Montreal - July 16 - 19

The drive from Quebec City to Montreal is less than 3 hours. We stopped about 30 minutes from downtown at Camping Aloutte. 

That day we biked along a canal to Old Town Montreal (Vieux Port). It was very active and similar to Old Quebec.



After school the next day we attempted to bike into a small town on our side of the river.  It turned out to be too busy for the kids so we headed back up hwy 20 to a park we'd seen while coming from Quebec City.  It was Parc Les Salines and had a great set of bike specific paths.  That evening we took advantage of the pool at our park and experimented making sweet potato dumplings.  They are different - much lighter and sweeter than Grandma Larson's potato dumplings (and are not photogenic).

Recipe:
2 cups grated sweet potato
3 cups flour
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder

Mix until consistency of mud.  Boil water with ham bone, carrots, and if needed chicken stock.  Spoon out dumplings and cook until they float + 5 minutes. Serve with butter (and maybe brown sugar)


Parc Les Salines had other assets that brought us back the next day - Internet that worked and an amazing archery range with 15 stations of 3D targets for Daddy and JAK!




That evening Katie decided it was time to try and pull a front tooth.  

One gone!


Surprise - two gone!  


For the 3rd time on our adventure (Oregon & Arizona), we were treated to a meet-up with our friends Mat and Patricia.  They live outside of Montreal and drove out to have dinner and a bonfire with us Friday evening.  They drove their motorcycle so Mat could not bring his guitar, but we did play his song "JAK" a couple times nostalgically. 

If you want to hear or buy a copy of our favorite song of all time, click here!!


On Saturday we went to visit Mat and Patricia's home where we found their vintage Winnie looking great. We played badminton and the kids tried using their old style "reel" push lawnmower.  


All summer Montreal hosts week+ long festivals in the downtown area. While we were there it was the Just for Laughs festival.  It draws over 2 million festival-goers.  Saturday afternoon was a perfect parade for us...Twins parade. The girls qualified!  There were 900+ twins in the parade.


They thought the best part of being in the parade was the free cotton candy at the end.


We had fun walking around the festival. There were comedians mixed in with the crowds performing random acts to make visitors laugh.  This bride was apparently left waiting at the alter.  Seeing her tears, a passing by rabbi counseled her while onlookers eaves dropped.  She was then caught off-guard when the counseling rabbi decided to get fresh with her.


We were also lucky to be able to meet Mat's parents while there (sadly we didn't get a picture with both his Mom and Dad:(  


Each Saturday night during the summer there are fireworks sponsored by a different country.  Coincidently, Saturday night was USA night. We all wanted to stay, but they didn't start until 10pm so we decided it was best we say goodbye to our friends as we planned to leave Canada early the next day. On the way home, street after street on our route was closed for the fireworks. We ended up heading the long way home, and it was 10pm when we crossed over the bridge.  The police were lined out on the highway like pace cars in the Indy 500. We decided their purpose was to slow traffic to a crawl so that there would not be gawker accidents when the show started. The streets were lined with people ready to watch the show. We finally made it to an exit ramp that wasn't blocked off and we pulled over to watch. It was a partial view and the pic is bad, but the show was good and seemed to be welcoming us back to our USA.


As planned, we headed to our homeland the next AM.  As a special treat, we were able to cross the border without the full a RV search that we've recent on previous crossings.



We spent six weeks in Canada and enjoyed every moment. It's a beautiful country with wonderful people.  We are however equally pleased to be back in the USA and are looking forward to the final leg of our journey. 


NB and Quebec City - July 7 - 15

Internet has been very difficult to come by lately so this post is a bit dated. 

The tropic storm did cause some damage and we did not have power for 3 days but were much better off than some in NB. 


Katie was lying in her bed with the cat watching out the window when this little guy came scampering by the RV and climbed a tree next to us.


Before departing Kouchibouguac National Park, we participated in a search for various sea creatures and took a long bike ride that included some water attractions thanks to the storm and flooding



The churches in northern NB, PEI, and Quebec are generally the largest structure in a town and are magnificent.  They have shiny silver roofing (we need to research the architectural significance of this). This is one of the smallest we’ve seen but was a good one to showcase the roof.


