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Trip Report Toedtoes Goes to Canada - A Trip Report

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Here’s my first shot at a trip report for Fodors. Hopefully, you will find it entertaining and informative. I am processing my photos as I do this report, so each section may take a couple days to post.

"Part One: Heaven, Good Food and the Wild Things"

I began my trip on an AirCanada flight from SFO to YYZ overnight on August 14th, arriving in Toronto at 6:13 a.m. on the 15th for a connecting flight to Ottawa. I got my flights in May for $588. SFO-YYZ-YOW and return YOW-YYZ-SFO.

Upon arriving in Ottawa, I was picked up by the Thrifty van to pick up my rental car (Thrifty - $588 for 19 days). The rental car site is off-airport on Bank St, but they have good prices, decent cars and a small hold amount on your credit card. For example, the Budget rental in Ottawa puts a hold of an additional (above the rental rate) $300 for the first day, and $75 for each additional day of rental on your card (for my rental it would have been $1650 held on my card not including the rental fee itself); Thrifty puts a hold of an additional (above the rental rate) $200 OR 20% of the rental amount whichever is more (for my rental it was $200).

With my rental car obtained, check in at 3 p.m. (and it was only 10 a.m.), I made my first stop to ScotiaBank for an ATM withdrawal, then to Zellers for a cheap cotton flannel blanket (I love them and pick one up every visit), and then to Harveys for a veggie burger! I took my veggie burger to go and headed to the Experimental Gardens for a relaxing morning of flowers, small critters and sunny skies. I ate, did some casual reading, some photography and visited the Agricultural Museum. I always enjoy it as a nice way to start my trip.

The first night, I stayed at my “usual” haunt, Travelodge on Carling Ave ($109 for the night). I always find the hotel staff pleasant and the rooms clean and bright. There’s a small shopping center across the street where I can pick up some postcards, etc. The hotel is easy to get to, has free parking, and offers easy access to the 417.

The next morning, I checked out and headed east on the 417, then took PR17 for a more scenic route. I stopped at Voyageur Provincial Park for a bit of nature. It was raining on and off that morning as I headed off on a trail in the park. The trail wound its way along, moving into the forest. Nice wooden pathways eased me over the bog areas. With my camera at the ready, I kept my eye out for Moose (there were signs - they are there) and other wildlife. Lots of dragonflies hovered around and I caught a quick glimpse of a large bird (hawk or owl) taking off as I went by.

Then, while walking in the forest, I caught a glimpse in the distance of two creatures. I became very quiet with fear. Suddenly, they caught sight of me and came charging. I froze on the trail as they came tearing across the forest floor. Suddenly, there was screaming and frantic motions as the two creatures reached me…

Yep, I go to the Canadian forest and what do I find but two very friendly Golden Retrievers!!

After visiting with the Goldens and their family for a few moments, I finished my nature walk and headed to the beach for a quick rest. Then it was back in the car and on my way to Montreal.

Photos from my first 2 days can be seen here:
http://tinyurl.com/2dgyvf

To be continued with "Part Two: Self-Illumination and Losses Abound"

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