Monday, 4 February 2008

Winterlude 2008

This past weekend marks the beginning of Winterlude in Ottawa. Winterlude takes place the first three weeks in February and involves a celebration of winter. There are ice carving competitions, snow sculpting, the world's largest children's snowplayground and bed races and skating on the Rideau Canal, the world's largest skating rink. The Canal is 7.8 km long and makes an awesome skateway. Unfortunately Mother Nature is not cooperating much this year and the full length of the canal is not open for skating because the ice is not thick enough. We just haven't had enough cold temperatures. You need several days of cold temps in a row and this year the temperatures have been up and down. For example this past Friday we had a snowstorm with about a foot of snow and now the weathermen are calling for rain tomorrow and Wednesday! That may put a damper on some of the activities!
Sunday afternoon was fairly mild so we took advantage of the weather and headed off to Confederation Park in Ottawa to view some of the ice sculptures. I always marvel at how they manage to do these. The sculptures are particularily nice to see at night when they are lit up with coloured lights. I've posted a few pics of some of the better ones. I was a little disappointed. Although they're lovely, we found they weren't as spectacular as some of the pieces in the previous years. The snow sculpting is supposed to start on Tuesday but with the forecasted rain it may have to be postponed until later in the week. They're supposed to be on display in Jacques Cartier Park on the Quebec side of the river next weekend so we're planning on paying a visit there Saturday or Sunday. I've taken a few other pictures of the canal and surroundings which I'll post in the next few days or so.

Of course no visit to Winterlude would be complete without trying a BeaverTail. Sounds strange you say? But I can assure you it's one of the most scrumptious treats! It's actually a hot pastry which is shaped like a beaver's tail and is covered with sugar and cinnamon. Mmmm, Mmmm! We had ours along with some hot apple cider. Warms you up great because after all the tootsies start to get a little frosty after walking around all afternoon in the snow.

In keeping with the winter theme I spent the rest of the afternoon stitching on Warm Winter Wishes. I was only able to work on it for a short time because we had a piano concert to attend in the evening. We passed the afternoon at the church where I sat and stitched while my DH did some practising and had a nap. Friends of ours had given us a gift certificate at Christmas for a quaint Italian restaurant in Little Italy. This area of Ottawa is just a few blocks away from the church so we decided to use our certificate and try it out. It was quite nice and I'll think we'll try this one again sometime. We had the place to ourselves because it was Super Bowl Sunday and everyone was either at the bars or at home hosting parties and watching the game. We would have loved to do the same however hosting the concert is part of my hubby's job and I wasn't about to drive home and then come back for him. We'd come into town in one car. I supposed we could have come in two cars but we spend so much time commuting and there's also the gas cost to factor in.
I'm hoping to spend some more time stitching tonight. Right now we're heading into Cornwall to return Tugger home to my DS's apartment. He's been gone a week and has been missed very much!


  1. Winterlude is so amazing and it looks like the weather is holding up.
    Your photos are very nice. I enjoyed it when I lived in Ottawa many years ago.
    Your little Warm Winter Wishes is so cute.
    I'm glad you enjoyed the restaurant,I love Italian too!

  2. I really should go someday... being a resident I've just never gone!

  3. Such lovely ice carvings...and the beaver tail pastry sounded DEIGHTFUL :)

  4. Winterlude sounds like a lot of fun, especially to a Texan. Those ice carvings looks amazing! And Warm Winter Wishes is an adorable project.

  5. The ice sculptures are amazing. I would love to visit Winterlude one day and enjoy a yummy beaver tail.

  6. The ice sculptures are stunning. Winterlude sounds like a great time and that Beavertail sounds yum. I love your stitching design. Winter is a little way off for us, so I can't quite get into the winter stitching mood yet, but I have lots of plans.

  7. Those ice sculptures are amazing! I'd really like to see some in person sometime.