Join us on Cailin and Candice’s Cross-Canada Adventure!

If you follow Cailin O’Neil and I on Twitter, you’ve probably overheard us discussing our grand Trans-Canada adventure plotted for next month. It all started with a Westjet seat sale to Halifax on May 18th.

I’ll be spending some time in Halifax with my very pregnant BFF Jo picking out baby clothes with intermittent trips to my favourite haunts (i.e. The Split Crow Pub) before hopping the train with Cailin to Montreal…a whopping 21-hour trip, economy class. We plan on downing a few beers and sneaking into the dome (just kidding, Via Rail!), but those cramped quarters will be rewarded with a two-night stay at the snazzy Omni Hotel in downtown Montreal. Montreal! Finalement!

Then it’s off to Ottawa to spend two nights with my amazingly awesome family, and THEN we roll into Kingston on the 1st of June to pick up our free ride from before heading to Toronto…where we will celebrate Cailin’s birthday with gusto and glam.

After that…well, we have no itinerary. I’ve never been to Toronto OR Montreal, and I haven’t been further west than Ottawa. We need to be in Vancouver by June 10th (ideally the 9th) for TBEX, which I figured would be enough time for a leisurely drive through the prairies, but wow…Ontario is big. Like, real big. Our ideal route meanders up through Winnipeg > Regina > Moose Jaw > Calgary > Banff > Kamloops or Kelowna > Vancouver, but Cailin is doing most of the driving and we want to spend at least two days in Banff. Does anyone have any suggestions about the quickest way to do this route? We don’t want to necessarily spend 10 hours a day on the road. Seems like it’d be best to go through the USA, but hey, we’re trying to do Canada here.

We also have places to stay in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, and potentially Banff. If you have any suggestions on where to lay our head in between, please let us know! We’re also open to itinerary ideas, including WTF to do in the prairies. Frolic in a wheat field? Skinnydip in a lake like you see in all those awesome Molson commercials? Okay!

Why are we doing this?

Well, as far as I know, I’m the only person representing Newfoundland at TBEX, and Cailin and I simply cannot let the west coast steal all the glory! We’re probably gonna show up haggard and dirty from all the wheat fields, but damn it, we’re gonna bring some east coast pride to Vancouver. I am thrilled to be exploring the west while bringing so much love from my Rock.

Secondly, I’m doing this during the launch of my new social media management business for travel & tourism in Atlantic Canada to prove that I can live a location independent lifestyle while still kicking ass on the employment front. This might be my biggest challenge: not the cramped quarters, not listening to Cailin talk endlessly for hours, not the tedium of driving for days on end. Oh no, it’s the push to get shit done when you’re exploring the second-biggest country on earth, from the Great Lakes to the Rockies to the Pacific.

Oh, the things we do to escape the cubicle.

Unfortunately, I’ve already been thwarted. Via Rail’s economy class doesn’t even have power outlets, who knew? How do people occupy themselves without electricity? Surely they don’t expect us to read books! Never mind, then. I’ll figure it out.

Also, I have no idea how I’m getting back from Vancouver. I may backtrack through Whistler, then Jasper, and fly into Ottawa for Canada Day. By that time, I’ll be broke and getting ready to travel around Newfoundland and (potentially) Labrador for the summer. My god! CAN YOU JUST. FEEL. THE. ENERGY?!! I can barely sit still.

We want you to follow along with Cailin and Candice’s Cross Canada adventure via our blogs and Twitter. We’re gonna have some ridiculous stories to share, and we can’t wait to do it. We probably need a hashtag. Cailin suggested #CCCC, but I don’t think I could remember that one.

  • Seattle Dredge

    oooooh, I’m so excited for you guys! haha and YES, you most certainly HAVE to frolic in a wheat field.. and take many photos [of the frolicking]. I don’t think I have any suggestions as to making it faster.. Ontario is entirely too large and huge, but it’s worth it to say you actually went across Canada, and not the States.

    About Viarail though.. unless it’s just on the Atlantic Corridor (whatever that one is called??), I’m pretty sure they do have electrical outlets. At least they do on all of the other trains.. I take Via at least once a month haha. And on the Canadian (Tor-Van) economy class has their own dome cars! :]

    Anyway.. ahhh have fun! haha

  • Teacher Girl

    This sounds super fun, random, and exciting. As usual, I am mad jealous.

