JULY 2018 – Pack up the car, ready the GPS, it is time for a road trip vacation! Where to? Oh I don’t know, how about a trip to the land of poutine, moose, and maple syrup? Deal! Spent a week venturing North through New Hampshire, Vermont, and to our feature destination, Canada. Had been pondering this trip for months with visions of Montreal and Quebec City offering standout (and readily drive-able) destinations. I had never been to either city and had heard tremendous tales of beautiful scenery, great food, and friendly people. International journey started with a quick stop in Burlington, VT for lunch at a small sushi restaurant, before reaching the border and the first taste of trip traffic. For as much as the border gets maligned, it was well organized, and with enough good tunes to play, the wait didn’t feel interminable.
On the other side and into the unknown of moose country! Or rather km and km of farmland! Before long, sneaking up over the horizon was the city of Montreal on its island home. Navigating the city streets was easy and a small rented studio apartment awaited in the student populated neighborhood by the McGill campus. The old part of the city really shined and the food was amazing, Lola Rosa (local vegetarian restaurant, extraordinaire!) has absolutely incredible tomato sauces, as featured on their house lasagna, just magical. My taste buds are relishing even the memory of such a good meal. Other highlights included sampling poutine for the first time (I couldn’t get the cheese curds to squeak, but I’m assured that they do in fact do, haha), climbing to the top of Mount Royal, and exploring a very walk-able city.
After several most enjoyable days, the next destination was Quebec City and the surrounding hills and mountains. With a stop at the stunning falls North of the city for some much welcomed hiking and connected-ness with nature. My assumption that Canada would be cool (in temperature) was dashed at the near 90 degree temperatures and high humidity, so the falls and the built in Air Conditioning that they provided was incredibly welcomed for the time spent there.
Quebec City is as charming as advertised. Perched on top of a hill, it strikes all the right beats of its European heritage, and was a delight to explore the winding streets and run up the steps of the fortifications that still exist today. And the crepe scene, oh so strong there. Had dinner at multiple creperies during the week with fantastic results. Both the savory and the sweet had tremendous merit and I found myself delighting in them both equally.
Better still, to split them and try both! Was a lovely vacation and I snuck in some time to read more Science Fiction and totally unplug from my everyday life. Is important to do that from time to time, experience something new, as it helps broaden your horizons and make you appreciate what you do have and the choices before you.