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Day 72

We woke up this morning and started getting our things together. Before everyone else woke up, Philippe and I went for a walk around Westmeath (I gave him a through tour of the massive metropolis (the metropolis of like 200 people). As fate would have it, there were two cars in the school parking lot. Philippe and I went to see if the school was open. We were debating whether or not to go back and get Katie and Stephanie and Michael but we weren't sure if a) it would be open or b) if it would be better if only two of us went in to get a tour and then get the others, so as not to be too intimidating with a group of us, or if we should just all go in. So we thought the two of us would go in and then go back for the others. Turns out there was someone working who showed us a tour!!! I've been waiting my whole life to see the inside of the school (it was built in 1906 and it's the school my grandma went to. We go up to Westmeath almost every summer, and since it's summer none of us have ever seen the inside!). The woman said she didn't have time to wait for us to get everyone so she could show just us or no one. So we took the tour. It was wicked!!! And the grade 1 class was wicked (it had like a platform with a ladder at the back of the class. It was so cool!). Then after the tour, we walked around the town a little longer. When we got back to the house, everyone else was up and jealous that we saw the school! Unfortunately it started raining pretty badly at one point. We figured we would get everything together then wait it out at least until lunch. We polished off all the leftovers (which was quite a bit actually) and saw the rain slowly pick up then die down. We ended up leaving Westmeath around 2:30-3pm. The rain had stopped already, but the clouds ahead were not promising. It was really sad to leave everyone behind because it was the first time we really felt like we were leaving home. When we flew out to Tofino, the whole trip, although exciting, didn't feel real, so leaving home didn't actually feel like leaving per se. But having the family connection part way through was really nice, but really sad to leave! It was so nice having those three visit and it was so nice staying in Westmeath! So, leaving was hard for me. Once we hit the Quebec/Ontario border, it was real again and I was ready for the next part of the trip.
We were making really good time until we crossed into Quebec. The start of the Quebec portion was full of construction with really bad roads. So we could only go so fast on them (and by so fast I mean somewhere between 10-15km/hr). Once we were out of the construction zone, we were flying again! We knew it was supposed to thunderstorm sometime this evening and we really wanted to hit Ottawa before that happened! Michael wanted to take the road through the Gatineau but I was a little hesitant. We didn't know how the roads would be, and I really didn't want to be caught out in the middle of nowhere in a storm. Michael ended up convincing me, and we compromised by taking the shorter route rather than the one that zig zagged all the way through the park. Unfortunately, the road we took seemed to just skirt around the outside perimeter of the park, without actually going into the park. However, it was a very nice, enjoyable ride with rolling hills (where before every up there was a down!). It seemed much quicker than the highway as well. I was really glad we took that route! At one point it was scary because the clouds started getting very grey, and then it started getting very dark very quick and the temperature just dropped from hot to a little chilly. Sure signs of the beginning of a storm. Somehow, however, that storm never came! We made it all the way into Ottawa, to Julia's house without a drop! It was wicked! And from the turnoff to the mountain road (along the Gatineau) all the way to her house was very nice and enjoyable!
When we got to Julia's (around 8:20), both Julia and Dana were still there! They were on their way out to see Arcade Fire. Michael and I went to shower before joining them (so they left early). When Michael and I were heading down, we had the option of taking the bus, but since it was only two stops away, we decided to walk it. The walk took a little longer than expected, but it was really enjoyable!
Unfortunately, when we got to the Bluesfest, the ticket booths were closed and no one at the door would let us pay there. Therefore, we were forced to freeload the show and watch from outside the gate. We could still see the screens, and being an outdoor concert, we could hear it perfectly well! Arcade Fire was soo good! It would probably have been better if we were there for the whole thing, or inside, but we can't complain with what we saw for free! I guess we could have not showered and just gone with Julia and Dana, but the last time we showered was at Julia's cottage (as there were no showers at either Algonquin or Westmeath, and although we did go swimming, it's not the same. And the last time we were in the water was the Ottawa River, which isn't known to be the cleanest). So, I'm glad we showered rather than caught the entire concert!
We walked back and beat Julia and Dana home. They felt bad because Dana didn't have Michael's number, and I didn't have hers, and Julia forgot her phone at home. We really weren't bothered because we couldn't get in anyways. But they didn't know we couldn't get in so assumed we were looking for them the whole time. So, they waited around the concert for a bit, seeing if they could find us (they didn't get the text we sent after not being able to get in saying we can't get in, so it's probably easiest to just meet back at Julia's). So, alas, we were all back! Michael was exhausted so passed out, and I stayed up with Julia and Dana for a bit, catching up. It was a really nice night!