Sharp, repeating high-pitched sounds. Over and over.

I wake up.

What’s happening?

A fire.

To celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary today, Lorraine and I made our way up to Ottawa. We are staying at the Chateau Laurier. And team Fairmont did a wonderful job of making this a memorable evening. Beginning with a complimentary upgrade to the Prime Minister’s suite, a beautiful collection of treats and a card and then a fire.

We had to evacuate the building. Out into the freezing cold of night.

After an hour or so, with the fire extinguished, we were finally allowed to return to our rooms. The smell of smoke is everywhere.

I’ll post some photos and videos once I get back home. Quite a sight. Several hundred guests streaming out of the hotel into the freezing cold. Dozens of fire trucks. Dozens of police cars.

So, what do you take with you when a fire starts in a hotel? If you are me, you make sure that you throw some clothes on, including winter outerwear, and, of course, grab all of your electronic devices: MacBook Pro, iPhone, iPad, camera gear. It only took a few moments as everything was in its place, ready for a departure.

But, as I was heading to the stairs, I knew I had forgotten something. Or rather, someone. Oops. Lorraine was still sleeping in the room.

Just kidding. The first thing I did was make sure that we both left the room as quickly as possible. And yes, I did bring my gadgets along for the ride as well.

Some hotel guests took the time to pack all of their bags. Perhaps unwise when a fire is burning in a hotel. And some hotel guests left their rooms wrapped only in a hotel comforter. Perhaps unwise when it is minus 20 with a wind chill.

I’ll see if I can get back to sleep now.

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