Family Day at Montebello!

Here's Mary enjoying our snowy winter 2014. I am hoping the weather on Family Day weekend is mild enough for outdoor activities. No -40 with the windshield, thank you.  Photo by Jon Ball.
Here’s Mary enjoying our snowy winter 2014. I am hoping the weather on Family Day weekend is mild enough for outdoor activities. No -40 with the windshield, thank you. Photo by Jon Ball.

I am very excited to say that I am going on a vacation! And by vacation, I mean one day and one night at Le Chateau Montebello in Quebec, but I’ll take it.

My husband is not much of a traveler. The only trip we’ve ever taken together was a few days on a road trip to Boston (but I came home with an engagement ring, so no complaints!). My sister-in-law, Cath, however, is from England and loves to travel and go on family vacations. Jon’s brother Jay is much more willing to get on a plane than Jon – he found his English wife in Australia of all places. So, when they suggested we all have a little mini-getaway together, I jumped at the chance. And, surprisingly, so did Jon. My notorious homebody even started excitedly telling his friends about our plans.

Once we were on board, it didn’t take much to convince my in-laws to join us and their four grandchildren. I am looking forward to having some good old fashioned fun and spending some extended time with my nieces and nephew.

But on the other hand, I am a little afraid. I know of folks that took their babies to Jamaica and across Canada on planes, so one would think I wouldn’t be too nervous about an overnight one province over with a child that is relatively well-behaved, but I am. What happens if Mary has a meltdown at dinner? What happens if she won’t sleep at night? Will I actually have a good time with a toddler in tow or is this going to derail into Griswold family vacation territory?

But with our rooms booked, and vacation time requested, there’s no turning back now and I wouldn’t want to. No matter what happens, there will be some memories made.

Have you ever taken any vacations with extended family? Any tips and tricks to keep a toddler happy outside her normal routine?

I Tell Stories
Samantha lives in Stittsville with her husband, Jon, and their daughter, Mary. Samantha works full-time for the federal government and also enjoys writing part-time, including as a writer for Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine. Feel free to check out her website – and follow her on Twitter @I_Tell_Stories

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  1. I wish we could take more little family getaways. There are so many incredible places to see that are local or only a few hours away! We spent a fancy-shmancy day at Chateau Montebello once for a summer family event from my husband’s old job. It was great and I would love to do it again!

  2. Be prepared with lots of distractions! Before traveling, we hide some toys for awhile so they seem more novel when they show up while we’re traveling, or hit up the dollar store for some small new toys.

    Have fun! 🙂

    * stopping by from SITS

  3. Hope it you have a great giveaway! We don’t get to travel as much as we would like since we never seem to have the extra money in the budget, so staycations are big for us!

  4. Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your comments 🙂

    I did bring a few things for Mary to play with at Montebello, but she was having so much fun running off with her cousins, she didn’t really need me to entertain her.

    One thing I found really interesting was that they have a children’s play area near the arcade downstairs that was free. Mary loved it.

    Between playing in their free playroom, free skating and swimming and playing in the park outside, we didn’t even need to pay for any activities.

    I was really happy with our trip to Montebello – it was very family friendly and the staff were very helpful. They even brought me a small toddler sized robe for Mary who went several times to the pool.

    For dinner – the price in the pub was right. We ate “fancy pub” style food for regular restaurant prices. About 18$ for my meal. They had a kids buffet that Mary and all the cousins (ages 7-11) loved. At about $15, I thought it was a bit expensive, but the kids liked going back for more and more. So they were happy.

    Judy – This was our first “trip” in a long time. We didn’t get a deal on our room, but for a real feeling of a vacation, I didn’t mind spending about $250 total. We arrived at Montebello in the AM on Sunday and although we left Monday AM, they stayed on and did more activities.

    We saved in costs by packing food for lunch, breakfast, snacks. Our only expenses were the room cost and dinner. I do know that Montebello has specials on at different times.

    I’ll definitely be going back 🙂

  5. So happy to hear that your trip was a success. My husband and I hope to spend the night in downtown Ottawa soon and see the city from different eyes. Only minus the kids 🙂

    Besos, Sarah
    Blogger at Journeys of The Zoo

  6. I hope your mini getaway was great.My husband is like yours he won’t go away for anything. So I’ve always traveled with my mother and I wouldn’t have it any other way because we always have a great time.


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