Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, December 19, 2016

The entertainment budget is blown for the month!

Prior to us taking on this lifestyle of travel almost 10 years ago, we had a Christmas tradition with my (Kevin's) side of the family. Many years ago, we used to exchange gifts like most other people. But it got to  the point where everybody already had what they needed, and gift certificates were becoming the go to gift. I didn't see the point.

So we all decided that there would be no more Christmas gift giving. Instead, we would all get together at a good restaurant, and just have a really nice meal and spend some time together.

Of course Ruth and I haven't been around to take part in this tradition for the past 10 years, but the rest of the family has still been doing it.

Well this year, we got to take part as well!

My mother had made reservations yesterday for 12 people at the top of the line Wilfrid's Restaurant in Ottawa's famous Chateau Laurier Hotel. They do a very nice (and very expensive!) Sunday Brunch.

Ottawa's Chateau Laurier Hotel.

In the hotel lobby.

Lots of Christmas decorations.

Group photo. 
From left, my older sister Elaine, Ruth, our son Alex, grandson Cameron, Alex's girlfriend CJ, son in law Justin, grandaughter Sadie, our daughter Lindsey, my mother Elspeth, my younger sister Alison, my nephew Marshal.

"Located within the elegant walls of Fairmont Château Laurier, Wilfrid's is an award-winning restaurant in Ottawa offering a wide selection of culinary creations. Our Executive Chef and his team are famous for their superb selection of regional Canadian cuisine. This beautiful dining room offers wonderful views of the Parliament Buildings and the Rideau Locks."

Part of the buffet table.

My first plate of food!

The food was delicious. I really don't know what they could do to make it any better for selection. The roast beef was tender and juicy. Fresh made omelettes if you wish. Waffles with real maple syrup. 

But, for all of this you pay a price. It's $44 CAD ($34 USD) per adult. Kids under 6 are free, so Cameron and Sadie weren't charged. Add in taxes and a tip and you're around the $55 CAD ($42 USD) per person mark.

It turns out that when my mother made the reservation, she was asked if anybody had any food allergies, and my mother mentioned that there are 7 of the 12 who are gluten intolerant. She didn't think anything more of it, and we just ate what we could. There was lots of choice, so it wasn't an issue.

But as expected, many of the desserts contained wheat flour. 

As it came to that time of the meal, the head chef came to our table, with a couple of people carrying trays. They were specially made gluten free Christmas treats!

The dining room manager said they cater to everybody and they want everybody to be able to enjoy as much as they can.

Yes, you should get extremely good service for the price...but this was unexpected, and a very classy touch.

The head chef at our table.

Gluten free treats.

More gluten free treats.

Cameron, guarding the dessert table!

Really nice meal, but the entertainment budget is blown for the month!

From there, we had been invited to an old friend's house where a bunch of my other friend's and their families would be. They have an outdoor hot tub...

Ruth and the kids in the hot tub. The outside temperature was -16C (3F).

A great day with family and friends. Today, we're headed up to Ruth's father's place west of Ottawa and we'll be there until after Christmas.

The popular Miracle Grow indoor garden kit on sale...cheapest it's ever been. I always thought this would be a good hobby for an RV'er!

And in Canada...


  1. What a lovely day with family and friends

  2. Well worth the price. Sometimes you just have to "do it". We have one young lad in the family with Celiac disease, and we make sure there's not only something for him to eat, but a large selection of gluten free items, with no cross contamination (he's quite sensitive). The "Vegans" however? That's another story. Best keep my opinion on that to myself.

    1. Totally agree with you Bob, and it was really good! We would have spent way more than that if we bought Christmas presents for everyone.

      Yes, it is much harder when you are Celiac and very sensitive, lucky for us cross contamination doesn't seem to be a big issue for us, at least not at the moment. We were really impressed with the added touch of bringing us the plates of gluten free and egg free desserts. :-)

  3. A great time! Since we just came of a cruise, we are on a diet:)

    1. Yep, we have heard that cruises will do that do that to you! ;-)

  4. Very nice. The gluten-free deserts must have been a truly unexpected treat.

    1. It was excellent! :-)

      Yes, the desserts trays were totally unexpected. It was a very nice touch.

  5. Wait...why does this come out of your entertainment budget? Since you are celebrating with family in lieu of exchanging gifts, I think this should come out of the gift budget, thus leaving you a few dollars for future entertainment! Or at least that's the way my convoluted mind works. ;-) Looks like a lovely meal and time!

    1. It comes out of the entertainment budget because we look at it as entertainment. Plus, we don't have a "gift" budget, for us gifts would go under our miscellaneous category. Really it doesn't matter where it goes because we are still spending that money one way or another and still need to try and stay within our monthly budget.

  6. $44++for breakfast!! Well it is Ottawa where everything is expensive.

    1. Yep, $44 plus tax and tip! It was really, really good though and you do have to treat yourself every once in a while. If we bought Christmas presents instead it would have cost much more than that. Keep in mind too, that Wilfrid's at Chateau Laurier is a pretty classy restaurant. I looked up the price for Sunday Brunch at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC and they want $125 per adult and $75 for kids 5-12, I am thinking that we got a deal at Wilfrid's. ;-)


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