18 Things From Ottawa

1. Being met by a smiling sister

We were almost diverted to Toronto because an airplane went off the runway at the Ottawa airport when we were about to land. So I was especially happy to see this face waiting for me!


2. Surviving the car drive from the airport


Sister Sara, although being a licensed driver for over a decade, is still something of a newbie. This has by far been the most dangerous part of my trip so far ;)


3. My sister’s cute apartment


Including hand-made decorations by me from 1994!


As well as a toaster oven with a warning I probably could have used once.



4. Talking to my mom and Nana on Skype


Everything about this shot is perfect. My confused grandmother, my mom super close and off the screen, me in the corner with the camera to my face…


5. Poutine


I’m surprised some of you didn’t recognize what I was holding up in the teaser photo from my last post! A sign that I have been a bad Canadian blogger. Please meet one of our best dishes: poutine.


That would be french fries + cheese curds + gravy. This is the Elgin Street Diner speciality, were they use a mushroom gravy. To. Die. For. Traditional Quebec poutine is made with beef gravy, although turkey is my favourite. Also, Holly informed me that the term “cheese curds” in Wisconsin is usually used to describe battered cheese. Poutine is just made with the regular curds (which are kinda like squeaky blobs of cheese).


6. Breakfast on the balcony





7. New weight lifting moves

Back: Compound rows thanks to Janetha (please excuse the meathead link, but the move is the first video on the right :) )

Biceps: Standing dumbbell cross-chest curl

Triceps: Single-arm 90 degree cable extension (from Oxygen Magazine)



8. Unintentional vegetarian days

After a week of eating hardly anything but beef in Alberta, filling up on vegepate has been a welcome addition to my diet.


Especially when eaten my favourite way – on a pita with cheese and hummus.


Homemade sweet potato and black bean salad courtesy my chef sister.


And lots and lots of greens



9. Almost getting killed on a bicycle in rush hour traffic

…and forgetting we’d promised “not to mention this to mom” ;) I also learned that the back of my ankle is a very, very bloody spot. Thank you to the kind people of Ottawa who helped me as I stained their sidewalks with my blood.


10. Watching my sister’s rowing practice


…and then hopping in the speedboat with the instructor to watch!! I got to see the sights of Ottawa (including Parliament) from the beautiful Rideau Canal. I also got bit by the rowing bug…must look into Toronto teams…


11. Indie rock concerts


Including dancing to the sounds of Library Voices alongside my big sis :)



12. My insatiable sweet tooth

Despite living off a diet of red meat and refined sugar in Banff, my taste for the sweet stuff is still going strong.


My sister, just like my mother, has excellent taste in chocolate. Feels like I never left home :)



13. Decadent yogurt

Read: 7% fat. It’s like a much better and fluffier version of ice cream.

Which makes a most excellent topping for coconut oatmeal.



14. Exploring a new city



And still finding a piece of home :)


15. Hanging out in coffee shops


Bridgehead is like the Evelyn’s of Ottawa – they’re everywhere!!!


16. Running along the Rideau Canal


Including the 1-mile to the gym and back. Makes for the perfect warm-up and cool down for weight lifting!


17. Getting caught in my first Ontario-style rain storm

That lonely tent is what could have been of the Taste of Wellington event today. Boo :(


18. Catching up on Glee


…while getting a major crush on Jesse St. James. Yet I am oddly more intrigued by Finn after finding out Cory Monteith was a 9th-grade drop-out. Le sigh. Some things never change…


Till next time!! <3

Posted on June 19, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Susan, thanks for explaining that dish to me.

    This post is perfect in every way.

    From chocolate to coffee to books to rain to family to skype to vegetables to oatmeal.

    love everything about this

  2. Anywheres is more intriguing than NB.

    Fin is a bad boy, which is why he’s so alluring. I should know . ;)

    Laaammeee comment.

  3. indie rock concerts, your sis, coffee shops, veggies…so glorious!

    that ankle…omg, ouch! Take care!


  4. It sounds like you are having a great time with your sister. I wish that I could get along with my brother like you get along with your sister. I think if my brother and I were required to spend time together, we would “kill” each other!! :(

  5. Girl, you’ve been living it up! I love it:) Living and loving life!
    I’m totally a Fin fan – something about him just makes me melt!

  6. Sounds like you guys are having a great time! I have never been to Ottawa but need to visit.

  7. Looks like you’ve been having a ball x x

  8. P.S Chips n gravy YUMMY! x x

  9. I WANT TO BE IN OTTAWA WITH YOU! i don’t even know what else to say – between that sweet potato + black bean dish, to the gorgeous city, to bridgehead (with eat pray love nonetheless) and everything.

    and yes, for fried curds being the norm.

    and to lots of veggies.

    and no joke, i made COOKIES yesterday. looks like despite my veggie packed meals, i also need something sweet. i miss you!!!!!

  10. p.s. i want to marry jesse st. james.

  11. Love the Skype convo! My parent’s spend the winter in Florida with my aunt & uncle, and I have numerous gmail chats with them where all four are very confused as to “how this thing works.”

  12. I LOVE poutine. I may or may not have eaten poutine at midnight last night, just because I [was drunk] could. And it made my entire weekend ;)

    Looks like you are having a great time with your sister!!


    • Poutine is THE best drunk food! Even better than pizza!! And yeah, I get drunk so little now, the poutine at the end of the night is often the best part (and treat) of the night ;)

  13. You have had such a fantastic couple of weeks Susan! Ottawa is beautiful!

  14. Tch, now I want to go to Canada. One more place to add to my already excessively long list of places to go.
    In the Glee realm, I’m more of a Puck woman, despite the fact that he is a terrible boy. In other news, I feel like the show has gone hell of downhill; why is it so “after school special,” now? Ah, well, maybe it’s just me.
    /end Glee rant

    • Totally agree with the “after school special” thing… There was a lot more raw humour in the first part of the season, now Sue Sylvester is the only funny part of it.

  15. findingradiance

    What a fabulous time you are having! We just call poutine french fries with brown gravy here LOL! A Howard Johnson’s specialty :D

  16. I hope you’re a-okay after your accident!! Your sister’s salad looks fabulous!

    Ottawa is such a pretty city. I was there a few years ago and fell in love with it!

  17. Hah, so I was kinda close when I called them chili cheese fries! Or I guess more like gravy cheese fries. Heheh. Wow, I was born in 1994! That makes me feel little. Oh, and thanks for the link to that cross chest hammer curl! I was looking for a new way to work my biceps.

  18. Not to correct Holly or anything, but having been in Wisconsin since 1999 and having married a man from a small town outside of Green Bay, WI (whose family members own dairy farms), cheese curds in WI are just like what you had in your poutine….you can buy them at the grocery store or farmers market plain or seasoned, but they are just the curds…..we also call it “squeaky cheese”….if you order them in restaurants or bars, though, they are almost always served “fried/battered” so they are then fried cheese curds….just thought I’d clear that up:) It’s almost sad that I know this much about cheese curds!

  19. Too funny – based on the picture you took on your sister’s balcony, she lives a block from me…I used to live in the apartments across the street and I worked at the little brick building next door (it was an Inn & Spa, now it’s the Syrian Embassy).

    • Hahaha, good thing you don’t live across the street anymore! I’ve been finding much entertainment in hanging out on the balcony and watching people in the other buildings :P

  20. I use to make fun of my Canadian friends for liking poutine but the joke was on me acutally because during a recent visit I eat my words! So good! I love your picture from your sister’s rowing practice. You should look into rowing. There is nothing better than getting up and watching the sun come up while on the water. But I’m not going to lie, sometimes getting up before 5 am can be a bit trying.

  21. um. i wish i could go to ottawa! and hooray for new moves!

  22. 8 things about this blog post:
    1. Finn will always be number 1.
    2. EGGS! ;)
    3. I <3 vacations. (i know you're technically moving, i forget though if you just are making a pit stop in ottawa, or are moving there.)
    4. eat pray love! I left it at home when i needed it the most i think, gonna bring it back with me when I go home. I really dig the book, and I have a feeling ANY "healthy living" blogger would love that book.
    5. Your sister is very pretty.
    6. coffee makes me happy.
    7. hanging out in coffee shops makes me even happier.
    8. YOU look happy.


    • Ottawa is just a stopover, I think I mentioned it like a gazillion posts back ;) Staying with my big sis in Ottawa until the end of the month – then moving to Toronto for good on July 1st!! I’ve been living out of suitcases for two months now, getting excited to have (gasp!) a closet! And maybe even a job! :P

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