Healthy Lifestyle

Canada, Eh? Part 3 :)

All good things must come to an end….

Our last and final day in Old Quebec City was just as incredible as the previous days.

Most of all my family and I had a blast, we learned a lot about ourselves, each other and Canada. That really is priceless.


We were TIRED from all the running around, walking, climbing, etc. So we decided to take it easy in the morning before heading back to explore the rest of Lower Old Quebec city.

I heard and researched a bit about Ile d’Orleans. A tiny yet diverse island just minutes away from Quebec City.

To many Québécois, Île d’Orléans has come to represent a cultural hearth, the ancestral home to which they can trace their origins. The entire island stirs powerful emotions for the members of the more than 300 families descending from the original French colonists. Today, many of them come here to recall or discover a part of their personal or collective history.

Once again we headed out early. This little island has six beautiful, unique and very different parishes. All have something amazing to explore!  The main road is Chemin Royal. It is over 20 some miles of parishes, shops, farms, wineries and just plain BEAUTY!  It was the perfect way to spend our morning. Laid back. Resting our feet.

Justin & Laura have an excellent blog post here with more information!


Apple  cidrerieIMG_3446

lovely market with fresh goodies of all kinds!IMG_3447

These amazing berries!IMG_3449

Great view of the entire Quebec City from the islandIMG_3450

All different types of farmsIMG_3458

This cheese is only made in Quebec. It was delicious. TO serve it, you slice it and fry it on a pan for about 2 min on each side (see below)  A local woman came in and purchased about 15 packages while we were there!!


winery grapes growingIMG_3507-0IMG_3508-0

We spent about 4 hours exploring this island. You could easily spend a weekend here , especially if you are into wine tasting.  There were so many wonderful things to do, see, eat and drink.  When we got to the end of the island, we had to turn around and drive all the way back due to construction, WHICH was pretty incredible since we got to see the island from another angle!

We went home, had lunch and ate the many wonderful FRESH things we purchased. After some rest (but not too much!) We headed BACK to Old Quebec.  This time we parked at City Hall for around $15. Much better 🙂  Still a close walk and it placed us right in the middle of where we wanted to be

This time we skipped the Funicular and walked down the scenic steps and street to Lower Town.  I wanted to see the market,Marche du Vieux-Port de Quebec, so that was the first spot on our list. About a 15 min walk from the funicular, it is well worth it!

Located along the river, it is a market filled with wonderful and unique things! From jewelery, candles and soap, to live lobsters, chocolate covered blueberry, fois gras and exotic mushrooms.


We walked around a bit and worked up an appetite.  We were tired and ready for an iced coffee, so we stopped at a little cafe along the way and sat outside and drank and people watchedIMG_3506-0

and mom practiced her French 🙂


We had traditional Canadian fare, poutine, bread, cheese, What was left?


I really wanted to try Le Billig Creperie. The only issue was that it was over a mile away , up hills and mom and dad were already losing patience with me. Yet, I assured them these would be WORTH it. So they agreed.

It was actually a very nice walk. It was our first time walking around the city in the evening. It was safe and breezy AND we saw some crazy Celtic beer races along the way ! (You had to be there)

We arrived to our spot and were very quickly seated. The menu and choices are overwhelming trying to decide whether to order sweet or savory crepes FIRST!

The sweet crepes are made out of wheat flour, the savory are buckwheat (So if you are gluten intolerant these are for you!!)

My father ordered the sweet (suprised?!). It was chocolate ice cream, whipped cream , chocolate sauce and crepe.

IMG_3495Again, we did not have a chance to taste it…….

Mom ordered an apple, ham and swiss crepe which was incredible


I had a cheese, spinach and mushroom sauce crepe. It was quite possibly the BEST thing I have ever tasted in my entire life. No lie.


I even let my dad try a little bit…..he offered me the chocolate sauce off his plate…..

I highly recommend this creperie if you are in Old Quebec. I will definitely be back!

This truly was the PERFECT ending to our PERFECT family adventure in Montreal and Quebec City…….Until Alaska!



Canada, eh? Part 2

We were so sad to leave our lovely apartment behind in beautiful Montreal but we’re excited for what was ahead…..

After getting our lot situation taken care of we felt happy and free to take off on our 3 hour trek to our next destination.  Quebec City

This time I was smart.  I packed LOTS of snacks for dad to eliminate the need to constantly stop

The drive was beautiful. There was no traffic and quite easy to navigate.

We did get a bit lost once we arrived in Quebec City.  We sort of surprised a sweet little non English speaking French family by showing up on their doorstep….nope! Not our apartment!  (Awkwward!!)

GPS directions were a bit off but the second time we made it to the right house

Another hit! Our apartment was JUST outside of Quebec City about a 10 min drive. Later I was so grateful for the opportunity to come home to a less hectic/busy environment. I love the city and the business, but also like the quiet 🙂

We had an amazing view of the city and literally a LESS than 5 min walk to Montmorency Falls!

I still can not believe it! My daily morning walks were breathtaking!

