Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Diner en Blanc Ottawa and the Excitement of this Orleans Bed and Breakfast Owner attending

Well,  I knocked another bucket list item off this weekend past. A year ago I heard about this concept called Diner on Blanc and it seemed very unique so I happily gave them my name. Apparently I signed up in the year that they decided not to hold it. The previous year 2016, they had 700 people and this year they had 200 so when they contacted me this year I was excited. I tried to sign up but you have to have a date for this;  male or female. I started asking around but everyone I know on the planet was busy.  And word to the wise, if you tell someone you are inviting, you will inevitably get a "Oh, so I was the last person on earth, was I?"  You don't make that mistake more than 8 times.   I resigned myself that I wasn't going and then I remembered one more person she said yes, yay!   I signed up and found out registration was now closed.  Nooooooooooo!  After writing a whiny, begging letter inquiring if they could open up a few more seats, it worked and we got in!!!

Now, most people had prepaid, pre-ordered their wine, pre-ordered their catered picnic baskets, their tables and chairs months in advance so they could just walk on the site. When you get in at the very last second you have to plan everything and of course,  everything must be white and you are the pack mule to lug all your uncoordinated furniture and dishes. They also have another stipulation no plastic no paper no colors. Do you have any idea how difficult that is to abide by. The food can be any color thankfully but to bring things in they have to be in a fully glass container or all white which is near impossible to find without having to spend money. We took a chance and deviated a bit praying they would not publicly shame, tar and feather us and vote us loudly off the island of this secret location.

Everyone dresses entirely in pure white, no colored bling accessories allowed. Most people I know don't own an entire white outfit with white shoes, white hair pieces, white jewelry unless maybe it was covered in sparkle from their disco days and they would have fit in marvelously had they had the foresight to keep their outfit and still be able to fit in it.  Normally I would have all white but alas the dryer has shrunk most everything I own. A few trips to Value Village and Salvation Army pulled together an outfit on the day of departure. Of course now I've added another job to do my laundry and ironing before leaving because everyone knows, you must wash 2nd hand clothes first. So much to do on D day. 
I dressed suspiciously like a man with a fedora- story of my life. It seemed like a really good idea at the time.  Every Halloween and dress-up party, I always leave saying never again will I dress like that. Every woman that went looked glamorous dressed in their beautiful white dresses and hair clips and high heels and there's clumpy old Cathy with a unisex hat and flowing white masculine over shirt.  Why on earth hasn't anyone recommended me for a fashion disaster reality show??????
Oh, and I had overnight guests whom I had to prepare their welcome snacks and clean the bathrooms and the bedrooms and vacuumed all the floors, you know usual stuff that the rest of you do every single day of your lives when you're selling your house. Luckily they wanted to arrive early but did not make it until 1:30 which was my departure time. More rushing.
While preparing for guests, I also needed to whip together a fancy little shindig of food. Couldn't find a white picnic basket and did not want to spray paint my wicker one so I found a huge white purse that was perfect. 

Shhhh we needed to bring booze but it's not allowed so we used alternative bottling and nobody cared. The only thing they cared about when I arrived was that I have a small glass liquor bottle that says vodka on it and I use it for my water. It's ironic and I like to bring that to church and drink from it as well. They asked me to put that one away in case the liquor board crashed their event.

So my friend Mariette and I drove to the meeting location point in Orleans for our group to board the school bus to a secret location which we placed bets about on the bus; possibly Lansdown, Victoria Island, National Gallery and The War Museum. The bus took us to the Rideau Falls, so we were all wrong and we set up to have a secret party.

On arrival we realize we be sitting almost overlooking the falls, near the Ottawa River perfect view of the sunset and around the corner from the finale of the casino fireworks - a perfect night no doubt- all glamorously formal.  

Set everything up and realize I'm painfully unprepared for the event. Where we packed a single white plate and silverware others packed multi-layered plates twinkle lights high above their table centerpieces with Christmas lights, multi-tiered order platters full with desserts and snacks and Main Course. Absolutely gorgeous. 

Cameras flashing, videos taken, napkins swirling commenced the beginning of the meal. 

We sat at a table of about 10 or 11 people. I jokingly commented at the perhaps Lebanese threesome who had a feast in front of them how lovely everything looked and they had enough to share for the entire group so she stood up and started sharing with the entire group.                                                     How embarrassing and                                                             delicious. 
The couple beside me, it turns out, participated in some social events that I had attended and we were both intimately aware of all the circumstances and how we probably almost met each other a hundred times...such a small world.  There were some lively comedians in the group and I suspect if we had spent more time together we would have realized we had a lot in common. 

There was dancing, mostly women. I was surprised how many women attended this event with a female partner. What a great place for a romantic night out though if you don't mind people sitting one inch from you.

We briefly viewed from the second floor of the Rideau Falls and Terrace until they kicked us off but that would have been a spectacular place to view the fireworks.

 We scored one of the best locations in the house overlooking the Ottawa River and waiting patiently for the fireworks.  Suddenly, I saw a tiny flash and realized we were missing the show.  You could only see it by the falls so there was a mass exodus and we attempted to watch the partially obstructed view.  

What a lovely evening it was, simply magical, wish you had been there.


  1. Oooh. I want to be your date next time!

    1. Oh you would be a blast to go to this event with. For sure.