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Couple of Sense in the Capital – Our Trip to Ottawa

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Trip to OttawaA weekend getaway:

Sometime in late March we decided that it would be really nice to get away for a weekend.  The last time we had gone on vacation was when we went to Las Vegas to celebrate our second wedding anniversary in 2013.  It had been quite a long time for us and we figured it would be nice to get away even for a couple of days.  We spent some time looking for a place to go. We knew we were not going to have a lot of time so we wanted to keep it in Ontario.  After looking at a few places about an hour or two away from the city we decided that we would make a trip to Ottawa (our nation’s capital) for a weekend.

To be honest the thought of heading to a remote cabin was not my cup of tea.  We both wanted to go someplace where we could just take it easy and unwind however heading out to cottage country was just not our thing.  Just some perspective we spent our honeymoon touring Germany, (which I would highly recommend) we aren’t the beach loving type either.  So we headed off to Ottawa and this happened to be the same weekend as a whole lot of rain that was hitting the cities in the area. We were already committed so we didn’t really have a choice to not go.  Also we don’t really have a free weekend coming up where we could reschedule so it was kind of like now or never.

Friday:

Not to make this a play by play but the drive in took FOREVER.   We made a couple of quick stops for gas and the like but the drive took way longer than we thought it was going to.  In total we were driving for 7.5 hours.  Normally it’s a 5 hour drive non-stop but a promise you we didn’t take 2.5 hours’ worth of breaks. The Friday afternoon rush as well as the rain made for a horrible drive.

After we landed in the hotel we headed right into the room and got to enjoy something we haven’t in a while, cable TV.  We cut it out about a year ago.  Early night in so we could make the most of what would be really our only full day there.

Saturday:

In the morning we took a quick walk to Parliament Hill and saw the Rideau Cannel and the Centennial Flame. It was super-duper rainy and we were both soaked by the end of the walk.  That kind of put a little bit of a damper on our spirits but it was amazing to see the Flame in all of its glory so totally worth it.

After that we got back to the hotel and dried ourselves off (see above for being totally soaked).  After a quick break we took the car out and headed to the mall for lunch and to check out some stores.  Finally we drove to the Canadian War Museum.  If those you who don’t know this year marks Canada’s 150th anniversary as well as 100 years since Vimy Ridge.  At the war museum there was a special exhibit on Vimy and it was incredibly moving to see all of the artifacts and read about the history of Vimy.   Again it’s worth noting that when we were in Berlin, Germany we spent about 3 hours in the German history museum so it’s not crazy that we went to a museum on our vacation.

Fun fact: We have now seen parts of the Berlin wall both in Germany and in Canada.

The Ottawa Senators had a mid-day playoff game so after we got back from the museum we hung around the room to watch the end of the game and then ventured out a little later to an Irish pub down the street for some dinner.

Sunday:

The next day we got ready to take off back for Toronto but not before we had a quick coffee stop at the Ministry of Coffee with the lovely Desirae from Half-Banked who we had not seen since the CPFC in November.

Where we stayed:

We stayed in a pretty central location, at the Lord Elgin Hotel.  It was close to amenities and just a 15 minute walk to Parliament Hill and the Centennial Flame.  If we went back, and we want to, I think we would stay there again. The central location made it easy to walk around and we did have in/out privileges with the car as well.

In total expenses for the trip was about $1000.  This is including gas, hotel, meals, parking and museum cost. I know that seems like a lot of money and honestly it is. I know that people vacation for WAY cheaper than that for longer and more exotic places. We don’t claim to be frugal travel experts by any means.

To save some money we brought a cooler of food with some almond milk, grapes and cereal bars and then when we were leaving we bought some more snacks at the grocery store to cut back on expensive rest stop food.  Since it wasn’t that long of a trip we went out for dinner one night and we didn’t do a ton of drinking.

Breakdown of Costs:

Hotel: $638.12

Food and Drinks: $134.11

Outings (Canadian War Museum): $34

Transportation (Gas/Parking): $107.99

Final Cost $914.22

Final Thoughts on Our Trip to Ottawa:

I get that the costs are high for the number of days however for us it was worth it.  Since we don’t really do vacations very often anymore I don’t mind spending that kind of money for a weekend away. The bulk of the money went to a hotel room that was really great, convenient and in a great location. Between the massive home renos (link), job changes (link) and just daily life it was wonderful to get away with Scott for a vacation with just us.

Where was the last place you went on vacation and how much did you spend?

Sarah

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