The Montreal rush hour on Monday wasn’t nearly as bad as the Toronto rush hour we went through yesterday. 3 hours of stop go stop go. Our behaviour seemed to mimic that motion. Driving into Ottawa, the sun was setting. One of the most beautiful
sunsets I’ve ever seen. It resembled hot pink sand dunes – but upside down
ofcourse. Red sky at night, our delight. The Rainbow in Ottawa went pretty
well. The sound guy, Joe, was on top of s***. My best friends parents showed up
– sans her - as she exams the next day, man do I never not miss school. My uncle
Marc and cousin Jade came out too – it was cool they came out, I don’t think
they’ve ever seen me be a part of such a thing before, or such a thing as a
banjo, box drum, and owen steel either. We took a rest day at my moms house in
Ottawa – it kind of worked out cause she was still on her honeymoon – so we
could really make ourselves at home. We were supposed to practice but just
ended up having a late breakfast feast consisting of lamb patties, croissants,
fried maple syrup eggs, and hash browns (some sweet dancing folks gave us
potatoes in exchange for a cd at the Rainbow). Doug and Mumble went for a nice
home cooked meal at a friends parents house and Owen and I took a bike ride on
my parents fancy bikes down the river path. We ended up at the airport – just a plain little airport (pun anyone?) and watched some aircrafts come and go. Then we cooled off in the neighborhood
swimming-h***. Hard to believe it’s October and still so nice out.

Wednesday it pissed rain, and we mad the 3-hour drive to Peterborough for a show at the Spill. We were all looking forward to seeing our friend Fraser of FM Hi Low who
would be playing with us. We made a stir fry and ate it out of various
containers we mustered up in the apartment upstairs. “So you can feel at home
on tour” said Dave the Spill man about the little place we set up camp in for the next 24 hours. Nice venue, decent crowd, few people dancing,
good beer! Mumble had a good session on the washboard for Frasers set. Mhm! We four, fraser, and some random childhood friends of Owen and Doug missioned
to the poutine place. It was good, but there was a jug of wine and shoeless
crazy people involved so a little strange as well. After some barefoot running
around the city streets – sleep came to our eyes and we sauntered back to the
little apartment above the Spill for some sleep. In the morning we went to the
‘best breakfast in Canada’ according to Fraser or did he say 'The World'?. We were served by a quirky old
eastern European man who winked a lot and made jokes about it being a mans
world. The coffee wasn’t the greatest but what followed was definitely up there
with the best breakfasts of Canada. Eggs to your liking, bacon to your desired
crispness, pumpernickel toast, buttery delicious hash browns and a side of humour.
Mmm. Owen got a haircut at Henry’s, a German Barbershop – Henry waswas dressed in
Oktoberfest garb and had home made sausages and k**** and cold refreshments (wink wink) in the back. Am I ever
glad I popped in to see how the haircut was going.

Before leaving our apartment, we each picked a treat out of the button/pin jar…and left a signed poster on the wall to commemerate our visit. We were off to Campbelford – but first a stop at Wildwood farm
to say farewell to our friend Nico. He is staying with his parents on a
horse ranch – beautiful. An old dog greeted us, and we felt the wind and took a
big deep breath of the country air. We parted ways and began a drive through
the golden country pastures. Next Stop: the Church Key Brewery. We walked in to the old church
converted brewery and Mumble said “we work for Picaroons and we’re with Owen
Steel” – the Picaroons didn’t go over as well as the Owen Steel, for apparently
they had been playing ‘Et Al’ at the bar all week. The bar was a tiny little place called the Stinking
Rose we had yet to visit. We got a little brewery tour and I learned a few things.
Apparently anybody who was anybody used to brew beer back in the day – it was a
way for Peasants to make some dough. Sometimes a wandering wiseman would come through
town and if a guy had a vat of beer that wasn’t brewing – he would claim able to fix it.
The man of magic would go over to the neighbours and stick is staff in their
vat of beer, accumulating some active yeast. He then would stir the troubled
vat and the yeast would take over that habitat and begin the wonderful process of brewing beer. Ofcourse it didn’t always work
so the wise man would take his money and get out of there pretty quick. But
this little story goes to show that they brewed beer yet they didn’t really
know all the science and technicality of it – which now, knowing all those
things you have the option for more variety and deliciousness.

