a peek inside the fishbowl

20 Aug, 2015

Fireworks on my birthday!

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Ottawa

Some of you may remember awhile back when I wrote about a giant bike ride I wanted to take for my birthday. WELL, it never happened. I wrote about it, bought a new bike seat, took my bike out a handful of times, and that’s it.

I thought about WHY this happened and I was only able to come to one conclusion: I guess I didn’t want it badly enough. I really like the idea of biking to Carleton Place (or Almonte, Mark and I were thinking about that too) but I didn’t want it enough to train for it. If I’m honest with myself, the same applies to tennis. And gardening. I like the idea of these things but don’t like them enough to commit. It’s a bit sad, but if I’m honest with myself, there it is.

I am not quite ready to give up on the idea just yet. (And I’m talking about cycling, as well as tennis and gardening.) Maybe something will shift inside me? Maybe I’m just not ready. All this being said, the cover story for the latest issue of Kitchissippi Times is about a senior citizen – he’s in his 80s – who REGULARLY cycles great distances. His story is very inspiring. You can read the digital edition of the paper here if you like.)

Anyway, yesterday was a tough workday and it didn’t leave a lot of time for celebrating my birthday. We’ve postponed birthday sushi and related celebrations until Friday, BUT since it would be utterly depressing to let a birthday go by without ANY acknowledgement, a few things happened:

1) My youngest made dinner. Just a regular dinner, which was great (tacos!) but this was very welcome.

2) A scheduled soccer game could not be avoided, but in the end it was a pleasant evening to be outside.

3) After soccer we packed up and went downtown to see the Sound of Light fireworks. But first, gelato at Piccolo Grande. (I highly recommend the Maple Crystal.)

Birthday gelato at Piccolo Grande

4) We opted to take in the show from the Ottawa side, at the Bytown Museum.

A view of the Bytown Museum by the canal

Bytown Museum Ottawa

The Colonel himself. Colonel By! At the Bytown Museum.

They charge $5 per person to see it from this vantage point. There was an article about it in the paper because some people had an issue paying admission to a public space. Honestly, I was happy to pay it. Not only it is a fantastic view, but we arrived early to check out the museum itself, which is actually pretty interesting. Five bucks! Some people pay more for coffee.

Birthday fireworks courtesy of Venezuela, Sound of Light Show

The fireworks really were stunning, and I couldn’t get over the view. I still can’t believe we haven’t gone before this (!), but I’m a convert and I say if you can go, GO. The last show is on Saturday night.

In other news, I’ve decided I’m going to rock 43. That is all. :)

5 Responses to "Fireworks on my birthday!"

1 | FD

August 20th, 2015 at 4:05 pm


Happy birthday! Cut yourself some slack on the biking. It has been an extremely hot and humid summer – not the best conditions for biking. Maybe you’ll like to bike more in the fall and then again maybe you won’t …

2 | andrea tomkins

August 20th, 2015 at 7:38 pm


I’m not beating myself up about it exactly, but I am a bit disappointed. I totally think I can do this, so what’s holding me back? (Answer, my lazy old self. Sigh.)

3 | Stefania

August 21st, 2015 at 10:38 am


Happy belated birthday!

Sounds like you had a perfect birthday — surrounded by love and fun (minus the work stuff :-) ).

4 | Lisa from Iroquois

August 21st, 2015 at 5:50 pm


Happy Birthday and enjoy 43. How did the time pass so quickly, eh? As for biking. Have you tried going for a short ride in the early morning hours … instead of getting on your treadmill. When I lived in Winnipeg I was close enough to do their 8 mile route around Assiniboine park every summer morning. In fact, I could get up, get dressed and get on my bike before I became fully awake… just need to create a calm time and form a habit … much nicer word than ‘training.’

Love that view for the fireworks. Can you hear the music from there too? I firmly beleive fireworks need to be seen from a distance to be best appreciated and that spot looks like it’s perfect. How were the mosquitoes?

5 | andrea tomkins

August 22nd, 2015 at 11:13 am


Thanks all! It’s been a lovely birthday!

Lisa, you’ve given me something to think about, that’s for sure. A morning ride could be nice, and it’s easy enough to do. re: the fireworks. The mosquitoes were non-existent, and we had a weird thing in regards to the music. You can’t hear it across the water, but someone near us had a radio (?) tuned to it and we could hear little bits of it. Not sure what was going on there, but I wouldn’t count on the music from that location.

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The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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