Ontario Open Road

I recently drove along highways 132, 41, 28 and 18, on the TransCanada highway, from Nepean (Ottawa, ON) to Horseshoe Valley Resort (Barrie, ON) and I was shocked. I mean, yes it took almost 6 hours (with stops), but more than that it was one of the loveliest drives I’ve taken…and I didn’t have to go far from home to do it!

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Here’s why I loved it:

  1. The scenery. Do you know how beautiful Ontario is? It has some seriously gorgeous spots! I can’t tell you how many times I drove around a bend and a perfect idyllic pond was just there – complete with animals, flowers, trees and untouched natural beauty.
  2. The singing. I was Rihanna, Sam Smith, the cast of Nashville, members of A Tribe Called Quest, and Serena Ryder over the course of 6 hours. I’m fairly certain that the few people who saw me appreciated my musicality.
  3. The air. It really is fresher, cleaner, and smoother outside of Metro Toronto.

    do you see the flag?

    do you see the flag?

  4. The Canadiana. I have never seen more Canadian flags in my life. There were flags situated in the middle of fields, on houses, and in store windows. My heart swelled with pride.
  5. The alone time. As life changes and the near constant pushes and pulls bring us further away from ourselves, it really is important to take some time to connect with yourself. Also, you also learn a lot about who you are when you are in the middle of God knows where and you lose signal on your phone/GPS.

I found myself smiling a lot on this trip – the sheer enjoyment of the open windows on the open road, and the beauty that surrounded me really was a powerful lesson in gratitude. My positionality in the world affords me the ability to drive a car, alone, in the middle of nowhere and feel safe and secure – to many, that would be a true gift. I loved spending this sacred time on my own and am grateful that I can recognize the value of these moments.

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NOLA

New Orleans is unlike any place I’ve ever been. It isn’t Europe, it isn’t the Caribbean, it isn’t America – it is a perfect eclectic mix of all 3 with its’ own unique heartbeat. With the right food, atmosphere, architecture, and people,  NOLA makes you feel right at home and far, far away, all in the same moment. I predict that a visit to the Big Easy will make you want pack your bags and return time and time again, or perhaps move there all together.

Here are some NOLA things that I loved:

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Cafe Du Monde: the name makes so much sense, based on my “unlike anywhere else, eclectic mix” comment. The coffee is divine and the beignets are glorious – yes, it is a quasi-religious experience. Spend some time on Decatur too – it’s an endless show of people watching, horse-drawn carriages, and music.

Bourbon Street: it becomes a ridiculous kind of crazy on the weekend so I preferred to visit on a weekday night (fine, I’m old). The music and the dancing are a riot – walking from bar to bar with a drink in your hand doesn’t hurt either.

Riding a streetcar: they are nothing like Toronto streetcars. They make you feel like you’re in a time warp and you actually want to ride them.

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Streetcar on Canal

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