Trying to Gatineau Ottawa 

Off to see the wizard! The wonderful wizard of Oz-ttawa!


Four states, three provinces, two Independence Days, countless beverages, four border crossings, two band members, and one passport. This is Animal Nation's recollection of the past seven days.

Mike and I left Whistler on June 28 with plenty of time to spare, arriving in Vancouver by bus at 4:45 to meet up with Mike's mom, who was shuffling us across the border for our first gig in Seattle.

If there's one way to feel like a rock star it's to play a show on one side of the country, finish your set, and dash off to catch your 4:30 a.m. plane to New York to go play another show on the opposite side of the country. I managed to catch a couple solid hours of spine-curling sleep, with my head jammed into the window cavity, and my knees against my chest, which allowed me just enough next-day-energy to book the car rental, sort out our driving route to Ottawa, and eat some of the best Sushi I've ever had in my life with Mike's New York family. If you're ever in Brooklyn you have to go to a place called Kyoto and try the tuna dumpling. You will fall in love. To top off the night I ended up skateboarding for the first time in years (I can still land a kick-flip!) down to the Statue of Liberty to drink some beers with the big lady herself.

We spent the next day driving eight hours into Ottawa with Mike's brother, and arrived around dusk. We hit the hay pretty quickly after settling in at our hotel across the river in a little town called Gatineau, and after finding a good place to get a couple nightcaps.

July 1 st ! Happy Canada Day!

After wandering around the 9 a.m. ghost-town-like-streets of Gatineau we quickly came to realize two things about French Canadians: They don't understand sarcasm (telling a French Canadian that you've "Gatineau where the food is" will either leave you with a look of confusion, or distaste), and it's impossible to find something to eat so early in the morning - but you can quickly and easily find somewhere that will serve you a beer and satisfy your morning urges to play video poker.

After conceding the fact that Gatineau'ers don't do breakfast, we booked it back to the hotel to catch the tail end of their buffet. Almost everything had already been scooped up (since this was the only place to eat in the entire city), so we were left with beers for breakfast and Caesars for lunch, and since we were there to represent Whistler, we thought we better make 'em doubles.

Our first show was an interesting one, with a diverse gathering of on-lookers, aged 8 and 80, with no one in between. We got a few kids rockin', but their grandparents were hesitant to let them get too close.

Our second show, scheduled at a more reasonable time of day, went amazingly. The four hours in between sets allowed people our age to wake up and come out, and allowed us time to drink a few more bottles of cheap white wine. Once the show was over we shook hands, kissed babies, and told people all about the beautiful town that sent us here.

After all the action had died down, and the streets had been emptied of all the people, and left filled with their garbage, we made sure to hop the main stage fence, wait until the security guard had turned his back, and made a run for the stairs leading up to the stage that earlier held the talents of Sarah McLaughlin, and the attention of 20,000 people, to show off a couple of our best air-guitar moves for the few remaining crowd members and random roamers, before quickly being booted off and sent home.

The next day the garbage was gone, and so were we. We drove back to New York for the standard 4 th of July BBQ fest, including drinks at the beautiful Brooklyn apartment of Ms. Stacy London, co-host of What Not to Wear.

Between the jet setting, the celeb meeting, the never-ending free drinks, and the amazing places we got to visit and see, it was a pretty fantastic past seven days.
If Whistler weren't so beautiful itself, I'd say it would almost be hard to come back home.


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