I left my mom’s house, or I guess I should start calling it my stepdad’s house, on June 29th and headed to Stoneham, right outside of Quebec City, to spend some time with my cousin and to visit with her parents (all family on my mom’s side). I had visited with my other cousin while in St-Georges where I finally met her four children. As I looked at her children, I recalled what an awesome time we all had (my brothers and her siblings) when we were their age—and how much time had elapsed since we last spent time together.
Anyway, at this point, I had an outline of my travel plans and most of my reservations were made at the way to Calgary. However, I still needed to purchase my tent and some other equipment. I figured I would have more store selections in Quebec City over St-Georges.
My cousin offered me to stay at her house and it turned out to be such a blessing. Growing up, we were known for looking alike, and had spent time playing together. As an adult, I saw her when she made a stop in Baltimore, while I was stationed in Virginia, many years ago. But, we hadn’t spent quality time together in way too long and I had yet to meet her daughter. Spending time with her was like being with a long lost best friend.
She took me mountain biking at Mount St. Anne, I went shopping for the camping gear I needed, I visited my aunt and uncle (and other cousin), and overall had a nice stop with family in Quebec City. However, on July 4th, it was time to hit the road to start making my way West.
I had a 4.5 hour drive ahead of me, which I didn’t think was bad, but turned out more painful or rather boring, than I’d anticipated. I arrived in Ottawa mid-afternoon. I checked-in to my hotel and then headed out on foot to start exploring the city.
Since being in Canada I’ve heard this saying a few times now and witnessed it to be true: “We have two seasons in Canada. Winter and construction season.”
There was major construction going on in Ottawa, which took away from being able to see the city in what would be its full glory. I took the lazy tourist option and toured the city on the large red double decker hop on and off bus. I was the most impressed with the massive bicycle lanes/network. The entire city is covered by independent bike lanes. Taking a bicycle tour of the city would have been a good option, had I arrived earlier.
I had dinner in the Byward Market which is full of bars, restaurants, shops and a farmer’s market during the day. I even had Tinder “date” at an Irish pub before calling it a night.
I woke in the morning, had a workout at the hotel fitness center then headed out to my next stop: Sault St. Marie.
If you plan on going to Ottawa, I would wait until at least end of summer 2017.