"Our life is frittered away by detail...simplify, simplify." - Henry David Thoreau

I know I said "blog like no one is reading" but it's nice to know these people are

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Touring with the Boys

For a person who never seems to make it farther than the grocery store several times a week I have been out and about quite a bit lately. First there was the trip to Prince Edward County, Montreal and the Eastern Townships in Quebec with the girls from the Cheese Gallery and then it was a marathon journey to the end of the continent with my boys. Actually we left the continent and drove three quarters of the way up the Island of Cape Breton to deliver a boat. Now anyone who knows anything about the Maritime provinces would understand that taking a row boat to Nova Scotia is like taking coals to Newcastle but in this wired (or wireless) world of ours a man from Alberta ordered a boat from Ontario and had it delivered to his cottage in Nova Scotia.

Originally my Other Half and I had planned to make the journey on our own, a little birthday get-away for me paired with some business to cover the costs. We did the trip last summer and had a fine time although it is a long drive - two days straight. It would be quite a bit faster if the state of Maine didn't jut so far north causing Canadians to have to drive up and around it. There are very few roads in northern Maine other than private ones cut by logging companies so even if we didn't mind the hassle of crossing the border it would still mean driving out of our way to get through. It took about 18 hours to get to Fredericton, New Brunswick where we stopped for the first night. The boys were great, happily playing hockey on the Playstation in the back of the truck. We slept for six hours and then pushed on to Nova Scotia.

Crossing the border into Nova Scotia

Just a small part of Lac Bras D'or - the salt water lake in the centre of Cape Breton Island which two of our rowboats now call home

After delivering the boat we turned around and headed back to Moncton, NB where we had noticed a hotel with a two story water slide just off the highway. This was a huge hit with the boys who were, after two days stuck in the car, ready to let loose. We found a fun BBQ place to eat dinner but the boys were disappointed when they weren't allowed into the arcade. Turns out the video games they spied from outside were actually high tech one-armed bandits or VLTs. The next morning we promised that if they came with us for a walk they could spend the rest of the morning in the pool so off we went to see the famous Bay of Fundy Flower Pot Rocks at low tide.

What we didn't realize until we got to the park that it was closed for the winter. Now I have a fundamental problem with anyone closing a natural phenomenon so my Other Half and I decided that this was the time to introduce the boys to the art of trespassing.

After a great adventure exploring the tidal flats of the Bay we piled back in the car and headed west towards Quebec City where I had booked us into the stately Chateau Frontenac to celebrate my entry into middle age.

Sons Numbers Two and Three quickly embraced Chateau living

They loved exploring the cobblestone streets of the old city

The Boys' Motto - Why walk when you can run?

Our home away from home

View of the St Lawrence River

What's not to like about a city ringed by real canons?

A 16th century home

Celebrating my birthday

Saying goodbye to the Suite Life

A final stop in my old stomping grounds - Montreal
and a visit to the infamous St Viateur Bagel Factory

The trip was a success if you don't count the fact that every fuse in the car was blown when the boys plugged in the Playstation, a DS and my MacBook at the same time. Luckily the DVD player still worked and we found a dying Blockbuster in Montreal where we stocked up on $4 movies including the entire National Lampoon's Vacation collection plus The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.


  1. Ah, I love Quebec City! It is like touring through a beautiful European city right here in Canada.
    Wonderful post.

  2. Sounds like a great whirlwind trip!

  3. Quebec City is so darn cool. Love these photos. Do you speak French?

  4. Old Quebec really does feel like Europe. And I was so proud of the boys for trying to use their French. Mine comes back quite quickly once I am immersed in it again. Finally there was something I could impress them with!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin