Have you ever stayed in a hotel in your own hometown? I have, a few times, and let’s face it, living somewhere else, even for a night, where you don’t have to pick up after yourself or make the bed, it’s kinda nice!
Tyler plays a charity gig most years in early December, called the CFRA Christmas Cheer Breakfast at the Westin Hotel in Ottawa. He was playing a gig downtown at Steak the previous night, so we though it’d be fun to get a hotel room (this would make the whole getting up at 5:30am for charity a wee bit easier).
We arrived at the hotel after 11pm, once the first gig was done and wrapped up. Beautiful room with an equally beautiful view. If it was earlier in the evening I’d have loved to take a crisp winter stroll around the Parliament buildings and check out the newly lit Christmas lights.
But, since it was already creeping towards midnight, we decided to curl up in the hotel robes and order some incredibly overpriced room service instead.
The alarm woke up bright and early the next day. The plan was for Tyler to play at the breakfast, we’d eat, then I would work from the hotel room and he’d go Christmas shopping. So, he unloaded and set up all of his gear and played for a few hours while people ate and filtered in to the main room to listen to a school choir, win door prizes, and so on. After hearing him play some lovely instrumental renditions of the classic Christmas carols, I tried to convince Tyler that he should record a Christmas CD. Just eventually!
We caught sight of some local celebrities helping out for a good cause: JJ Clarke, Jim Watson, Dave Smith…and had a yummy, healthy breakfast (there was no bacon on the menu this year – it was replaced by turkey sausage). The breakfast is a great networking event, and the tickets sales go to Ottawa Food Bank, the Christmas Exchange and the Ottawa Senators’ Foundation to support their Christmas giving campaigns.
After I watched for a bit, I went to plug in and get to work for a few hours. But to my shock, the Internet in our room cost around 20 bucks! (Must have been spoiled by the free Internet in China). I guess if we were staying all day, it’d be worth it, but I knew I’d have to put my $20 towards parking still as well. So I packed up and said goodbye to our room, with it’s lovely view, and went to the lobby.
No Internet there, but I was told that I could go to the 3rd floor coffee bar and use the wireless there. I got to the 3rd floor, and tried to ask about it, but was told to wait in line to be seated. I didn’t want to sit and eat, but I waited anyways. I finally sorted out with the barista that I just wanted to use. the. Internet, in exchange for the price of a coffee. Phew!
I wasn’t really keen on sitting at a rickety lil table all morning though, so once the equipment and keyboard were all packed up, we headed for home. The staff at the Westin are great (they let us use a dolly for the gear!) and the Christmas Cheer Breakfast is a great event that I’d recommend to anyone for next year.
Even if you aren’t an early riser.