Well I don't think I really need to address the weather, since if you live in North America you can probably attest to the growing sense of cabin fever that's been weighing down on us since the grandiose entrance of "The Winter." Not that I mind winter, I really don't, but I think we've been softened the past couple years with mild temperatures. This is the sort of winter you read about in Victorian Novels.
Even Cliff, with his double-layer, I'm-a-Labrador-Retriever-and-I-was-bred-to-swim-in-the-icy-Arctic coat, is finding it too cold these days. He picks his back paws up and dances around as soon as we hit the sidewalk in the morning.
But there's one wonderful thing that you can do in Ottawa when the temperatures are sub-zero and you have no desire to do anything else outside (including skating on the canal). Le Spa Nordik is in dangerous proximity to where we live (because the prices!) but honestly, it makes the winter. It's actually the largest Spa in North America and it's nestled in these beautiful hills in Gatineau which overlook the city of Ottawa. The philosophy behind a Nordik treatment is the hot sauna followed by a cold plunge, followed by relaxation (either in a hot tub or hot stone beds). It might seem counter-intuitive to want to step outside in your robe and flip flops, but I have to tell you, there is nothing better then slipping to and from a hot dry sauna, and into freezing waterfalls of fresh water, followed by the heat from a jacuzzi. A) You feel alive again after a month locked inside and B) You feel like you earn the heat of the infinity hot tub.
Guess what? You aren't allowed to take pictures. Something about you're supposed to be relaxing and unplugging (and probably also not catching unknowing people photobombing in their bathing suits). But I snuck my phone in, just this once :)
Ok and also these from the Nordik website because really my crappy camera doesn't do it justice:
Anyway, case and point: if you're ever in Ottawa, you need to check out Nordik.