ontario canada

Winter Holidays in Ottawa Canada

Nate & I both love going to see my family in the winter because we both love the snow!! I love it because it's magical. Nate loves it because he likes outdoor activities in the snow.
This year we spent a day in Ottawa before we met my family. Mostly because I wanted to take photos of Hadassah, but also because we don't usually get to spend time in the city! We stayed at the Andaz & LOVED our experience. They we're so good to us & gave us a complimentary drink upon check-in! The room was so beautiful & it's right in the Byward Market, so we walked to dinner & to some shops & to get coffee the next morning. It was such a nice little treat before the holidays!

We spent Christmas with my extended family at their cottage just on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, which we love. It's so beautiful & there was nothing to do but play outside & play games by the fire.  I also love snow on green trees, a LOT. Fair warning. But first - lots of ice skating.

& a really good afternoon of snow shoeing! Which I haven't done in years, it is an insane work out.

After Christmas we spent a few days at my Grandma's house & I love the photos I took there, just everyday normal moments, but ones that I want to remember. My parents first thing in the morning, reading the paper & drinking coffee, my sister caught in the reflection as I was coming in through the back door & my grandma making coffee in the morning light.

When I visit my family in Southern Ontario in the Summer pt. II

If you missed part I. you can find it >>> HERE
Okay! We arrived in Tobermory with a plan & an RV. Non-negotiables were as follows [in no particular order]. 
Fish & Chips.
Flowerpot Island.
Grotto.
Family Time & Birthday Celebrations.
& we freaking DID THEM ALL. which is a miracle of God. 

We stayed at a Campground which will remain nameless because it was absolutely bizarre & run by weird people who do weird things. But it was really foggy & pretty one morning when we left, so I'll post two photos of it & that's it all you get.  

We took Bruce Anchor Cruises over to Flowerpot Island, with a detour to see a bunch of shipwrecks, which initially I was like 'sure it will be cool', but when we went over them I was losing my mind. So insane. I couldn't believe how close to the surface they seemed & we were RIGHT over top of them!!

Once we got to Flowerpot Island [see above image for rock formation that looks like a flowerpot] we hiked the trails & it was extremely enjoyable. We got to the other end of the island & had a lunch break [accompanied by actual demon squirrels who potentially wanted to eat US for lunch] & then we had two options. 1- Hike back the way we came or 2- take the 'scenic route' back. The lady said the scenic route was for 'intermediate hikers' & was 'stunning' & would take us '45-60 minutes'. Well it turns out it was for rock climbers who wanted to scale walls & go down 50+ steps into a valley of rocks, but guess what. it took us 32 minutes. #professionals SO if you're two middle aged, moderately-active humans, along with two late 20s fairly-active people... you can do it too!! Also it was my moms last day as a 56 year old & she had just had a chemo treatment two days prior. She's a boss. #mombrag
Below are 10000 photos of the crystal clear blue water. I wanted to get in so badly, but it definitely was not warm enough!

Next up, that SAME evening, was the Grotto. & the main reason we chose to travel up to Tobermory. Just type Grotto into google images [or conveniently click here] & you'll see why. Also take note that during 'peak season' you have to go at the butt crack of dawn to get a parking ticket & have to choose a 4 hour increment in which you'll be going. We chose the evening group. It was beautiful, but absolutely not warm enough to get in. #tragedy. Also take note that it takes about 45 actual real minutes to walk out to the water from the parking lot. The end.  Enjoy one zillion more photos of crystal clear water.

The rest of the trip was a bit more relaxing. We did have both ice cream & fish & chips [not together ha!] BUT! We had our Fish & Chips at Shipwreck Lee's & it was another strange but very enjoyable experience.
We also celebrated my mom's bday & Reva & Josh joined us! We had angel food cake & strawberries [all time fave] & my mom fake blew-out her non-existent candles. She's my fave. <3 First up - we floated around in a tiny pond on that giant swan paddle boat. 

#feels I love my parents soooo much.

LASTLY!!! We went out that night to catch the sunset, which we missed. BUT! We did walk down a long path & across a random tent pitched by the water, to see the very end of the sun. We also picked wildflowers for my mumma & honestly.. they were pretty beautiful. 
In the end, it was a great few days. I've never camped or RV'd with my family before, so it was fun to do that!