Friday, March 19, 2010

March break with the Mics

Sara shows off the snake

Once again we spent the March break with our friends the McMullans but unlike so many other March breaks, this year we stayed right here in Ottawa. Given the warm weather and lack of snow left on the ground, staying in town wasn't such a bad idea.

Looking (im)patiently on
Hungry bird Waiting for the birds Hungry bird

After a round of hiking boot purchases for the majority of the crew we headed straight for the Greenbelt trails to test them out. Though not quite spring, we did spot many signs of the season knocking at the door. Butterflies, hungry chickadees, and even a garter snake which Sara quickly scooped up.

Top of the Lime Kiln

Sometime during the week we made the obligatory trip to the Bruce Pit dog park where Izzy got to run wild and sniff up the other dogs. Some of the breeds must have seemed alien to her but without a single racist bone in her body, Izzy just continued to skip from one dog greeting to another (except for the basset hound but he was a stubby obnoxious barking SOB and got exactly what he deserved).

Dog park walk Izzy

On St. Patrick's Day the parents all donned their green and headed towards downtown in search of a pub. Our first choice was the Heart and Crown in Little Italy (don't ask) but the line-up was already around the bend. From there the next closest pub was The Royal Oak on Wellington where there was no wait and a live band. Perfect. To top it off we somehow managed to score a table with a view of the band too so we parked it for the night.

Me and Mic on St. Paddy's Day Rhonda and Paula on St. Paddy's Day

The band was quite good, playing all the Irish classics and more importantly the Guinness was cold and company warm. Later in the evening we were joined by René (a friend and co-worker of mine from way back) and much later by Erin McMullan (Steve's neice) and Jason. More pints, more food ("did I order my supper already?") and plenty'o'good times.

And still home in time to tuck the kids in bed.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Po' Girl with JT Nero

Po' Girl with JT Nero

What better way to kick off March break than with a trip to the Black Sheep Inn? Tonight it was Po' Girl hitting the stage again with some help here and there from JT Nero from Chicago. The end result was more than adequate, in fact it was verging on spiritual.

Po' Girl is in the middle of their No Shame Tour that will see them on stages in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The night before they were in my hometown Peterborough where they apparently impressed and enticed some of the fans to actually hop in the car and check out this evening's show in Wakefield. The start of a dedicated fanbase maybe? Call them Po'Heads?

Po' Girl with JT Nero
Po' Girl with JT Nero

Po' Girl are multiple instrumentalists. There was rarely a break between songs where the members weren't switching the tools of their trade. Banjo, slide guitar, electric bass, clarinet, accordion, wash bucket bass, glockenspiel, piano, and even bicycle bells (which sound surprisingly musical when left in the hands of these girls). Very impressive. What I love the most is the way they make these changes without pointing out the obvious to the fans like so many other bands often do. Well done.

Cheers from the Black Sheep Inn JT and Allison

Great music, good friends, and a round or two of micro-brewed beer. Cheers guys now bring on St. Patty's Day!!

Check out the last time I caught Po' Girl at the Black Sheep back in October 2008.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Grass heads

Grass heads
If this weather keeps up we will soon be planting these two cheery grass heads outdoors.