It was about a 9.5 hour drive in total, probably the most I have ever driven alone. It seemed a straightforward trip and after driving an hour and a half for work when I worked out in Western MA back and forth, I felt like I was prepared. I had also been driving all over the region for the past two years doing art drop offs and receptions so driving that much shouldn’t be a problem.
WELL, it wasn’t that bad of a drive up north as the GPS took me through upstate New York during peak foliage season. The drive itself was amazing, peaceful and almost healing. It took me back to driving around Big Sur in California. It had that same dramatic effect. But I had a DRs appointment that morning at a very early hour and with pre-travel anxiety I had gotten little sleep the previous night. Lack of sleep makes for a very LONG drive and falling asleep at the wheel… I wouldn’t recommend it at all if can be avoided.
After driving 7.5 hours north I finally got to the Ontario border and went through the Border, it was pretty painless. But after driving a 140+ mile stretch I wasn’t too happy when my GPS told me I had about another 100 miles to go before reaching my destination. I was also very nervous about missing my arrival time with my host in Ottawa. It was very difficult for me to get a room for Friday/Saturday evenings since I was arriving late and I didn’t want to be left stranded somehow.
I did manage to get to my hosts’ house OK. I actually ended up arriving 30 minutes earlier than expected. My host, Clemence (from airbnb.com) was very gracious and did a wonderful job of welcoming me into her space. Her apartment was very nice and spacious and in a convenient location.
I slept in on Saturday and then spent mid-late afternoon driving around Ottawa. I stopped by the Crystal Dawn Shop and bought an evil eye charm. Something told me that it would be very beneficial to have on this trip!
“The evil eye is a curse believed to be cast by a malevolent glare, usually given to a person when they are unaware. Many cultures believe that receiving the evil eye will cause misfortune or injury. Talismans created to protect against the evil eye are also frequently called “evil eyes”.“
I went to Byward Market and stopped by Peace Garden Cafe for a late lunch. The Peace Garden Cafe is a well known vegan restaurant in the area and it is very good! I don’t normally eat vegan, but I wanted to stop by a cafe that fit in with the new age/zen theme I was going for that day.
After an afternoon out in the city I came home and did some preparation in my art journal for my week and went to bed on the earlier side to get ready for my week ahead!
I left Ottawa after having breakfast with Clemence who graciously bought me a small coffee and croissant! We went to a near by mall so I could by some postcards and we ate breakfast and ended up talking about our lives and plans for the future… I left to meet up with my group at 12pm at the National Gallery for lunch. I finally was able to relax a bit after meeting up with them and eating something more substantial. Then I followed the group to the hostel that most of everyone stayed at. I didn’t stay at the hostel because it claimed to have been haunted and being a medium in a haunted place I wouldn’t have gotten any sleep.
We then left to go to Pine and Birch Ranch and once we got there we checked out the property and did our artist talks and had dinner.
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