Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Day 2 – Museum of Civilization

Thursday, July 14 – 4 pm onward

The City of Ottawa is full of museums and has many different attractions.  It is a beautiful city, built to impress with it’s lovely large trees, scenic parkways and many biking trails.  Our one week stay was busy with many different stops, and even so there were still many more we could go to see.  Beyond the museums are also many other attractions, parks, and touristy things.   We fell in love with the city, especially Rob who does a lot of biking and absolutely loved all the bike trails … he could have easily spent the entire week exploring the various biking options.  He also was very impressed with the public bussing system … after using public transportation for three years while living in Hamilton he could really appreciate how well setup the City of Ottawa was in this regard.  I think the real reason Rob fell in love with the city was because of their fast pace of driving.  He couldn’t get over how quickly everyone would take off from the stop lights …. even he could hardly shift fast enough to keep up … yup, definitely his style of driving.

The City of Ottawa offers a Museum Passport package where a family can have entrance to 9 of their museums for $85.   Lucky for us a family classifies as two adults and three children … always make me wonder how they figure they can classify a family, but in our case we generally are only one over the family “classification” and in this case we fit into the “classification”.  In the end we decided against purchasing the package as we did the math of the museums we figured we would be going to and decided we’d still save by just paying individually.  This savings was increased by the fact that on Thursday afternoons from 4pm until closing many of the museums have free entrance. And so we picked the most expensive museum for Thursday afternoon/evening and saved ourselves a few more pennies that way. 

So after a day of touring the parliament buildings and some of Ottawa’s streets we crossed over into Quebec so that the kids could gleefully declare that they have now been out of Ontario and to Quebec … to add to their Michigan stays, and in Marietta’s case she’s also been to New York and Pennsylvania (not that she remembers).  We filled ourselves up on a snack and went off to explore the Children’s Museum and the Museum of Civilization.   The Children’s Museum is a section inside the Museum of Civilization. 

We ended up spending the majority of the time in the Children’s Museum.  After a day of tours and “don’t touch anything” Matthew was thrilled to be able to run around (and got a little carried away since we had a hard time keeping track of him) and touch all sorts of things.

The museum is set up to show/teach the many different cultures of the world, along with the many different aspects of life in this world.  The kids are suppose to travel the world and try as many different things as they go.   You could see a pyramid or a hut, ride a motorcycle or a Thailand bike/taxi , you could watch a theatre show or be the one presenting the show, you could visit the post office/exchange office/restaurant  or work in the post office/exchange office/restaurant .

Marietta and Rebecca trying to move crates from the boat to the dock with the crane (as they would do on a cargo ship).


Various modes of transportation

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Chef’s Marietta and Rebecca and Matthew was the waiter


The girls and Matthew put on a show at the theatre.  When they were preparing their show at first there was no one there, but by time they came out to present a crowd has gathered to watch (along with other kids wanting to perform).  Matthew had no trouble getting up in front of everyone and presenting … unfortunately for us, he’s not very shy and rather loves to be the centre of attention.

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This model of the Eiffel Tower is made out of toothpicks


After spending a couple hours in the Children’s Museum it became apparent that while Matthew could continue to run around for some time yet, but the rest of us were getting rather tired and hungry … which sort of equals grumpy … but we weren’t quite at that stage yet.  So we decided that before we reached that stage we would carry on and have a quick walk through the actual Museum of Civilization and see what was all involved in that. 

We spent some time in the Canadian Postal Museum looking at the various information and evolvement of the postal system and stamps.  From there we moved on to the Canada Hall sections  When walking through this are you start at the era of the first immigrants to Canada and slowly work your way closer to todays date.  It was very interesting and well done.  We were in a hurry and had a child who had had enough of tours and looking at things, and so we just did a quick walk through.  Marietta seemed to enjoy all the old artefacts and information (and forgot a few times not to touch them … setting off a couple beeping alarms) but like the rest of us was tired and it’s just not the same when you’re only reading half the information and skim through everything.  If we lived nearer it would be an interesting place to stop for an hour or so at a time on free Thursdays and slowly learn more of our history and the earlier settlers. By this time we were tired and hungry and we did not even make it to the 4th Level to see the Face to Face section.




We also did not have time to go through the Aboriginal or First People`s Section, but did make a quick stop at the Grand Hall to have a look at the totem poles in the entrance area.  You can see Marietta standing by the beak the bird of in the second totem pole picture … that should give a bit of an idea of how tall they are.


Since the Museum is across the Ottawa River you can see the Parliament Buildings through the windows of the Museum.  In this picture you can see the library … the area with the brown roof.


After a long day with tons of walking we went home to have some supper … AND … birthday cake.  We couldn’t end the day without at least having some birthday cake and singing Happy Birthday to Marietta.  She tends to have her birthdays spread out … I guess that’s just part of having a summer birthday.  Presents one day, cake the next day … party another day.  I managed to sneak a box of GF cake mix, icing and sprinkles into the grocery cart the night before when we went to get our groceries … without Marietta or Rebecca noticing.  Then I baked up a cake after they went to bed that night.  GF cake mix isn’t quite the same as homemade GF bake .. but it did the trick!


And as you can imagine, the kids heads hardly hit the pillow and they were asleep.


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