  • Cailin

    WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s going to be so much fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I hopefully I don’t get annoyed with you half way through and take off while you are in the bathroom at a truck stop….. muahahahahahahahaha

  • Caroline in the City

    Wish I was going! The only place in Canada I’ve been is Montreal and it’s absolutely beautiful. I recommend grabbing a baguette and a beer and having a picnic up at Mont Royal. Just bring a bottle opener…I made that mistake.

    Send the TBEXers my regards from Down Under!

  • Laura

    Sounds like an action packed trip! I’m sure you all are going to have a great time :)

  • Alouise

    Glad your gonna make it to TBEX, and in style. My only suggested routed would be to take Highway 1, but I don’t know how far off your route that goes. But at least you know you’ll be in Canada the whole time. Definitely frolic in the wheatfields, I don’t know anyone who does that but I’d love to see it on video.

  • Marsha

    LOL at not being able to remember the hashtag….but yes! I CAN FEEL THE ENERGY! This is going to be an epic roadtrip across one of the most expansive and beautiful countries on earth (from what I’ve heard). I’m looking forward to great writing and awesome visuals as you guys make your way west. Good luck!

  • Ayngelina

    Hey don’t worry about VIA, I take it all the time, some of the trains do have outlets. It just depends if you get on a new one or not.

    Oh and I’m totally stealing all your good stuff when I take the roadtrip back from TBEX to Halifax :P

  • Fidel

    I love Canada! I’ve only been to Toronto, Windsor, Calgary, Banff and Vancouver, but nearly every trip I’ve made to Canada has been memorable. I’m actually planning a return to the west coast of Canada this summer. Thus, I am looking forward to following your journey.

    I wonder, do Canadians still patch a Canada flag to their backpacks when they travel throughout Canada? LOL

    By the way, your Via Rail link is to http://www.vialrail and not http://www.viarail. Just thought you outta know :-)

  • Pete

    We’re looking forward to following you 2 on your cross country adventure. Best of luck and represent the Rock well at TBEX!! We unfortunately are missing TBEX because our flight back to Canada gets in the 11th (bad timing grrrr), but we’ll be back in Alberta for a few days after the conference before we jet off to Ireland. Hopefully get to meet you guys if you decide to roadtrip back. All the best!

  • Sabina

    It’s going to be totally awesome, Candice! I’m looking forward to hearing about your antics in Montreal. That is one extremely happening city. I’ll be following along!

  • JoAnna

    Sounds like fun! I can’t wait to follow along! We’re going through Montreal and Toronto this summer, so I’m interested in hearing about what you’ll be doing when you get there.

  • SpilledInkGuy

    Winnipeg is only about 150 miles or so from where I grew up! Dude! Which is why I feel confident in suggesting…
    COW TIPPING – that’s some seriously bloggable material!
    AND, you’re already in a field, it goes hand-in-hand (or hand-in-fist) with Molson, AND if you get muddy you can always go skinny dipping in a cow pond. That’s… 4 birds with one stone, Candice! :)

  • Erica

    It sounds like it is going to be AWESOME!

  • Abbie

    I can only imagine the stories that are going to come from this trip… You guys are going to have so much fun! Well, that or drive each other crazy lol

  • Anne

    Sounds amazing!

    I went to school in Kingston and miss the place. The main drag is built up now to cater 100% to the Queen’s students (Lululemon and all), but I’ve heard all my favourite haunts are still around.

    I absolutely recommend the Brew Pub for boozing/food, Minos for crazy-good Greek food, the Sleepless Goat for coffee and cake.

    If you have time, take the easy ferry to Wolfe island and pop into the Wolf Island Bakery (buttertarts buttertarts buttertarts), or the Island Grill’s patio for sunset and superb burgers. It’s a beautiful place to drive around too, lots of hidden coves and beaches.

    (getting carried away with nostalgia now)

    Safe travels!

  • maggie

    I am SO super pumped for you! And, okay, not gonna lie, a little jealous. . . because I love road trips. . . and a little sad I can’t steal you for my road trip to PEI ;P (though I would actually totally support a decision to stay in Ottawa until Canada Day. Honestly, Canada Day in downtown Ottawa is AMAZING. the stories i could tell you. The people I have met who traveled from all over the world just to experience that crowd. AMAZING. I’ll miss you like fucking woah if you’re gone that long, and be rotted I can’t join you. . . but you should totally do it.)

