Our Trip To Ottawa Is Always A Pleasure

Our friend Marlene & Jonathan travelled with us to Ottawa this time joining the patriotic celebrations at Parliament, June 12, 2024. Here with our host, Regina Sosing.

I would recall our trip to Ottawa in 2011 to attend July 1 Canada Day. It was not just about  Canada Day. It was the visit of Prince William and Princess Kate which was newly married. That deisre to see them got the better of us so we packed one and all that Filipinos bring in their trips, including rice and the rice cooker. We find a cheaper accommodation farther from the Parliament but still a walking distance.

Our car was a hatchback Toyota Yaris. The back of the tiny car was loaded with foods, chips and luggages for a few days stay. We have another friend, Dahlia travel with us.

As we reached the school where the cost of stay was cheaper, the sound of something break the silence of the parking lot and there you go. The rice cooker fell and it slightly rolled in the pavement. Of course, we all looked around to see if somebody saw the mishap. Good thing, there was no such thing as 'viral video.'

When Canada Day came, me and my roommate joined in at Parliamentary grounds hoping to have a glimpse of Kate and William. We thought, rather than lining up on the route, the massive ground can gave us a better vantage point. We don't know where Marlene and Dahlia situated themselves. At first it was fun on the ground until the crowd started to swell. We realised there was no way out as people started pushing in in order to occupy every bit of space between them.

The horror escalated when no one allow us to leave. They simply look at us with, "Where you going?" As the revelry continued, we also tried to escape the suffocating environment towards the guarded fences. I was half way conscious I guess as the airshow began. Above  me was like a C-130 plane. The crowd went wild. We now need to ditch our main goal to see Kate and William. I thought,  I am not going to lose my lige on this.

Finally, a guy made way for us. We must have looked like a goat in the rain. We were out of the ground about 3:00 in the afternoon completely exhausted and hungry. Since then, whatever enticement there is for Canada Day, I am not taking the bait. Even if Taylor Swift is going to be tortured at Parliament Hill. No way to sympathize with this tortured poet.

The next day we headed home to Oshawa. Ottawa streets aren't as bad as Montreal or Quebec where the drive is always traumatic. A slight driving error and there are angry drivers everywhere. They yell at you. But I don't think they are smart. Why their intersections have four signals. It doesn't make sense.

Our Yaris was great and drive smooth until we reached somewhere with no people, no houses and no 401 sign. It was already a very far drive. We started to wonder if our exit was the right one. We don't have google then and our cellphone was primitive with no data. I think we had a cheap GPS from Walmart that has delayed voice commands where to go. We returned it the next day.

It was very scary as the sun was setting down. We drove back a good one hour before finding a gas station. We were halfway to Sudbury or somewhere North, said the gas attendant. We finally find the right route home.

This pic is one for the books with the Parliament behind them.

At this travel to Ottawa with Marlene again and her tourist friend. Me and my roommate felt comfortable with Jonathan staying in one hotel room. Jonathan is very respectful and quiet. The qualities I want in people. I go crazy with loud people.  We enjoyed his company and the two of them joined the fun with all the celebrations going on in Ottawa. They looked neat on their barongs.

We left Ottawa about 9 PM after the final event and were eager to reach home for a good rest. Google was giving us accurate or so it seems, directions where to exit. We must stay at 417 Trans Canada Highway It say, then exit to Highway 7 which we did. We thought this was the route that connects us to 401 West. I started to wonder why we passed by intersections with stop lights on maximum 60 speed, then to maximum 80 only. 

The drive was already long and slow. Then we noticed there were no gas stations. If there are, they were closed. We started to panic when the gas reached a very low level. Teresa was already terrified so we pulled into a gas station which was obviously closed.

But God always intervened because the employee who was there cleaning the garbage was persuaded by Teresa to really allow us to gas up. Another traveller had bigger problem. She's got a flat tire so she needs coins to use the air machine. The employee called his boss who allowed him to open up and allowed us to fill our gas tank and the lady to put air on her tire.

We were told to exit road 37 to connect to 401 West. It will be very far to continue the route we were taking on Highway 7. True enough, we finally find the 401 West. We reached Oshawa about 1am safely. Our friend Regina was checking on us. A good friend normally does that.

The next day, I check the routes. I needed to know what exactly happened and why the wrong exit from Ottawa all the time. It was always that we do not take 416 South that will bring us to Highway 401 West. Now it's engraved  and written in stone in case we will return. But the trip was worthwhile, fun and enriching. 


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