Friday, February 25, 2011

Ottawa - Winterlude 2011

Spent the family day long weekend in Canada's Capital.  After a 4 hour car drive we arrived to extreme cold temperatures -19 with a windshield of -28, and to our disappointment all Winterlude festivities, except Chrystal Garden were closed.  We took a quick tour of the city, first by car; then on foot, which lasted no more than 30 minutes due to the gripping cold.  Back at the hotel, we contemplated dinner and decided on Chinese Buffet as it was within walking distance from our hotel.   I felt courageous and sampled deep fried frog legs for the first time.  It tasted like chicken, but as soon as I had gobbled down a couple of legs, I had the image of a hoppin' frog on my mind, so I did not go for seconds.

We woke up on Sunday morning to slightly warmer temperature and were excited to find out that all festivities were opened.  Our fist destination was Snowflake Kingdom at Jacques-Cartier Park, which claims to have the biggest snow playground on the continent.   Our teenagers took a couple of runs down the ice slides and tubing.  Then we were off to the Rideau, the world’s largest skating rink.

When looking for my skates the night before leaving for Ottawa, they were nowhere to be found.  I seem to recall lending them out...but I can't remember to whom.  I arrived in Ottawa with no skates, and I had no luck in purchasing any either.  So, I had resorted to walking the canal instead.  Well, low and behold, as our friends and all the children were lacing up their skates, a man drops a pair of skates in the garbage bin next to me.  I picked them up, tried them on and they fit.... Just like out of a movie.  They weren't the best of skates but they lasted long enough for me to claim to have skated on the Rideau canal.

What a wonderful highway of skaters... It was jam-packed with people.  The kids had a blast, enjoying all the freebies and entertainment along the way.  We ended our Winterlude visit by checking out all the ice sculptures at the Crystal Garden at Confederation Park.  What marvelous works of art.  I wish we could have seen it at night. I accomplished a few new experiences this weekend; skating on the Rideau, eating frog legs and enjoying the ever-so-famous beaver tail. 


  1. I just love how the skates were offered to you at just the right moment! so magical.

    so glad you enjoyed this time.

  2. Great road trip with the families.....We hope we do something like this every family long weekend....Next year do a chalet/ ski trip.
    Just for your forgot to mention the trip across to Hull Quebec (Casino).

    Gerry ;)

  3. Wow...
    Nice job on the blog....well written
    Too bad the two elder kids couldn't make it... we all would of played indoor paintball in the dark....That would of been crazy fun for all the kids.

    <3 Lena