So last week was my very first trip to Ottawa as an “Activities Director” (I.e. tour guide)!!! I couldn’t have asked for a better, smoother trip! The kids were really smart and well behaved. In fact, as soon as they got a little rowdy, the teachers would give them the “we’re very disappointed talk” and they would be angels for the next several hours.
The drive on the way up was good, apart from a bit of rain. I get free food at the On Routes since I’m a tour guide, which is nice. I had some cool info to share with the kids about some of the places we passed on the way there. They were surprisingly attentive and interested in what I had to say.
As soon as we got to Ottawa, the teacher who was in the front of the bus kept asking me to explain the significance of this or that… Which was stressful considering I haven’t been in the city for years and I had no clue what she wanted me to say. All’s well that ends well, though, since she didn’t seem to mind giving the kids the info herself, and I learned a lot of cool things in the process.
On our way to the hotel, from my seat on the bus, I saw some of this.
Checking into the hotel was a bit of a hassle. None of the room keys worked so there were 60 kids waiting impatiently outside of their rooms. Thankfully, a hotel manager came around with a master key and let everyone in, and then the keys were promptly reprogrammed and the trip was back on track!
Later that night I had some of this.
In Parliament, I got to see a bit of this.
Then we visited my favourite place, the National Art Gallery, where the kids did a guided tour. The guide stood the kids in front of an abstract-ish painting and they had a cool discussion about what it might mean. I was surprised by the interested ideas the kids had.
Finally we visited the Aviation museum, walked around Byward market, went for dinner, went bowling, and went to bed.
The next day was easy. We went to the Museum of Civilization (A.K.A the History Museum) where I took this lovely, self-congratulatory selfie commemorating my first tour successfully completed. Notice the tour guide gear.
One of the highlights of the trip included the teacher asking me how many years I’d worked as a tour guide. I laughed awkwardly and confessed that I’d never done it before. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have said anything definitive but I’m glad they thought I knew what I was doing.
Overall it was an incredible experience. I came back tired but content, and I’m looking forward to the next two months of similar trips. Very much looking forward to my next trip, which leaves tomorrow and goes to Friday!