Tuesday, July 06, 2010

How I missed the Ottawa Tulip Fest again

I started to write this post a few weeks ago, about the two back-to-back conferences that I went to in May. But then the entry started to get longer and longer, as I went through more and more of my conference notes. I have 10 pages of typed notes so far, and I'm not even on conference #2! So I'm not going to post any of that here, though if anyone is interested, I can send you my notes.

Then it occurred to me that, perhaps far more interesting than the conferences themselves, was the fact that, while I have lived in Ottawa almost 3 years now since returning from Japan (and for 2 years before that), I have managed to miss Tulip Fest almost every single spring of those three years. Or, rather, I have indulged in tulips elsewhere.

In May 2008, we were in Quebec City.
Les tulipes

In May 2009, I was in Halifax.
More tulips!

In May 2010, I was in Hamilton (and also Windsor, but I didn't see any tulips there).*
Tulips, close-up

Following this realization, I completely forgot (again) to finish this draft post. The pictures made it up on Flickr but this entry sat here, unfinished but not unloved. Until now.

So anyway, from May 8-12, I was in Windsor, Ontario, at the annual conference of the Canadian Association of Law Librarians. It was, comme toujours,** a great conference. I didn't particularly like the venue (Caesar's casino in Windsor), and the city of Windsor was uber-depressing,*** but the sessions themselves were fantastic, and I came out with some good ideas and inspiration.

Margo + Me
My boss Margo and I, doing a good job of pretending it wasn't wicked cold and windy.**** Click here for a few more pics of Windsor-Detroit.

I left CALL early on the last day to hightail it up to Hamilton, for the Workshop in Instruction in Library Use (WILU). This is an awkwardly named conference, but it was incredibly excellent. It's basically for librarians (and others) interested in information literacy, and I'm thinking I'd like to add it to my annual conference repertoire.

WILU finished at lunchtime on Friday. Afterwards, my colleague Andrée and I went to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, and then, since we were both headed to various corners of Toronto for the weekend, Andrée gave me a ride into town.

At the Rockery
Hot! Lovely! Beautiful! ...The weather was sunny and pleasant, too, and the tulips were colourful. Click here for the full set.

And that, albeit in a less literary fashion than Mr. Dickens, is my Tale of Two Cities. And I'm going to post it before forgetting about it again. Will attempt to be more interesting next time. ...Well, there's always hope.

* For the record, if anyone cares, in May 2005, which was my first spring here, we were in Amsterdam, but after its tulip season. In May 2006, I think I may have caught a tulip or two between three (3!) visits to Toronto (mentioned here and here. In May 2007, we were in Japan with nary a tulip to be seen (they're in bloom in March and April).

** "Comme toujours" = all two times I have been.

*** We were originally going to go to Detroit to sit in a pub to watch a Detroit Red Wings game. The Wings got eliminated right before the conference began, however, so we didn't bother crossing the border, though it was right there, and I have trouble ignoring borders that are, like, right there. After hearing from a few people who did cross over to Detroit, I have decided it really wouldn't have been worth it. Although it looks pretty from across the river, with big shiny buildings, it's apparently as desolate and depressing as Windsor. Sorry Windsor-Detroit.

**** I'm not sure why, but Margo and I seem to be starting an annual tradition of travelling to cold places together.

1 comment:

Mark Reynolds said...

The six years I lived in Montreal I somehow managed to never be in town for the St Jean Baptiste parade, until the very last week I lived in the city (although, to be fair, one of those years I was instead listening to and not understanding what may well have been a very inspiring speech from Bernard Landry at a folk festival in the Gaspé, the experience of which I believe officially counts as two parades).