    Anyhow, I will definitely be following along, and can’t wait to hear tell of all your adventures :)

  • jade

    Sounds fun and good luck! I can’t wait to meet you two at TBEX! (also- hashtags are fun- can’t wait to see what combo you come up with!)

  • Candice

    There will be tons of frolicking footage! Hahaha. Yes, I contacted VIA Rail and they confirmed there are outlets. WHEW.

  • Candice

    Well don’t let that jealousy prevent you from following along. ;)

  • Candice

    I will totally run and catch up with you, beotch.

  • Candice

    That sounds like the PERFECT day to me! :D

  • Candice

    Thanks, Laura! I’m sure there’ll be some fun misadventures as well…

  • Candice

    Hahahaha, I may opt for the cow-tipping as well…

  • Candice

    Thank you Marsha, I dig your enthusiasm about the whole thing! :D The coolest part of this trip is that we’ll see a lot of sights we wouldn’t normally think to explore…it’ll be fun!

  • Candice

    Turns out mine does, woohoo! Hahaha, I’ll give you all the dirt when we meet up.

  • Candice

    You must come east, Fidel! Haha. And thanks for pointing out the link URL, good eye!

  • Candice

    I will certainly keep you posted, would love to meet up at some point! Or maybe I’ll just follow you to Ireland. :D

  • Candice

    Thanks, Sabina! I think I’m most excited about Montreal…too bad it’s at the beginning of the trip, hehe.

  • Candice

    Awesome, stay tuned, then! I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Montreal.

  • Candice

    LOL, cow-tipping…would PETA hunt us down? I can’t wait to wear my “I Club Baby Seals” shirt throughout.

  • Candice

    Fingers crossed!

  • Candice

    Ahhh, unfortunately we just breeze through Kingston to pick up the car enroute to Toronto! :( Cailin is celebrating her birthday that day, so she wants to get down in style, hehe. Love “Sleepless Goat” though…what is with all these goat names?I was also told to stop at a place in Regina called “The Feinting Goat.” Lol.

  • Candice

    After reading so much Anne, I’m DYING to go back to PEI! Haha.

  • Candice

    Hahaha, looks like #CCCC has already taken off!

  • Red

    I’ve never done the cross-Canada road trip before, very jealous! Sounds like a great plan. The drive up along Lake Superior is amazing though…so worth the BIG drive through Ontario. Don’t forget to eat Beaver Tails in Ottawa…

  • Candice

    Ah, thanks Red, that makes me feel better about our epic drive! Hahaha. It’s kinda cool we get to do a lot of the things we wouldn’t normally do if we weren’t driving…

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  • Robyn

    I found your blog randomly this afternoon and wanted to extend an invitation. If you and your friend Cailin need somewhere to stay, you are more than welcome to crash in my living room in Winnipeg. I live in an apartment just over the bridge from Downtown, VIArail, and the Forks. A 20-min walk to the heart of Downtown or a 5 minute bus ride. Street parking isn’t an issue either.

    You can check out my profile on

  • Candice

    Hey Robyn! We actually JUST secured accommodations before I received your comment, but thanks so much for the offer. Perhaps we can meet up for a coffee/beer while we’re in town. it’d be great to get some insight from a local!

  • Heather

    I love a good cross country road trip! Can’t wait to see what you two get up to!

  • Claire

    The last time I took a road trip into Canada, I found myself starting at the ceiling in a Winnipeg motel for days on end, sick with strep throat. While I was doing that, my parents and brother were gallivanting around Winnipeg, having a grand old time. I suspect that since your trip will not involve being tied to your parents, and probably WILL involve a substantial bit more alcohol, and hopefully no illnesses, it will be waaaaaaay better than mine. ;) Enjoy!! Sounds like a blast.

  • Candice

    Hehe, thanks, hope you follow along!

  • Candice

    Bahahaha! I don’t even know what to do in Winnipeg yet. I suppose I’ll figure it out.

  • Carla B

    I hate to be a bummer, but most fields are only being seeded right now on the prairies, so frolicking in a wheat field really will be more like frolicking in mud, especially since we’ve had record amounts of moisture in these parts. Anyway, get in touch with me, I can give you lots of recommendations of things to see and do along the prairie stretch of Hwy 1.

  • Candice

    Lol, I suspected as much. :( But thanks Carla, I’ll be in touch!