last weekend of winterlude

A friend of mine came up for the weekend to take in the last bit of Winterlude, Ottawa-Gatineau’s winter festival. Another friend of theirs came along, and they arrived just before midnight. We had “a” drink, which somehow stretched out to a couple bottles of wine and a 4:30 bedtime.

Saturday was brunch at Woody’s on Elgin. I don’t recommend this place at all. None of the eggs were cooked properly on any of our plates, and the home-fries were deep-fried crap. The service was friendly, but I don’t think I’ll be going back there any time soon, there are much better deals and places to drop $10 for eggs on.

We followed up brunch with a skate and walk covering the canal starting at the NAC, down to Dow’s Lake, and back. The on-ice skae rental line was insane, so we walked down to the Pretoria Bridge and went to Cyco’s to rent skates for Aleks instead. Cyco’s has been around as long as I can remember, and the renting experience was a thousand times better than what the on-ice rentals looked like they were going to be (some folks said the wait time was over an hour – ugh).

Any who, we spent several hours on the ice and headed home. Everyone was wayyyy too tired to do anything, so we grabbed some Thai from Som Tum and watched most of John Pinete’s new stand up special and a little bit of An Evening With Kevin Smith in front of a fire and more wine. A day well seized.

Yesterday was brunch at Carmen’s Veranda on Bank Street in Old Ottawa South (right across from the 7-Eleven). The food was amazing (although a little expensive), and they have the best maple bacon anywhere. The restaurant is small, but the brunch menu has a lot more to offer than most places in town.

Next time I think I’ll try the goat cheese, pear, and pecan omlette. They also make no bones about what kind of establishment it is. Highly recommended, and the lunch and dinner menus look to be equally excellent, although again, a little more expensive.

Following brunch we headed up to Gatineau Park to rent some snowshoes and trek along the Wolf trail by Meech Lake. I’m not sure what I was thinking, although it’s more suitable to say I wasn’t thinking. I had jeans and running shoes (my hiking boots are in Kirkland Lake, it appears) with low-cut socks, and cotton everything. Not recommended.

The trail is compacted, but has some decent elevations over a fairly short distance. We all got to work our quads and calves, and I think we all lost a little weight on the ~5.5km trek. The weather was gorgeous, with the temp at around -7, and it was a great time. We’re so incredibly lucky to have an all-season park like the Gats on our doorstep.

We stopped off at Les Saisons (on the recommendation of the friendly and very helpful folks at the park’s Visitor Centre) for hot chocolate on the way home, and it’s highly recommended. We hit home, warmed up a bit, and my friends took off for the trip back to Toronto.

’twas a very nice weekend, and I was a little sad to see them go.

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