When we arranged our travel schedule we didn’t see that Sandy Mountain was first on our way from Quebec and not Sunward Park. So, to visit our friends Steve and Julie we need to back track about 80 miles from Sunward Naturist Park to Kemptville. Kemptville is about 25 miles south of Ottawa.
As our usual habit has become, we didn’t leave until late, about 1pm to travel the 80 or so miles to Sandy Mountain. Seems we don’t leave our current site until the available time has expired before we head out to the new place. I think that is due, mostly, to the fact that the morning is our time to drink coffee and get our internet time (read the paper) in. I also write these blogs at this time too. Then, after catching up on the news of the day, I do my exercise routine. After all of that, we are ready to go!
After an uneventful trip back to Ottawa and then south by about 25 miles we arrived at Sandy Mountain around 3pm. We met Steve first at the gate after checking in at the office. Steve helped guide us through the gate. The gate doesn’t have much room to park a large rig in front of it and leave room for people to pass. There is also a large amount of room in front of the office park but that makes for a very bad angle to enter the gate from. We managed to get in, with Steve’s help, without damaging anything!
Steve and Julie picked out a nice pull through site for us near them. We had no problem finding it because Julie was standing in front welcoming us in! The site we have is the one they used to have before this year.
|Our site at Sandy Mountain.|
It was a pull through but it seemed to be an easier back in for us as we are so long. Yeah well, it should have been anyway. We backed in perfectly the first time but then we decided to try to move over just a little bit, bad decision. It took us about half an hour to sort of accomplish that move! After 4 years of doing this I still mess up from time to time. Anyway, we got set up and now we could do our proper hellos. We grabbed a cocktail and headed over to Steve and Julie's site to plan our time there.
|Steve and Julie's site sign.|
|Steve and Julie's site.|
We made a few plans for the next few days while here with Steve and Julie. First, we decided to take a day and see Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. When we made our original plans for this stop we didn’t plan to visit Ottawa. However, since we are so close and with the recommendation from Steve and Julie we decided to take a day and tour Canada’s capital.
It looks like we are here at just the right time to join the fun with a night of “fried dinner”. A group of Steve and Julie's friends get together every year to have a dinner where everything is fried. Sounds like I am going to need a double dose of Nexium! We are also here when Elvis will be attending the dance this Saturday night, a can’t miss event! And to finish off our time here Steve and Julie suggested that we tour one of the local towns with them.
On our first full day at Sandy Mountain we decided to make it our tour of Ottawa day. We are planning to stay in Ottawa for the light show at the Parliament that starts at 9 pm. Since we are planning to stay late we didn’t want to get there very early.
|Ottawa and the Peace Tower in the background|
Ottawa is just 40 minutes north from our site so we left at noon to head up there. We decided to again take a “Hop on Hop off” tour of Ottawa. We like these tours now. They are relatively cheap and easy to get tickets. They also give you a good overview of the area we are touring. We found a great place to park in no time at all. Sometimes this can be a hassle with the truck as we try to get a parking lot and not a garage. Sometimes the parking garages have a very low height restriction where the truck won’t fit so we try for above ground lots. So by 1:30pm we were parked on our way to tour Ottawa.
The Hop On Hop Off tour leaves every hour on the hour until 4 pm. We arrived for the tour 5 after 2 and had to wait until 3 for the next trolley to leave. It was OK to wait, we went to a nearby Irish pub and had a brew and watched people while we waited.
|Interesting shirt the waitresses wore at the pub where we had a brew before the tour.|
|Some interesting art work in Ottawa as seen from the tour bus.|
|Backside of the Canadian Parliament from the art museum.|
|Scary spider art!|
|War of 1812 with the USA.|
|Where the Rideau Canal starts in Ottawa. It ends in Lake Superior.|
|We just had to have a beaver tail while in Ottawa!|
|Parliament on Parliament hill, "the Hill". Peace Tower in the center.|
|The East Block of Parliament and..|
|the West Block. Sort of like the USA's House of Representatives and the Senate.|
|Centennial Flame in front of Parliament. This was lit on Canada's 100th birth year in 1967.|
|Across the street from Parliament are the offices of the Prime Minister.|
We toured the Bent Market area of Ottawa after the tour. The Market is a multiple street and building market of all sorts of stuff. The market also has many restaurants to pick from so around 6 we had dinner. The weather wasn’t cooperating with us and that was another reason to take cover for dinner. Just as we got sat down to dinner the skies opened up with a torrential down pour. It had stopped raining after dinner but, after checking the radar on my phone, we decided to miss the light show at the parliament for tonight. We will try to get back another night to see the light show.
Saturday was the fried food dinner party in the park. OH MY! This was a double Nexium day for me! The group had 3 fryers going with foods such as fries, onions, and wings. It was really a very good time. Then after dark the park had an Elvis dance night with a real Elvis impersonator! It was a great day.
|Fried dinner being made.|
|A dog catching bubbles.|
|Elvis of course!|
Sunday, our last day at Sandy Mountain, Steve and Julie took us on a tour of a small town (Merrickville) on the lock system. The Rideau Canal lock system covers the area from Ottawa to the Great Lake, Lake Superior. Steve and Julie did a great job explaining how the system worked as they have many times traveled the lock system with their boat. After the lock tour we walked the touristy town and had a nice lunch before heading back to our site.
|The locks are operated by hand.|
|A mechanical bear blowing bubbles on to the street.|
|Funny, these are the "fancy" plates we get when we first sit down |
and then replaced with regular plates for us to eat on.
|Patty and Julie catching up to Steve and I.|
|Can't pass up a local bakery|
|Steve heading into the bakery first.|
|The show projects laser lights on to the Parliament buildings.|
|These are a few of the many different scenes from the show that depicts the Canadian history and a glimpse into the future.|
|This the famous Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel next to Parliament. Quite impressive hotel in the day or night. Similar to the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.|
So all good things must come to an end and so shall our visit to the Ottawa area and our visit with our friends Steve and Julie.
Monday we packed up and are headed about 300 miles west to visit our friends Greg and Rainy in the Toronto Area.