smack in the middle of the great-winter-that-wasn't ava and i visited our friends in ottawa for a taste of actual winter. every year ottawa makes the most of it's white stuff with an impressive winterlude festival.
the winter weather was perfect and i think we pretty much sampled the full winterlude menu. after frolicking in joan and arno's neighborhood snow, and a quick round of sledding for ava and lucy. we started off with a twinkly nighttime visit to the ice sculptures.
the next morning we headed off to the main attraction, the "snow park" across the river in gatineau, quebec. the naturally falling white stuff isn't quite enough to power this place, and artificial-snow-making preparations start about a month before the big event.
the snow park was filled with all sorts of fun stuff. the signature attraction is the ice slides - carved out of the big piles of snow and then flooded, frozen, re-flooded, re-frozen until they achieve a rather glacier-like appearance. ava was quite enthusiastic about the slides and also very independent - she wanted to do all of them all by herself.
there was also a tubing area, with ultra-deluxe inner tube sleds, a place to try kick-sleds and an obstacle course for small people hosted by the royal canadian armed forces.
in the afternoon, joan, lucy, ava and i skated on the ottawa canal - the "world's largest skating rink". and not the largest by a few paltry inches - the ottawa canal is a 4 mile long strip of groomed ice. on the canal i learned something about ava and skates - she needs a destination. ava saw the chateau laurier looming in the distance and decided she wanted to go see "the castle", and zoom! off she went.
the next day, we wrapped things up with a winter walk through the neighborhood to the playground and then sadly said our good-byes! full photo gallery