As many of you know, last spring I applied for Canada’s Dream Job with Woods Canada. The contest brought forward almost 4000 applicants and out of those people, I sadly was not chosen. Melba Seto and Adam Kochanek were chosen and they were absolutely awesome!
I followed along with the Woods Explorers every step of their journey and was so involved, Woods even sent me a set of Woods Explorer shirts for myself and my mom to wear on our travels along the Trans Canada Trail. This being what the main focus of the adventure was about. Raising awareness for the Trans Canada Trail so they could meet their goal of connecting the entire TCT across Canada by Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. And raise awareness we did!
I started my own quest to spend as much time as I was able to exploring and blogging about the TCT. I supported them, they supported me, and eventually while supporting Melba and Adam, somewhere along the way, we became friends! Since meeting online, we’ve always vowed that one day, we would meet in person and go on an adventure together, and that day had finally arrived!!!!!
I received a message from Melba advising me her and Adam would be in Toronto visiting family with some dates and some options. One of the options was to tag along with her and Adam while they drove to Ottawa for the weekend to visit some friends and family there. I happened to have the weekend open, and I’d never been to Ottawa, believe it, or not…. so I, always up for an adventure and amazed at how perfectly this plan fell into place, said YES!!!! I’m IN!!!
I woke up at 5am on Saturday, got myself ready and at 6:15 was on my way to Toronto. It took me just over 2 hours to get to Adam’s moms condo where I finally met the amazing Melba and Adam, along with Adams very cool and incredibly sweet mom and Adams brother! After some hugs and happy greetings, we sat down to a delicious breakfast made by Adam’s mom and shortly after, we were on our way to Ottawa. Cool beans!
We had a lovely drive chatting all the way like we’d always been friends. After a few stops for snacks and coffee and gas, we made it to Adam’s friends place, ‘other Adam’ around 3pm and had a late lunch that was packed and brought by Adams mom. She is the bestest!
Once we were fed and had dropped off all our baggage, we set out on a walking tour of Ottawa, led by other Adam. I was very much enjoying my time with everyone I was with, so positive and full of energy. It doesn’t get much better!
We saw Parliament Hill, took lots of photos and posed in fun positions in front of all the touristy things.
We headed to the canal to check it out and I was pretty amazed at the size of it and how it all worked. Very very cool.
We watched a boat go through the locks and suddenly I looked across the water and saw the red chairs put out by Parks Canada. I have been dying to sit in the red chairs and take a photo and tweet the #sharethechair but have never seen them in Niagara. We had to go and get a photo, of course.
Okay, well, a few photos! LOL
And then Melba had to do a head stand on it as well!!! She so crazy!!! LOL
We walked along the river back to other Adams apartment to get changed for dinner at Adam moms friends house.
Then we headed back to other Adam’s place to get ready for some dancing and drinking! Well, maybe drinking, then dancing, then a bit more drinking? There honestly wasn’t that much drinking, we are all naturally crazy it seems!
When we finally were ready to go, other Adam told us about a club he knew of in Gatineau. They had latin dancing tonight and we were all down for that. We headed out and on the way, I found out that Gatineau is actually in Quebec!! I’d never been to Quebec! Another first for me!!! Sadly, no sign photo but I got one at the club if that counts? LOL
We danced lots of salsa, merengue, bachata and even just some regular dance moves to some old school and hip hop. We had the best time ever!
When we were all danced out, we headed out in search of poutine, then walked back to other Adams passing over the lock bridge, which was really cool.
I was happy to get back to the apartment and go to sleep. It was around 3am and I knew we had a long fun day tomorrow, so I hoped for a deep restful sleep in the few hours I had before morning!
I woke up around 8am and had a quick shower and got ready for the day. When I came into the kitchen I found the beautiful Melba doing what she loves, making an amazing gourmet breakfast out of nothing. She had found one egg to use and some flour and made crepes with some leftover chocolate we had, a few strawberries and some greek yogurt. She also made another type with meats in it and accompanied them with this delicious cucumber salad she’d made with the cucumber leftover from our gin punch last night. It was soooo good and I was in breakfast heaven!!! Yum yum yum!
After breakfast we put on our swimwear under our day clothes, packed up a bag and headed out to explore with a final destination of a beach somewhere. We found this very cool bus shelter that made it look like we were in the forest, but we were actually on a busy downtown street. We thought it was really neat! Then……. we found the sign!!!
I have no idea who made this sign or anything about it, but if you do, please drop me a line. We noticed the sign and then laughed our heads off, then couldn’t resist but to try and recreate how we were supposed to be walking across the crosswalk, as the man on the sign did. It was hilarious!!! We’d wait for a few cars to pass, then try it again. This seemed to be the theme for the rest of the weekend and rightly so, it was ridiculous!!! Melba made a very cool post about it that can be found on my blog as well, or you can just click here. And if you want to check out Melba’s very cool blog, click here.
We briefly stopped to smell the flowers…. then continued on our exploration en route to the rental bicycles. Other Adam had an account so when we found them, he punched in the codes, had us punch in the codes, and we were ready to go bike riding! Such a cool idea!
We rode along the Ottawa River Pathway, sightseeing and chatting and binging the bell every chance we got!
Suddenly, I saw it!!! The Trans Canada Trail sign! I was so hoping we would come across one and there it was. I slammed on the brakes and hollered for Melba and other Adam to stop and they did and came back around. Other Adam was kind enough to take a few photos for us for the TCT. It had to be done and I was so excited to send the pictures out on social media! Because the TCT has been great supporters of me since last year and they had been following along on my adventures and of course following along on Melba and Adams adventures, being the real Woods Explorers. To have us together at the TCT was kind of a big deal for me. They are a huge part of what brought us together! Thanks TCT!!! With much love! You guys are the best!
After that we continued on our ride and ended riding for about an hour, in total, to where the rack was supposed to be to drop off the bikes, just beside Britannia beach. We were planning to go for a swim there and meet up with Adam and his mom who had spent the morning at church.
When we got to where the rack was supposed to be, however, it wasn’t there? We were in a yacht club and one of the guys who had a boat there advised us there was a special event here yesterday and that is why the rack was here, but, it had been taken away earlier in the day. One quick call to the bike rental people and other Adam had it all worked out. They advised him to leave the bikes at the nearest rack and they would pick them up. AMAZING!!!! These are our stats from the bike’s log.
We walked over to Brittania beach, met up with Adam and his mom and ordered up some food and drinks. It was all really delicious. After we ate, we walked over to the beach and stretched out in the sun for a bit, then went for a swim. Sadly, it was almost time to head back to Toronto, so we packed up our bags and headed to other Adam’s to get our things and say goodbye.
We had spent 25 hours in Ottawa and it was the best 25 hours ever! I had so much fun and we chatted a good part of the way home. Although, I also did my best to have a nap which Melba caught me doing and had to take a photo of. LOL
After about 8 hours in a car with a few long goodbyes in between, I finally made it back to Port Carling in the wee hours of Monday morning.
Thanks so much to Melba, Adam, Adam’s mom, other Adam and Adam’s moms friends (who’s polish names I can not remember for the life of me), for your hospitality, generosity and for just being plain cool!!!
Thanks also to Woods and TCT for bringing us together and of course, facebook and social media! I love that so many like minded people can find each other with such ease!
I hope you enjoyed my adventure and you keep coming back to check out my posts! If you have any questons, comments or issues, please drop me a line! I love hearing from people!