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Early on a recent morning daughter, her Alberta friend and I packed up our red Toyota Matrix and hit the road. We drove off into the sunrise cruising down the New Brunswick highway headed towards Ottawa, Ontario.

We did some serious driving! The first pit-stop was for breakfast in Edmunston. All that napping and reading in the backseat made the girls hungry so they ordered up a hearty breakfast. Daughter and Alberta friend wait for breakfast to be served.

The kilometres sped beneath the tires and after one wrong turn in Montreal and about 13 hours of driving we arrived at our destination. That night is a blur as the travelling exhausted us and we conked out early.

The next afternoon the girls headed to downtown Ottawa and I joined them later in the day. We were meeting up with a friend of mine but had some time to kill, so we wandered over to Parliament Hill.

First we came across the monument to “women becoming Persons in Canada”. Daughter and Alberta friend met with their predecessors…

and contemplated life with these great ladies over a cup of tea.

Moving on from there we met up with our first representative of Parliament Hill…..
this fat…er groundhog…gopher? The fattest such critter I’ve ever seen. Seriously people – tourists – he doesn’t need all your scraps! This guy is gonna BURST at the seams if you keep feeding him like this!

He lumbered about looking for handouts and let daughter and Alberta friend get close before deciding they didn’t have any snacks for him.
His hidey-hole was underneath the bushes and he could move when required. The girls didn’t give serious chase for fear he’d keel over and croak in front of them. Canada…about that Participaction fitness thing? Ya’ might want to start practising it in your own backyard before encouraging the masses with your advertising slogans….!!

With groundhog back in his cubby hole we moved on to the building itself. We were thirsty. It was very hot and muggy and nowhere outside could I find a water fountain (hint, hint, Parliament Hill!). The only one available was inside the building.
Our Canadian flag atop the nation’s parliament building.

Some scary beaver statue carved into front entrance of parliament building. Yeah, that’ll scare away potential bad guys who want to take over our country, all right. Scary fangs and all.

We ended up going through insane security to access some drinking water. Security was just like that at the airport, including checking all cellphones and x-raying bags and emptying pockets. Police and security were everywhere and access was limited to a small area unless you joined a tour. After gulping down quantities of cold fountain water we wandered back outside….

where the girls displayed their intense enthusiasm for all things government.

Seriously though, the girls were exhausted from the travelling, sight-seeing and heat by this time. From here we headed over to my friend’s place for refreshments and later, dinner out. Stay tuned for that post….

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