Fast Times At Ottawa’s Italian Week Finale Weekend!

Hey Readers! Every year, the Italian Week is held in Ottawa with a week-long party to celebrate Italian heritage, and Preston Street becomes a a party zone for its revelers! This is their 40th year of putting together this festival.    One of the events I like to attend each year is the Saturday portion …

My Blooming Visits to The Canadian Tulip Festival

Hey Readers!

I have to apologize for taking so long in getting this post out to you.  It has been about a month in the making, but I felt that I should still share this experience with you.

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend/partner person and I took my kids to The Canadian Tulip Festival.  It is one of the festivals that kicks off the festival season in Ottawa, and is an celebration to the arrival of spring.  This annual festival is put together by the National Capital Commission (NCC).  I had to make two trips to this festival because some of the blooms had not opened up.  For me, it is also one of the most beautiful festivals to behold in Canada’s nation’s capital.

Why is this festival so important to Ottawa?  It is the annual celebration of the gift of tulips from the Netherlands to Canada for assisting then Princess Juliana (who later became Queen Juliana) and her family while in exile from their homeland during World War II.  Not only did Ottawa become home to this royal family while in exile, but Canada also designated the maternity ward of the Civic Hospital temporarily as extraterritorial (international territory) by the Canadian government in order for Princess Juliana  to give birth to her daughter, Princess Margriet in 1943. It was necessary for the baby to take on her mother’s Dutch nationality so that she would retain her place in the succession for the Dutch throne.

The festival began in 1953, and has since become internationally known.  People from all over the world travel to the Canada’s capital to take in the beauty and the history of this festival.

Luckily for us, The Canadian Tulip Festival is just steps away from my home.  We loaded our younger children in the wagon, and we set off each time for Commissioner’s Park by Dow’s Lake, the main area of this festival.  From when we entered the park, we were greeted by two things: bed upon bed of tulips, and tourists anxiously taking pictures of these tulips.

It took a few tries to get the pictures I wanted, but it was so much fun hopping from tulip bed to tulip bed to see all of the different types displayed at the festival.  There were 70 different types for visitors to oh and ah over.  Here are some of my favourite tulip beds on display.

 

Tulip Group Collage

 

Along with the tulip beds, I also took pictures of some of my favourite flowers within some of the beds.  Each year I am wowed by just how many varieties of tulips exist, and how beautiful they can be.

 

Tulips Close Collage

 

There was also plenty of signage at the festival.  Out of all of the signs displayed, this one had to be my favourite!  I thought it was so cute.

 

No Walking Sign

 

Besides the stars of the show, there were also statues, like the one below, dedicated to this annual event.

 

 TulipSculpture1

 

There were also exhibits, a stage tent for live music, an international tent and plenty of concession stands and trucks for visitors to the festival to visit and enjoy!

 

Tourist Stops Collage

 

Local businesses and schools were also asked to decorate tulip statues to display at the festival.  Here are just a few of them.

 

Decorated Tulip Statues

 

There were even a few sun showers the day I went  which our visit even more memorable! I hope you can make out the raindrops in this picture.

 

Sunshower

 

Whether you are a local of the city or a tourist to Canada’s  nation’s capital, The Canadian Tulip Festival is a must-visit.  There is something for everyone in the family to enjoy, and the tulips displayed are enough to keep you coming back year after year.  I hope you try to stop by and see this festival some time!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

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Second Avenue Sweets: A Satisfying Pleasure for Your Sweet Tooth

It’s been a long time coming for this review, but this one was one worth waiting for!  The focus of this review is on Second Avenue Sweets, a family-owned and operated bakery and cupcakerie that is nestled near the corner of Second Street and Bank Street in the Glebe within Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario. They …

Reese’s Pre-Winter Wonderland!

Hey Readers!

