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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

Monkey Town

Hey guys!! I went a little MIA yesterday, but it was worth it ;) I think it’s healthy to take a little break from the computer and blogging sometimes. AND, I got lots to show you today! Lets get to it, shall we?

I’ll skip over all the boring food I ate at work yesterday morning and get to my afternoon snack before hitting the road.


Peanut butter chocolate Simply Bar. 



Fun fact: I always break my bars into pieces so it takes me longer to munch on them :)  I really liked this flavour. It wasn’t fake tasting or too sweet. The texture was the same gooey-crispiness. I ate this with some strawberries at 4 pm and it held me over till dinner at 7 pm – impressive for a bar!

Then Chris showed up and we secured our bikes onto the truck.


Having a bike rack on the truck makes bringing our bikes so easy. Much easier that trying to shove it in the back of my Focus! Chris however refused to store his bike in the outdoor barn at my mom’s place. So we are sharing our room with a Pinarello. *rolls eyes* Boys!

Kath recently mentioned that car trips are one of the few times she’ll have a pop (or soda). I feel the same way about iced tea! I like flavoured drinks when I’m in the car or eating fast food. Strange!


Mmm… Splenda :P T’was a nice treat.

Upon our arrival in Moncton, Chris and I went to a Vegetarian/Vegan restaurant called Calactus.


Surprisingly, this place was Chris’ suggestion!! He was craving their aaawesome veggie burger. I don’t blame him, it’s dang good.


I wish we had a place like this in Fredericton…


Chris got the Big Marc Burger: “Our famous all-dressed veggie burger with cheese. Served with oven-baked potatoes and Caesar salad.”

Soooo good!! Besides the cheese on the burger, everything on this plate is vegan. They make a tofu cream sauce for the salad and a crunchy nutritional yeast mix for the “bacon bits.” The burger is hands down the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve tried a lot in my day. This was actually my meal of choice for my birthday this year.

I wanted to try something a little different though, because everything on their menu looks delicious.

I went for the Classic Flute which is a “rolled chapati sandwich with veggies, served with tabbouleh and organic corn chips.” The classic version came with curried vegepate. I lovelovelove vegepate and don’t eat it nearly enough.


My only complaint is that there was a touch too much sauce and not enough vegepate. But it was still delicious. The chapati bread was soooo fresh. And the tabbouleh was perfection.

We are happy eaters….



Ick, it was a hot and sticky day. So much for straightening my hair! I love the decor in this place too. We sat right next to a fountain.


Afterwards, we strolled around downtown.


Happy bellies!! My meal left me incredibly full too. It was one of those creeper fulls that didn’t set in until like 30 minutes later…

The hot and sticky day turned into a very warm night, so beer on a patio was a must. We hit up Navigators for some his-and-her beer.


It was approximately here that I had a very awkward run-in with a drunk ex-boyfriend. That’s one thing about hometown visits. Old friends and boyfriends are everywhere! And I’m the queen of awkward run-ins. I hate small talk.

We eventually moved on to Mexicali Rosas for some more sketchy flash photography booze.


I got a sangria. One of the few “girly drinks” I love. And I don’t even like wine!


I got my buzz on… I am cheap-o.


Chris and I had very intense cycling discussions. Geeks to the extreme.

Then we came back to my mom’s place where I decided a snack was in order. It had been six hours since dinner, too long for me!!


Crackers with hummus and bruschetta. I had about 4-5 of these. I was pretty proud of myself for at least not snacking away the whole bag of crackers. I called it quits once my belly was reasonably satisfied. Some people say not to snack before bed, but I’m pretty sure had I not eaten, I would have been up at 6am staaaarving. This allowed me to sleep in!

Chris paired his snack with an Indian beer.


He said it was good, but was a little disappointed by how light tasting it was. My theory is that lighter beers come from places with spicy food. The darker ones come from places with bland food. At least, it seemed like a genius theory last night…

Okee, the boy has just emerged. I’ve already eaten breakfast but I’m going to go make him a feast. I love making breakfast for people!

Plans for today include a bike ride, Nana visit and dinner at another one of my favourite restaurants. If I’m not back later tonight with an update I will be tomorrow. Have a great Sunday!! :D


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