a peek inside the fishbowl

17 Feb, 2015

Family Day weekend recap (a few words but mostly photos)

Posted by andrea tomkins in: - Ottawa for kids|Easy ways to make kids happy|Ottawa

Piper on Valentine's Day

Despite the subarctic temperatures and lack of skiing/skating/outdoor activities I declare our Valentine’s/Family Day weekend a big success.

It began, of course, with a PD day on Friday. I worked while the girls lolled around and binge-watched a string of Veronica Mars episodes. Valentine’s Day was Saturday. Mark made me my morning coffee. I made his. We exchanged cards and as a family we unveiled a new little piece of art for our mantel.

This heart art is by Alison Fowler (a former Fishbowl patron!). She had over 150 of these on display at Twiss & Weber over the weekend. It was quite the amazing collection, and now we now have two of our own:

H'art by Alison Fowler

Mantel view

I should mention that the BEST part of Valentine’s Day was Mark shaving off his beard and fixing our dishwasher. (!!)

After breakfast the four of us piled in the car and drove to the Glebe to pick up a part he needed. While we were there we took the opportunity to check out Lansdowne for the first time… the Whole Foods, the Sporting Life, and the LRT showcase in the old cattle castle. It was pretty cool. The best part of it was the full-sized model of the City of Ottawa’s new light rail train.

Cattle Castle at Lansdowne

LRT showcase at Lansdowne

Checking out the new LRT

Old Ottawa bus

Dial it up

We took a detour on the way home and dropped in to T&T Supermarket to pick up a few things. We got stuck in the snack aisle for quite awhile, and also brought home some pretty adorable custard buns:

Piggy custard buns

Piggy custard buns from T&T

For dinner we had sushi from MHK and afterwards shared some Sweet Georgia Browns from Purdy’s.

We spent Sunday in relaxation mode with Mark’s parents. Monday was busy. Mark had to work so the girls and I met him for lunch at the Rideau Centre. Sarah and Mark had burgers from Big Smoke Burger and Emma and I had grilled cheese sandwiches from MLT DWN. Everything was delicious and filling. The food court (a.k.a. the Dining Hall) at Rideau is seriously the best in Ottawa! Have you been?

After lunch the three of us shopped around a bit, first at Rideau, then at Neon Clothing in the Byward Market, which has a fantastic selection of Converse:

Inside the Rideau Centre

Buying Converse at NEON

We eventually wound up at the National Gallery, where we checked out the Jack Bush and the MC Escher exhibitions. Both were excellent.

Inside the National Gallery

Jack Bush at the National Gallery

MC Escher exhibition at the National Gallery

Inside the National Gallery

We also dropped by Forty-part Motet in the old Rideau Chapel, which is a very moving audio installation. I could spend a lot of time in this room:

The Rideau Chapel

All of this made me miss our family membership. I wish we could come here more often! I just love it here.

We were at the Gallery for so long that we were able to meet up with Mark again after work. We all drove home, where we collapsed in a big heap and only emerged for chicken wings and salad for dinner.

It was a winner of a weekend, weather be damned!

3 Responses to "Family Day weekend recap (a few words but mostly photos)"

1 | Misty Pratt

February 17th, 2015 at 1:29 pm


Love the pics!! Can’t wait for longer outings like this as my girls get older (and hopefully stop throwing tantrums about putting their mitts on ;) )

2 | andrea tomkins

February 17th, 2015 at 2:11 pm


You know that the biggest thing was in terms of bringing the girls on longer outings when they were small? It wasn’t mittens or temper tantrums… it was the DIAPER BAG. omg. That thing was an albatross around my neck! That being said, wandering around the city with teens does have its own set of special challenges, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. :) :)

3 | a peek inside the fishbowl » Blog Archive Family Day 2019 - a peek inside the fishbowl

February 18th, 2019 at 4:26 pm


[…] home and make my own schedule for the most part. This was what our Family Day weekend looked like a mere four years ago. We’ve also gone XC skiing, walked in the woods and fed the chickadees. I remember making […]

comment form:


Stay in touch

Me and my pet projects

Ottawa Bucket list

Subscribe via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Lynn: Bongo Cat is GENIUS. Also: the Ghibli museum is going on my dream travel wish list now.
  • Escaper: This tweet has the correct title. Already tired of this coronavirus...
  • Katie: Thank you for BONGO CAT! I needed that.
  • andrea tomkins: Thank you Jinjer! I'm glad to know you are reading along! :)
  • Jinjer: I read your blog but do so via Feedly so that's why you don't see me as a subscriber and I'm usually in a hurry so I don't comment often, but I do rea
  • andrea tomkins: I am just overwhelmed by the idea of doing a blog export. Most posts I want to keep, but some I don't (eg some contests and giveaways of days gone by)
  • Lynn: So lovely! I have been thinking of doing a post like this - what is life like on a daily basis these days? Where is everyone, and how are they doing?

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

If you'd like to contact me, please use this form. If you're so inclined, you can read more about me here. Thank you for visiting!


Connect with me at these places too!

On the nightstand

All hail the mighty Twitter