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Tourist For A Day

My oldest sister is so cute.

She and I are very alike in some ways. We both laugh the same way at the same things, we share a mop of unruly hair, and a love for cinnamon rolls.

However, she is also very different from me. More motivated, driven, passionate. And apparently requires less sleep than I. This is why I thought she was a madwoman when close to midnight last night, she suggested we set the alarm for 6am to go run before she left for work.

I am a princess and require my 7-8 hours every evening otherwise I get cranky and anxious and all around miserable. Sara however lives off 6 hours every single night. She says it’s the only way she has time to work out in the morning. When I suggested going to bed at 11pm instead of midnight every night, she claimed “I’d never thought of that before.”

Ahhh, to be ambitious.

The tables definitely turned this morning when it was her getting my lazy butt out of bed to run (I’m usually that annoying person saying working out at an ungodly hour “will be funnnn!”)

She took me on her usual loop, full of steep hills I would normally avoid, but beautiful sights I would also normally miss. And while I didn’t really wake up until my heart maxed out at 178bpm somewhere around mile 3, I should probably thank her for getting me up. But next time, we’re going to bed earlier ;)

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Post run breakfast is the same thing I have every day. It’s what I craaaave.

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A fruit salad made up of plum, banana, pear, cherries, honey and cinnamon.

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And those runny egg yolks. Get me every time.

Because I was up and running first thing this morning, I waited until I was alone after breakfast to do my 20 minutes of meditation per my Challenge of Silence. I was actually nervous for my first day of meditation, not knowing what to expect. I set my cellphone alarm to go off after 20 minutes, and promised myself I wouldn’t open my eyes to look at the time. I perched on the sofa and sat in dead silence the whole time.

What did I do? A body scan. One of the main reasons why I’m so excited to start this is to get in touch with what my body is feeling. I’m keeping a journal of my meditation experience each day… and here are some things I noted on my first day:

  • I have a tickle in my throat that I didn’t notice up until this point
  • My hands feel very warm
  • My lumbar spine is under stress

Not bad, eh? Surprisingly the 20 minutes flew by and suddenly I could hear the distant noise of my cellphone alarm. As a side note, I am also really hoping this experiment in meditation will help me cope with my social anxiety, seeing as now is a time when I need to manage it the most.

I also hit up a Hatha Yoga class at noon to get in a few sun salutations for summer solstice ;) I am loving this 2-week pass I have!!

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Lunch featured something I found in my sister’s freezer…

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Pipsi, aka dried arctic char, that she bought while in Iqualuit, Nunavit. I know, how cool is it she got to go to Nunavit!?

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I ate it on a bagel with hummus. Verrry interesting! More like “fish chips.” The only seasoning on them is salt, and you couldn’t really taste it. Odd, because I’m so used to dried meat being so salty!!

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Milk chocolate hazelnut Lindt?? Yesplease.

Today I also played tourist.

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Canada’s Parliament!! For those you who may not know, Ottawa is Canada’s capital, and this is where all the governmental happenings…err… happen.

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That would be a stage they are building on Parliament Hill for the Canada Day celebrations on July 1st. Thank goodness I am leaving here on June 30th. That is a mess I do not want to be a part of (aka thousands of dudes drunk off Molson).

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Parliament has three main buildings – the East Block, Center Block and the West Block. I took a  free tour of the Center Block. It was pretty lame, but I did get to see some notable spots.

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Don Newman fans may recognize this location. It’s often where reporters gather to pounce on members of Parliament as they exit the House.

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As we approached the House of Commons, a young girl beside me said “Hey! It’s the green room on TV!”

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Not surprisingly, it was way smaller than expected. And the chairs looked really uncomfortable. No wonder they get so cranky by the time Question Period rolls around…

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Back in the day when Ontario and Quebec were known as the “province of Canada” and before the Western provinces were part of it at all.

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Unfortunately, Pamela Wallin was nowhere to be found near the Senate Chamber.

Up top there was a beautiful view of Ottawa!!

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That my friends, is what I’ve been running next to since coming to Ottawa. Actually, you can see part of the trail we were on this morning to the left of the photo!

All this tourist work stirred up my appetite.

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A High Protein Banana Maple Bar. Pretty dense, and surprisingly filling! 

However, it was late by the time my sister got home and we were simply staaarving. The gorgeous day called for one thing: drinks on a patio.

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Sangria – the only way I like to drink wine.

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I ordered the Gringo Chicken: A grilled, marinated chicken breast. Served with Mexican rice, black beans, salad, avocado slices, and a side of tomatillo sauce.

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Of course, I dumped the green salsa all over everything and mixed it all up to create a big messy plate (minus the avocado – I’m “allergic”). Delicious!

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Sara got the vegetarian enchiladas which were also very good. Although I still think the sangria was my favourite part ;)

After dinner we went out to another pub patio for drinks with Sara’s friends. Their excuse for drinking on a Monday night was that it’s summer solstice – good enough for me!! :)

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite thing to order at a Mexican restaurant? I actually lovelovelove taco salads.

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