Monday, July 21, 2008

Wrap Up

Since the internet was pretty non-existant at the Loews Le Concorde in Quebec City I haven't posted anything in the last 3 days. However, I will try to wrap up our final few days.

Grand Falls, NB- We left Halifax in the morning after stopping at Pete's Frootique. I noticed this store when we went to Cora's the day before. I remember Pete being on Canada A.M. to discuss fresh fruits and vegetables years ago. Not sure if he still appears but I was excited to see the store. We decided as we had a long day of travel we would drop in there and grab fruit and other items for the road for breakfast. It was a nice grocery store with a fish and meat counter and lots of specialty items. Jeff got his first yogurt in over a week. I'm sure his body was saying what the?
We arrived in Grand Falls around 4 ish and checked into our hotel which was a fairly new Best Western Motel and Suites. We headed down to check out the Falls.

I was amazed to find that in the spring these falls put over almost the same volume of water that goes over Niagara Falls. By late summer, most of the water is diverted to a hydro electric plant. Grand Falls seems to be about the same size if not smaller than Napanee so there wasn't a lot of dining choices but we went to this old house that served Italian food. The food and service turned out to be excellent. It was pretty busy there and I always take that as an indication of the quality of the restaurant. If a place is dead I'm always worried there is a reason why it's so dead.

The next day we left for Quebec City.

We arrived around 2 ish so we went to our hotel to check in. It's a big hotel with a rotating restaurant on top. Super busy. Our room was on the 10th floor overlooking the Plains of Abraham and old Quebec.

We could see very clearly where they were setting up for the free Sir Paul McCartney concert on the Plains of Abraham.

The room decoration was sort of ultra modern and seventyish. But it was the only hotel room I've been in that had a flat screen tv. We got our stuff unloaded and headed off to find a place to eat since we'd only really eaten leftovers from Pete's Frootique for breakfast. We walked through the walls into Old Quebec and got to the point where you can either take the Funicular down or take the stairs down. We figured we walk down and take the Funicular up. Smart people we are. Next level down we had two choices.

Being the bossypants I am I said I knew where we were going and proceeded to take us on the longest route ever. We saw things we never saw the last time we were Hope Gate.

I tried to find some info on the net on this but mostly it's pictures but one link said it was the entrance to Old Quebec City. The outside of this gate is covered in 32,000 plants. After walking through the gate, we continued downward into lower town and ended up on the far side of Lower town on Rue St. Paul where all the antique shops were and we were trying to get to Le Cochon Dinque (the crazy pig) which is on the opposite end of Lower Town. Quebec City is still quite small though and we didn't feel so bad about indulging at supper. I had the Sugar Pie for dessert. I expect it to be a bit like a butter tart but it's more custardy. After supper we looked in some shops. There was one fellow playing crystal wine glasses and another playing a harp. The sound was amazing. There seemed to be a lot more buskers this time than last time we were here probably due to the 400th anniversary of Quebec city and the free concert on Sunday. I love Quebec city and I really enjoy just walking around and taking in the sights.

The next day we headed out for the Omelletrie for breakfast. The little french girls are so nice that serve you there and we had a nice relaxing breakfast. Then fueled up, we headed out to do some major souvenir and gift shopping. We found some nice stuff but then we were saddled with shopping bags. We found a gelato store for Jeff and he had a cup of two kinds of gelato. I tasted the praline kind and it tasted yummy. We sat in a park to cool down and let him enjoy his treat and we met a bunch of older french ladies who sat beside us on the bench. The one closest to me spoke to me in french and I could tell she was commenting on the beautiful day so I said yes it's beautiful. Well she switched languages just like that and we had a nice talk. She asked us where we were from and we discussed how there is no place in Canada like Quebec city. We decided to head back to the room and unload our purchases, freshen up before our early dinner. We went to one of the patios on Grande Allee just around the corner from the hotel. Jeff just wanted Nachos and I wanted pasta so we had to find a place that had both. First we just shared a litre of wine and then we ordered. Did lots of people watching and lots of car watching...

We ran back up to the room before heading to D'youville Station to catch the shuttle to Montmorency Falls. At 6:45 p.m we headed out with our bag of poncho's and our umbrella, prepared this time for anything. Even though it had been beautiful all day it had threatened rain a few times and it looked pretty ominous at this point. We were near the Congress Centre when it just let loose. Us and about 20 others headed for the shelter of the cement overhang at the congress center. We held out there waiting for the rain to quit for about 25 minutes. Finally, the rain was a bit lighter so we took the umbrella and headed off once again for the station. Jeff took a couple of good bonks to the head from the umbrella...Oops. By the time we got to the falls, the rain was gone. I don't know exactly why and maybe it was the heavy rains prior but the fireworks spewed out so much smoke that at times you could not see the fireworks...just flashes or slight sparkles behind the curtain of smoke. Several times they just stopped to let the smoke clear. It was a shame because from what I could see this was one of the best choreographed shows I've seen. Fernando from work was there and he felt the same way I did. I'm sure the team competing was pretty upset. We still enjoyed it and everyone still gave them a loud round of applause.

We got back to the city later than we would of because of all the stoppages and we walked home. There was plenty of people walking about. Enjoy some of the scenes we saw on the way home.

In the morning, we got up as early as we could...since we didn't get to the room until just after midnight we couldn't get up as early as we would of liked but we got up at 7 and got on the road at 9:30. At 9:30 there were people already heading into the Plains of Abraham for the concert. We were glad to escape before it got too crazy.

The drive home was busy and there was some heavy rain. We both felt like we had a great vacation but were happy to be going home. We got home and unloaded our packed car, relaxed and had a great chat with Hayley. We don't get that often enough. Then we had to go pick up the Minster. It was her first time ever at a kennel and she did fine. The kennel is across the bay and we'll definitely use it in the future. When we got back we had a call from my dad who was also vacationing out on the East Coast and attending the Antigonish Highland Games and a Ross Clan Meeting in Iona. Low and behold, it turns out he was in Baddeck in Sunday, the day we arrived and had supper in the restaurant of the Lynwood Inn where we were staying. We ate in the same restaurant that night on the veranda. He went to the Ceilidh at the Parish Hall behind us and we had discussed going over there as well but we were still eating at 7:30 when it started.

Another weird coincident is that I mentioned the fella we met in St. Andrew's who worked in St. Andrews in the summer and Key West in the winter. Cor, a co-worker met the same guy only she met him in Florida. It's definitely a small world.

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