Anywho, after all that good stuff, I grabbed my carry-ons, said goodbye to mom and Terry, kissed my wife(I got a little misty here) and started towards the gate. Security was very thorough and professional, and yet they were also very friendly – which was nice. The plane was a little cramped, but the service was excellent. Our craft rolled speedily down the runway and took flight, reaching speeds of over 600kms/hour. It was a great view, and I would’ve said that it was an excellent flight, except for the turbulence.
Now turbulence isn’t anyones fault. It happens and you have to deal. I haven’t been on a plane since i was 15 years old, and since this was my 31st birthday it had been a while. It would’ve been okay if we only hit one pocket, but we hit 5 consecutive pockets of turbulence spread out evenly over the entire 1.5 hour flight. NOT FUN. Let me just say that there are different degrees of turbulence. Little bumps. Big, jarring bangs. Sudden drops of 200ft before you slam into a high pressure system below. Luckily – and I use this term loosely – I was somewhere between the first two. I would describe some of it as hydroplaning a car, the back end swinging out a bit to the side and then righting yourself again. Still: NOT FUN.
Needless to say, I was white-knuckling my tray, sweating profusely, thinking of my wife and unborn child that I so foolishly left behind, and reflexively starting to make a deal with ANYBODY who would make the plane stop bouncing, before cutting myself short because I would realize that I would never come through with my end of the deal. After chatting with Tom, my flight-mate in the seat next to me(he’s a veteran flyer who has often seen those 200ft drops in elevation and shrugged them off), I survived the trip without snapping and sending the entire group of passengers in to hysteria(thx again Tom!). I arrived just before 8pm(7pm Eastern), kissed terra firma like a lost lover and continued on to the baggage claim.
You know when the flight attendant thanks you for flying with them and tells you to watch your head as you disboard? Well it’s good to listen to the “watch your head” part because I almost got a concussion trying to hurry out of there.
I was tired but excited to be here, Ottawa; the Washington of Canada and the home of most of Karsh’s work. I was already impressed before I arrived. Most of you probably don’t know that it has the second highest quality of living of any city in the Americas and is the third cleanest city in the world. I can tell you that the facts are true. Out being the tourist today, I commented on how clean it seemed, even the air seemed extremely clear for what you would expect from a major city. It feels safe too, safer than any city that I have been in, and after some stat checking – I found out that it IS.
The culture is incredible, the food is a explosion of flavor and the people are diverse and yet cohesive.
My uncle’s picked me up and we drove to their incredibly fantastic home where my Uncle Gerry fed me gin and tonics until I went to bed(bless his heart, he makes the best gin and tonics).
As I mentioned earlier, I did the tourist thing and below you will find a few of the shots I took, of course there will be the generic shots of the hill, but I tell you they are incredible feats of architecture. Tomorrow we are off for some more shooting, I got close to the impressive and depressing American embassy. I have to say, it is the ugliest building that I have ever seen – it looks like a prison, seriously. If you don’t believe me I promise to get a good shot of it tomorrow. From what I hear, the paranoia is so great that if I went to the front door to snap a shot, security would probably detain me after smashing my camera to bits.