Oh, yeah. So I spent the night at the Comfort Inn in Trenton and then left early the next morning for Ottawa. I thought I'd find a bank first and maybe get someone to cash my cheque. The woman at the motel desk gave me directions for a local bank, but naturally I couldn't find it, so I decided to go on to the next town. Just off the exit ramp there was a CAA office, so I figured I'd try to get traveller's cheques there, since I was an AAA member and they're either the same company or do reciprocal stuff. They wouldn't do it because apparently the only way to get traveller's cheques is with cash or a debit card. I obviously didn't have either. The woman at CAA was very nice, though, and gave me directions to the Bank of Montreal in Belleville, so I went there without getting my hopes up. Good thing, too, because they couldn't help me either.
At one point I stopped at a Starbucks and tried wiring money to myself. I'd been trying to do this several times without success and I couldn't do it here either because of course they wanted me to pay for internet access (have I mentioned recently how much I really, really hate Starbucks?). I didn't have a debit card and didn't want to spend the little cash I had on something that probably wouldn't even work, so I decided to move on and try something else. I later found out that wiring money to oneself is Not Allowed by Western Union. After I got back to RI I found out that it wouldn't have worked anyway because alternate debit card I was trying to use from memory had been closed a month before even though the CSR at my bank had assured me it would stay open. Ugh.
Eventually I decided to try and get my kids to wire me money in Kingston, and after several hours I finally had enough money to last me for the next few days. I also got to eat fried cheesecake at a really nice Greek restaurant while I was waiting. I wish I'd known about the Greek place before I had the not-so-good wrap at a Pizza Pizza. But mmm, fried cheesecake.
I decided not to take the highways into Ottawa and went by the back roads. I only had to backtrack once when I took a road in the wrong direction. I'm glad I did, though, because I found a very pretty park on the lakeshore:
View of the street from the park. I like the house:
I kept to the back roads all the way into Ottawa, up routes 15 and 7 through Black's Corners, Smith's Falls and Carleton Place. I wish I'd taken the time to get out and explore some of the little towns on the way. (next time, definitely). It got a little dusty and there was some road work, but hey, that meant it was Just Like Rhode Island!
Naturally I got lost on the way in. Here's what happened: The hostel is on Laurier St. I was all, yay! because I found Laurier St. with only minimal driving around (nowhere near as freaky as the Toronto Debacle; also I kept driving by the Parliament buildings which are so gorgeous that the first time I saw them my breath literally caught). I drove up and down the street for a while but couldn't find the right number. I finally asked at a hotel and finally figured out that not only was I on the wrong Laurier St. but I was also in the wrong city. And, um? Also the entire wrong province. You would think the fact that almost none of the street signs were in English would have clued me in to the fact that I was in Québec. How do you say *headdesk* in French?
Anyway, I had to ask directions one more time (who knew there was a Laurier St. E., and a Laurier St. W.?) and I got there late, but the guy who ran it was very understanding and even gave me a break on a better room. The facilities weren't great and the owners didn't seem to understand about not leaving random cleaning products and piles of sheetrock scraps around, but it was relatively clean and the owners were very nice. I think they're from India.
I was going to post the Ottawa pics in this post but I think I'll wait for the next which will probably go up today. They're my favourite of all and they really deserve a post of their own as opposed to just being tacked onto a long entry. Which means that yet again I'm way too wordy for, erm. Words.
ETA: I almost forgot: A belated happy birthday to omphale23, and a current one to lipsum. I wish you both joy, your fondest wishes come true, and kittens, if you so desire.