21 June 2014

The Trip part 2

Tulips at Major Hill Park with the Parliament East Block in the background

After a combination of delays and changes, I finally made it in to Ottawa.

We weren't alone on the airport apron (not "tarmac" which I have now learned is the wrong term to use) - a smaller jet was surrounded by black limousines and security. Someone official or important or such was also arriving in the nation's capital.

It was a rainy night and the next day was rainy as well. I still tried to see some of the tulip festival near Parliament but it was a perfect day to spend at the National Gallery of Canada. Visiting here was number two on my list of things to do in Ottawa. Number one was to visit Parliament Hill but I was saving that for when I returned in a week with Dad and Tina.

I didn't take a picture of every piece of art but it seems like it. So many amazing works that I have seen on the covers and pages of textbooks, on postcards and websites. I always look forward to discovering a new artist that I enjoy or a work of art that I just want to spend time with.

Some of my favourites!

National Gallery of Canada
Red Currant Jelly by Mary Pratt
This artist was the exhibit I missed seeing in Regina! Love the light! It reminds me of my photo from, Tangled Gardens, a shop in Nova Scotia.

Tom Thomson; Arthur Lismer; J.E.H. MacDonald; and A.Y. Jackson -gorgeous pieces. 

National Gallery of Canada
Pavane by Jean Paul Riopelle - this is joy!

National Gallery of Canada
Ludivine by Edwin Holgate - I sat in front of this for some time. She is at the funeral of her mother. So powerful.

National Gallery of Canada
Artist and Shaman between Two Worlds by Norval Morriseau

National Gallery of Canada
Irises by Vincent Van Gogh - so beautiful!

National Gallery of Canada
Jacaranda by Alexander Calder

National Gallery of Canada
The Hotel Eden by Joseph Cornell - I am a HUGE fan of Joseph Cornell so was happy to see this iconic piece.

National Gallery of Canada
A Swedish Village by Harold Gilmer - this makes me want to go to Sweden even more!

National Gallery of Canada
Firuzabad (Variation 1) by Frank Stella - a huge bright and happy piece.

National Gallery of Canada
"Just paint the picture already!" - Young Woman with a Fan by Pietro Rotari

Okay - I really could have posted many more. I spent my time going from room to room and occasionally sitting and soaking it all in. I love great art galleries!  Unfortunately, I didn't figure out how to turn off the camera sounds until the next day.  So everywhere I went, you could here, click, click, click.  I'm sure the security and other visitors would have been happier if I had known this 24 hours earlier. To see my photos of the art and the gallery I spent my day enjoying, you can see them here on Flickr.   Do you have a favourite?

The room I spent the most time is was the reconstruction of the Rideau Street Convent Chapel. Not only for the beauty of the room but the sound installation of the Forty-Part Motet by Janet Cardiff. I remember reading about this when it was originally exhibited in 2001. It was amazing to sit and listen to. But even more amazing to walk around the room and hear each track on its own speaker as the music was passed around the room.

National Gallery of Canada
Amazing ceiling, isn't it?

Here is a video of what the experience is like:

After touring the gallery, I made my way to take in the view from Nepean Point. From behind the gallery, you can look out and see the river with bridges across to Gatineau and look back towards downtown to see Parliament and the locks of the canal. The West Block is currently being renovated - a process that is making its way around the various buildings of Parliament and scheduled to take 30 years. Renovations on the Central Block will be starting in 2018.

Parliament Hill as seen from Nepean Point

I had dinner down at the Elgin Street Diner - open all night which is good because after walking all day at the gallery, I didn't make it back out until after I watched 24 (so happy Jack is back!) and then walked for an hour to find it. Poutine, a salad and a milkshake. Too much food - it was impossible to finish. I read my book and enjoyed people watching and being out of the rain.  

Elgin Street Diner
Where I spent my Friday night in Ottawa
The next morning I had breakfast in my neighbourhood - the busy Byward Market with stalls of flowers, vegetables and fruit and arts and crafts.  I enjoyed a croissant and hot chocolate from Moulin De Provence, an Ottawa landmark. I bought some loaves of bread and tulip cookies to take up to Val d'Or. (no camera for this part)

My ride north had a few hiccups (including some generous and helpful volunteers who got me to my bus and a very carsick dog) but I eventually made it to Val d'Or by 9:30 that night.

En route to Val d'Or - rocks and trees and water... (I hummed the Arrogant Worms song all the way up)

 Part 3 of the trip to follow.

20 June 2014

The Trip Part 1

En route to Ottawa from Val d'Or with Elder and Sister Rhodes 
It started out to just be a trip to visit the missionaries (Dad and Tina) in Quebec. It grew into a bit more -  Regina, Phoenix, Ottawa, Val d'Or, Quebec and back to Ottawa. Well, I had never visited the capital of our country before and this was something I was definitely going to take advantage of since Val d'Or is part of the stake in Ottawa. Then the timing lined up with my attendance of  the TESL Canada conference in Regina where I was giving two presentations so it was a pit stop on my journey east. BUT then I was invited to join my sister's family and my mom in Phoenix between these two - Mother's Day in the sun. So the trip was set.

The girls in Phoenix on Mother's Day 2014 (mom's pic from Facebook)
It is always nice to come home but I had a great time on the road! Here are the highlights:

Regina: Excellent conference. I attended some great presentations - had some good conversations connecting with colleagues from across the country. Not enough time to attend all the sessions I wanted to see. Gave two presentations (which is part of why I spent my first day in Regina on the computer in my hotel room working on documents needed back at MRU and finalizing my notes and didn't get to visit the MacKenzie Art Gallery), but both were well attended and I felt good at the end of them.  Loved the last night - Nancy found an improv show "Red Hot Riot with Jayden Pfeifer" and coordinated tickets for us. It was just a few blocks from the hotel and was an Improv/Talk show held in a renovated church, the Artesian.  Hilarious! There was even a legitimate guest for the talk show - Lowell Dean, director of "Wolf Cop".  And a musical act, Poor Nameless Boy. I bought his CD at the end of the show - if you get a chance to check him out, do so!

Last night in Regina - Improv fun at the Artesian

Phoenix: I arrived Sunday afternoon for a couple of days in the sun with just the Mom, Janelle and Madi. On Monday we visited the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens and saw the Chihuly exhibit!! I'm so glad I was able to see this. It's like I've been chasing Chihuly installations with a number of my trips. Missed it at Chatsworth. Missed it at Kew Gardens. Missed the first exhibit in Phoenix and left Arizona one week before this current exhibit with hopes to get back before it was packed up.  This was now the last week before it was all over. Fantastic pieces and when you look around, there were plants in the garden that could be seen as inspirations for the glass works.

Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden
Madi at the Desert Botanical Garden Chihuly art installation
Red and Yellow Assymetrical Tower, 2013 

Desert Botanical Garden
Summer Sun

Desert Botanical Garden
Erbium Pink Fiori, 2013

Desert Botanical Garden
Blue Fiori Sun, 2013

Desert Botanical Garden
Sapphire Star, 2010
To see more of my photos from the Botanical Garden, click through for the full set on Flickr.

We were then joined by Rob, Tanner, Sam and Jazz on Tuesday for another couple of days of fun.

An early visit to the new Gilbert Arizona temple.

Gilbert Arizona Temple

Lots of pool time and I had fun playing with my camera settings.

Family Fun in Phoenix
I took sooo many pictures to get this great shot!

Family Fun in Phoenix
Last night in Phoenix - the full moon
Part one of my trip done... on to Ottawa and Val d'Or in the next blog post. 

nRelate - All Sections