a peek inside the fishbowl

26 May, 2017

Andrea’s Tuesday: sunny cycling

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life|Ottawa

To review: every other Tuesday is my day off and I’m trying to use this time to recharge my batteries. No work, no meetings, minimal errands. Last time I went for a bike ride to Dow’s Lake. It’s hard to believe it was cold two weeks ago and the tulips were barely showing their colours!

Mark suggested I meet him downtown for sushi on my day off, so that’s exactly what I did. Somehow the plan became for me to bike downtown, but the weather was co-operating so I decided to take on the challenge. My usual route along the river was still closed due to recent flooding, so I had to map a new one. I started at Dovercourt after dropping off a bag for charity (yay! one whole bag of stuff gone from my closet!) and wound my way to Island Park>Experimental Farm>Dow’s Lake> then followed the Rideau Canal downtown.

It was, in a word, glorious. I am nervous on the road and never feel completely safe, but once I hit the pathway it was smooth sailing.

Once I reached the Laurier Bridge I gave a whoop and shouted: I DID IT. I am not sure if anyone heard me but I couldn’t help myself. I felt so great. (Note to self: have lunch on the patio at the NAC!)

I parked my bike down by the Bytowne Museum and walked a bit to meet Mark. (He works dangerously close to BeaverTails. How does he resist?)

Culture clash (the good kind) at BeaverTails

Byward Market Square

You know who has great sushi downtown? LaPointe’s! It’s very fresh, and a good value too. We ordered our lunches to go and chose a bench with a view at Major’s Hill Park:

Sushi with a view

And then we went on a post-lunch stroll. The tulips had managed to hold it together for my visit, but it was clear they were a day or two away from throwing in the towel. Those Canada 150 tulips are gorgeous, aren’t they? I want to know where I can buy some bulbs for next year.

Canada 150 tulips, with a view

Canada 150 tulip

Mark had to go back to work so I took some time to check out Inspiration Village. Confession: As you may know, I am usually Ottawa’s biggest cheerleader. I hate to be a Debbie Downer about this, but I couldn’t really get too inspired here. Perhaps I’m missing something, but it was essentially a bunch of shipping containers set up in a downtown parking lot with selfie stations for each province and territory. This is what it looks like when it is closed (er, at 11:45 a.m. on a weekday morning).

Inspiration Village in Ottawa (when it's closed)

… and here it is, when it’s open:

Inspiration Village, Ottawa

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

As for the Ottawa sign that has been the subject of many conversations since it went up, I think it’s cool. It’s a weird place for it though. Wouldn’t it have been nicer on Major’s Hill Park somewhere? Then at least all of those photos being snapped and shared would have something scenic in the background, not matter what side you took the photo from:

The Ottawa sign

… and it’s hard to take a selfie, but then again, this is not my best skill:

My sad attempt at a selfie

I walked back through the crowds, enjoying the sights of Ottawa getting all spiffed up for Canada 150:

Spiffing up the capital for Canada 150

I took the same route home via the canal. I waved at tourists on the river cruise (they waved back), got a thumbs up from a jogger when I dinged my bell, and got a sweet apology by a young man who was too busy looking at his phone to see me coming. I stopped at the Corktown Footbridge, also referred to as the Somerset Street bridge, to take a closer look at all the locks there:

Love locks

Love locks

So much love!When I arrived back at Dow’s Lake I walked my bike so I can take a few more photos of those gorgeous flower beds. None of these photos do them any justice. I can’t fathom how many blooming blooms were blooming:

When I arrived back at Dow’s Lake I walked my bike so I can take a few more photos of those gorgeous flower beds. None of these photos do them any justice. I can’t fathom how many blooming blooms were blooming:

Taking photos of the photo takers

So many tulips!

I couldn’t bear to bike back up the big hill along Queen Elizabeth Drive so I cut through the park to the Civic Hospital neighbourhood. There was barely any traffic. It was so tranquil, just me and the quiet whirr of my bike.

I picked up dinner at Farm Boy on the way home and spent the rest of the afternoon puttering around in the garden. It was a perfect day off, for sure.

Mark and I have been planning a bike ride out to Stittsville. We wanted to do it last year but I felt like I wasn’t ready, not to mention the fact I’m probably riding the wrong bike for me and it needs serious adjustment. Maybe I should just take the leap? What’s the worst thing that can happen? (Ok, the worst thing is that I collapse at Quitter’s Cafe and need to call someone to come pick me up. Sigh.) Someone, anyone! Please advise me!

3 Responses to "Andrea’s Tuesday: sunny cycling"

1 | Alison in Ottawa

May 28th, 2017 at 6:09 pm


Yes! Have lunch at Le Cafe at the NAC on the patio. It is a lovely spot for lunch and the food is usually very good. I did not know La Pointe did sushi…. good to know…. but my favourite place for lunch in the Market is Play Food and Wine.

2 | andrea tomkins

May 29th, 2017 at 11:17 am


Oooh! I’ve always wanted to go to Play! Definitely need to add that to my list. Thanks Alison!

3 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Andrea's Tuesdays: a cold and rainy trip to Ritchie Feed and Seed - a peek inside the fishbowl

June 7th, 2017 at 5:02 pm


[…] To review: every other Tuesday is my day off and I’m trying to use this time to recharge my batteries. No work, no meetings, minimal errands. Last time I biked downtown to see the tulips and meet Mark for sushi. […]

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Ang Antos: I would respectfully disagree that the parks should open up individual reviews for each site, part of camping is the adventure, the not knowing and di
  • Maureen Kilpatrick: I love reading books and last year I read the most I’ve ever read since I started tracking on Goodreads. It was mostly due to the pandemic and the l
  • a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive weathering - a peek inside the fishbowl: […] am happy to say that I am still making my bed every day and reading lots of books. I don’t want to oversell it, but the making the bed
  • jdope: It is ridiculously addictive, if you can get your hands on some it won't last long. FYI The ingredients on the Ikea Mustard Dill Jar: Canola Oil, M
  • Lisa from Iroquois: Totally get why you saved that calendar. You know, the way it is designed, you could easily create an slip of paper with 2021 calendar and glue it i
  • Stephanie Henderson: Thank you very much, you're an outstanding author! Maintain providing us with excellent stuff later on.
  • valiasi: So hard to say. Yet, knowing your tendency for either opening or finishing can help you understand what habits you need to work against and what parts

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.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter