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 ;)


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


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


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!!


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

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


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!!


Milk chocolate hazelnut Lindt?? Yesplease.

Today I also played tourist.


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.



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).


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.


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


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


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…


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.

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

Up top there was a beautiful view of Ottawa!!

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.


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.



Sangria – the only way I like to drink wine.


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.


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!


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.

Posted on June 22, 2010, in Restaurants, Workouts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Awesome job at the 6am run! If I workout early, I rarely feel motivated to run…I wish usually do an indoor workout. I am a pansy when it comes to the cold! The name Panchos made me laugh, its a seedy bar in Surrey here ;) I love ordering veggie fajitas or quesadillas. And of course, margaritas!

  2. All the parliament buildings look so pretty! I’ve actually never been to Ottawa, but both my roommates are living up there right now so I feel like I might need to pester them for a floor to sleep on so I can play tourist :)

    I can’t remember the last time I went to a mexican restaraunt, but I really love the taco salads that come in tortilla bowls (with the tortilla that’s really flaky and oily and you can tell is probably terrible for you). Yum!

  3. My fav is a Veggie Burrito, nice and hot!

  4. I really need to make those banana maple bars, every time i see them i remind myself of that! lol! Great pics, looks like fuuuuuuuuun!

  5. You two look happy together :) I love my younger sister and don’t know what I would do without her. Since i’m ancient and my mom didn’t blog or take tons of pictures of me I pretend Rachel and I are Mama Pea’s girls.

    I LOVE chips and salsa!! Then a HUGE burrito as big as my head!!

  6. I’ve never been to Ottawa, and everyone tells me I need to go see parliament!

    I LOVE enchiladas. But burritos are a close second :D


  7. I have to say it’s pretty funny to see ottawa being blogged. It’s too bad you won’t be here for Canada Day, it is something that everyone needs to experience at least once in Ottawa. Anyways enjoy your time here… watch out for late night ESD munchies! :)

  8. You got the sangria! Awesome. So glad it lived up to expectations!!!

    Sounds like you are having a wicked good time here, and doing so much too!

  9. My favorite dish at Mexican is Pollo con Creme because it is a sour cream based sauce I am obsessed with sour cream. BUT it does a number on my tummy so I avoid it most of the time… sadly.

    I’m kind of hoping that with this whole meditation thing that you might consider not setting your cell phone alarm and just letting yourself go. I think it would be a little different of a mentality, knowing that you aren’t going to be shaken out of it in 20 by an alarm. I want to know if your body will automatically know when the time is up or if you will dive further into it which would be interesting. Just a thought.

    • Oooh, that’s an interesting thought!! Maybe I’ll go alarm-free next week to see what happens. Right now I’m scared of coming out of it every 5 minutes to check the clock because it “feels” like 20 minutes ;)

  10. The Parliament building is GORGEOUS!!! Surprisingly I’ve never had sangria – isn’t that crazy? I’ll just have to try it out I guess ;)

  11. I love Mexican restuarants. I usually get either cheese enchiladas or Chori Pollo. Grilled chicken topped with chorizo, cheese, and a pineapple slice. Fatty deliciousness.

  12. I don’t think you want to know….ok fine. Chimichangas aka deep fried burritos. Luckily I limit my intake to about 1 per year. YUM.
    My fave Mexican restaurant in Minneapolis is called Pancho Villa :)

  13. Your life the past couple of weeks has been awesome. Im jealous :).

    The meditation thing sounds interesting. I’m not even sure what to do–looks like you didn’t either at first. Maybe I’ll try it.

  14. So, how disturbing was it to be taken out of meditation by an alarm? Whenever I meditate, I try to let myself come out naturally. I can’t force myself for a set period of time.

    Mexican food. Other than chips and salsa?? I love tamales or cheese enchiladas. And chile relenos (spelling??)

    • Haha, I don’t think I was out of it enough that the alarm bothered me – the construction going on outside was a little more intrusive :P It was actually a nice way to ensure I wouldn’t open my eyes every couple minutes and obsessively check the clock (which I am apt to doing).

  15. Ooh, I love the challenge of silence! I’m not so sure I could do it. I’m sotypeA. I think I’d need to start out with 5 minutes first ;)
    Beautiful pictures of Ottowa!

  16. Running when you’re still half asleep is an interesting experience, for sure… I hate it actually! But I love getting up early and getting the workout done with–I feel so much better the rest of the day. Whenever we go out to our local Mexican place, me and my mom pick random numbers and get whatever dinner special that is! It works great, because I don’t know what all the different things are called anyways.

  17. I honestly don’t even remember the last time I went to a Mexican restaurant… or if I’ve ever actually even been to one for that matter. Yet I kind of love Mexican food. Clearly I need to change my sheltered restaurant experiences!

    Your Ottawa trip looks awesome. I haven’t been since we went for a grade 8 grad trip… visiting Ottawa is like the thing to do around here to celebrate finishing middle school? Super exciting haha. Visiting the parliament buildings were pretty cool though. And I think celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa would be kind of amazing but at the same time you’re right, it would be NUTS.

  18. i agree with the sangria statement. it is the only way i really like wine! i am not one of those cultured wine drinkers. hilarious when you said the parliament tour was lame. ha! that is how i feel about most stuff like that. i guess i am not one of those cultured sight seers, either =P

    runny eggs! now that is something to get excited about. and tell you sister to channel some of that AM spunk my way :) i like the idea of meditating every day. i wonder if i could find the time…


  19. Hmm…well considering I live in Mexican-food land, I don’t go to sit-down restaurants for it that often. But when I do…my favorite things to order are chips and salsa (or guac) and margaritas. Does that count? :-)

  20. aww im ‘allergic’ to avacados too
    do you get a terrible stomach ache when you eat them?

    • Yes!!! All I can stomach is a bite or two of guacamole, but anything else puts me through crippling stomach pain for a couple hours :(

  21. Looks like a fun day, I don’t think I’ve ever been to a mexican! xx

  22. love that pic of you and your sister!!! me and my brother are alike in so many ways but ten again opposite too!!! i think most sibs can be like that!

    i love mexican food!! chicken fajitas are the best!

  23. greensandjeans

    Mexican food is a religion here in the Southwest. I think my current favorite is fish tacos!

  24. I’m once again jealous of your camera.
    I need a DSLR, then we are getting on Skype & your teaching me how to use it. I’m always amazed by tricky things like in the parliment pictures you have changed what the lens focuses on, closer object then further objects. AHH, i’m excited to learn!

    I love mexican food, i’m a fan of enchilidas, yummy!

    • One of the best things about the SLR is that I can manual focus!! Of course I will skype you all sorts of tips when you get yours, although, I just watched a bunch of videos on You Tube to figure out mine ;)

  25. My favorite is Queso Flameado – oooey, gooey, good.

  26. Canada is seriously soooo beautiful. america sucks in comparison!! maybe it’s just beacuse I live near chicago aka: concrete jungle. I’m much more of a nature type of person.

  27. ahhh i LOVE the parliament tour! and you and the sis are too cute :)

  28. I’ve probably said this before, but if one person in bloggie land has the most similar eating style to me, its definitely you! to your photography style, to your runny eggs and carrots with salsa, we’re on point!

    except for the sangria. i love me some sangria (yeah yeah, 19, what gives.) but i love me some vino even more. :)

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