Wednesday, August 2, 2017

East Coast Travels - Toronto to Quebec City

Here are the photos from the first leg of our trip - Toronto to Quebec City.  A couple of Saturdays ago we woke up bright and early and got in the car, we pulled out of the driveway at 5:15 am.  We drove for two hours and then stopped at an On Route for some fresh air and breakfast for Q (the rest of us had eaten bagels in the car).

Some car shenanigans, Mr. Napkin Head.

We stopped for lunch at McDonalds outside of Montreal.  It had a PlayPlace so E got to run around for a bit before getting back in the car. 

Dave found this little spot between Montreal and Quebec City.  It had some dinosaurs, a playground, a gas station, and some restaurants (although we just ate some apples and trail mix on our blanket).

We had to fish a few of these rocks out of Q's mouth before we got his soother out.

We pulled into our hotel in Quebec City around 3:30 and got checked in.  We had to do some rearranging of our trip at the last minute so we had only a few choices for hotels.  We ended up at the Best Western in the Saint Roch neighbourhood.  It turned out pretty well because we were in a less touristy part of town (although still walkable to Old Quebec) and we enjoyed some restaurants more frequented by the locals.  The hotel had a pool that we enjoyed a couple of times.

For our first supper we stumbled across this brewery and we found a table on the patio and some really tasty food (and brews).

Dave's meal - poutine and charcuterie, his favourite.  

The next morning (Sunday), Dave went for a run along a woodsy trail and snapped a few photos.

While Dave finished up his run, the boys and I went across the street from the hotel to a nice cafe for breakfast. 

There was also this new little park between our hotel and the cafe where everyone played while I went back to the hotel room to get our supplies for the day.

Our first stop was Jardin du Saint-Roch.  It is just a little park but the flowers and fountains were cool.

View from the top of the park

Then we started our trek downtown.  I thought this was a neat parking garage so I snapped a photo.

Quebec City is so beautiful and it seems like every corner is another photo opportunity.  

You could go up on the wall (across from the hospital) and although it was full of graffiti, I thought it was pretty cool.

There are cannons everywhere so we talked a lot about the bad guys and defending the city.

We stopped in at a candy store, the Christmas store to get an ornament for our collection, and then continued along the boardwalk by the Chateau Frontenac.

E and I walked up the stairs at the end of the boardwalk and followed them all the way around the Citadel and over to the Plains of Abraham.  We were sweaty but it was a good adventure.  Dave took Q up over the hill in the stroller and we met him by the Citadel entrance.

This would be a good opportunity to mention that Quebec City is not very stroller friendly (or wheelchair friendly for that matter).  I'm not sure how they could fix this since it is an old city and you don't want to lose the character by widening sidewalks or adding ramps to everything, but it is something to be aware of if you want to visit.  We managed but we did a lot of lifting and I'm sure the stroller needs a new suspension by now, haha.

We had lunch at Le Petit Chateau.  The food was okay, but the atmosphere was great.  It was attached to the back of the Chateau Frontenac so it was an old stone building, we had a seat on the patio, and there was live music.

We didn't take a horse drawn carriage ride this time, although E asked us if we could every time we saw one. 

Because of all of the cannon/bad guys/war discussions, E really wanted to go to the Citadel (or "the base" as he called it) so we went there after lunch.  Because it is still an active base, you can only do the guided tour, but that was fine.  We learned a few things and got some great views.  There is also a museum there that I think is free and we could have spent all afternoon there.

There was a music festival wrapping up while we were there and the kids section at the Parc de l'Esplanade was still set up.  E enjoyed the ride, the obstacle course, and blowing bubbles with the bike.  Q enjoyed getting out of his stroller and crawling in the grass.

We at supper at a great spot called La Buche.  Again, we had a seat on the patio.  Q was exhausted so after forcing him to eat some of his supper, we finally put him in his stroller and he fell asleep.  

This is their version of Pâte Chinois (shepherd's pie) and it was so delicious! I'm glad I ordered this speciality dish.

This was the bathroom, all stalls along the wall and then you wash your hands from the pipes come down over this tub in the middle.

The next morning we chose another local coffee shop for our breakfast.  

We took the elevator to the top of Rue Saint Réal for this view.  The green space in front of us is the Jardin that we visited the day before.  

We popped into this specialty grocery store for some snacks to take with us.  I love stores like this.

Then we went up to the Parliament buildings.  These government buildings are on par with Ottawa which makes sense since la revolution tranquille was based on the belief that Quebec is its own nation, not just another province.  

A beautiful day

Then Dave and E set off to the opposite trek that I had done the day before with E, around the Citadel and back down the stairs.  Q and I walked and met them on the boardwalk. 

Then we took the funicular down to the lower city.

As if the upper city wasn't pretty enough, the lower city had even more photogenic streets.

We dug out our snacks for a late morning bite to eat - apple, cheese, bread, and pink lemonade.   We hung out in a little park for a bit, then walked around the streets, snapped some photos, and E played in a sandbox.  

We treked up hill in a search of something to eat and finally ended up halfway back to our hotel at an Irish Pub for poutine and beers.

Being silly on the way home.

We had a swim and then growing dressed for dinner.  We found another microbrewery right near our hotel.  I had a macaroni and cheese waffle with chicken that was pretty good.

This was our appetizer, very tasty.

We had an early night and then got up the next morning, grabbed breakfast at Les Bruleries Saint Roch again, and left the city bound for New Brunswick. 

Thanks for sticking with me for all of these photos!  

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