We went to Ottawa, Canada on Saturday for a walk on Parliament Hill and a quick stop at IKEA for shopping. A quick IKEA shopping trip is about three hours. That store is made for long leisurely strolls, not a quick saunter through with four interested children. It was better after I put Gilbert and Elsie in a cart, but only better in the sense that I didn't have to wonder in which display Elsie was hiding and whether it was the same display in which Gilbert was hiding. Gilbert cried over his lost freedom most of the way through the store. Until we put a large metal trash can, that Ashley asked us to pick up for her, in the cart. Then he banged on that, with me telling him "Please don't bang on the can like that." Which encouraged him to be creative and bang it a different way. Losing my patience in the check out line, I took the entire can and lid out of the cart so he wouldn't make so much noise. Only to drop the metal lid, which went rolling across a few checkout lines before landing with a loud clatter. Suffice it to say that more people were looking at me than ever looked at Gilbert in his can banging career. One of those humbling mother moments.
But it was a fun day anyway. The tulips were blooming and it was slightly rainy, which meant there weren't as many people on Parliament Hill as usual.
Street with flags
There will be a lot of pictures of the roofs of parliament buildings. I love them.
They look so gothic and forbidding. Elsie referred to them as castles the entire time.
The kids, with Alex and Tori walking down the street.
They were shining up the copper roof on this building, so it was coppery instead of green. There was a lot of renovating going on actually.
Our crowd. Minus me.
Some sort of eternal flame and water fountain combination. When you have four antsy kids, you can't always read the inscriptions.
Looking across the park
Lilacs and Parliament
I love the doors on the buildings. They are so imposing.
And these spires...! It is so much more European seeming than Washington DC. But I don't know a lot about architecture, so maybe I am crazy.
Touching William MacKenzie King's hand
A Women's rights memorial had some women drinking tea. I loved it!
Queen Elizabeth. I think we missed this section of memorials last time we went. I don't remember either the women's rights or Queen Elizabeth.
The kids had brought the Royal Canadian Mounted Police doll we got from Pottery Barn last fall (named Maple, on clearance. Apparently no one else wanted an RCMP doll.) so I carried it in my purse, since it seemed fitting for her to see Parliament. Here is Maple in a death grip from Lily. Tori thought the neck hold was funny, so she had to show Lily what it felt like.
Lilacs and a deadly fence overlooking the Ottawa river.
View from Parliament Hill
Beaver over the entrance to Parliament. I think Congress would be improved by a beaver.
Pretty awesome stonework.
I also think Congress would be improved by a unicorn. I mean, how stuffy and self centered could you be if you had to endure a unicorn sticking it's tongue out at you every morning on your way into work? Apparently the Unicorn stands for Scotland. And on the other side of the arch, there is a lion, which represents England. Scotland's national animal is the unicorn. Huh. Not sure why it is sticking it's tongue out here, but why not? You have a lot of licence to do as you please when you are a mythical creature.