We walked into the back room where there were shelves and shelves of beer bottles and cans – a collection that reached to the highest part of the church ceiling. Bottles and
cans from every land. My favourite was a Pumpkin Beer from San Diego I think –
had a man with a paddle sitting on the edge of a jack O’latern, stirring that
brew. Maybe I’m a bit biased because it’s the pumpkin season.

Pumpkin Ale. We then got to do a tasting – James (our tour guide) okayed Mumble and Doug but had trouble believed Owen and I were of age…ha! Cool, I guess. There were only two on tap – the Holy Smoke: which tasted like
dark delicious ribs and the Northumberland Ale which was a lighter goldier
type. We all decided we’d like to buy some – and got three dinner bottles the
Like Water for Chocolate Porter, the Scarlett Pilsner, and the Black IPA, and a
growler of Holy Smoke. All on an Owen Steel discount…sweet. We hit up the
frilly No Frills and gathered some wrap fixings, took our brews, and set up
camp on a picnic table below the giant toonie and next to the waterway. Giggles
and nonsense ensued. It got dark and a bit chilly so we made it over to the
Stinkin’ Rose – not to be mistaken with the Garlic Restaurant. A pint of West
Coast IPA was passed around and we began to chat with our spectators. No sound
equipment so we had to sing along together and project and be loud and
energetic. Doug claims it to be the best performance yet. We weren’t sure about
where to stay and I was on the phone with two motels – but finally a place was
offered up to us. After the set we sat around the tables and jammed a little
more, drinks round and round. A tall dark man in a cowboy hat hung out with us
out back – he was a bass player Thornley and guitar player for Lifehouse –

We then made our way to the front porch of the house we were staying at and more giggles and foolishness ensued and then at some point we all hit the hay. They enjoyed us –
we were invited back, awesome.

Friday we made our way to Kitchener for a house spectacle at Buckley’s house. It didn’t really work out so we went out and explored the beauty of downtown Kitchener. It was Oktoberfest – sausage on a bun and a beer
at the local sports bar Caper’s. Owen and I took a ride on a ferris wheel, and
I’ll admit I was a little frightended, something about rickety old wires that
are temporarily put up. We tried to pay the guy in cash instead of getting
tickets – but he said he got payed by the ticket. A few times we were swindled
into trying a game of throwing the ball into the basket, or popping the
balloons with a dart. Ugh. Owen thought about winning me a big bear just so I’d
have to carry it around with me all night – I’m glad he didn’t. It wouldn’t fit
in the roofbag anyway. We had a little jam which Buckley’s parents enjoyed. And
then watched Waking Ned Divine – a beautiful little story. Maybe if I got some
fruity soaps I would smell better.

This morning we played in the crunchy leaves with Buckley’s dog Dunivan as we packed up the car. He’s a sweet little mutt from Peru – man can he chase down a squirrel. Hunger fell
upon us and a plan to go to the Kitchener market to eat and busk was agreed
upon by all. What a beautiful and
big market! There were so many choices. I settled upon a jerk chicken roti with
a homemade ginger beer. The guy working was from Jamaica – I told him I was
thinking about some jobs there. I could totally eat roti every day. It was
delicious and we had a nice little brunch outside. I’ve never busked before –
it was fun! And such a beautiful sunny day out – I got a bit of a burn. We made
a bit of $ and got a few smiles. Around 330 it was time to pack er in and head
to London for dinner at 5 with
some familiar faces. We are driving into London now – I leave this for now –
London Music club here we come.

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