As part of our Christmas present this year we decided to take everyone to an Escape Room. An escape room is an interactive puzzle, where you are locked in a room for a set amount of time and you have to solve different clues in order to get a code that will let you out of the room. We did one of these in Melbourne about a year ago and loved it. We found a place in Mississauga about 10 minutes from my parent's house called De Code Adventures which offers six different rooms/scenarios to choose from, all varying in difficulty. Five of them are for groups of four to six people, but if you have a larger group there is one room that you play in two teams against each other, which is pretty cool. We had a group of six: Andy, my brother Mike and his girlfriend Ashley, our friend Nikki, my dad and me.
The room we chose to complete was called De Scientific Code and the scenario was this:
The evil scientist. Professor D. invented a destructive element that threatens humanity. The government selected your team to break into the lab to gather research on this element. However, the lab is armed with a high tech security system that scans for intruders every 45 minutes. Will you be able to stop this threat?
There are three levels you can play at: Guiding, where your group can be given unlimited hints to help you solve the puzzle; Challenge, where you get just one clue at any point you choose; and Insane, where you get no help at all. We chose to play at Challenge level. Once we were briefed we entered the room and our 45 minutes began. The beginning of an escape room is always a bit overwhelming, as you have absolutely no idea what you are looking for. There are things in the room that you might eventually need for a clue, but other things that are decoys and will be no help whatsoever. It took us about 15 minutes before we cracked the first code, which my dad ultimately got, but we got stuck while trying to get the second so asked for our one hint at that point. It was reassuring to know we were on the right track and once we solved the second clue we were on a role. In the end we escaped from the room with seven minutes to spare. It was really fun and a good level of difficulty for us, and everyone was able to help out at different points.
There is also a Board Game Cafe that you can visit at De Code Adventures, but we didn't have time for this as we had dinner reservations to keep. Actually the cafe looked pretty lame and lacking atmosphere which was disappointing as I feel like a board game cafe sounds like the funnest thing ever. I love going to a cafe that also has games for you to play! This place was less a cafe and more just a huge room with tables set up to play at, with some refreshments for sale. They did have an amazing selection of games to choose from though, including like ten different variations of Settlers of Catan.
After leaving De Code Adventures we met up with my mom, Ella, Nikki's mom Carol and our friend Maria at The Keg for dinner. The Keg is like my favourite restaurant to go to when we visit Canada. It's a steakhouse restaurant with consistently good food and cocktails. I always order the fillet mignon and this time had a variation with a blue cheese and garlic crust, OMG it was SO good. We had a great dinner and Ella was brilliant, falling asleep just before the mains arrived and slept, the entire time we were eating so we were all able to enjoy our meals while they were hot. I did feel pretty stuffed when we left though, I think I ate too much bread before our meals were served... I am definitely going to have to clean up my eating once our holiday is over!
This morning we took advantage of the blue skies and relatively warm weather (anything above 0 degrees at this time of year is considered warm) and took Ella for a walk in her new pram. My brother got us a very generous and thoughtful gift this Christmas: a jogging pram! So now Andy and I can go on runs again together with Ella which is very exciting. I really want to enter a running event in the next few months with it. It means that we won't have the debacle we had last month when we both wanted to do the City to Sea run in Melbourne.
I can't believe tomorrow is New Year's Eve and 2015 is almost over! It's been a life changing year for us and we have so much to be thankful for. We will be ringing in the new year at my parent's house with a few close friends... hopefully Ella will sleep through her first New Year's Eve!