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Thread: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

  1. #1
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    Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Before Leaving


    Having checked all the weather sites the view was that temperatures in February would range from about -4c to -18c for 90% of the time with 10% possibility of +3/4c or -30c. I therefore decided I definitely needed some extra warm weather clothing, so a trip to our large Decathlon store was in order. Starting with lined walking boots rated good for -15c, a size bigger than normal and some cold weather socks to go over my normal socks. Then Thermals, both vests and long johns, gloves, good for -15c and a circular scarf, one than you pull over your head and covers neck (and can cover mouth and nose if pulled up). The lady serving asked "are you going somewhere nice?" ....."Canada" I replied "Skiing?" she queried "No Tennis" I replied, which abruptly ended the conversation. Now my next concern was that I had not been well for a week and was getting worse, so a trip to the Doctor's Thursday before going, listed to my chest and back, you definitely need antibiotics, hopefully they will kick in before you fly on Tuesday, if you don't improve see us again on Monday before flying so we can assess if it is alright for you to go. I started to improve, my temperature had dropped, no way was I going to give the docs the option of advising me not to go, my wife was worried "you will stay in the warm, don't go outside and take taxis everywhere.....and don't make yourself worse by shouting!" ......."yes, my love" but no way could i see myself sitting like a dummy in the Library. Anyway, Tuesday morning arrived, I was up early had tea and cereal before the taxi came, I was still coughing but didn't feel too bad.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    The Journey

    I got into the taxi, Manchester Terminal 3 please, I allowed plenty of time the flight was at 8.55, I already had printed my boarding passes so didn't really need to be there that early but left home early and arrived there about 7.10 and was quickly through bag drop and security, had a walk round the terminal looking to see if I could find Supergran but there was no sign of her. I bought myself a battery recharger for my phone in Dixons and having seen a massive queue at Costa went up the steps to another bit where there was another place I could get myself a latte and my second breakfast...Porridge followed by a Yoghurt mix. I checked on the forum for any updates and posted at the airport. John, our friend (who travels with Topspin, the old Tim Henman fanclub) had been moved to a flight an hour earlier on the advice of his travel agent and had already boarded his 7.55 flight by the time I was through security. Anyway our flight was called just as I finished my Latte so off to board. When i got on the plane I saw Supergran a few rows behind me so said hello. We were delayed a bit waiting for some time on the runway but made heathrow about our scheduled arrival time. We needed to get from T5 to T2, it was busy as usual and the assistance people came and helped us to get to the bus to transfer to T5. On arriving at T5, we went to the assistance area who took our boarding details and said someone will be along soon...well we waited and waited, at least 20-30 minutes had passed and finally someone arrived in the lift to take us to our gate, but it was a slow process, a powered vehicle to a stop, change to push chair, then another wait and another powered vehicle to the gate. John was already on the plane and I had managed to select a seat across from him, SG was a few rows away from us. There were lots of empty seats so after takeoff SG managed to move to a middle three all to herself. The plane was very nice, so much legroom, at least four inches more than normal, it felt like we were in Business Class with that amount of space. We were fed a reasonable meal and then I chatted with John a bit before watching an action movie, Jack Reacher, never go back. The seven hour flight went very quickly and soon we were landing in Ottawa at 2.35 in the afternoon, the captain told us how it had warmed up a lot from earlier when he told is it was -20c and that it was now just -9c!They seemed short of assistance but found a spare wheelchair so I pushed John whilst the helper looked after SG, Soon we were out and near the waiting taxi's. We managed to find one that could take all 3 of us and our bags going to the downtown Marriot first for SG and then to our Hampton by Hilton hotel a couple of miles to the east

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  5. #3
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    If you were feeling poorly at times Roy, you would never have known so good were you at waving the flag!

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  7. #4
    ATP Ace! Linda's Avatar
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Wondering whether to do a blog myself but my memory is so bad I've already forgotten half of what I did!

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  9. #5
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Quote Originally Posted by Linda View Post
    Wondering whether to do a blog myself but my memory is so bad I've already forgotten half of what I did!
    Please do, you managed to see much more than I did

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    JerryD (28-02-2017)

  11. #6
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Before the Tennis - Part1

