By-ward Market and Leprechauns

March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day found us walking through the By-Ward Market in Ottawa. The strong, cold wind almost swept me off my feet and left us with reddened cheeks. Large sheets of brown paper hurled through the air from a nearby construction site.

Irish music poured out of the pubs trying to lure us into the establishments. Due to the cold only two vendors were outside, a maple syrup vendor and a chap selling knitted hats and sweaters. They would not have been bad purchases on this day.

While walking along the sidewalk we were drawn into a wine store by an adorable leprechaun named Shaun. The doors were wide open and he hailed passerby’s to come in and enjoy a sample of his trade. Shawn was decked out in a green hat and large green tie. Being a little of the vertically challenged side he was the perfect image of a leprechaun as depicted by Hallmark Cards. He was offering samples of Irish Cream to celebrate the day. Totally into the theme Shaun was adding green food colouring to the beverage. The smooth liqueur helped warm our cold bodies.

Jenn and I walked through the inside market eyeing the various food vendors. The chocolate maker had prepared a large selection of Irish and Easter themed treats but we were not tempted by them.

I decided to return to the wine store and visit with my little leprechaun, Shaun. Getting a second sample of the Irish Cream was in no way responsible for my return. Shaun was offering up the beverage at a sale price on this day of the Irish and I was convinced to purchase two bottles. The Irish Cream was served with a long history lesson on his Irish family. It is not everyday that you can meet a leprechaun and talk with him. Unfortunately he did not reveal where his pot of gold was hidden.

After pulling myself away from the leprechaun, Jenn and I purchased Beaver Tails to take back to the room and share with Robyn.

Even with so few vendors on the market it was a fascinating adventure on St. Patrick’s Day. We plan to return in the summer months when we were promised by the maple syrup vendor that we would find lots of vendors lining the street with vegetables, fruits, crafts, flowers and much more. The only thing lacking will be my little leprechaun.

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