|Posted on May 13, 2013 at 8:45 AM|
My husband Jim, my daughter Sarah and I have been in Ottawa since Friday night. We left Andrew at home to take care of the cats. We are here because Sarah got a job offer and has to start work in two weeks. This means she is scrambling to find an apartment. We found one, but now we must wait for credit checks, etc. before she is approved. So, in the meantime, we are waiting and driving around Ottawa, getting to know the area.
Yesterday was Mother's Day, so we decided to go downtown to the Tulip Festival. But before we got there we saw an IKEA. Well everyone knows if you see an IKEA you must go in, plus we don't have an IKEA in London so we spent half the day there. It was late in the afternoon when we left the store and decided to go downtown. Somehow Jim took a wrong turn and we ended up in Hull, Quebec. We didn't know it until we stopped seeing English on road signs.It was a good thing I wasn't driving because I had no idea what some of the signs were saying. The first one I saw was ligne d'arret. I knew arreter was stop, but I had no idea what ligne was. For those in the know, it means "stop online" (I had to look it up on Google). I'll never understand Quebec as long as Iive. The rest of Canada has English and French on their signs, but in Quebec it's just French. If you get lost there heaven help you! You'd think that they'd at least want to stop you from having an accident. Obviously my mandatory six years of French in public school did me no favours.
Eventually we found ourselves back in Ottawa and headed for the Tulip Festival - only to have it start pouring. Of course since it was so cold it turned to sleet. We waved at the Tulips as we headed back to our hotel. After a lovely dinner we called it a night. Only to be surprised by a 5:30 am wake up call from five handsome firemen.
At first, the alarm was very slow and then it would stop, so we didn't know if we should take it seriously or not. My husband was the first one to drag himself out of bed to find out what was going on. Sure enough, fire trucks were in the parking lot. Having been an apartment dweller for a number of years, we knew that not all alarms (95% in fact) are fire related.So, we still didn't bother to leave our room. Then the alarms started clanging louder and faster together. That got me out of bed in a hurry and as I was dressing Jim and Sarah went downstairs to see what was going on. The thing is, we were on the fourth floor and if the fire were real, there was no way I was getting downstairs due to my disability. I waited for them to come back and get me.
I was left behind to burn in our hotel room. Happy Mother's Day to me! After several attempts to keep our room door open while driving my scooter through it, I finally made it into the hallway and headed for the elevator. That's when I remembered you should never take an elevator during a fire, but what choice did I have? When I finally got downstairs I immediately smelled something burning, yet the firefighters were all standing in the lobby. Then I noticed that I was not going anywhere because someone had taken all the luggage racks and placed them in a straight line across the lobby, blocking the exit. Yes, in this hotel they want to keep you from escaping any fires!
Assuming they had put the fire out and having my way blocked I stayed put. Besides, I reasoned, if there was a fire, the safest place to be was near a fireman, right?
They told me to go outside and promptly moved the barricade.
I found Jim and Sarah shivering, along with about 200 other people dressed in their p.j's.The all clear was eventually given and we went back inside. I asked the fireman, who had a huge red axe resting on his shoulder, if there had been a fire and he said no. What I smelled coming off the elevator was burnt toast. Now, I'm not saying the fire department rushed to our aid at 5:30 am this morning because someone burnt their toast, but it sure seemed like it.
I think I'll be glad to get home.