Week 29 update

May 3-9, 2015.

This week was a whirlwind for both of us! Jackson was doing lots of studying for his upcoming chiropractic board exam and celebrating his grandmother’s bday. Erin was finishing up a conference in Ottawa and then visiting family and friends in Nova Scotia (as well as gearing up to the big Iceland trip happening later this week). With that said, we will post again in early July when Erin returns from Iceland. In the interim, Jackson will firstly be completing his board exam and then touring Nova Scotia and New Brunswick visiting family and friends.

Highlights for Erin:

The Canadian Association for Studies in Co-operation conference as well as the Association for Non-Profit and Social Economy Research conference both happened in Ottawa. Erin presented a paper during a joint session that stems from her work with the Measuring the Co-operative Difference Research Network (her former pre-sabbatical life in Ottawa). The paper focused on educating for community development and specifically what types of educational activities are happening in co-operative enterprises across Canada.

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The conference was definitely a homecoming! So many people Erin has previously worked with were there presenting really interesting research. And they had some great social times too!

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Erin got to finally meet the amazing person, David, who replaced her at the job she left to take this travelling sabbatical. What a great guy! Nice to feel that all of the projects are in good hands and heading in great directions.


Karaoke was a blast. It was the final night of the conference so no one had to get up early the next day! Justin (left pic), Marcelo and Nick (right pic) gave some memorable performances! Thanks for being up for it.

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And since one night of karaoke is NEVER enough, Erin’s Ottawa girlfriends joined in for night #2 of karaoke. Happy birthday Sarah! Sangria was a must. Popped by the Parkdale Market to get some fruit to make it happen.


Right pic below: Erin, Katie, Jeannine, Sarah, Laura.

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Just before leaving Ottawa, Erin met up with Lesley again to take in a sunny day – yard sales, Christmas store (so wild this is open year round, but honestly walking into it was magical), and more. 
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And afternoon tea. What a great way to enjoy conversation and taste lots of yummy flavours.

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Then Erin flew to Nova Scotia! Wow, what a place. Total exhilaration getting off that plane!


Erin spent the following days visiting around Nova Scotia. The first road trip was with her parents to Tiverton, a small town on an island off of Digby to visit their “fixer upper cottage”.

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These ocean views were so nostalgic.

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Next was Oaklawn Farm Zoo with Erin’s dear friend Katie and her adorable kids. Going to the zoo with kids just elevates the whole experience. How did all of these wild animals end up in rural Nova Scotia?! Super impressed.

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Erin and her mom went on a little joyride in her parents retirement car.



The whole family (Erin, his sister and parents) did a family day road trip around the Annapolis Valley of NS. The views were awesome! The fields were green.

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Erin visited the cottage in Chester, on the south shore of Nova Scotia. Despite the wild winter weather there over the past number of months, the cottage was in stellar shape!


Then it was down to business getting ready for the hiking/camping trip to Iceland coming up with Erin’s friend Jill who lives in the Yukon. Believe it or not, all of this stuff fit into a 60L hiking pack.

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Highlights for Jackson:

Jackson filled his week with intense studying for the upcoming chiropractic board exam. This has been a long road and we’re almost there! Go Jackson go!


Fish makes you smart….Jackson’s been eating A LOT this week. Hopefully that works.


Fancy coffee also helps.


Jackson got the tools for the job (or the tools for once the exam is over perhaps).

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Jackson cleaned out the van that was used for the big road trip and gave his mom this desk organizer that was picked up from the Evernote office in California (the whole family loves the program Evenote for organizing everything in life).


Other things… Spring has sprung and it’s time to focus on the outdoors.

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0 US states this week, 26 in total during the trip
1 Canadian province this week, 8 total during the trip (NB, QC, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NS)
Spent $1000.49 this week, $29196.32 total CAD

Week 28 update

May 27-May 2, 2015.

So we had our first week in separate places, the first time we spent more than a few hours away from each other in months. Jackson headed to Fredericton to return the van to his folks and to visit with them as well as get a quiet study space set up to prepare for his final chiropractic board exam (part c). Erin stayed in Ottawa to visit friends and attend a conference. Spring has sprung!


Erin lived it up in Ottawa, visiting friends, running around the city (literally and figuratively) – from the river to the lakes and the canal, this city is meant for running!

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And what a sunset while out on a run with Rob.


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Erin visited with Sarah and Kate, former colleagues from the Canadian Co-operative Association, at Pure Kitchen, a wonderful vegan restaurant in Westboro. Saw a friend who also does coaching – Marian there too later on last week. Great conversations ladies!

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Visited with friends Lesley and Mathieu in Little Italy. These travellers had lots of stories to swap as they recently visited the UAE.

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Erin spent a little time at Ottawa’s key coffee institution – Bridgehead – in her old neighborhood of Hintonburg (Erin lived there 2012-15) with friend Jeannine and generously Jeannine opened her doors to give Erin a room while visiting Ottawa. Thanks! Like old times!

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Erin met up with Anne, a talented artist and yoga instructor, to catch up at Hintonburg Public House.  wpid-wp-1433025077960.jpg wpid-wp-1433025059324.jpg

Did an awesome restorative yoga class with Lesley too, taught by Anne. Lots of props! Total rejuvenation.

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You can’t have a friend like Jeff Laroque (coordinator for the Big Bike event for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and not get a chance to participate! What a hoot riding past Parliament at supper time on a Friday. That’s Erin front and center.

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We joined key volunteer Rick for a cold one after.


And Friday night just wouldn’t be Friday night without a trip out for karaoke with Jeannine and Katie. We brought down the house!

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That wasn’t the only “music” we enjoyed. Our friend Dave plays in West Park, a super fun and talented band. We spent Saturday evening rocking out with them at Dan O’Connell’s pub.

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Jeannine, Katie, Rob, Laura and her dad visiting from NS and more all enjoyed together. Fun crowd! And then we did a little rock band photo shoot. Felt right.

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Beach day at Brittania Beach with Katie. And also a shot of wheatgrass for our health and for recovery from karaoke of course.

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Saw former roommate Troy and his wife (and a friend) Sarah for their moving out party. Baby on the way and a new house awaiting their arrival. Congrats!


Caught up with dear friend and former colleague (we shared an office) Fiona. We used to see each other everyday so we had a lot to get caught up on. Plus Fiona just arrived back from Paris the day before. Lovely!



The conference started (more on that next week) and Erin got to meet up with a ton of old friends including Luc, Erin’s master’s thesis supervisor from the University of New Brunswick. As well, Darryl and Andrius from York University, Justin and Nick who Erin served on a housing co-op association board with were all in town and many visits were had.

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Erin’s friend and former colleague (from Katimavik youth leadership program) Alicia was presenting a poster at the University of Ottawa with her partner Jenny so another nostalgic visit with an old friend. Loved it! Plus, Alicia’s research on straight ally involvement in gay/straight alliances is really neat (see info below if you want to get the paper).

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Onto Jackson’s week. Jackson returned home to visit his family and he was welcomed with open arms. He spent a bunch of time with his mom and grandmother.

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He’s been hitting the gym in between study sessions for his chiropractic board exam.

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He’s also seen his old childhood friends Matt and Nick. Push up competition anyone? Not with Matt, the greek god.

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0 US states this week, 26 in total during the trip
1 Canadian province this week, 7 total during the trip (NB, QC, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON)
Spent $1152.88 this week, $28195.83 total CAD