I didn’t believe my boyfriend/partner when he said that Ottawa (Canada’s Capital) would be getting about 25 cms of snow dumped on it.  Well, was I ever wrong!  I know I posted picks of Ottawa’s first snowfall a few weeks ago, but it was NOTHING compared to this!  I called this gallery of photos Reese’s Pre-Winter Wonderland because, well, it’s still fall here in Ottawa!  Take a gander at these pics to see what I mean:

This is what I woke up to at 7 AM...
This is what I woke up to at 7 AM…
This is my favourite picture!  It is of the biggest tree in the backyard.  I love the over exposed snowflakes...they're gigantic!
This is my favourite picture! It is of the biggest tree in the backyard. I love the over exposed snowflakes…they’re gigantic!
This is of another tree in my backyard.  This is the view from my desk.
This is of another tree in my backyard. This is the view from my desk.
This is the tree in my front yard.  You can see how high the snow is o the sidewalk by the apartment building across the street.
This is the tree in my front yard. You can see how high the snow is o the sidewalk by the apartment building across the street.

Readers, this is only the beginning of the amount of snow we here in Ottawa are going to receive this snow season!  I can’t wait to get out into it before it gets dirty.

I hope you enjoyed my Pre-Winter Wonderland!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Our First Snowfall, 2013

Hey Readers!

I just felt like sharing my first snowfall for 2013 with you!  This is how the snow has begun to transform my home here in Ottawa:

Here are pics of a tree in my backyard at the beginning of the snowfall this afternoon.  The pic on the right is a close-up pic of the leaves to catch a glimpse of the snow.

Snowfall Collage 1

These two pics are of a tree that’s on the side of my home.  The leaves are red, so snow made for a beautiful contrast.

Snowfall Collage 2

Finally, here is the tree in my front yard.  It’s pretty with all of the snow covering it!

First Snowfall, 2013 6

Readers, this is just the beginning of the snow here in Ottawa, ON!  We’re suppose to have more than average snow this year!  I’ll show you more pics as we become more snow covered!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

Ottawa Ferrari Festival: Wheels, Wheels and More Wheels!

Hey Readers!

As I promised on my Instagram account, this is a gallery dedicated to you car lovers out there!  During the Little Italy Festival this June, the annual Ottawa Ferrari Festival took place along Preston Street, or Corso Italia.  The Ferrari Club of America, Ottawa Chapter, puts on a parade of Ferraris, as well as other fun and sporty Italian vehicles, in order to raise funds for the Villa Marconi Long Term Care Centre to further assist in the care of Ottawa’s senior citizens.  Below are just some of the vehicles shown during this festival within a festival.

This was my fav Ferrari, and it's at the beginning of this gallery!
This was my fav Ferrari, and it’s at the beginning of this gallery!
I like it in blue, too!
I like it in blue, too!
As I posted on my Instagram account, this was one of my fav new school Fiat 500s in the Parade.
As I posted on my Instagram account, this was one of my fav new school Fiat 500s in the Parade.
This old school Fiat decided to get some sun during the parade.
This old school Fiat decided to get some sun during the parade.
This Fiat was so cute!  It just had such a great look to it as it zoomed by!
This Fiat was so cute! It just had such a great look to it as it zoomed by!
This sportier Ferrari (if they can be called that since they're sport cars to begin with) was a fav of my oldest.  I had to include it in this post! She loves racing stripes.
This sportier Ferrari (if they can be called that since they’re sport cars to begin with) was a fav of my oldest. I had to include it in this post! She loves racing stripes.
The sun loved this Ferrari!  Sorry about cutting off the front of the car.  :(  I know you car enthusiasts are going to hate me for saying this, but it's just so cute and compact, I couldn't resist adding it to this post!
The sun loved this Ferrari! Sorry about cutting off the front of the car. 🙁 I know you car enthusiasts are going to hate me for saying this, but it’s just so cute and compact, I couldn’t resist adding it to this post!
This is one of the many Ducatis in the parade.  It was getting a rest before the racing demos.
This is one of the many Ducatis in the parade. It was getting a rest before the racing demos.
My oldest begged me to get shots of the Ducatis since she's a fan of them, and speed, of course!  I also like them, too!
My oldest begged me to get shots of the Ducatis since she’s a fan of them, and speed, of course! I also like them, too!

