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Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

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Nanaimo, Canada
posts: 11,938
reviews: 28
Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

Thanks to the help of the TA community, I had a great visit with my daughter! The only thing I asked of her was to have some wine for me at her apartment upon my arrival. Oh well....it was an excuse to go out for a walk after the long flights from the west coast! The flight was on time, arriving just before six thirty in the evening.

My daughter was at the airport to greet me, and she saw me before I saw her. It was so nice to have that hug! And to help with the 50 pound suitcase! It was all stuff for her anyway, including corning ware casseroles and cookies sheets and muffin pans! We grabbed a taxi and were at "home" within ten minutes. I said a quick hello to her two room mates, and due to the lack of wine, we headed out the door pretty quick!

We walked up Colonel By Drive, and through the Carleton campus, making our way over to Bank Street. We stopped at Patty's Pub for a dinner and beer. It was a beautiful evening, and we sat outside and talked and talked and talked some more. Then across the street, we found the Wine Rack and I picked up a bottle of red wine and some cider. I wanted the LCBO, but given the time of evening by then, the Wine Rack had to suffice just this once! We had a nice walk back to the apartment, and then visited some more with her room mates before heading to bed.

The next morning proved to be another glorious sunny day. We didn't linger long after breakfast, and we got going right away. We walked all along the canal, as far as Bank Street, then all along Bank Street through Glebe, and all the way to downtown. We saw the Parliament Buildings, the War Memorial, and continued on to Rideau Center. The Starbuck's in the Chapter's was our meeting place for one of my daughter's friends. It is wonderful now to be able to put a name to a face! After our drinks, we headed into the shopping center. I found the LCBO in there, and grabbed a bottle of white wine, one that was recommended from my TA thread about Ontario wine. Having walked from Hog's Back Falls neighbourhood to get downtown, we decided to get the bus back! But not all the way back.... we got off at Bank Street Bridge, then walked along the canal again, all the way to Dow's Lake, to see the tulips! We walked all the way around the lake, and continued along the canal, all the way back home. It felt great! At one point, just south of the restaurants at the lake, my daughter heard a rustling in the bushes beside the trail. She spotted it before I did, a HUGE turtle! Okay, I see big turtles when visiting Maui, but this is a turtle in Canada, in a swamp! And I was told by a passer by that it was a snapping turtle! We don't grow them that big on this side of the Rockies, at least I have never seen one that big ever! It was more than a foot across. It slowly lumbered out of the bushes, and slowly made it's way across the path to the lake. We stayed with it until it got across safely, and made sure a biker didn't accidentally ride into it.

When we got back to the apartment, we ordered pizza from Gabriel's. We waited over an hour to get it delivered though. We figured it might have been because of the hockey game that night, but we were sure hungry by the time it got there. No cable or internet hooked up at the apartment yet, so we weren't able to watch the game, just listen to it! Oh well! But congrats to the Senators for a great series.

On Monday we were up bright and early as we had reserved a rental car for the day. They picked us up right on time, and took us to the office. We got a free upgrade, and that was nice, as it came in very handy later in the day at IKEA. Our first stop was Canadian Tire, picked up a couple of things right away. It was easy and so convenient to the car rental place, we figured we may as well stop there right away. Then my daughter used her phone to guide me north of the city, across the bridge, and to Gatineau Park. We went straight to the visitor center for maps and info. The majority of the roads were still closed, so we headed to King's Estate. Even there, the buildings were still closed, including the washrooms!! But we walked around anyway, looking at the ruins and the other sights. We took a walk down to the falls, and then headed back up to the car.

After the Estate, we headed to COSTCO in Gatineau. I loaded up the cart with tissues, mops, cleaners, food, and BEER!!! How cool is that? And great prices too! With the perishables in the trunk, we decided to head back to the apartment right away before heading out on our next adventure. It took quite a few trips up the elevator to get everything in the apartment. We got the food put away, then headed out again. Next stop was Wal Mart for more food, lamp, etc., then off to IKEA. My daughter bought a desk chair, and the desk. I convinced her to get the bigger one, with drawers, and gave her an extra 100.00 as an early birthday present, so she could get it right away. I knew she wouldn't be happy with the cheaper one once she got it back home. Of course, once we got the desk out to the car, we had that extra 2 inches in length and we couldn't fit the desk top box in the car! DARN!! Then the light bulb went off and my daughter had the great idea to see if the seats would go down... voila! I was so worried we would have to go upstairs and return the desk right away.

We went back to the apartment for the last time that day. After another I can't tell you how many trips up to the apartment, we were pretty tired. And that was before we spent three hours putting the desk together! We had spaghetti for dinner, so it was nice and easy to make supper at least. And the two room mates had left for a conference in Ohio early that morning, so we had the place to ourselves for a while. That was a good thing as we used the whole living area putting together the desk.

