247.jpg

The bubble tea scene in Ottawa has nothing on Vancouver. A medium-sized bubble tea without tapioca pearls at Presotea Ottawa costs an average of $5.50 each, and they’re often made with powder-flavouring rather than fresh fruit. There’s only a small handful of bubble tea shops in the city and so far, I am unimpressed. However, this hang-out spot was surprisingly populated and the tea itself was not bad.

img_20161110_194526

The gelato scene, however, is a worthy contender of Vancouver’s. I’ve only been to two gelato cafes so far, but there seems to be an abundance of places to get your fix. Sash Gelato is definitely a trendy place to try some creative flavours.

img_20161106_172346

Finally, there was Nando’s flame-grilled chicken. Though there are Nando’s(es) in Vancouver, my first time actually sitting down to eat there was here in Ottawa. The ordering system is a little odd, but the food is tasty and the atmosphere is very relaxed (if only I hadn’t snapchat story’d the photo for it, I’d show you.) What I really need to try next time though is the $3.99 bottomless frozen yogurt!

November 12th, 2016

Visit to the National Gallery of Canada

Every Thursday I try to visit one of Ottawa’s many free-admission evenings to local museums and galleries.

img_20161110_175708
I believe it is custom to take a photo with this terrifying gigantic spider sculpture outside the gallery
img_20161110_180832
The ceilings in this building dwarfed everyone, making each piece stand out beautifully
img_20161110_181438
There were classic paintings and stone sculptures in the contemporary art exhibition
img_20161110_182528
As well as some more unique pieces
img_20161110_182835
I’ll definitely have to go again to properly appreciate each collection
whatsapp-image-2016-11-10-at-10-27-50-pm
I could spend hours in the photography gallery

Anyone who says that Ottawa is a boring city doesn’t appreciate the incredible stuff the city has to offer.

November 12th, 2016

 

Autumn in Ottawa

Ottawa is easily one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever visited. On a sunny day in autumn, the parks here are naturally saturated by the blue sky and the rainbow of trees.

img_20161024_151015
My walk home from school through Strathcona Park

Even the cloudy days here are beautiful. The leaves are crunchy and the air is dry – it is very unlike Vancouver.

img_20161024_113857
Overcast fall morning after a sunny day

It can get sort of lonely moving to a brand new city on your own, knowing no one. I’ve made it my goal to take advantage of free admission Thursdays at various Ottawa museums, but it’s not always so easy to find someone to go with. The first week I went to the Canadian War Museum with housemates who I met that day; the week after I visited the Canadian Museum of Agriculture and Food with this goat who tried to eat my phone.

img_20161015_160013
Selfie with a goat

However, I’m very thankful to have met so many wonderful people across Canada through the French immersion program Explore. Not only has it helped me immensely with understanding the French taught at LCB, but it’s also helped me adapt to Ottawa. I even have a few Explore friends who are students here in Ottawa too, who visited the Canadian Museum of Nature with me last week. (Nuts to you, stupid goat.)

img_20161020_194814
The bird exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Nature was so cool!

I particularly liked the dinosaur exhibit.

img_20161020_173008
Me and an amazing dinosaur fossil-replica at the Canadian Museum of Nature

Anyway, today’s my 20th birthday and though can be tough to really celebrate given the circumstances, I had a great day regardless. In fact, my talented housemate in Superior Pastry even brought home some especially special treats to share with me and my other housemate whose birthday happened to be yesterday!

img_20161025_183007
Raspberry caramel macarons, dark chocolate choux pastry balls, milk chocolate tarts

I’m also going to celebrate a little extra by treating myself to a fresh haircut tomorrow and brand new winter boots. Going to enjoy the hell out of this gorgeous weather while it lasts!

img_20161024_113756-1
Thanks for all the lovely birthday wishes!

 

October 25th, 2016

My first week in Ottawa

I moved to Ottawa, ON from Vancouver, BC exactly one week ago.

img_20160927_185403
This is my new bedroom.

I’ve been blessed with a great start so far. Everyone I’ve met here has been welcoming and friendly; including my new landlords, new managers, new instructors and new housemates.

My new home is stunningly multicultural. On my floor alone, my housemates and I represent Taiwan, Brazil, America, Korea, Ecuador, and Canada. We’re all attending the same school this October.

The days have gone by like this:

On Tuesday Sept 27th, I arrived at the Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport. My lovely new landlord picked me up and drove me to my new apartment (talk about welcoming!)

After unpacking my two checked luggages, I headed to the 24hr Loblaws nearby to stock my shelf of the fridge.

I’ve never had to grocery shop for myself before. Not a bad start?

On Wednesday Sept 28th, I woke up early to catch the sunshine. This is day was my first and only day off this week, so I wanted to soak up as much of it as possible. Two of my housemates and I took the bus downtown to Rideau Centre to pick up my very own Presto Card.

Supposedly this place is perpetually under construction. This is true.

We also stopped at a cookware store, Shopper’s Drug Mart, Dollarama, and my new favourite Italian market, La Bottega.

This place is like Banana Grove’s hot older brother.

I picked up all sorts of odds and ends that I couldn’t pack when I got here. We decided to walk back home, and I got a feel for the route to school and the surrounding area.

The next day was Thursday Sept 29th, my first day of work at a bed and breakfast! I’m not sure why but I was expecting to work in some sort of inn. In reality, this is heritage building is basically house from the 1960’s.

The owners are two awesome people. They rent out the rooms of their house to strangers and make a great business out of it. I help prepare and serve breakfast on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. It’s fruit prep, brewing coffee and tea, serving breakfasts and assisting the head chef in whatever he needs a hand with. It’s fun working there because I like the owners so much; they remind me of my big sister Jessica and her boyfriend Dan.

Since it was a Thursday, I was determined to check out the Canadian War Museum. The museum is free every Thursday and all my housemates were home, so I invited them to join me. It was one of my housemates’ first day in Canada so I think it was great that she came.

We stopped at a Korean barbecue restaurant called MuGoongHwa for dinner. The food was really good in my opinion, but the service wasn’t great. I then learned from my other housemate that the service all over the city is, apparently, absolutely awful everywhere.

I was caught a rough cold soon after this night out so I didn’t do too much more than rest for a few days. Anyway.

Orientation day was on Monday, Oct 3rd. We learned about the school, school rules, how the classes work and what to expect. We also received some wicked cool jackets.

We had some really cool octopus-and-sausage hors d’œuvres.

img_20161003_145010

Today is Tuesday Oct 4th, which officially marks one of 36 weeks I have here in Ottawa.

img_20161003_135334
This is my beautiful walk to school through Strathcona Park!

I’m still sick, but if there’s any good time to be sick, it’s when I’m not cooking in a kitchen. Thankfully that’s not till Thursday!

Tuesday October 4th, 2016