We had such a drought this whole summer, yet on the day (8/22) we set out for our long-overdue vacation, it was almost pouring in PA and NJ. Thankfully, it cleared up as we got to upstate New York. As I was driving through Adirondack, the sun came out again. I immediately cheered up, completely soaking myself in the beautiful scenario. I-87 was in great condition and there was almost no other cars in sight.
As I was cruising toward Canada, a police car suddenly appeared in my rear-view mirror with lights flashing. My heart raced, and I pulled over to the curb. Sure it was, the police car came for me! It’s been 11 years since my last speeding ticket, which also happened during one of our vacations. Anyway, with all the paperwork checked, I was issued a traffic ticket which I pleaded guilty to as soon as I got home along with a very sincere apology hoping the judge will be lenient on the fine (I will report back once I hear back from the court).
Getting through the border was a breeze. Thanks to my dear friend who visited Montreal just a few days before me, I registered the family trip on ArriveCan, with all our passport information as well as vaccination records (no Covid testing required with proper vaccination).
However, as soon as we drove cross the border, all signs turned into French! Though many would argue French is a lot like English, staring at those road signs did give me a lot of stress, lol! The metrics changed as well, now we are using kilometer, which is quite different from mile.
Our vacation officially started as we reached Canada. It took us a little under 7 hours with a quick lunch stop and a police stop. I am going to blog our trip chronically and write a separate post about food, no trip is complete without some good food, right? We had a fancy French sharing menu experience, lots and lots Poutines, and of course those iconic culinary scenes. Most food choices were made by Claire, she travels quite a lot, definitely eats out a lot, and knows a thing or two about cocktails. Since we were only in Quebec for 7 days, our opinion on the restaurants and food choices is merely about our experience rather than comparison to other restaurants.
Day 1 – Gibeau Orange Julep, Old Montreal, Riverfront, Brewskey
Day 2 – Notre Dame de Basilica, Mile End, Montreal Plaza
Day 3 – Mount Royal, Botanic Garden, Olympique Park, Schwartz’s Deli, Sun set at St. Joseph’s Oratory
Day 6 morning
Day 6 afternoon
Driving home was uneventful. It took us no time to cross the US border. All in all, it was a great vacation. The kids are grown now, I can feel it. The dynamics during the travel was very different from when they were young. Only when we were in the aquarium, I got the same vibe as from all those trips we took to Baltimore Aquarium when the two of them were little.
Look forward to the next family vacation, hopefully in South America at the end of the year.