Getting there: The trusty 2000 Jetta.
Where the 2d’s stayed: d2’s brother’s pad in suburbia, which by comparison to the 2d’s downtown loft ,is an all inclusive resort: pool, hiking trails nearby, wonderful meals.
Fun: We drive to Ottawa a few times a year to visit. We usually take one of the smaller highways as soon as we can get off the 401: Highway 37 through Tweed (perfect small town Ontario – this time we stopped at a little coffee shop on the main street, and then on to Highway 7. I *love* highway 7 – it is pretty Canadian Shield here – and in some spots the farmland actually reminds me of back home in Alberta. So whether we stop for fresh cheese and eggs at Maple Dale just outside of Tweed, or at my favourite spot on the highway, Silver Lake, for a little break, it’s a lovely change from 3 lanes of semi-trucks on the 401. AND quite possibly one of the best parts of it is that you might get treated to seeing a turtle in the summer time – there are seriously turtle warning signs on the road, and we’ve seen/stopped for them in the past. This time we only saw them on logs in the lakes, but even that was a treat.
Our big excursion on this trip was….RIBFEST! on Sparks St in downtown Ottawa, which is a pedestrian street one block south of Parliament Hill. Central Ottawa is compact, so we basically did a whole tour of it while we were there. First we got to ribs (there were vendors lined up on 3 or so blocks, so you’d buy a half or full rack and then on to the next vendor), and mini-donuts. What a brilliant way to start off any day. Then we wandered back over the Rideau Canal to watch the locks in action, and over to Sussex Drive to do a bit of shopping, and on to Byward Market for some treats. On other trips we’ve also: toured the Parliament Buildings (sounds dull, but it’s actually pretty neat), skated on the Rideau Canal (I think we skated along for something like 3-4 kms!) which is fun and most definitely worthy of a Beaver Tail and hot chocolate reward, run the Ottawa half marathon in May, and one of the other highlights was visiting the Deifenbunker in Carp (built during the Cold War as an underground command centre for Prime Minister Deifenbaker – it was like entering a 1960s timewarp). We have lots of other places to visit in Ottawa – there are great museums that are still on our list like the Museum of Civilization, Canadian War Museum, and the National Gallery to name a few. We’ll get there one day…