Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Monday, June 18, 2012


It's been an exhausting few months. I need a break to recharge. Rather than spend money on hotels and flights, I opted for a week and a half of me time at home. No bags to pack, no need to cancel the newspaper. No itinerary to check one last time, or passports to carry. NO KIDS.

This blissful break in the hectic day-to-day is brought to you by the stay-cation.

Plenty of people gave me weird looks when I told them my plans. It ranged from emerald shades of envy (omigawd why didn't I think of that?), to disapproval (you're taking time off without your kids?) and consternation (whaddya mean you aren't going anywhere?)

Day one: Shopping trip at IKEA. New GORM shelving for the cellar. Need space for dishware, serving platters, and liquor. It's all still in boxes from when we moved two years ago. Figured it was time. (This does not count as either fixing or organizing, as I will be improving the cellar and playing with allen keys.) Resisted the urge to buy wine glasses, quirky flower vases, fuchsia shag rugs, funky art and meatballs.

Lunch at the Wellington Gastropub, where I got to try out Kichesippi's new Heller High Water Bavarian-style lager. Thinking a trip to the brewery to refill my growler with this tasty stuff is required.

The Welly (as it is so affectionately called by residents of West-Hinton-Welly-Boro) is a retro-industrial-urban space of exposed brick, modern furnishings and copper-press ceiling tiles. The menu is short, but the focus is on impeccable quality: chicken "parfait" (pȃté) smeared on chunks of Art-is-in bread and addictive crostini and topped with port-soaked onion confit. Probably didn't need a main after that, but had one anyway: hand-cranked fettucini (a little too al dente for my liking, but good) with crisp-fresh veggies still smelling as though they've just been pulled from the dirt. The staff are laid-back and friendly, putting up with my lingering presence even after the kitchen's lunch crew had closed up shop.

Eating at new restaurants in previously unexplored neighbourhoods is number one on my "to do" list for the week. Oh, don't worry - I intend to reserve a good chunk of time to completely slothful inactivity, too.

On my staycation, I vow to ...
... go someplace new for lunch every day
... eat breakfast out on the backyard patio
... read the newspaper cover to cover
... nap
... sketch and paint
... discover one new thing about the city I didn't already know

On my staycation, I will NOT
... check my work email
... tidy the house 
... do laundry
... fix, sort or organize (unless it's something fun like rearranging the wine rack)
... pick up the kids any earlier than I would on a work day
... feel guilty at any point about taking time off

1 comment:

  1. All that restraint at Ikea is reason enough to forgo the guilt.


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