I tried all the vegan soft serve in Ottawa

I tried all the vegan soft serve in Ottawa. I probably missed a few but I did try a lot of them. I have lived in Ottawa for two years and I was still transitioning from vegetarian to vegan when I moved here. I don’t remember having a lot of soft serve in Vancouver when I did eat dairy. I only remember having it at McDonald’s and buffets. I didn’t even know vegan soft serve was a thing until I moved to Ottawa. I tried six places The Merry Dairy, Oddburger, Little Jo Berry’s, Chocolate Favouris, IKEA, PastelXCoco, and 2 bonuses dole whip from Cinnaholic and the plant based dilly bar from Dairy Queen. I also went to Mavericks but they have been having supply issues and the soft serve is currently not vegan. Let me know if I missed any and maybe I’ll update the post in the future.  The Merry Dairy was the first vegan soft serve I had in Ottawa. I remember thinking I had to wait in line to get into the store only to learn soft serve was at the truck with no line. I was super excited that I

Visiting Las Vegas staying at South Point alone for the first time

My mom and I used to go to Las Vegas a few times a year before the pandemic. Our last trip was in October of 2019 all of our trips were good but the trips in 2019 were standout trips. If you have not read my previous blogs my mom passed away five months ago. This trip was a solo trip for me as my personal tribute to my mom and celebrated her birthday the way we would have if she was still here. I found out grief travel is a thing on this trip and I suppose that is what I was doing. 

The last year has been really stressful I dealt with my mom’s pancreatic cancer, sold both of our primary residences, moved across the country, started two new jobs, my mom passing and getting covid at her funeral. Did I mention menopause? It was definitely time for a vacation and the realization that I haven’t gone on vacation since 2019.  

A lot of people questioned me on my decision to go to Vegas alone. I used to travel with my parents who have both passed now. I did plan to meet up with a friend that lives there but it didn’t happen. People used to question me on how I could travel with my parents but those are the best memories I have now. I didn’t have any one else that was going to understand the trip I was taking doing things my mom and I used to do together. Was I nervous to go another country on my own yes but it is a place I am familiar with. Another question I got asked was are you going to any shows no I didn’t go to the strip this trip. I was hesitant to go to the strip alone and my mom I usually stayed at South Point we both loved it there. 

We have stayed at South Point hotel for many years. It is not a strip hotel but I enjoy because it is reasonably priced, there are seven restaurants, movie theatre, bowling alley, spa, and equestrian centre. I personally have no reason to go to the strip this trip in the future I will go with friends and do the typical Vegas things. This is a vacation to me doing things I enjoy like, shopping, sleeping, and of course eating. There is nothing like traveling alone that makes you get to know yourself. 

South Point has an airport shuttle included in the resort fees. I have a host and often get things comped but because it has been four years since I have been there my host gave me a discounted price until after my trip and everything was comped. I do gamble but my past experience with South Point is giving when it comes to gambling returns I didn’t have luck this time but it was still fun compared to the casino hotel I stayed at in Vancouver it was not fun there. I did notice that the hotel was much busier than the past and less smoke the clientele has changed people have realized how great South Point is. I recognized many of the staff members from my past trip they says something about the management of the hotel that they retained staff through the pandemic. 

If you read my previous blog I had to sit on the plane for an extra two hours in Vancouver because it was snowing in Vegas. I had my winter jacket with inner layer removed on because I needed it in Ottawa and had no room in my luggage for it. At Vegas airport I needed to take an airport shuttle bus to the terminal where the South Point bus picks up. I had some time so I went to the airport Starbucks first thing that I noticed is different than Canada post pandemic is they won’t fill your reusable water bottle they give you a separate cup and straw for water. It was cold in Vegas I was glad I had my winter coat. 

The last time I was in Vegas I was vegetarian and was usually able to find enough food at a reasonable price to eat another reason I love South Point. This time I was mostly vegan and knew it would be harder but still knew I would be able to get a few things. I arrived to the hotel late on Valentine’s Day and did not want to eat in a restaurant by myself but I wanted to eat and play a little in the casino. I have no problem eating alone in restaurants in my local areas I just felt awkward on Valentine’s day at a location where few people would be alone. I don’t like to eat in my room especially since I opted out of daily room cleaning. I decided to go to the buffet where I thought if nothing else I could eat from the salad bar. The salads were all mixed with dairy ingredients. There was a vegetable soup with beans and a few other things that were likely mostly vegan that I ate. I ended up trying the buffet at all three meal times and the only one I would recommend for a vegan is breakfast. It is a great price with lots of options. The other meals you are probably better of going to the other restaurants. 

The sushi place inside the hotel has an extensive vegan menu. Impossible meat roll was pretty good. One thing I do find awkward about going to restaurants alone is they always want to seat you at the bar. I prefer sitting at a table but I don’t always have a choice. They do have a takeout option so the next time I got a roll I got takeout that took way too long and I  ate it at the pool. The pool wasn’t open it was too cold but it was nice to sit there and eat. 

The first day I got a bit of a late start I was enjoying the room and the slippers you get to take home. The last time I stayed at the hotel the coffee shop was a Seattle’s Best it was now a Starbucks. I do drink Starbucks but I keep lobbying them to get more vegan food items. I had oatmeal. I was planning to go to the outlets and I thought there was a whole foods there where I would get some things for breakfast but I had my locations mixed up.

