Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Oh Canada!

O.K. I was really thinking I would get to this a lot sooner but between picking up again with school right after vacation (we had already started August 1st) and being in super duper nesting mode which involved cleaning and organizing everything in sight and then some, repainting the kitchen, deep cleaning the carpet, re-doing some of the flower beds outside and going through lots of clothes I just haven't had time.  I finally slowed down a bit today so I wanted to post a little bit about our vacation.

While at Moosehead Lake we decided to take a quick jaunt to Quebec City for the day since it was "only" 3 hours away and would be a great educational experience for the kids.  We had thought ahead for this one and made sure our passports were up to date and that we had the kids birth certificates since you can't cross the border without both of those.

I had done only a tiny bit of research before we left about where to go and what to see and found a list of top 20 sites to see in Quebec City but at least it was something.  Thankfully I had because I had forgotten how french Quebec was.  None of the brochures in the tourist stop were in English, probably less than half the people we tried to talk to spoke any English at all and of course all the signs were in french.  That's o.k., Christian had 2 years of french in high school and I just started leaning french with the kids a month ago.  Ha!  Really though it wasn't too bad.  Somehow we managed.

First stop Montmorency Falls.

Higher than Niagra by 37 meters (at least that is what I gathered from the french brochure) and a popular tourist destination, Montmorency Falls was a great start to the day.  We took a cable car ride to the top, walked the suspension bridge across the falls, had a perfect view of the St. Laurence River and took the nearly 500 steps down to the bottom where the kids enjoyed being cooled off by the mist from the falls.

After lunch we headed back to the city to check out "the old city" section, a part of the city with cobblestone streets and old buildings that give you the feeling you are walking around a European city rather than a Canadian one.

Supposedly this is the most photographed hotel in the world but I am not sure how they know that although it is pretty cool looking.

Grace wanted to stop and look at this artwork in the art district and this nice man (who spoke perfect English, surprise, surprise) did his best to try to sell us a small one for a mere $285.  It was a special price he said, just for us.  How nice!  
Grace is thinking, are you kidding me monsieur??  You think I am going to drain my bank account for that?

Probably the highlight of the trip for the kids were the street performers.  These guys didn't speak much English either except when it came to asking for money but were very talented and fun to watch.

I was really hoping that when I asked the kids what their favorite part of the day was they would say, seeing the falls or the St. Laurence River or that famous hotel but no, it was the street performers.  They really want to go back and see them next year.  Oh well, it was pretty cool I have to admit but I don't know if I would drive 3 hours one way just for that.  For Tim Horton's coffee maybe but not for street performers.  

Next year though I think we will try to spend the night somewhere so it isn't all that driving in one day and so we can see some more sights.  Besides, I can count the day for school as an educational field trip so why not?!  :)
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