Monday, 12 November 2012

The haunts of Halloween

A lot of my posts are about our family adventures in and around our wonderful community. A few weekends ago, Nick and I decided we needed a date night. I had seen an advertisement, on BNTV, for a lantern-lit walk through Fulford Place and as it was leading up to Halloween, I figured it was the perfect venue for our date.

We dropped our wee ones off with my friend and trusted "toddler guru" and headed over a few minutes early to the mansion. I had been on a tour quite a few years ago with my mom, but never at night. After reading the historic stories about Fulford Place in the gift shop area, both Nick and I were very excited, and a bit nervous for the tour. As we waited for the others to show up, it became clear that we picked the best time for our tour, as we ended up being the only two people to attend the early time slot, and therefore, we received a private tour.

 Fulford Place is a local historic site that really is something to marvel at. Breathtaking is a word that comes to mind. When our tour guide took us through, room by room to tell us the spooky tales, part of me was distracted by the rich history but also by the home itself.

I can't do the rich and storied history - nor the many spooky tales that come along with it - justice here. I can tell you that for the cost of $12, it was one of the best date nights we have had in a while. We are both looking forward to taking part in the haunted walks that are hosted throughout the city during the summer months on Friday evenings.

Fulford Place is a National Historic Site and part of Brockville's rich heritage. Please visit and support the museum to ensure it continues to be a part of our city for generations to come!

For more information pertaining to Fulford Place and all their events.

After a grown-up night to ourselves, it was time to really gear up for Halloween with the whole family. With three girls, it's an exciting time in our house. Our children are young and just starting to understand Halloween so our go-to Halloween spot is the 1000 Islands Mall, where all of the stores participate and hand out candy. It is the perfect place to stay warm and dry from the elements and also see all of the adorable costumes!

At ages 3 and 2, we decided the girls would pick out their own costumes. My fabulous in-laws were here in the spring, for the birth of our third child and had bought Baby R her very own spotted Dalmatian costume. Grampa Joe is a brave firefighter and we take every opportunity to cherish and celebrate his role fighting fires in their local BC community, so this costume was the perfect tribute!  We were hoping to sway the girls to dress up as firefighters, to go along with their baby sister, however when these girls get something in their mind, there really is no changing it.

Enjoy the pictures below of our little monkeys and thier chosen costumes. They brought many smiles to everyone this Halloween!

ps- Nick's costume was his Canuck's jersey and a sign that read: "How do the owners expect me to survive off of $5 million dollars a year"?

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

A rain day road trip

Anyone who knows me, also knows that I love my city. I don't just like where I live, but am a constant supporter and lover of all things Brockville. It has afforded my family the luxury of daily activities and a great, all-around balanced lifestyle. That said, I still think that sometimes, it's important to venture beyond our local community and explore the many nearby attractions which make our corner of the province so unique.

It was a rainy, dreary start to fall, kind of day. One recent weekend, after swim class had finished, we were puzzled as to what our next adventure would be. I had been online checking out local attractions and others close by, when I stumbled upon the Canadian Museum of Nature, in Ottawa. I lived in Ottawa for a few years and although I had passed by the stunning "Castle" , as it is affectionately called, I had never been in. With the rain pouring down, it seemed like the perfect day to explore the museum with my family.

Upon arrival, I realized why The Canadian Museum of Nature is referred to as a "Castle". In 1905, the chief architect and designer, David Ewart, created the fanciful castle-like structure in a field in the south of Ottawa, formed out of local sandstone. In 1916, the building became the emergency headquarters for the Canadian government after the Parliament Buildings were consumed by a great fire. When former prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier died in 1919, his body laid in state in the auditorium.The building is visually stunning and worth the short hour-drive from Brockville.

We took the elevator to the top floor and started our afternoon of discovery. Although Nick is not a fan of birds, we agreed that the Bird Gallery was fascinating and very well laid out. It was easy to walk through the displays, read and learn about all the different types of birds, their habitat and even stop for a play at the interactive children's area, where kids can learn how to protect and take care of injured birds.

We made our way from the top floor to the bottom, taking in "Nature Unleashed", the Mammal Exhibit and finally (my favorite) The Talisman Energy Fossil Gallery. We all had our favorites: Nick's being the exhibit detailing Hurricane Katrina, which was truly humbling. Our oldest loved the mammals, which didn't surprise me, as she is a true animal lover.

All of this to say - I have a new favourite spot in Ottawa! We'll be back to visit time and time again, as the museum really does have something for kids (and parents!) of all ages. Please check out their website for more information on up and coming exhibits, hours and rates.

After a fun-filled day at the museum, we headed to Montana's for a family dinner. Just the perfect end to the perfect day!