Monday, 16 January 2012

Ice rain turns to family fun on a budget!

The cold weather and ice that came through Brockville last week was the first "real winter" we have seen this year. There were power outages from Cornwall to Kingston and some news-making accidents along Highway 401. Thankfully, most people stayed safe and made it through the weather conditions.

On Saturday, we headed to my parents for a quick lunch and visit. The drive from Brockville to North Gower was anything but boring. Every tree and fence along the way was covered with ice and snow. In the beautiful sunlight, everything glistened. As always, the girls had a great visit with Amma and Grandpa. They played with mini race cars, one of their new favorite toys and provided lots of laughs and entertainment with their toddler antics!

Sunday was a bit warmer (still a chilly -16) so we headed out to lunch at Kelsey's. At first we thought we might be crazy to take our "lively" toddlers to a more grown-up restaraunt but thought lunch-time would be more appropriate. For those of you who have children, you know the challenges that await dining out at anyplace other then McDonald's. The timing is key. You can't take small children out to eat when they are really hungry, as the wait proves to be more than they can handle. You have to ensure you have some small toys, as colouring only lasts so long and a back-up plan if all else fails. We felt brave on Sunday and were going for it.

 My spouse and I made a bet that the servers were going to "rock, paper, scissor" to see who loses and gets to wait on our loving brood. As a past server, I know too well the challenges and clean-up that await with tending to a table of little ones. We were greeted with a smile from the hostess who smartly seated us near another family with younger children. Hmm, this didn't seem like the hostile environment I pictured in my head with glaring diners wishing we had chosen fast food. So far, so good. The waitress came right after and took our drink orders. She was pleasant and treated our children like, well, people. The crayons came and orders were taken. We asked for an extra plate to split our girl's order, as my oldest is picky and some days survives off of air. When the food arrived, our server had already requested the meal be split, saving us the task. This was something we really appreciated. The food was good and the service was exceptional. I'm so relieved that we no longer have to choose only places that  serve unhealthy fast food.

After a successful lunch we took the girls sedding on Laurier Hill. I thought it would be empty, as it was still very cold outside. The "we are Canadian" mantra runs strong in Brockville, as it was packed! It was fantastic to see so many families out enjoying our city. The girls loved going down the hill with daddy. I thought maybe they would be a bit afraid but it seemed the faster they went the bigger their smiles were.We didn't stay too long as our children are still very young and we didn't want to risk frostbite. We headed to Tim Horton's for hot chocolate and treats to warm up after a fun family day.

I'm happy were were able to have such a great weekend together. We used gift cards from Christmas for Kelsey's and Timmie's is never expensive, the total cost for our weekend was less then $10.00. Spending time with family doesn't always mean spending lots of money. Sometimes you just have to get out there and enojoy activities - trust me, it's worth it.


  1. We were at Laurier Hill on Sunday as well but only stayed for maybe half an hour to an hour due to it being cold..We were there around 1ish and it was packed to..Glad to hear you had a great time..

  2. We loved taking Willow to Kelseys. We were very pleased with how well they did with us bringing a new baby to the restaurant. Our server was so thrilled to have a baby, that she brought over all the other servers at different times to meet Willow, tell them her name and so on. She checked on us and Willow probably 15 times during our dinner ( we went around 5 pm ) and no one seemed irritated with a baby in the restaurant. I was also extremely pleased when I took Willow to change her and learned the bathroom didnt have one of those plastic pull down change tables but an actual wooden change table with blanket. We definitely consider it a super friendly family restaurant!

  3. Agreed, you don't have to spend a lot of money to make beautiful memories. Great read :)