Sunday, February 3, 2013

Weekend get-away

Rob and I spent the weekend in Ottawa and Quebec, getting together with old friends he's known since high school and I've known now for almost thirty years.

Many of his friends are newly retired. Seeing them adjust to new rhythms makes my own retirement planning seem a lot less theoretical. Although Monday morning sometimes comes quickly for me, or a work week seems overly long, mostly I still enjoy working for a living. Which is a good thing, seeing as how I'll need to keep it up for another decade or so :-)

Of course, there was great food! Friday night, we arrived a bit late for dinner but that didn't stop me from enjoying leftovers.  To try at home:  pan-roasted chicken breasts with sage sauce (from The New Best Recipe) risotto, and  tapinade rolled in phyllo. Saturday night: prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, delicious cheeses and port for dessert. I won't have to eat all week!

It was extremely cold and the canal wasn't in great shape, so instead of skating we chose to hang out Saturday afternoon at the Canadian Museum of Nature.

What an amazing planet we live on!
The Scream

The Bird Gallery dedicates a whole floor to thoughtful exploration. It was a bit like visiting an aviary, with a display that included samples of bird song, looks at nests and habitats. I learned about some new Canadian species, including an owl that burrows in the ground in the prairies. I also found out that I weigh about the same as 4 wild turkeys, or 5,000 hummingbirds.

The Nature Unleashed special exhibit was humbling. I hope I never experience tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanoes or floods first-hand. Awesome beauty, to be sure... Edvard Munch's famous painting, The Scream, is a fairly accurate depiction of what the skies of Norway looked like after the eruption of Krakatoa.

The  Earth Gallery showcased minerals, gems, and semi-precious stones. Natural, exquisite sculptures that were works of art in themselves: amber, amethyst, lazurite. Rocks that glowed in the dark, and others that seemed to bloom with pillows and plumes.

I could have hung out in the Water Gallery a lot longer, staring at footage of 2000 belugas gathering in the Arctic.  They are such beautiful creatures. Unfortunately, the Wild Beluga Cam that was set up was blown away by a storm and I can't find the footage on You Tube to share, so you'll just have to visit the Museum of Nature to see the film for yourself (which is still a whole lot easier than trekking to see them in the Arctic).

1 comment:

Carô said...

Looking forward to reading your snow day post!