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...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ottawa - All Day

Hi.  Well it's been a very busy day again today.  We were on the hop on hop off bus at 10 am this morning after a nice breakfast at the hotel. 

Our first stop was the Museum of Civilization.  Very good Museum.  We walked through the Canada Hall and saw a lot of exhibits.  There were displays set up to reflect different time periods and parts of Canada.  One of the highlights was a tea house from the turn of the century.  There was a palour maid who gave us a tour of the house.  She also filled us in on all the upstairs gossip.The displays started with the Vikings coming ashore and continued on to explain the start of Canada through to upper and lower. The Museum was not busy so we had a good look at everything.  Another highlight was the old school house.  We were able to visit a one room school house which was a blast from the past.  There was an outhouse around back and Mom interrupted someone when she opened the door.  (Really it was just a recording that said "Hey" but it sure scared her)  Luckily for us Marie was taping it.  Anyone who wants a copy it'll be $5.00.. Believe me it's worth it.  Mom screamed.

After a few hours we returned to our bus for a tour along Sussex Drive and Embassies in town.  We also saw the Rideau Waterfall which was very interesting.  Lunch was at the By Way Market.  A place called Tuckers.  It was a very good all you can eat Buffet.  Which normally is not so good but this had a lot of good food.

We returned to the bus tour and were taken to the War Museum.

listening to a war vet explain about a Japanese bomb

What a place.  It was so interesting.  We walked through Canada's War History through the ages.  It was great to have Mom with us because she was able to talk about our family's involvement in different Wars.  My Great Grandfather fought for Canada in World War One.  She also told us about D-Day which her Dad was involved in. He was in the first wave to France.  After the war Mom and her brother and sister were able to re inact the feeling by going for a ride in one of the troop carrier boats.  We were able to also get that feeling at the Museum today.  By the time we'd finished the first floor it was after 7!!  We couldn't believe it.  The day flew.

Now we are in the hotel room having a glass of wine. Marie and I went to the market to get some cheese and goodies.  Time for bed.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Trip from Toronto to Montreal Sept 14th and on to Ottawa Sept 15th

Well,  what a great flight on Air Canda (yes I said it) to Montreal. Our flight left at 11:45 from Toronto.  The flight had the best flight attendents ever.  When they were serving the beverages they started talking to my sister and ended up saying "Don't worry,  the wine is on us"  After talking to her again they found out we were on Vacation for my birthday trip.  They both shook my hand and then gave us all sort of great advice regarding where to go and what to do on our vacation.  When it came time to land one of the attendents lead Mom and me to a better seat to have a good view of the night time city.  They were wonderful and gave us a great first impression of La Belle Province.

We arrived at our hotel at 2am on Sept 15.  After a few hours sleeep and breakfast at the hotel we returned to the airport to pick up our car.  We were told that if we didn't want to wait there was a van available.  Otherwise we could wait for our car to be washed.  Well,  we felt it was our lucky day. A van suits us fine.  Cheryl and Mom have set up a nice comfy zone and Marie and I are in the front.

We arrived in Ottawa at about 12:30. Our hotel is great.  We have a bedroom and sitting room.  By 1 we were walking down to visit Capital Hill.  Very impressive.  Mom had booked a walking tour for 3:45 so we had a little walk around town.  Shopping was involved.

We met our Walking Tour Guide Craig at the Terry Fox Statue.  After that we went on a wonderful 3 hour walk all over town.  There were only 5 other people beside us.  Very small group.  Craig had so many great stories.  He had worked as a staffer with a Senator and had great information.

It is very interesting to see the places that are shown on the TV News.  While were were visiting Chateau Laurier we saw Peter Mckay walking thru to the bar.  What was interesting was to see the Prime Ministers Office.  There is a small door along Sparks street which the PM leaves his office from.  Very interesting how low key the town is.  We also saw the American Embassy.  It looked like it was in lock down mode.  Craig says they call in the Bunker.

Very glad to be Canadian..  Would love to visit here again.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

At the Gate

Hi.  Just about to board..thought I'd have time to post but I guess not.  We are starting to board.  On our way to Toronto and then after a 2 hr layover to Montreal.  Cheryl, Marie, Mom and I had lunch at the airport and then walked around the shops.  Looking forward to the next two weeks.  I'll keep you posted.  Especially Albert....

Monday, September 13, 2010

One more sleep!

Just one more day of work and then my birthday trip begins.  Well,  it kinda begins tonight for me because I'll be starting my travel after work today.  The flight is tomorrow. 

Spend Sunday working in the garden.  We bought some new roses and canna lilies.  I realized they are florescent.  I don't know how I happened to buy bright coloured flowered but Scott was with me so it might have been his influence.  Only one yellow flower though..

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thanks for the comments

Hello to my followers.  Thanks for the comments.

I am going to Quebec on Tuesday for a birthday extravaganza with my Mom, Sister and Bestest Friend....It the continuation of the YEAR OF FUN... That is one of my followers (not sure I like to use the word follower, I'll try and come up with a different term).  On New Years Eve, she declared it her year of fun, and lucky for me I've been included.

So, as to the question of will this be my travel blog.  YES it is...That is how I started to think of  writing a blog.  I considered just having a blog for Quebec but then thought I'll try to expand on that. So I will learn to add pictures and try and keep everyone (all three of you) up to date on the happenings on the trip.  Which two of you will already know because you'll be there.  Which puts a lot of pressure on you DC as the reader of my blog.

Thomas Cromwell was  a great great great uncle of Oliver. Thomas' sister is the direct descendant and her name was Williams (I believe) but Thomas took in his sisters' child Richard, after she died.. So Richard changed his name to Cromwell. The book was really good...I can lend it to you.

I gardened today and had fun.  Put some pansies into  the front flower bed.  I've got more work in the yard tomorrow.  I need to get quite a bit finished before this weekend is out.

Have a good day...

Good Saturday Morning

Hi Everyone.  Well,  I've been reading a very good book.  It's called Wolf Hall.  It's a historical novel about Thomas Cromwell.  I've only got a chapter left to read so I'll be starting a new book sometime today.

Jesse is at school and Scott is building a fish stand for his new fish tank.  I'm sure the house will look ALOT different when I come home from my trip.  I see paint cans in the garden shed.  Hopefully I'll like the colours.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Hi,  I've decided to start a blog..   It's my 50th birthday and I'm trying something new.