We departed NB driving north until we reached the Acadian Peninsula in NB where we stopped in the small town of Petite Lameque. 


We searched and found clams with the intention of cooking a few, but by the time we had soaked them it was too late.  Daddy stuck them in the freezer…bad idea….they obviously don’t like to be frozen because they release a pungent odor that we are still trying to remove from the freezer.


We drove around the Acadian Peninsula. Stopped at a protected peat bog (peat is a major industry here)


Lobster season in this area has ended.  Along with wood piles, many backyards are now filled with a large boats and 200+ traps.


Watched the kite surfers


And found this guy cooling off.  He belonged to the owner of the small fish shop and would spend hours standing and watching customers from his water perch.


Sunset at the campground




The boats that are not stored in backyards are lined-up like a rainbow at the marina

 

We drove north along the coast of NB, not sure where to head before starting southwest to Quebec City. We had decided we would save Gaspesie for a future trip as fuel is well over $5/gallon and it’s a long trip around. We stopped in the town of Campbelltown, NB, a gateway to the Gaspesie area and found out free parking right next to the Chaleur Bay!  It was the closest we’ve parked to the waters edge (less than 10’).  We ended up staying two days with amazing sunrises each morning. 




We hiked to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain overlooking Campbelltown and the Chaleur Bay.


The wild strawberries are ripe.  It would take a lot for JAK to make a pie from these!


There are a few dangers to watch for when driving a large RV - low bridges, narrow roads, and bridges with weight limits. Overall, it’s very easy to avoid issues if you plan your route and stay on major roads.  It can however be more difficult in a foreign country when the road signs are in French…even if there are pictures.  This guy was obviously paying attention because he stopped his rig just before shaving off the top couple feet on this low bridge.  He was able to get backed up.


While driving across the Gaspesie Peninsula (not around) to the St. Lawrence river in Quebec we came across a large wood pile - this extended a 1/4 mile minimum.


There are many wind turbines in this area. And apparently more being built - this is one blade.


We stopped along the St. Lawrence in Riviera de Loup for two nights.  There was a splash park next to us, a bike path that crossed Quebec to NB and good places for viewing sunsets across the St. Lawrence.





Next stop was Quebec City where we stayed just across the bridge from the city at La Relache park.  We went to see St. Anne’s Basilica and attended Mass in French.  It was one of the most spectacular churches we’ve visited on our adventure.  The church (it’s been rebuilt 4 times) is known for the miracles of healing that have occurred. Every square inch of the church is painted, tiled with mosaics, sculpted or stained glass.   There were also more than life size bronze sculptures with the stations of the cross.  









The next day we biked along the St. Lawrence and into old Quebec. We followed the walking tour guide, watched a sound and light show about the four siege attempts on the city and marveled at the european architecture. 









On our side of the Fleuve Saint-Laurent was the town of Levi with a great biking trail along the river.  We had heard about a chocolate/icecream shop in the town and decided to visit. If you ever go to Levi, do not miss Chocolats Favoris! The chocolate fondu that they dip your cone in is so thick you practically have to cut through it with a knife!!  We had Intense (spicy) dark chocolate on maple/vanilla twist ice-cream and the dark chocolate on strawberry/vanilla ice-cream.



In the afternoon the rained cleared long enough for us to visit the Chutes de la Chaudiere and suspension bridge.  




There was a interesting camper brand (Alto by Safari Condo) that we’d seen a few times on our travels and it is made outside of Quebec. We found out the dealer was 6 miles from our campsite so we decided to go check them out.  They have only produced 500 in the first 4 years so it’s surprising we’ve seen as many as we have.  They are currently over a year out on new orders. 



As mentioned, all of the signs are in French but we are able to translate most with the help of pictures.  This one had us a little stumped.   Ex.  Caution woman giving birth; bikram yoga ahead, Chinese fire drills can be deadly??  We asked a friend. It says "watch for children, it could be yours". They have bigger kids up here in Canada.



Recent recipe favored due to strawberry season in Quebec.

Strawberry Shortcake (6)

2 1/3 cup bisquick
3 T sugar
3 T butter melted
2/3 cup milk
(Bake 425 - 12 min)

Strawberries sliced with a little sugar water

Ice cream (Mom, Dad, JAK) ; whip cream (Katie and Anna)


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