Summer is about travelling, especially for teachers since we have limited opportunities to travel during the school year. This past weekend we went to Waterloo for my family’s annual BBQ get together. We used to get together during Thanksgiving, but that got a bit to expensive, so to substitute we have been rotating between the family hubs for a weekend of fun. We started this in 2011 as 2010 we had two family weddings that year and already travelled a bit. This year we went to Kitchener-Waterloo.
I had a heck of a time being cleared from summer school so we didn’t leave Ottawa until 2pm on Friday (we wanted to leave at noon). Luckily, traffic wasn’t bad and we made it to Mississauga (parental units) in good time. We stayed the night in Mississauga and went to Waterloo early Saturday morning as we had a surprise for Max.
Waterloo has a historic train adventure that takes visitors from Waterloo to St. Jacobs. It is a realllllly slow train that travels through the University of Waterloo, a park and then up to St. Jacob’s which is a small town just north of Waterloo that has a fantastic market. The train operates three return trips and costs $15 per person, but children under two are free. Lucky for us, my Aunt and Uncle had some spare passes, so we ended up going for free. My Dad ended up going up by car so we could leave whenever we wanted as the next return train was two hours.
Max really enjoyed the train ride. The older car had open windows, so of course he stuck his head out the entire time. What you don’t see in the pictures is our hands grasping him so he didn’t fall out….
When we got to St. Jacobs, we took a look at the steam engine train they had on display and then went to a few small museums (Quilts, model trains, that sort of thing) and shops. After wandering around a bit, it was time for lunch. St. Jacobs has many great little restaurants and cafes. We picked the Stone Crock restaurant. We discovered that they had a small lunch buffet that was about the same price as any meal, plus Max ate free. The price of the buffet was around $16 and did not include the homemade pies or drinks. The buffet choices were small, but really good. There was a salad bar, soup bar (featuring homemade soups, not Campbells), bread (freshly baked) and a hot bar. The choices available included mashed potatoes, stuffing, ribs, chicken and meatloaf. Even though pie wasn’t included, you could still have an apple fritter, fruit or jello to top off your meal. I cannot say no to pie, so I picked out a raspberry custard pie that was amazing! Max helped eat it, but mostly stuck to the ‘top yourself’ whipped cream. It was a really good meal that featured some delicious homemade comfort food.
After filling our bellies, we went to a toy store that was in a converted church and let Max choose a couple things. Then it was time to check into our hotel and let Max (and everyone else but me) have a nap – I don’t nap often. We then drove to my cousins house where we had some pool time, conversation time and then dinner! Just about all the cousins have young children now and since they are all older now – they played for the entire evening. I think they had fun!
The following morning we went to my Aunt and Uncle’s house for breakfast, where the adults ate food and drank coffee while the kids played (again). They were getting along rather well. After noon hour we went to Hamilton to visit my brother who wasn’t able to get time off work. We went to a small English pub down the street from his house and had a pretty good meal there. They had a special that was almost 2 for 1 Fish and Chips (pay full price for one meal and $2 for the other). It was yummy, although I would say that eating fish and chips is NOT good fuel for a long run 🙂
On Monday we went back home. I really hate the Toronto-Ottawa drive, and get to do the whole thing again (and more…) on Friday. Yay travelling!