The public bus comes right up to the front door of the hotel and my mom and I used to take the bus to places that we felt safe and taxis to other places. Taxi’s could be questionable. I didn’t start using Ubers until I moved to Ottawa but now that I’m experienced with them I feel safer being tracked. I took an Uber to the outlet. I buy all my work pants at one store Chico’s all my pants are four years old. They didn’t make the same style anymore and I was disappointed. I did end up buying a couple of pants because they fit perfectly and I don’t know where else I can get pants that fit me in both length and width but I will only be able to wear these in the summer. There is a coupon book great for tourists whenever you visit outlets or  malls owned by certain companies. In the past you had to print out a coupon at home and exchange it at customer service for the book. The book is now digital you can scan the link at customer service highly recommend taking the time to get the coupon book it’s worth it. 

It was time for a snack. There are two small food courts at the outlet but there wasn’t anything I wanted. I knew I was going to have sushi at the hotel for dinner. I saw a five guys just outside of the outlet I decided to try their fries. The customer service there was excellent. Then back to shopping. I found a couple gifts for my niece and nephew but didn’t find much else in clothing.  I also bought all my bras in Vegas 4 years ago. I did find the same ones on Amazon but with the buy 3 get 40% off plus the coupon book coupon it was cheaper to buy some bras in Vegas. 

Since  the bra store is near the food court. Rubio’s had a sign they had an impossible meat salad. I decided to ask if it was vegan. They could make it vegan. They didn’t tell me they were out of the impossible meat until after I ordered but it was still a good vegan salad that lasted me two meals. While I was waiting I asked the cake store next door if they had anything vegan they didn’t that day but told me they can make anything vegan if you pre order it. After I went back to the hotel had dinner in the sushi restaurant. I played a game of bingo which takes an hour and I didn’t win anything but someone did win $9000 I decided that was the only time I would play bingo this trip. The nice thing about South Points bingo hall is you get two free drinks before the game and you can also order two more during the game. I don’t drink alcohol in my vegetarian days the hot chocolate was good I had a sparkling water and ice tea. 

The next day I was hoping to go to the radio show they tape at the hotel. It’s pretty much a talk show with interesting guests. Tickets were sold out so I didn’t get to go but I did book a massage at the spa. The day you have a spa appointment you can use the facilities all day. My appointment was at 4 and I just had a relaxing morning at  the hotel and casino. There was an equestrian show on and during that time there is a small market where the show is. I did look around there but didn’t buy anything. My mom used to love getting massages at the booth there. I personally don’t like people touching me so before moving to Ottawa I would rarely get a massage. So why did I book a massage during my trip. It was mostly to use the spa facilities it’s been around 8 years since I used the spa but I remember how nice the showers were. They also have an indoor pool and sauna but this time wasn’t as I remembered it. The RMT I have found in Ottawa has made me feel comfortable with massages. I found the hotel spa uncomfortable I asked for only an upper body and confirmed that is what I would get. They make you change into a robe and then the person giving the massage said I’m doing legs, feet etc I told her no just upper body. She said okay and still touched me in places I did not enjoy. The experience wasn’t for me I have the places I like in Ottawa. I went to the buffet for dinner played a little in the casino then went to my room. 

My last full day I decided to try and find some clothes to buy. My mom and I often went to a shopping square that has a Ross and Target I took an Uber. Ross is like winners I usually find a few things to buy this time I didn’t find anything. I was excited to go to target and look at all the vegan food. There wasn’t that much and plant based there does not mean vegan animal products were in a lot of things. I feel I used to get more vegan items on my past trips. Everything I found is posted on my second Instagram Vegancanadianfinds. All I bought was chocolate peanut butter cups and Scrubbdady sponges. I walked around a few of the other shops in the square but didn’t buy anything. Then I went back to the hotel. 

The hotel gives you a coupon book during check in and one of the coupons is free popcorn if you buy a drink at the movie theatre. I watched Magic Mike on the plane so I could go to theatre and watch the new one. This is the first time I have ever gone to a movie by myself. I really enjoyed the experience and I think I will continue to go to movies by myself. I had dinner in the main restaurant I have memories of having dinner with both my parents at this restaurant. I asked them to seat me at a table not the bar. They have a Chinese menu were I always get the fried tofu which comes with tea, rice, greens and sauce great price too much food for one person. I did not ask if the batter was vegan everything else is should be but if you ever decide to go you might have to ask. 

The next day I had booked the shuttle back to the airport but my flight was delayed. It is not possible to change the bus reservation but you can try waiting for any bus as long as it’s not full ti cab get on. I was happy to spend more time at the hotel but the bus schedule didn’t work for me so I took an Uber to the airport. I was pleasantly surprised that my host had obviously looked at play without me asking and almost everything was comped including my spa visit. I had to pay for tips and some meals I had on my last day. It is always worth asking to have your play rated if you gamble even if you think it’s not a big amount you never know. I used to be really scared to ask about things but I have learned if you don’t ask no one is going to come looking for you. I didn’t find that many vegan options at the terminal of the airport I was in. In the past I used to get Burger King but I couldn’t find it this time. My flight was delayed at Pearson which is something I was fully expecting to happen and knew I would probably have time to eat there. Flair is going to start offering direct Ottawa to Las Vegas flights and although I’m not sure about Flair I am excited about having a direct flight to Vegas. 

I  am glad I took this trip but it of course wasn’t the same without my mom. I am not sure if I will go to Vegas solo again if I do I will definitely stay at South Point.I will go to Vegas again with friends and probably stay on the strip for them but I think South Point will remain a favourite place for me. 

Connect with me on Instagram @ LivingOttawaLocal


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