The Three Province Vacation: Ottawa

It's been quite around here lately because Adam took the last three weeks of his paternity leave and Allie was visiting from Honduras. While they were both off, we spent nine days in Canada, visiting family and sightseeing. We left Seattle early on a Friday morning, stopped at a cute little bakery in Bellingham on the way, and arrived at the Vancouver airport with plenty of time to catch our direct flight to Montreal. We flew out of Vancouver because we were using air miles (you can use United points for Air Canada flights) and because we thought it would be worth it to fly direct (the only Eastern Canada destination you can fly direct from Seattle is Toronto). 

We got to Montreal pretty late Friday evening, so we just stayed at the hotel connected to the airport. After Adam picked up the rental car and installed the car seats Saturday morning, we were off on the two hour drive to Ottawa. We had lunch at Panera, picked up some groceries (which took a surprisingly long while because we seriously took our time browsing all the different products: smarties! poutine flavored poutine chips! milk in bags!) and then visited my grandma. After talking with her for about an hour, we checked into our fantastic Airbnb. Following an easy dinner of rotisserie chicken, fresh bread, and steamed veggies we spent forever coaxing Claire and Maggie into bed....then responded to Betsy's frequent wake-ups the rest of the night. Oh, small children and time changes. Fun stuff.



So, we may have been a tad late to Mass at the Notre Dame Basilica the next morning. Gosh, that's a beautiful church! I love the blue ceiling with gold stars.





We walked from the basilica to Byward Market, where we enjoyed a couple beaver tails and picked up some sandwiches and fruit for lunch.


Claire, who is not our biggest picture fan, randomly requested to pose with Aunt Allie and we jumped right on it.


A beaver tail is fried dough with all sorts of different toppings. Our favorite combo is cinnamon sugar and lemon.


The bakery where we bought our sandwiches is still extremely proud that President Obama enjoyed one of their cookies in 2009.




We continued our walk and had a picnic on Parliament Hill. Betsy couldn't get that sandwich fast enough!




We visited my grandma again that afternoon. Betsy's middle name, Jacqueline, is after her so it was really special for the two of them to meet.


We ended the day with a barbecue at my Uncle Tim's, with his wife Amelie and their three daughters. My Uncle Mark and Aunt Shelley also joined us with their three kids. Uncle Tim has an awesome backyard with a pool, trampoline, and lots of fun lawn games. Claire and Maggie were in heaven!








We had a great time catching up with everyone over a really delicious dinner.


My mom is one of five kids - she's the oldest and my Uncle Mark is the youngest, with eleven years between them. His youngest daughter is actually just three months older than Maggie! I think they look a lot alike, but this is the best picture I could get of them together, because, well, they're three.


On Monday morning we visited my grandma one more time and then hit the road for Quebec City. It's a five hour drive, so we stopped a couple hours in for a picnic lunch and then stopped again for dinner in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. We went to the Assumption Festival at the Notre Dame du Cap Basilica. We ate while listening to live music - it was so neat to hear famous praise and worship songs in French!





The basilica was built in the 1960s, but the original Marian shrine is from 1720.



There's a really peaceful rosary walk between the old and new buildings.


We arrived in Quebec City around 9:00 that evening and crashed at our next Airbnb. I'll share about our time there next, but I'll let you in on a not very surprising secret - it involved touring lots more Catholic churches. What can we say, we know how to have a good time!

1 comment:

  1. That basilica! Wow! And so nice that you could combine vacation and visiting family :-)


You are awesome.