What. A. Day.

I left my one-room bohemian digs this morning with an extra burden – a bag of books I had bought at the AGO and ROM. I didn’t have room in my other luggage for them, at least not right now. I made the foolish assumption that I could walk from Bathurst and Queen to Union Station. Yes, it’s walkable, but not comfortably with 3 burdens. Plus, about halfway there, the handles on the bag broke, so I had to carry it under my arm.

Also, about halfway to the station, my phone no longer seemed to be responding to tapping on the screen, which eliminated any quick photos I could take with it. All the snaps I took today were with the other camera, and it’s so much more of an effort to get it out and shoot that I was pretty sparing with it. Here’s one shot I managed to pause long enough to get outside the station. No idea what this sculpture is about, there wasn’t enough time to check.

I arrived at Union Station with just a few minutes to pick up my ticket, and no time to scout for another bag to substitute for the ripped paper one, so I humped all my belongings onto the train.

The ride itself was beautiful. It really is a more civilized way to travel. No stress from driving, no road to be shared with other idiots or maniacs, just smooth rolling comfort and an ever-changing landscape. Granted, it’s a landscape that goes by awfully fast sometimes, but I did manage to get the occasional interesting shot, thanks to the quick shutter on the Panasonic GH2.

Meantime, I did some diagnostics on the phone, but I wasn’t able to correct the problem – still not accessible. It made no sense, and I couldn’t find any mention of the problem or a solution online. (Thank goodness for the iPad, otherwise I would have been completely without Internet access!)

Finally, we arrived at Ottawa Station, and I got the shots I wanted to get before I left:

Farewell, Aquarius, and we thank you.

A short cab ride later, and I was at the hotel. And what a hotel! Modest by hotel standards, perhaps, but in contrast to my last accommodations, it might as well be the Ritz Carlton:

And what a view! The telephoto even picks out what looks like some of the buildings on Parliament Hill in the distance:

I decide to head downtown to the Apple Store and see if someone can figure out what’s wrong with my phone. A kind young lady began taking my information on an iPad to set up an appointment for me, then asked what the problem was. I described it to her, and she said, “Oh, I know what that is.” After a few deft flicks and taps, the thing was back to normal. Turns out I had turned on the accessibility features somehow, which requires multiple taps to activate buttons, and other behaviours are toned down to allow for more ease of use. Except by me. I laughed heartily when she handed back the “fixed” phone!

I spent another hour or so doing some errands while I was downtown: getting my second meal of the day (at 3:00!); picking up a lighter jacket that should work better than the sweat box raincoat I’ve been wearing; and getting a couple of mesh laundry bags to help distinguish clean from dirty clothes (forgot to get them before leaving). I bought a pastry from a bakery in the Rideau Centre that looked like a cinnamon bun, but was tricked out like a boston cream – vanilla pudding filling, chocolate on top. Interesting, tasty, not sure I understood it, but I ate it.

One more thing. Remember that bag of books? Left them on the train. I called VIA Lost and Found, they said they’d call when they located them. Haven’t heard back yet as of this writing. Oddly, I’m not terribly upset about that – I’m just glad some of my more expensive and difficult to replace items are still with me.

Now to bed. Tomorrow, Parliament awaits.