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HCW Steam Train

October 5, 2010

It’s been a week now since we took the kids on the steam train and I can’t get it out of my head.  I can’t believe that I’d never been on it before despite the fact that I’ve lived in Ottawa for most of my life!  I’d driven within the vicinity of Wakefield, Quebec numerous times but never stopped into there before either.  I had no idea how cute that little town is, and how friendly the people are!

We started off our day at the train station in Gatineau, Quebec and they had our tickets pre-printed and ready to go for us.  We quickly went through the line, directed to the platform where we could sit out and wait or go into the traincar that had coffee and trinkets for the kids.  We bought a colouring book for Nay and a sticker book for Cake; which wasn’t really needed as there was lots to do once we got seated in our train car.  The guides were all super nice, paid us lots of attention gave us some crayons and some free colouring books for the kids which were a big hit.

Each table had four seats so we were able to take over one table and spread out the cars and trains and books and crayons.  Oh and messy messy snacks.

Both the kids spent some time playing, looking out the windows and enjoying the music played by the accordion player that was moving his way through the train cars.  Even though the train ride was an hour and a half, they enjoyed every minute of it and when it was time to get back on for the ride back to the station there were no fights!

When we arrived in Wakefield we all disembarked and watched as they turned around the engine by hand.  Did you hear see that?  By hand!

Neat huh?  So after the ‘show’ of the turning, we headed off to find some lunch and decided to go to a place called Chamberlin’s Lookout.  The guide on the train suggested it, so off we went.  A good friend of mine also suggested a place called Chez Eric but we didn’t see it right away and Chamberlin’s looked decent so off we went.

S. Geek took so many photos of me this day and this was the only one that was halfway decent.

So let me start off by saying that no ‘family’ restaurant I have ever been to in my entire life is as good as this one.  We walk in and go upstairs and the waitress saw that we had two little kids and brought us right over to a huge table right infront of this amazing playroom!  It was clean and organized, there was a t.v. but it was turned off (for which I am grateful) they had books, and doll houses, and cars, and games.  The 15 or so minutes S. Geek and I spent at the table alone while Cake and Nay played a few feet away from us was totally amazing!  S. Geek had a beer, I had a diet coke, we chatted and held hands.  Bliss!

The food was simple, but delicious.  We ordered grilled cheese and milks for the kids and panini’s with soup for ourselves.  The soup was my favourite part, it was a butternut squash soup and it was so flavourful and peppery, wonderful, really.

I was impressed by the kids meals too, I was expecting wonderbread and kraft singles and this was SO not that!

It even had my mouth watering!  But then I had this to eat!

After lunch, we still had about 45 minutes left in Wakefield so we took a walk along the main road and stopped in on a few shops to purchase some ‘souvenirs.’

these were AMAZING!

We stopped at the Wakefield Boulangerie for some delicious raisin bread, brownies for the kids and S. Geek and I each got one of those pumpkin tarts which I’m sure were easily 500 calories each but oh so good!  We also stopped by La Confiserie which is like a old fashioned candy shop.  Had the kids not been with me, I totally would have gone into some of the other shops but two and three year old kids don’t walk too fast and oh yeah, husbands don’t like antiques; at least mine doesn’t!

If you’re thinking of visiting anywhere in the area, or if you’re and Ottawa resident I strongly suggest you visit the HCW Steam Train.  I can’t wait until next year to go again and even make it a yearly tradition.  I love fall!

I’m also thinking that a trip to Wakefield is in order sometime soon.  I’ll put it on my list along with a day trip to Merrickville for some Christmas shopping!  Who wants to come with???

Hugs,

Jenn

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