Day 2 Jamaica trip 2024

I’m writing this post a few weeks after returning to Ottawa but the next few days I wrote while I was in Jamaica. It was a very busy trip but this was a day I got to stay at the resort. Jewel Paradise Cove while my friend figured out our plans for the remainder of the week.  The resort posts the activity schedule on the app, on tv’s in the room, and on a screen in the lobby. I had seen that there was a resort tour at 11:00. I have stayed in many resorts and it usually the company that you booked with doing these tours. I liked that there was no need to wait for a specific tour rep and the hotel was doing this. My friend was out up and early for the garden tour. I slept in and went for breakfast at 10:30. I wanted my friend to come in the hotel tour with me because I have no sense of direction but we later discovered we weren’t getting each others text messages and I thought she was still on the garden tour.  I had received my friends text that she was disappointed there were no plantai

My best friend from Vancouver came to visit and I had an Ottawa staycation

My best friend came to visit from Vancouver which gave me an excuse to be a tourist in this city. I moved from Vancouver to Ottawa last year and I had only visited when my niece and nephew were born prior to moving here. There are many tourist type things I have wanted to do here but I haven’t had the chance to. 

My friend arrived on Wednesday evening I had a busy couple days at work so her timing was perfect for me to finish work and then enjoy the next couple of days with her in vacation mode. She came to my place we toured Uppliva spa for awhile then we went to Parkdale night market. My friend is Jamaican and not vegan she was looking forward to having Jamaican food here. She tried a few things and didn’t like them but she did feel like Ottawa in summer is a lot like Jamaica and I agree. We decided to order some delivery for her and the usual vegan vendors were not at Parkdale night market that week so I went to Banhmiyes and got a vegan chick’n dish. Ott.eats on Instagram had given me a few suggestions of Jamaican places to try. Number 1 on the list was too far away. We ordered from no.2 on the list and my friend didn’t like it. 

I live in a one bedroom apartment. My friend and I are both in a state in our lives where we want comfort. We had decided to stay in a hotel and treat this like a vacation. When I was looking for a hotel a lot of places were sold out. The cheapest one with the best reviews was microtell by Wyndham near the Tanger outlets. I knew this was far out but it would also give my friend a chance to see a different area of Ottawa. I have been to Tanger Outlets on Canada Day for the last two years but those are the only times. 

The hotel rooms were very functional they made a great use of space with built on shelves etc. The rooms have a fridge and microwave. The only thing I didn’t like was the air conditioner was super loud and people would make a lot of noise running in the hallways. There was a youth sports tournament staying at the hotel the noise was from them. I did a Caesar’s rewards points upgrade to the highest Wyndham rewards level so I got a free gift. The gift was a chocolate bar, chips, Pepsi, and a bottle of water. Chips and chocolate were given to my non vegan friend and the bottle of water was nice for me. Breakfast was also included it was just a few items that were vegan they were bread, apples, oranges, and boxed cereal and one day they had hash browns. It is not a fancy hotel but was very functional not a bad place to stay if you need to be in the area.

The next morning we went to the Tanger Outlets which was right across the street from the hotel. We walked around and did a little shopping. It was beautiful weather at the time but the last time I went there on Canada Day it stormed as soon as I got there. You can see my YouTube short here YouTube Summer Storm. When I lived in Vancouver my mom and I would go to Tulalip for mini vacations. There was a Cabela’s near where we stayed and in 2018 I bought a work backpack that I still use. I wanted to see if I get a similar maybe larger one from the Cabela’s here so we went there. I didn’t get a backpack but it was fun to browse there. 

I follow the couponers on Instagram especially Yourcouponingsis and Torontobeachcouponer thanks to them I know about the deals. Boston pizza had a free gift card promotion plus with the app a free appetizer. We had lunch at Boston Pizza to use the gift card and get the free appetizer and I appreciate any place that offers vegan cheese.

I had booked my friend a massage at Uppliva spa to use up a gift certificate. I go there often but I am picky on who I go to and it's hard to get an appointment. My friend loved the massage.

We decided we had to make the trip to Orleans to try the number 1 Jamaican spot. It was worth the trip the food was better than most of the food we had in Jamaica. Have you seen my Jamaica blog post Jamaica trip 2023. We  ate the leftovers for the rest of the trip yeah for the hotel having a fridge and microwave in the room. The owner looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if the vegetable roti was vegan so it might be hard to determine what is vegan. Otherwise it was very good. 

The next day was all about doing tourist things. I had booked a free parliament tour for 11:30. The other buildings were not available. When I got the tickets it had warnings about lights etc I didn’t find out until later that due to construction it was the second day of the new immersive experience. You can see the first part of the tour on YouTube here Parliament Immersive Experience . I didn’t video the second part it had lots of lights. I would prefer going to the actual building but while it’s unavailable it is a good experience. 

Due to construction Uber dropped us off at the Bank of Canada museum. We went there to ask for directions and when I realized it is the place where you can make your own money that I have wanted to go to for awhile we decided to return later. This is completely free and a great experience I will go back probably many times. I used to work for an international school students would give me money from their countries as gifts. I have the money framed on my wall its my esthetic. You can see my Instagram Reel of the museum here Bank of Canada museum

It took us awhile to find where we needed to go for the immersive experience so I took some building pictures while we were looking. We found the place and still had time so went and had coffee at Tim Hortons across the street. 

I had asked my travel agent friend at TravitudeTravelGroup for some tour recommendations and booked the Amphibus with the intention of booking the hop on hop off after. We were really early and Amphibus let us get on an earlier bus. I found the first part of the tour wasn’t great because what you saw depended on what side of the bus you were on and it’s super fast. Once we were in the water it was a good one time tour. We were too tired for the hop on hop off bus after so I will probably do that another day. 

I told my friend that she has not experienced Ottawa unless she takes the LRT. We took it one stop to Rideau Center it worked great for the one stop. It had just returned to being in service after a long shutdown. We went to farm boy in Rideau and then went to Byward  market. The only place that I have found sushi compares to Vancouver is in Byward market but they don’t label vegan items they have lots of vegetarian choices. We had lunch and then walked around the market. It was 4:30 when we decided to head back the hotel but it was rush hour and Uber prices were too high. We relaxed in the Westin lobby until prices went down. 

The next day we just relaxed and went back to my place until my friend headed back to Vancouver. My friend enjoyed her trip here she felt it was a lot like Jamaica and I enjoyed my staycation. I still feel like I’m on vacation in Ottawa always discovering new places and things to do. There will be lots of future Ottawa blog posts. 

Thank you for reading. For more vegan food follow me on Instagram @LivingOttawaLocal and @VeganCanadianfinds
For scenery videos follow me on YouTube LivingOttawaLocal



Popular posts from this blog

Recovery Six months after Uterine Fibroid Embolization (UFE)

Westjet economy vs Air Canada business class

Fibroids, Ultrasound, MRI and UFE during a pandemic