The next morning we managed to get to Loblaw's for just a few more groceries before having to return the rental car. We filled the gas tank on Bank Street before heading to the Discount rental place. $37.00 plus some change for a 24 hour period... it was great, and we got a lot done with it. I could not imagine doing all that with the bus! And then Discount took us back to the apartment as well. Great service!

The rest of the day was spent just staying around the apartment. We cleaned all the windows, after figuring out that they were caulked shut, and we could indeed get it all off and open them! Seasonal thing, the office said. And we got the office chair put together too.

My daughter had two more friends cover over for dinner, so she cooked. We did walk over to Hog's Back Falls before dinner, and that was wonderful. There were lots of people out enjoying the beautiful weather. Another great day!

Wednesday we walked downtown again, this time though, we followed the canal all the way. 8 km one way! We stopped in at the Starbuck's again, then headed to Byward market for lunch. I also bought a beautiful t shirt there, with tulips on it!

Then we headed over to the Parliament buildings. We got there about one, and the soonest we could get a tour was 3:20. So we went up to the Peace Tower first, and it was amazing to see the views in all directions. It was such a clear day, again! By the time we were done, I didn't want to wait any longer for the tour. We went to the Dollar Store instead! Got some more bits and pieces for the apartment, then bused home. I had enough walking for the day!

I made lasagne for dinner, something my daughter has missed very much while attending university. And I figured we would have it for leftovers when we got back from Montreal! We were up early the next morning, out the door by 8:30 in the morning, and took two buses to get to VIA rail.

To be continued!!

SE Ontario
posts: 7,607
reviews: 8
1. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

Wow ... I sure am glad my mom doesn't do trip reports when she comes to visit me ... all that personal info out there for the world is a bit much.

Toronto, Canada
posts: 9,945
reviews: 522
2. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

Love the details! Good detailed account, like the snapping turtle story!

Toronto, Canada
posts: 1,044
reviews: 50
3. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

You are a super Mumma! I am so glad that my kids are no longer in university, that IKEA trips are over and that they do their own windows. Your day will come! As for the details, you are not posting this on Facebook, so the tabloid bent is minor.

S W Arkansas
Destination Expert
for Kihei, Maui, Hana, Haleakala National Park
posts: 7,469
reviews: 16
4. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

Boy, have the two of you had a busy first few days. Wish you had had your new camera so you could cut me a disk..hee hee..I would love to see the pics.

posts: 6,081
reviews: 6
5. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

Great trip report! I am so impressed with how much sightseeing you fit into also helping your daughter with the new apartment! This was exactly like a report I would have written when I helped set our son up in Eugene OR, except we didn't do anything but go out to eat! And what kiddo wouldn't love mom their mom making homemade lasagne for them! You rock! Deb

ON, Canada
posts: 9,225
reviews: 34
6. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

Nice report Joan - sounds like a fun and productive trip! I loved doing those trips with my kids when they were in university ... a lot of work, but they were always appreciative and it's nice to be able to help them out. Having some fun activities mixed in is important and it sounds like you had a good mix!

Looking forward to the Montreal portion!

Nanaimo, Canada
posts: 11,938
reviews: 28
7. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

On to Montreal! We arrived at the VIA rail station in plenty of time for our departure. My daughter actually had time to get her cup of tea! And the train was on time too. We left just before ten in the morning. I was surprised at how flat the scenery was. I don't know why that struck me as odd, but I thought there would be some mountains, even if not that tall. What we did see were fields, lots and lots of fields. They were all brown, having nothing planted yet, at least I think there was nothing planted! There were a couple of tractors working the fields that day, and I was wondering what the crop would be... corn???

We pulled into Montreal just before noon. Again, my daughter got out her phone, and I didn't hesitate to follow her out of the station and towards Old Montreal. It was actually wonderful to witness this new found confidence as I never once questioned where she was leading me!

I had booked one night at L'Hotel, even though the elevator was not working at the time. It still was not working, all these weeks later, but they were close to having it open again, very close. Our room was actually ready, and we gladly walked up three flights of stairs to get rid of our backpack. I had spent an extra 20.00 to make sure we each had our own bed, and it was well worth it. Our room was at the back, and the window had no view to speak of, just the backs of other buildings. We didn't care in the least, as it proved to be oh soooo quiet!

We headed out immediately, and again, the phone directed us to our pub for lunch! We went to Bistro Les Soeurs Grises. This was recommended to me on a thread on the Montreal forum. For $18.00 we had a beer, salad, and a sandwich. It was wonderful, and we ate up every last bit! The food is served on a slab of wood. Really nice presentation. We got the last table outside, and I was happy about that. The music inside was too loud for my liking, and besides, it was still a beautiful day, though the clouds were moving in. I really enjoyed the pulled pork sandwich while my daughter enjoyed the chicken sandwich.

After our lunch (and some more beer!!) we walked along the Old Port, and made our way up the Notre Dame Basilica. I was surprised to find that we had to pay $5.00 each to go into the church. And yes, they use the money for maintenance. We paid it anyway, as I was determined to light a candle for my mom. There were not that many people visiting at that time of day, and it was nice to be able to just sit and "visit" for a while.

