I am exhausted - but in a good way! I just had a really good weekend in Ottawa, and while I might not be super rested, I'm very enthusiastic and am beginning to enjoy the city very much!
Saturday afternoon, a group of us went out to this place called Cora's for brunch - it's like a Canadian version of Denny's. I had a "skillet" type dish with grilled veggies, breakfast potatoes, scrambled eggs, with toast and fruit on the side. It was really good, and I'd definitely go back! It was nice to go out to eat for a change too - I feel like I've kinda been stuck in the house lately, so it was fun to get out!
During the afternoon, I just kinda chilled, worked on grad-school applications, etc., and for dinner we went out to this place called The Works. Oh my goodness. You have not had a burger until you have eaten at The Works. Here is the link to their menu just so you can get an idea of how many burgers they have to choose from: http://www.worksburger.com/Menus/OurMenu/tabid/105198/Default.aspx The list was *insane* and everything sounded so good! I don't know how I made up my mind! I ended up choosing the Teriyaki burger, which might not sound super adventurous (compared to everything else on the menu) but it was probably one of the best burgers I have ever had :)
After dinner, we went out to see that new movie called The Ides of March. Has anyone seen that? George Clooney is in it which was a big draw for me lol But it was an excellent movie, and I definitely recommend it. For those of you who don't know about it, it's basically about a USA Democratic Party Primary Election and all of the scandals/corruption/scheming that goes on behind the scenes of a political race. It really made me realize how little we really know about what goes on "behind the scenes" of an election, and how little we (the public) know about the candidates for whom we are voting. I won't get into my political opinions or beliefs right now, but it's a movie that really makes you think which I really enjoyed.
Then, today, my friend Rafi and I went on a hike with this group called the Ottawa Outdoor Club. Rafi found out about them online, and it's pretty much just what it sounds like: a group of people who get together to go on hikes, skiing, snow-shoeing, canoeing, and tons of other outdoor activities! Rafi and I have been wanting to meet people outside Le Cordon Bleu - just to get to know the city better, etc. - and we thought this would be a great way to do that! The hike was *wonderful*!! It was a 10km hike on one of the trails in Gatineau Park (a HUGE 89,281 acre park in our area). There were about 37 other people on the hike with us, so it was a pretty big group, and it was neat because it was a really diverse group too! There were a bunch of students from the University of Ottawa as well as some working professionals and even several retirees. One of the coolest people I met was actually one of the main leaders of the NDP (the New Democratic Party)! I also had a really nice conversation with a woman working in as an educational administrator in primary education. This is a career I'm thinking about pursuing myself, so it was really neat to get her perspective on that line of work (even though she works in Canada and I'll be in the States). Rafi and I both had a really good time (and got some good exercise) - it was so much fun to get out of the city too and see other landscapes! I really got to enjoy hiking when I was at Cornell and am so glad I got the opportunity to go again! The weather was perfect too - a bit chilly at first, but once we started hiking, it felt good! I had such a good time, and I'm already planning my next hike! The group goes on a hike every Sunday, so hopefully I'll get to go a few more times before I leave!
Here are a few pictures from the hike (the trees are so bare now - I know it won't be too much longer before they're covered in snow!):
Rafi and I with Gatineau Lake in the background!
A pedestrian bridge we crossed
I am so glad I got to go out and explore a little more this weekend - it really gave me some good perspective, and it was so nice to get to meet some local Ottawans (Ottawanians? lol)!