Thursday, February 25, 2016

2016 - Winterlude Summary

Duration: 3 days (left on Saturday morning, returned on Sunday evening)
Distance Traveled: 878km round-trip (439km each way) and a few short 10-15 minute drives (Jacques-Cartier Park, Canada Aviation and Space Museum)
Cost: $149 + $15 parking + taxes for hotel, $4.50 for admission to the Royal Canadian Mint, food and gas costs


Occo Kitchen was our first meal stop and probably our best food stop this trip which was a surprise since the place is a small shop with no washroom and seating for roughly 6 people. The main items that they have are burgers and tacos, check out their website ( and have a look to see if there is anything you like. Parking is limited and note that you may have to eat in your car.

Hamre burger, fries, beef and fish tacos (left to right).
Royal Canadian Mint was our last item on the itinerary and I thought that overall, it was a very nice learning experience. Go on weekdays to see production and although it was there, I don't know if I gained much versus if production was not happening. The guided tour was very well done and lasted about one hour and it takes you through the entire process of how coins are made (they don't print money here). You will learn a lot about RCM and their role in making coins (did you know that RCM makes coins for other countries?). While I wouldn't go again, I would definitely suggest going if you have any interest in coins and at $4.50 per person ($6.00 on weekdays), it isn't a big loss even if you don't learn anything.

Me holding a gold bar.
Canada Aviation and Space Museum was a free stop between 4pm - 5pm daily and worth a visit if you can get here. I think the one hour is enough for most people and I enjoyed it compared to the one in Kingston that we visited last year. There are a lot of planes that from olden days and it shows how far we have come along in aviation.

The Business Inn. Our hotel last time we came to Ottawa and I believe will remain our hotel of choice when we return. The room was great for the price, location is very good and I really enjoy the breakfast that is included. Parking is not included, but it seems like the trend in Ottawa.

Our room at The Business Inn.

This is nitpicking on my part, but I didn't like how restaurants were changing their normal routine based on the fact that it happened to be Valentine's Day weekend. The restaurants that I happened to visit which normally did not take reservations, I found out DID take reservations due to it being Valentine's Day weekend, unfortunately I didn't know until we walked to the restaurant and left disappointed.

What would I change?

I felt that everything worked out fine for this trip. One thing I underestimate was the drive back from Ottawa to Toronto. Since we came back after lunch, it was busier on the highway back when we hit Cobourg. If we left earlier, it might have been better, but who knows.

Until our next trip!