Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter Break


In the Northeast, they do this crazy thing called "winter break" in February.  I get the concept that people want to escape the winter, but the reality is it has created an expensive time to travel to warmer climates.  Have you ever looked at the flight costs or hotel prices in, let's say, Florida for the week of Presidents' Day?  Trust me, it is appalling.  So your alternative is driving, but hope there is no snow south of New Jersey because if there is, you may never reach your destination.  Having lived in the south for nearly 10 years, I say with love and affection that they have no concept of dealing with the snow.  Heaven forbid there be ice!

Of course, the final problem is that if you stay in town, EVERY place that is child friendly - museums, play places, etc - are P-A-C-K-E-D.  Knowing that staying home every single day with my children for the week may wind up with me in a nuthouse or drinking to excess, I typically opt to taking a trip with them.  With the strange snow storms that have been blowing about, and yet somehow missing upstate New York, I was limited on my options.  Then the hubby threw me a curveball with being off on Monday for President's Day.  I felt kind of bad taking off before Tuesday since he would be home and could spend it with us.

I would have really liked to head to WV, but with the weather and the limited time, 16 hours roundtrip seemed a little too much to take.  That limited me to the northeast preferably within 3-4 hours drive.  We have been to NYC, and lately they have been getting the snow... too tricky.  We have family in Boston, so been there, and they have also gotten heavy doses of snow.  We did Rochester in the fall, so the last major metropolis yet to hit in that range was Montreal, Canada.

In typical Susan fashion, I over-researched, over studied and finally just booked a place on a whim.  Le Square Phillips was a great choice and I would totally return there.  It is an old warehouse building that has been transformed into a hotel with suites.  For starters, when we arrived, they wheeled out a wagon full of toys and let each kid pick one item to keep.  Shocking as it might be, the Mini-Me chose a stuffed animal LOL.  And of course, the K-man is into collector cards, he chose hockey cards.  I didn't even know they did this, so it was a welcome surprise.

Surprise number 2 was that the room was actually the size it said it was, around ~700 square feet!  Seriously, I am certain my first apartment in Monroeville, PA was less than that.  We had a full kitchen, dining area, living room, separate bedroom, and the bath that was thankfully NOT off the bedroom.  It was perfectly designed for a family.  They have 2 BR units too, but we didn't see them.  I know that they were over 200+ square feet bigger though.  Because I knew we would have a kitchen, I was able to take lunch stuff and dinner for the kids.  That way, I wouldn't be dragging them from the indoor rooftop pool to get ready for dinner.  We indulged instead on the sights and souvenirs.

It really ended up being a nice trip despite the white-knuckle drive to get there.  (I forgot to mention that a snowstorm hit later than expected just in time for our arrival).  We walked all over the city, spent hours at the Montreal Science Center, enjoyed the Biodome and then the butterflies at the Botanical Gardens.  I am sure that the summer provides lots more fun, with waterfront activities, but for this trip, we had just the right amount of fun.  And this mom didn't lose her mind with 2 cooped up kids at the house.  Now they just say "Le" in front of all the words LOL.