My sister flew home, at the end of July, to spend a couple of weeks with mom and the family. It’s always so nice to have her home. She will be moving back in September and we are really looking forward to seeing her face on the regular. Two weeks seemed like a lot before she arrived but it flew by especially since I was back to work her second week here.
Good news is that in between her trip to Montreal and catching up with her friends we were able to see each other a few times each week. We managed to sneak in a shopping outing with mom, park and swim play with the kids, a trip to the Gatineau park and a girl’s night out two nights before she flew back to Vancouver. All of which was so much fun.
The awesome thing about my family is that we don’t have to do much of anything to have a good time or laugh. When my mom, sister and I get together we laugh so hard our stomachs and faces hurt. Don’t you just love that feeling? You know the one when you hold onto your cheeks and beg people to stop talking so that you can breathe again lol it’s the best.
For those of you who read my post on “back to work shopping”, I can owe its success to mom and Chels. Two weeks before I went back my wardrobe was still hurting so they dragged me out, dressed me up like their doll and successfully and more importantly quickly found me a new and very affordable wardrobe within our first hour there. A huge thank you to them for this night.
I don’t want to bore you with all of the things that we did together 😉 but I do want to share a couple of our fun outings together. Of course, there was our baby girls’ first birthday party which was the first day my sister arrived.
Another highlight was our day spent at the Gatineau park. It’s always been one of my mom’s favourite spots to take us. We’ve been going since we were kids. Since having our little ones we often talk about going for hikes but haven’t been on many so we were happy to bring them along on this one. Mom brought us to her favourite spot. I am not sure what it is called, it’s the falls that are about a 15 minute walk from the Mackenzie King estate. If you know what they’re called please let me know in a comment.
Our son loved this outing. He loves anything outdoors and large spaces in particular because he can run around. Another highlight of his were the ruins on the estate. Our son loved climbing them.They were like his own personal jungle gym lol and for us, they offered an amazing backdrop for family photos.
One thing that had changed, since I had been last, were the additions of the quotes along the way. How cool are they? Love the quotes that were chosen and how they were displayed. We saw the first one as soon as soon as we arrived and the second was close to the ruins.
After our photo shoot at the ruins, we began our trek down to mom’s favourite waterfall. She told us that she used to go there all the time as a kid. That she and her friends would pack picnics and eat them on the rocks at the bottom of the falls. She’s always been the adventurous type. One look down below and I knew that I wouldn’t be venturing down.
For those of you who have little ones, I recommend that you bring a carrier for this hike. We brought our B.O.B stroller and although it’s an awesome stroller we ended up having to carry it much of the way since it’s quite hilly. We enjoy a good workout though so we didn’t mind carrying it ;).
Following the falls, we made our way back up to the Estate for lunch. Mom and sister packed a picnic and enough food for an army. I’m not complaining though! I love anything made by anyone else especially meals prepared by mom. She brought some awesome egg salad sandwiches with bread from Art-is-in (and you know how much I love their bread and baked goods), charcuterie and lots of other goodies. Little did we know, and lucky for us, they had a performance on during lunch hour. A stage was set up and they had six dancers swing dancing to live music. It was awesome! The dancers were so much fun and the musicians were pretty talented. They even invited the audience to learn how to dance. Our son, who absolutely loves to dance, couldn’t resist the invite and spent lots of time dancing with his aunty. Nothing sweeter! Unfortunately, I forgot to take picture of the performers. I was too busy enjoying the moment. I’ll try to remember next time ;).
We ended our Gatineau Park adventure with a tour of their gardens and managed to make it home on time for afternoons naps! Overall, this was an amazing outing. Anything we do with aunty is so much fun and the kids love spending any moment they can with her. So grateful to to have her as my sister.
For those who have never been or for those who haven’t been in a while I highly recommend a visit to Mackenzie King estates. There’s nothing like hiking in a beautiful environment and taking in all that the outdoors has to offer.
Another one of my favourite outings with sister was our dinner with mom. The Saturday before sister left we went out for a girl’s night. The forecast was 80% rain and hot so we weren’t going to do downtown but last minute mom decided that we would. We don’t get together often nor do we go downtown so we just did it. We were happy that we did because the rain held up for us and we had an AMAZING time. We laughed so hard it hurt lol we probably spent almost an hour trying to figure out where we would grab a cocktail first before going for dinner. We ended up going to Ace Mercado first and LOVED their drinks. I had been years back for a birthday but hadn’t been since. For those of you who like a funky venue and tequila especially you should totally try this place out. They have yummy dishes and even better cocktails. We had their Mexican Firing Squad and it’s officially one of my favourite drinks. It was so good that after our dinner at Cornerstone we went back for more!
After our cocktails at Ace we walked through the Ottawa market and sucked in what it had to offer. We walked by the inspiration village, browsed through some shops and then stopped for dinner at Cornerstone. I’m not one to complain so I’m going to try not to but I do want to be honest. The venue was nice but the meal wasn’t. I really didn’t enjoy what I ordered. I can’t remember what it was called but it was a Thai coconut curry dish. The great news is that the waiter picked up on that and he didn’t charge me for my meal. I hadn’t complained or anything but I think he knew that I wasn’t enjoying it so when it came time to pay the bill, I noticed that he had only charged me for my drink. I was blown away by this. To the waiter who provided such great service at Cornerstone I thank you for your kindness and for not charging me for the pretty however tasteless dish!
We ended the night at Ace. We went back for a cocktail and one of their signature tequila shots and green chaser.
We had an awesome night! Thank you mom for pushing us to go downtown. It was a wonderful idea and such a good evening. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. Thank you sister for the amazing two weeks you spent with all of us. You’re irreplaceable, so much fun and I love you both dearly. I absolutely love having our tripod together and look forward to more outings like these ones once sister moves back home.
What are your favourite lounges and restaurants in Ottawa? I’d love to hear from you.