a peek inside the fishbowl

07 Jan, 2017

Weekend reading: January 7 edition

By andrea tomkins in Weekend reading

Way back when the kids were Very Small we had to make some big decisions. Cloth or disposable? Co-sleeping or crib? Playmobil or Lego? Downhill or cross country? ;)

I felt very strongly that the family who is sporty together, stays together. I pictured our little family on our bikes in the summer, hiking, and going on camping trips. In the winter, we’d skate and toboggan. And then there was the question of skiing. I enjoyed both cross-country and downhill skiing, but was slightly better at the former. So was Mark. And although there’s no rule you should only do one or the other I felt like it might be a good idea to focus on one, especially since there are only so many “good” weekends in the winter (which is ironic because there are actually quite a few cold months of the year). So we opted for cross-country.

When the girls were small we rented equipment for them every winter. It wasn’t until they stopped growing that we bought them skis outright.

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I have soooo much to write about! If you follow me on Instagram you might already know that we went on a short family holiday right after Christmas. It was our Christmas gift to ourselves. This meant way fewer gifts under the tree but I am so happy we took this route. There were a few little bumps in the road, but overall, it was a lovely little family getaway.

We booked three nights at a place called Cap Tremblant. (If you’re looking for rental accommodations in the Tremblant area you can check out their website here.) The accommodations were ok. The condo we rented was clean, spacious, quiet, and with a view of the mountain, although if you’re looking for modern furnishings/decor/appliances you might be disappointed. Think: cheapest possible coffee maker, toaster, comforter, toilet paper, soap, etc. On the plus side, it’s only a 15 minute drive from Tremblant village and the free resort shuttle makes it all pretty easy.

The plan was to zero in on a few wintry activities while we were there. First up, snowshoeing, but due to some serious confusion we didn’t actually end up with snowshoes. It’s a long story, but I will summarize by saying that Tremblant staff at the equipment rental place at the base of the village told us that they didn’t rent snowshoes and that we had to get them at the OTHER place at the top of the village, near the base of the mountain. The people there told us the exact opposite.

Our plan was to buy a pedestrian lift pass, rent snowshoes, take the gondola to the summit and check out the trail up there. Easy, right? Er, apparently not.

I eventually asked a staffer in the ski rental area if we could hike the trail in our boots. Given the recent weather, I thought the trail might be hard packed. He agreed, and we finally went on our way.

It was with some degree of trepidation that we made our way to the line up for the lift. What if we got all the way up there, only to find that we needed snowshoes after all?

We waited in line for about 20-25 minutes, boarded the lift, and a short time later, found ourselves at the top of Mt. Tremblant. We’d spent a good chunk of the day trying to figure out the blasted snowshoe rental and it was almost lunchtime. Thankfully, we decided to refuel before setting out. There is a restaurant at the summit – it’s more like a cafeteria – and it was very busy. We grabbed some food and ate upstairs. (I opted for the poutine.)

And THEN, it was finally time to set out.

I have done the summit snowshoe adventure before, on a trip with Ford Canada, and loved it so much I had to come back with my family. This previous visit is what saved our bacon because I was able to tell my family, somewhat convincingly, that we were INDEED GOING THE RIGHT WAY. You see, if you are planning on hiking or snowshoeing the trail and have never been there, you probably won’t really know where to go at first. If you’re lucky you’ve grabbed one of their mountain maps, which gives you a rough idea. I will say this: You need to walk alongside the downhill ski trails until you reach the start of the snowshoe trail, which may be obscured by snow and tree branches which are weighed down by snow and ice.

We trudged along, sticking to the sides as much as we could, hoping not to be knocked over by skiers, feeling a little lost because there were no clear markings (e.g. “LE SUMMIT TRAIL ICI.”) We were also on the receiving end of a few looks, to say the least. We eventually found the beginning of the trail. It was only 10-15 minutes away from the summit. The entrance was a bit downhill, off the beaten path of the skiers, so we slid down between the trees and entered a whole different world of silence and snow. It was, in a word, amazing.

Winter hike at the summit, Mt. Tremblant

Winter hike at the summit, Mt. Tremblant

Winter hike at the summit, Mt. Tremblant

I felt like we were walking in a snow globe, or a story, or a dream. It was so quiet and still.

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  • Tanvi: This was a great post! I'm definitely coming back for more
  • XC > DH: Andrea said: I felt like we couldn’t go to Tremblant and NOT ski. XC is skiing. And it wayyy better than downhill. And the XC at Tremblant is
  • andrea tomkins: We have a winner! It's commenter #48, Sarah Pipe, who wrote: 'Resolved to clean up my make up bag…Daniel Thompson’s eyeliner and mascara seem like
  • andrea tomkins: Comments are officially closed to new entries. Stay tuned for the winner!
  • Karen: Litterless lunch - all the way!
  • jason: How about a sleek coffee press, to reduce impulse purchases: http://www.terra20.com/presse-coffee-press
  • Gemma BC: Commented on FB!

The Obligatory Blurb

My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our two daughters Emma (17) and Sarah (15). I am the managing editor of our community newspaper, the Kitchissippi Times, and a regular contributor to MediaSmarts.ca. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger, and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999... which makes me either a total dinosaur or a veteran, I'm not sure which! 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!


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