Seeing Ottawa and Gatineau Through Fresh Eyes
In early June, we had the immense pleasure of welcoming Boomeresque blogger, Suzanne, into our home. She had been attending the TBEX conference in Toronto and then had spent some time in Kingston, Ontario when she then decided to come to Ottawa and visit us rather than turn back on her heals and return to Toronto.
We are so glad we invited her to stay.
As you know, Dear Reader, we have done a bit of couch surfing of our own. We’ve stayed with Kiki Hamann and Anastasia the Great in Miami, Florida. We’ve stayed with Marlene and Stewart Morril near Austin, Texas. And we will be staying with Radmila and her family in Sofia, Bulgaria in July!
We’ve done a little welcoming of our own with Brad, and now … Suzanne!
What I personally love about all this is the shared affection for canines, writing and travel are the connection and, surprisingly, Facebook has been the conduit. You can hate Fb for many things but it does connect people.
Suzanne arrived at the train station. Her small stature and calm demeanor put me at ease right away. She and Mom hit it off and were comfortable together within moments.
And so began our tour of Ottawa.
We took the scenic route home, driving through New Edinburgh to show Suzanne where the Governor General and Prime Minister live. We then crossed the Alexandria bridge to our place and had to explain to Suzanne that she was now in another province.
We, in fact, live in Gatineau, in Quebec – just across the river from Ottawa in Ontario. It’s very much a New York City and New Jersey sort of deal. Many people live on one side and work on the other. The two cities are referred to as The National Capitol Region (NCR) for that reason. For us locals, the border is of no real importance, but I suppose to visitors there is a distinction.
Gatineau, historically has been, and continues to be to some degree, a more blue collar environment with Ottawa being the white collar side. But with new construction and luxury accommodations going up in Gatineau and affordable housing going up in Ottawa, I don’t think the blue collar-white collar distinction will be the case for very long. But that is neither here nor there.
Over the next two days, we took Suzanne on a walking tour of the NCR. We walked across the Alexandria bridge
And around Parliament
In and out of the Byward market where we stopped for bubble tea
And spent a lot of time at home talking about travel and blogging, trading stories and getting lots and lots of cuddles. We went to the Museum of Civilization too. (It was raining a lot that day so it was a good call!)
And as it always happens when we have out of town guests, we fell in love with our fair cities all over again. Ottawa and Gatineau really do have it all: art, green spaces, fun little foodie places. It’s a great mix of nature and civilization, the two mingling happily into a walkable and wonderful place we call home.
I love that this falling in love again happens. Even on rainy days.
So Suzanne, thank you! As we became your guides and saw our cities through your eyes, we were reminded not to take our home for granted. Yes, our winters are long. But our standard of living is high. And for that reminder, we are grateful.
Have you ever rediscovered your own home and liked it more after playing tour guide?