Oktoberfest in Ottawa – just like it should be

It was my lucky day when I was invited to Oktoberfest hosted by a small team of employees at the German Embassy here in Ottawa, this past weekend. Guests were warmly greeted in a backyard garden by the host who was proudly dressed in Lederhosen.  The beer was flowing freely – a delicious Bavarian Weiss Beer being poured out of a pitcher by a man wearing a white coat and black bowtie.  A German butcher from the small neighbouring town of Pembroke served a mouth-watering, traditional meal consisting of Pretzels, Sausage and Leberkase (meatloaf) with sauerkraut and an amazing array of mustards.  There was an accordion player to keep the mood light and there were even games for the kids.  The long communal tables provided a great opportunity to meet the other invited guests – many from various Embassies also experiencing a “real” Oktoberfest party for the first time.  A fabulous time was had by all!   I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to catch a glimpse into this special celebration!

Prost!

Tessa Webster, Sales Manager – LORD ELGIN HOTEL

My Morning Commute

Friday October 2 – by Andrew Horsfield , Sr Sales Manager, Lord Elgin Hotel

Due to my schedule I don’t get to ride my bike to work as much as I would like.  Today was the first time in over a week and it was the first day I had to really bundle up for the ride.  Fall seems to have truly arrived in Ottawa.

Our city is blessed with some incredibly beautiful bike paths.  My commute takes me along the Ottawa River pathway from west Ottawa to downtown.  It’s a parkway the entire route that is normally packed with cyclists, roller-bladers, and people running, walking or just sitting on a park bench enjoying the view. But not this morning.

Even though it was pitch black when I set out this morning, it wasn’t long before the first light of dawn was lighting up the path.  I quickly noticed there seemed to be far less traffic on the path than August or even early September. Usually I can count on encountering joggers and bikers right away.  Instead, this morning it was at least two kilometers before I came upon another biker.   My other observation is that the price of the biking outfits seems to vary inversely with the temperature.  As the temperature goes down, the price of the outfits goes up.  Gone are the cargo shorts and t-shirts of August to be replaced by neon biking jackets and flashy, dry-weave long pants.  I bet I was the only one this morning not wearing clip-in biking shoes to maximize speed.

Still it was a wonderful ride for me.  The leaves were just starting to turn colour and the river was choppy from a moderate wind. I passed the place where someone has built numerous inukshuks on the river bank and marvelled at stones balanced upon one another.  It won’t be long before the ice takes them all away.

I expect path to be busier tonight when I ride home as the temperature rises quickly on a sunny day this time of year.  If the wind stays out of the east like it was this morning, then it will give me a gentle push to help me on my way.  If it doesn’t, that okay too.  At least I can count on passing all the cars lined up for the lights at Sir John A Macdonald Parkway and Island Park Drive.  I know I shouldn’t feel this way but it is my favourite part of the ride home.