Winter Getaway

Back in November I started planning a winter getaway for January to give Othy and Moses a taste of winter activities and winter beauty. Vikkie helped me plan it from the start. We decided to plan a trip up to Arrowhead Provincial Park where they have a skating trail and opportunities for snow shoeing and cross country skiing. Our plan was to invite several other friends to join us and get an Airbnb for a long weekend. I found what looked like a beautiful cottage on Airbnb that would only cost us abouth $50 per adult per night. Then soon after Othy and Moses arrived, the new Omnicron variant hit. Two friends cancelled because they were nervous about it, and two others cancelled because they caught Covid. We were past the point of getting a refund and so we asked the host if they would be willing to let us cancel or give us a discount. At first they offered a small discount for our smaller group, but finally they cancelled because the city of Huntsville was asking hosts not to have short term rentals due to the increase of Omnicron cases. We were slightly disappointed but also thankful to get our money back. Vikkie decided to come down to St. Catharines anyways and do something local there. After some research we decided to check out Rockway Conservation Area which has a waterfall and some rapids, Decew Falls, and go skating at The Rink in the Gardens at the Pillar and Post in Niagara on the Lake. We did the hiking on Friday and the Skating on Saturday. Both days were quite chilly at around -10 with added wind chill but we didn’t let that stop us!

At Rockway Conservation Area there was a falls right near the parking area and we thought we would do a 1km loop and see how we felt after that. We weren’t prepared for how icy the paths were but we kept on and took it really slow, especially on the hills! Poor Moses got really frustrated because he wanted to walk on his own but kept falling! Othy and Vikkie took turns helping Moses along because my job was to carry Sarah and make sure not to fall! I was carrying her in the baby carrier with my winter coat on top (or I should say Jen’s winter coat). It was so beautiful. There were snowy and icy areas and less snowy areas depending on what side of the hills we were on. We missed the turnoff for the short loop but decided since we had come that far already, to go see rapids that were a bit further. I am glad that we did as they were beautiful. Next we went to Decew Falls which are right next to the road as well. There is a historical dam and mill on the property. We read some of the plaques and then walked a short way down the trail to get a different view of the falls. Apparently there used to be a timber spiral staircase that the family built to get to the bottom of the falls. They should totally try to recreate that! We were cold and done in by that point and so went home to some hot chocolate! We also stopped at Zehrs and found some eat tonight deals including chicken pie, quiche, a cheese sausage platter, and ceasar salad. We also treated ourselves to mini chocolate lava cakes and butter tarts (on my list to have while in Canada). It was all the best kind of comfort food! Yum!

Snowy area
Not snowy area

The following day we took the morning slow and didn’t get out skating until the afternoon. First Vikkie and I went on the ice with Moses and Othy stayed with Sarah. Moses did not like skating at all but I was a bit ambitious getting him to try it so young! Then Othy and I switched and Vikkie taught him to skate while I watched the kiddos. To stay warm I walked back and forth with the stroller along the length of the rink and explored the adjacent gardens. Othy did great for a complete beginner and made it around the rink several times! Finally I went back on the ice again with Vikkie to skate for the first time in a few years! I only did a few laps because I was still recovering from birth and so was taking it slow. It felt good though to be in the ice again! Vikkie stayed on the ice for a half hour more and Othy and I got hot chocolate and a pretzel from the snack bar and ate it in the car. For the remaining time we decided to drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake to walk around the town and see the water. It was getting colder and so we didn’t stay long. It was so cold that our hands felt like they were freezing just to take off our gloves for a second to take a photo! We went into a few shops, walked down to the water, and then called it a day! There was a beautifully paved path next to the water but it was too cold to stay and enjoy it. We headed home to another cozy evening with leftovers and a movie! I am glad that we found a way to turn a disappointment into a a really wonderful time. Thanks to Vikkie for being our wheels, helper with the kids and photographer!

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