We decided to go for a carriage ride, a spur of the moment decision. There were only two carriages making the rounds that day. The one driver said that the weatherman had called for rain, so a lot of the horses just stayed "home" that day. We were not sure what the next day would bring, so we decided to go for a ride right then and there. Caddy was wonderful, and we enjoyed our half hour ride and history lesson. Half an hour for $48.00. I wished I had brought an apple for Caddy!

After our ride, we did our best to keep the economy going, and visited some of the shops, including the SAQ for a bottle of wine for back in the hotel room.

We went back to the hotel room and enjoyed some of our wine, before we headed out for our dinner. I had reserved a table for six o'clock at Bonaparte restaurant. We lucked out, and managed to get the table up in the alcove, with a wonderful view of the street. My daughter chose the 5 course meal, I went with the 3 course. The waitress was wonderful, and I actually ended up with a 4 course meal. One of the courses from my daughter's menu was a "pear fizz", and she actually brought one for me "on the house". It was a great evening, as we didn't even finish until 8:30 at night. More of an event, than a meal! The bill came to 100.00 and a few cents. Taxes and the tip, was 130.00. My daughter was aghast at the bill! I was quite thrilled, given how much food we had, and the wonderful service. We each had a glass of wine as well. No complaints AT ALL!

We got back to the hotel in time to watch the last period of the hockey game. Montreal lost that night, and it was sad to watch. I knew the team was suffering from a lot of injuries, and they didn't have Price in goal either. He is from B. C., and we have always been interested in watching him in his career.

We were up early the next morning. The elevator was working by now, but we chose the stairs to head down for breakfast. The breakfast room was really nice, and lots of people were already there. A great choice of fruit, croissants, yogurts, ham, cheese, and all of it fresh. We had our fill, checked out, and set off with our backpack to see some more of Montreal. It was cooler that morning, but still no rain!

We walked the whole day, from Old Montreal, up to Mont Royal. We walked along St. Catherine Street, but the shops were not quite open yet. So we kept on going, and headed up the hill. We went by McGill University, and eventually came to the stairs to start the climb up... and up... and up! I was put out that I had to rest so much as we climbed the stairs. I had done sooo much walking already this week, and I actually have two paper routes at home, but nothing prepared me for all those stairs!! We did make it, and it was well worth it. The views are really great, and I would have liked to be up there at night to see all the lights. Next time!

We made our way over to the cross, and then made our way down the mountain to the Plateau neighbourhood. That was not so easy! I can see that it would be really easy to get lost up there. We just pointed ourselves downhill, and kept veering over the left. And we did it! We came out at the George Cartier statue.

Strolling through the Plateau was fun. We headed up Saint Urbain Street, heading to the Dieu de Ciel pub. We got there just at noon, but it didn't open until 1:00! Well darn! So we headed over to Rue St. Laurent, and started to browse that street. We ended up at the Schwartz Deli for lunch. We shared a table with four others, and it was tight! We had our backpack and two other small bags with our purchases tucked under the table, but it was still a bit cramped. But the food, oh, the food! It was sooo good! The only complaint I have is that you couldn't get a beer there! That would have really gone down well with the smoked meat sandwich. The best part of our lunch there was using my limited French. I actually asked the person beside me to pass the salt (I had ordered fries) and they understood me! Or they just took a really good guess. I was thrilled anyway!

We continued along Rue St. Laurent, stopping in at a few of the shops. Our train back to Ottawa didn't leave until four o'clock, so we had a couple of hours still. We cut across Ontario Street, and I was surprised to find the musical swings. I just had to have a swing! It was a lot of fun. I can't tell you the last time I sat on a swing, never mind one that makes music! I could have stayed there longer, but we pushed on. We eventually got back to Saint Catherine Street, and my daughter was able to do some more shopping. The shops she wanted were closed when we had walked by in the morning, and that actually worked to our advantage. She bought quite a bit of stuff, and at least we didn't have to carry it all day long! Three bags later, we went to the train station. We got there after three, and people were already in line for the train. We were able to board at three thirty, and departed at four o'clock, right on schedule.

When we got to Ottawa, we followed the same route back, two buses, and a short walk, back "home". It was pouring rain by then, the first I had seen the whole week! I was glad we had the lasagna I had made earlier, just needed to heat it up, so nice and easy. The room mates arrived back from their conference a couple of hours later, so I had plenty of time to repack and get organized for the my flight home the next day.

It was still raining on Saturday, and we stayed close to home. A friend of my daughter actually drove us to the airport, and that was wonderful. I had plenty of time to explore the shops at the airport before my flight time. I had a direct flight to Vancouver, and it went by quickly, thanks to a good book!

I'd love to get back east again, but would like to make the trip during the autumn. Time will tell!

8. Re: Trip report, May 4th - May 11th

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