This parade is one of the highlights of the Little Italy Week Festival.  It is one of the festivals I look forward to each year in Ottawa.  It brings all sorts of people together to celebrate Italian culture, there is something for everyone to enjoy during this festival, and the vehicles are always fun to look at!  If you are ever in the Capital of Canada while this festival is on, it never disappoints!

Hope you enjoyed this gallery!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.

The Hintonburger – How Old-Style Burgers Really Should Taste!

Hey Readers!

Ever since my family moved into our neighbourhood, I have been compelled to visit the Hintonburger, a old school burger joint that makes everything hand-made and on-site, and likes to deal with local vendors for a lot of its products.  All I have heard from my neighbours who have dined there have raved about how great it was.  As well, it has won the “Best Burger in Town” award for 2012 by readers of the Ottawa Citizen (one of the major newspapers in Ottawa, ON), so I made a plan to go to the Hintonburger with my little ones to see what all the hubbub was all about.

Here it is in all its glory! It's a converted KFC, if you're wondering why it looks so familiar.
Here it is in all its glory! It’s a converted KFC, if you’re wondering why it looks so familiar.

Once we got there, we saw we were not the only ones who had the same idea to grab some burgers.  It is a small restaurant, but it was packed, with patrons waiting outside the door to place their order (the green fiat is blocking the line)!  We also visited on a night when the restaurant was running under new management with new prices and a new system of doing things.

Once we placed our order, we took a seat outside to wait for our food to be prepared.

This is where we would have sat if we had we dined al fresco. :(
This is where we would have sat if we had we dined al fresco. 🙁

About ten minutes later, the skies above us told us dining al fresco would not be an option.  We got inside and got a booth just in time before the heavens opened up, rain coming down, washing out the streets of Hintonburg.

This pic was taken about 10 mins. before buckets of rain fell.
This pic was taken about 10 mins. before buckets of rain fell.

Yay!  Our food had arrived!  I ordered two Wellington combos (two 6 oz. burgers with small fries and two cans of pop) along with another order of fries for the kids.  You’ll only see my order as my eldest was a ravenous thing, tearing into her meal as though she had eaten in weeks.

Here it is! My 6oz. burger, fries and drink. Sorry I didn't display the fries better. I had my little guy on my lap, and he was reaching for everything!
Here it is! My 6oz. burger, fries and drink. Sorry I didn’t display the fries better. I had my little guy on my lap, and he was reaching for everything!

As we shared our meals with the little ones (it doesn’t look it, but there was enough to do so, and they would also be getting something healthier when we got home), we all agreed that these burgers were living up to the accolades it has received.  The burger wasn’t overdone.  It was simple and to the point.  The bun seemed as though it was a normal bun you can buy from the grocery store for your own home barbeque; not huge with some sort of grain sprinkled on top to take away from the taste of the burger.   The patty wasn’t too thin or too thick, and it was so good to chow down on!  Not greasy, but not dry.  Dare I say that the meat was soft?  Not in a bad way, but it wasn’t crumbly, as though it was overdone, or kept warm under a heat lamp.  The fries tasted good, too.  They were lightly seasoned, and really fresh (it took me a while to cool them down for my kids, they were so fresh).

By the time we left, customers were still filling up the joint, in spite of the weather.  We made a mad dash to take public transit home, so the little ones weren’t in the rain too long.  I’m still thinking about those burgers, and plan on making a trip back to the Hintonburger soon.

I would rate the Hintonburger a 4 out of 5.  This is based on the delicious and fresh food I received.  Why not 5?  Well, at the time this review was written, there is no real notice or advertising to let the public know that you can call ahead for a take-out order.  This way,  all you would have to do is show up and pay instead of waiting for 20 minutes after waiting a while in line just to order.  There was a notice in the restaurant, just not anywhere else for those not used to visiting the Hintonburger.

So, if you ever come to Ottawa, and you’re in the mood for a good burger, hit up the Hintonburger.  You won’t be disappointed!

Until my next post, Readers!

Reese.