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Breakfast is Better in French

Posted by Heliocentrism on August 19, 2010

August 8, 2010

All Pictures

Mark soaking in the kid-free hot tub

A Vacation from Vacation

We had been running around so much on this trip, getting up early and going to bed late. This day was to be a relaxing day.

Ottawa is right on the border with Quebec. It was planned this way by Queen Victoria as a symbolic gesture to show the equality of both the French and English speakers. I can’t help but wonder how the Québécois feel, since Ottawa, the capital, is still in the English speaking province of Ontario.

In the US this problem was solved by having the capitol, Washington D.C. be it’s own district. This runs into another problem. Since it is not a state, it does not have a senator or a voting representative to congress. This is where the “Taxation Without Representation” license plates come in.

French Breakfast

Awkward for them, but for us this meant that we had a 10 minute drive before we could say, “We’re in Quebec!” We drove to the city of Gatineau for breakfast. The coffee was great!

Mark getting bad directions from some stuffed deer

Park it

Then we went into the town of Chelsea. We first went to the visitor center for some free maps and information. The place is filled with stuffed animals. It turns out, I don’t like taxidermy. It’s a bit creepy.

great view

It’s a great park. It’s very big. But we were really just killing time. We wanted to head back to our hotel. On this day the pool would be open at 15:00 to 20:00 and we wanted to be there for every minute of it. Mark in particular wanted to go down the big slide, but we had been busy sight seeing until this day. After a quick run through of the park, we headed back.


Pool. Are you in?

This pool was amazing. Mark and I were the first 2 people in when it opened that day. I walked into the big pool and was disappointed. It was shallow and cold. I swam towards the deeper end and was told to get back.

I figured, “Why bother?” I got out and sat in the hot tub. It was a really nice hot tube with a most wonderful sign. “Adults Only”

in the hot tub!

If you have kids, you may not be as pleased with the sign as I was. Many parents tried to take their kids into the hot tub only to be told by the life guard to get them out.

You may think that just because you find little “Timmy” the most adorable little creature in the whole wide world, everyone must think so too. Maybe “Timmy” is cute. But those of us who aren’t his parents, don’t want to be around him when he’s crying, pooing, complaining, or doing whatever kids do. It’s nothing personal, that’s just how it is with us non-parents of “Timmy”.

As I sat in the kid-free hot tub, I noticed something going on in the cold pool. All the kids started squealing with delight. They turned on a wave machine! My mom headed for the pool. She stayed in the pool and refused to come out until she was absolutely frozen.

All Pictures



How to get there:

You can enter Canada by land, air, or sea. But you’ll probably fly in unless you live near the border.

Go to the US and head north. Well, sometimes you will need to head south.

Needed Documents:

As a US citizen you will need either:

  1. a passport
  2. Passport Card
  3. Enhanced Driver’s License
  • Technically, you need one of these documents or just a passport to get into Canada, but in actuality the Canadian border control doesn’t always check them. You will need one to re-enter the US.  The US border control does a thorough check on each and everyone coming into the country.
  • Be prepared to wait in a long line to get back into the US.
  • You are not allowed to carry fruit from one country into the other.


  • Use 911 for the police, fire department, or to get an ambulance
  • Use 411 for information (This might cost money.)





  • It’s a big country. You’re going to need a car.

Gatineau Park
Parc de la Gatineau

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 45°36’00.9″N 76°02’34.7″W

To the visitor center –

  • Take Route 5, exit 13
  • Head south on Chamin Scott


Visitor Center

33 Scott Road
Chelsea, Quebec
J9B 1R5


  • 1-800-465-1867




  • Free to enter


The park is always available, but here are the hours for the visitor center.

  • daily 9:00 – 17:00,
  • except December 25 when open from 12:00 – 17:00


It’s a huge park and there are many ways to get in. If you are in Ottawa, stop by the Visitor Centre across from the Parliament Building and ask for directions.

Travelodge Ottawa

How to get there:

  • Coordinates 45°23’04.2″N 75°44’16.6″W

By Car –

  • Take Hwy. 417 to exit 124 (Carling Avenue).
  • Turn left at the first traffic lights onto Kirkwood,
  • and left at the next set of lights onto Carling Avenue.
  • The hotel will be on our right.


1376 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1Z 7L5


  • General Travelodge 1-800-578-7878
  • 613-722-7600


e-mail: info@travelodgeottawa.com


I’m recommending this hotel, not just because it was one of the least expensive accommodations in Ottawa… not just because it is located conveniently close to all the downtown attractions… not just because the staff here was friendly and very helpful… not just because of the kid-free hot tub… but, because of its amazing pool with super slide and wave maker!


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