    The Hampton by Hilton is a 3* hotel with a walkway across on the second floor to the nearby larger Marriott Courtyard East, which was one of the two hotels offered by the LTA package, between them almost 600 rooms. I quickly checked in but John had a problem...they couldn't find his booking for an accessible room. It appears his local travel agent had booked through another agent based in LA but they didn't have the booking on the hotel's computer. Luckily they had an available room and after phone calls and emails established even though his confirmation showed January, he had been booked 31st July! At least we managed to relax (well me at least) drinking tea and watching football (soccer to them) on the TV nearby, John's team Burnley were on and eventually managed a narrow win so John was happier when we went to our rooms and put our suitcases in them before meeting in reception for a trip over to the adjoining Marriott for food. The welcome and the service there was outstanding (as it was everywhere in Ottawa), however the food did not match the service and there was both a 13% tax to add to the bill and a 15% service change (normal for Canada) which considering the service we receive all trip, was, in our view, worth paying for. After food we managed another cup of tea back in our Hotel before going to our rooms about 8.30 local time. I showered and watched tv for half an hour before going to sleep. I woke at 3.30 in the morning but managed to turn over and sleep until about 6ish. Sorted my things and watched TV before we went to breakfast about 2 hours later. Again staff were really helping fetching and carrying food to help John, asking if they could get us anything else. We relaxed there eating, talking and then eating more .......Porridge cereal yogurt bacon french toast omelette fresh fruit salad toast, reasonable food with a good choice, earl grey tea as well!

    We took a taxi after deciding to go to Parliament House but when we got there we were told it was closed until 12.30 and we needed to buy tickets on the main road below for then....but when we got to the ticket office we were told how busy it was tickets for tours which were sold on a daily basis from 9am and to come early tomorrow. In the absence of ant taxi, we decided to walk a little down and towards Supergran's hotel. Slowly we made our way, the pavements here were pretty clear so John was happy to walk slowly. We were happy to arrive at the hotel, by then we had been in the cold long enough despite our extra layers and cold weather stuff so we went into the Starbucks there for a warm drink. Whilst we were they we got a message from Hawkeye that he and Supergran were meeting at the venue in Lansdowne so when we finished our drinks we took a taxi from the rank by the hotel (we couldn't find any taxis near the parliament building) to the DC venue.

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  13. #7
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Before the Tennis - Part 2

    The taxi driver dropped us at the bottom end of the TD Place arena, virtually outside the steps leading up to gate 3. The taxi drove away, we started walking up the street which was deserted... it was like we had come to a Ghost Town...a Town with empty Cafes Bars and Restaurants ...and no sign of Supergran and Hawkeye.....but on closer inspection they had staff waiting inside, in the hope of customers arriving. There was nobody at the ticket office booth but there was a door so we pressed and entered. There were a couple of staff inside, we asked about getting in to view the team practicing but were told no public admittance. We then asked if there was accessible access nearer to the main Brits block (John was given a ticket for the far corner and had to enter via gate1 and a lift) but were told no it was not possible. We then asked about the draw and the one lad told us it hadn't been confirmed yet but took my email address and promised to tell me. He thought it would be Midday. Before leaving I asked him a final question, can you recommend a place here that can put our soccer on at 3pm and he said try asking at the place called Local, so off we went.

    We walked across into Local, a real sports bar with masses of tv screens everywhere! are you able to put Manchester United game on at 3pm, the girl welcoming us, said i'm sure we can but will check. We got a comfy location and ordered some food and drinks. Whilst we were eating our food got a message from Hawkeye we are in Joey which turned out to be next door. Anyway, Supergran and Hawkeye arrived and we had a long relaxing lunch/afternoon/early evening session and were on the third waiter before we left. After starting with $7 drinks we were tempted by the happy hours offer of $3 beers and wines. This was the only place in Ottawa I encountered, that couldn't manage a proper Irish coffee, tipping one glass into another in front of me. Whilst we had the football on, I must admit I didn't get to watch much, since we were all chatting. The time flew by, further rounds of drinks arrived, Supergran told us about her latest adventure, see other thread for more details. Over the time we were there, it filled up completely and by the time we left there were people waiting for a table to become available. In the end we paid our bill for the third time and John and I left in a taxi to go back to our hotel, which by then we had both become a little tired (well it was after midnight uk time) and slightly worse for wear. We had tea (tea and coffee were available free near reception, 24 hours or in our rooms) before going over to get some more food. My throat was definitely a bit worse so i had chilli soup and a decent Irish Coffee.

    The next day both John and I were feeling blocked and rough, so we did the sensible (boring) thing and stayed in the hotel to rest before the Tennis the following day...I know wimps! Definitely no more beer as well!
    Last edited by roytennisfan; 18-02-2017 at 20:29. Reason: corrections

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  15. #8
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Thanks for the blog Roy. Really helps to read all about it.
    2011 Bubble Gap Champion

  16. #9
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    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Thank you Roy. Looking forward to the next instalment.

  17. #10

    Re: Ottawa on the Rideau (roytennisfan blog)

    Yes - thanks Roy!

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