Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sitting on the Ferry after flight from Montreal

Well we left the hotel at 3 am Victoria time..  It is now 4 pm Victoria time and I am on the ferry on my way home.

It was crazy getting to the airport this morning.  The traffic signs are almost non existent,  also the route we had planned out the night before was closed due to construction.  But Marie and Cheryl got us quickly and safely to airport.

At security there was a bit of a lineup.  As we were getting thru it there were more and more big guys joining the line up.  I mean big.  Two sizes taller than Mom.  Soon we realized it was the Montreal Allouttes on their way to Winnipeg for a game.  Then we went right to our gate and waiting.  Soon we boarded the small flight for Montreal.  It was a short wait in Montreal (Mom and Cheryl recognized another sport guy...someone from the Canucks) and then on our way.

We made it safe and sound to Vancouver.  Missy and Dad were waiting for us at the airport.  Missy was very happy to see everyone.  I think Dad was too.  Marie kindly drove me to the ferry and here I am writing on my blog.  The plane touched down just after 2 .. it took a few minutes to get our luggage and then a trip to the Ferry Terminal.  Lucky for me the ferry was late and I am on the 3 instead of the 5....  Soon to be home.

Montreal - Cirque and Illuminations

Hello,  Well what a way to end our trip.  We started with a subway ride to the McCord Museum.  It was an interesting walk from the metro as some of the biggest downtown streets were closed.  It was leave your car at home day.  They put picnic tables, benches and grass on St Catherines and other big street.  It was incredible with the car noise gone.  We enjoyed it very much.

Then on to the McCord Museum at MaGill University.  The special exhibit was Cirque de Soleil costumes.  Spectacular.  The craftsmanship and quality was top notch.  There were also some permanent exhibits of Montreal such as how the city deals with all the snow in the winter.  Including clean up.  What a job.

Afterward we walked around town.  Did some shopping and then I was treated to a wonderful early evening dinner in Old Montreal.  It was at a beautiful Montreal Steakhouse.  We had a bottle of wine and lots of giggles.  After walking around the old streets we went back to Notra Dame for a Sound and Light show.  It was a showcase of how Norta Dame was made and highlights of the interior of this beautiful building.  A spectacular way to end the trip.  Thanks to Cheryl, Marie and Mom who made such a wonderful trip for me....

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Montreal - Liquid Sunshine and Chinese Lanterns

Another perfect day.  We started with a walking tour.  Very informative.  We went on a tour in Notre Dame.  Beautiful.  We went behind the scene into a chapel behind the main chapel.  It's the wedding chapel where 6 to 9 weddings a day are in the summer.  It costs about 2,000 to be wed there.  If you are Celine Dion and have 10,000 you can be married in the main chapel.  Both are beautiful.  Afterwards we were treated to a walking tour of Old Montreal.  Very informative and fun.  Only us four and four others.  But when the drizzle came the New Yorkers were wimps and left. But we went on and were rewarded with a wonderful insight into the city.

We walked thru the narrow streets of Old Montreal and were treated to stories of the lives that were lived here.  Afterwards we visited the Museum of Montreal.  What a treat for us.  The basement is a virual picture of the history of Montreal.  There are footings of old building and artifacts are shown. 

Afterwards we took the Metro to the Gardens near Olympic Park.  We walked around the grounds which were lovely.  However.  The real treasure was to come.  There was a special lantern festival.   Spectaular.  Had no idea what a surprise we were in for.  No food though.  Sorry Marie.  We were not able to have dinner until 9 pm.

Anyhow.......all is well.  Having a glass of wine in our room. Then a full day tomorrow and on our way home.  Trip of a life time with great company.  Lots of laughs... Ready Marie..Ready.. Ready Cheryl...Ready.. Ready Mama.. Ready..Ready Lori....Ready... Public Ready.......

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quebec City to Montreal - Did you know there are 2 Serigny Streets in Montreal?

Are unfortunatly for us we went to the wrong one. But we were able to find our way back to our Sandman on the right Rue de Serigny and all was resolved.  We left Quebec City this morning on our way to Montreal.  We stopped for breakfast at a road side restaurant.  It was good.

Then after we found our hotel there was a quick trip on the Metro to our Gray Hound Bus Tour.  Lucky for us we are right across the street from a Metro Station.  Near an University.  There are lots of Schools in Montreal. 

We arrived at our Bus Tour with 8 minutes to spare.  Then we went on a 3 hour tour of the city.  It was very informative and fun.  Afterward we went into the underground city for dinner.  And found our way home again on the Metro.  A funn Day tomorrow.  See you soon

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Full Day Quebec City - Sunshine, History and Food

Plains of Abraham

view of Chateau Frontenac

Governor General's residence at the Plains of Abraham

View from the Governor General's balcony

 Hello,  Today started off with a visit to the Plains of Abraham.  We went to view the Odyssey which is a great multimedia presentation describing the start of our Country.  Then we went for a great walk in the Park.  The day was beautiful and sunny.  Just so enjoyable.  Afterwards (which turned out to be around 2..where did the day go), then on to the Citadel.  There were two tours to choose from.  We chose to visit the Governor Generals Residence.  She has two - one in Ottawa and one at the Citadel.  It's only open on the weekend so we might not get another good chance to see it.  It was so interesting.  We went into the Private Residence and saw the official state rooms.  Beautiful.  Especially the rooms which overlook the water. What a view.

We then went for a carriage ride.  Lots of fun.  After that it was a walk thru Old Town , dinner on a outdoor patio and back to the hotel.  It was around 9 am when we left and 9 pm when we came home.  Fun was had by all.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Beautiful Sunny Day in Quebec City

Stayed overnight in Quebec City and travelled by shuttle into Old Quebec City for a day of history and fun.

We started with a 2 hour walking tour with a very interesting tour guide who was a reporter.  He had great stories. We wandered along the street with stops for him to bring history alive.  We were this close to being Americans from all that I've learned.

Also wandered around Lower Quebec City.  Saw a beautiful some plagues and took the funicular back up to the Upper Quebec City.  At the statue of Champlain we sat and enjoyed watching some street performers.  The last performers were particularly good.  Twin Girls who were very funny.  The grande finale was two pink ballons being blown up and the girls both getting into their own balloon.  Cheryl has the video.

After the show was over we took a tour of Chateau Frontenac with a very sweet tour guide.  It was a young man who was easily distracted and laughed alot.  He made it fun.

After a great dinner Upper Quebec City we took the city bus home.  Good Day was had by all.  No pictures yet.  Need time to down load them.  It's been hard to get the time to write and I will try to add pictures asap.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ottawa in the morning - Quebec City in the evening

Well,  we've had an eventful day.  We went to tour Parliament on the first tour of the day.  We went through the House of Commons, Senate and the Parliamentary Library.  Laurel was our guide and she was great.  We also took the elevator up to the top of the Peace Tower.  The view was spectacular.  Then we drove the long drive (about 6 hours) to Quebec City.

The good news is we made it.  The bad news is a Semi almost hit us.  Cheryl was driving and but for her quick action.....I hate to think what would have happened.  Mom and I were at the very back of the Van.  Cheryl driving and Marie the navigator.  A Semi Truck was coming right behind us and going too fast.  At the same time someone was trying to cut infront of us.  Cheryl quickly moved onto the shoulder.  The semi ended up trying to stop and moving into the left lane.  He ended up with his cab almost in front of us.  Very scary but we are all right.  Cheryl said it was all the Shrines to Mary we saw along the way that was watching out for us.

We arrived in Quebec City at around 7.  After checking in we went out for a great dinner.  Marie was our link to the French World.  The waitress spoke great English.   As does almost everyone here.  Everyone we talked to in Ottawa could speak in both languages..  And very well at that.  Seems like they speak great English here too.
this was a low cal desert....

Looking forward to a great day tomorrow.   Walking tour of Quebec City and other delights.

P.S.  Sounds like you have having a great time Rich...Thanks for the great updates...