This place was perfect for us and would have been great for a small family due to the bunks begs (which I called dibs on!)

We drove around a bit to explore the area and decided to go check out the falls. We (foolishly) paid for parking, lol, only to find out we were so close!

Again my parents were troopers! Montermorcy falls and parc is stunning and breathtaking and also full of hills and steps :). After some convincing I assured my parents it would be worth it!  We walked along the board walk , crossed a really cool bridge and walked down (and up) an unbelievable staircase with stunning views!

Look at these steps! The view!!  

Someone probably just walked UP those steps and decided to write this!! 🙂

  Aren’t these two adorable?

  “I’m hungry”
  “Thank GOD they have this cable car, I did NOT want to walk back up!”
We played a little prank on my mom and told her the cable car was closed and that she would have to walk back UP the stairs… are never too old to get hit, just keep that in mind.

*in my opinion. The cable car was very expensive and a waste of money! It cost is 10$ per person to ride up one way.  We had better views and scenery during our walk. However if you have bad knees or legs and can not handle stairs I suppose it’s a good deal? :). If you are in shape skip it for a few dollars more you can zip line down the mountain!! Weeeee

Here is info on pricing for parking, cable car and zipline


So much fun and not nearly as difficult as it looks….going down


This was one of my morning views…
By the time we finished it was already late and we were tired. So again we went to the local grocery and stocked up

Is this a grocery store OR a metro station?? 🙂  Its a grocery 

Wednesday morning we woke up early, got ready and set out!

A ten minute drove to the city and our first stop was to see the changing of the guards at the citadelle of Quebec . Admission is $13 per adult $11 for senior citizens. They had a good family deal but we did not qualify. Apparently I was too old to be considered a “child”! Hmpf! What ev’s!

It was well worth it. Parking was free and admission included the museum entry, a guided tour and the changing of the guards.. I’d recommend getting their early like we did for the 9 am tour which ends just before 10  am and places you in a great view for the changing of the guard ceremony. It lasts 35 min so be sure to wear comfy shoes or plop a seat on the concrete

It was beautiful. I was impressed by the sync was and….the goat. If you have a weak stomach take caution. The goat is lovely and vote and adorable boy my goodness does it ell! This is why I can not eat goat cheese!!


The tour was excellent. Our guide had the cutest voice. (She was from Brazil!)  She taught us some history and even talked about the famous goat, Batisse

One of the Governor General's foot guards is seen with the Royal 22e Regiment's mascot, Batisse, as the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge arrive to the Citadel in Quebec City on Sunday.



Afterward we got back o to our car and found parking g elsewhere for the rest our day (Parking at the citadelle was only until 5 pm)

We parked at the most beautiful and most photographed hotel in the world,


(Parking was pricey here 35$ for 12 hours, but it does put you in prime location)

Ideally located inside the walls of Old Quebec, the iconic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has undergone a multimillion dollar renaissance project that will reposition it as one of the world’s leading hotels. The restoration blends the charm of the hotel’s enchanting past with modern innovations, creating an allure that is fresh & seductive, balanced with the hotel’s rich history & dynamic future.

This heritage urban resort will seduce you with its breathtaking views of the St. Lawrence River and the architecture of the Old fortified City, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In any one of its 611 guestrooms and suites, you’ll feel an elegant touch of historic Europe. Your experience at this landmark luxury hotel will guarantee you a memorable and inspiring stay in one of the most beautiful, and walkable, cities in the world.  

Fairmont Gold, our private concierge floor experience, features exclusive amenities and highly personalized service designed to exceed the expectations of the most discerning corporate or leisure guest.

Let our culinary team introduce you to abundant, local and exquisite dining experiences. For business and special events, our superior banquet facilities will turn any meeting, social gathering and wedding into an unforgettable event. Furthermore, our partner PSAV will assist you in planning your audiovisual needs.

We walked around Upper town Quebec City first. There are so many cute little shops, restaurants, cafes, etc.  Be prepared to walk and be prepared for a lot of hills. It is a totally walk-able city, but take your time and take breaks if you need them

I had intentions of another “self guided” tour, but that failed pretty quickly because I was getting irritated that my eyes were constantly on the MAP instead of what was all around!  So we gave up and decided to just WALK and take it all in.  (I suggest doing a tour because I would have LOVED to learn more about the history. I found this FREE walking tour, but unfortunately it was already booked up when I tried to book it a week prior, so my advice is to do it EARLY)


Upper town also consists of Terrasse Dufferin which is a board walk along the river. It is beautiful, great for people watching too! We sat down and had ice cream and enjoyed the breeze and sights.

Before heading to Lower Town, we had to find some poutine (what is poutine?) to try! If you have never tried poutine, STOP whatever you are doing and GO GET IT NOW!  It was pretty amazing 🙂  We opted for the quick, fast food variety at Chez Ashton, BUT there are so many different types, kinds, from gourmet to plain . Chez Ashton was very affordable, quick and highly recommenced!


In addition to the lovely sights, shops, boutiques and eateries of Upper Town, when you are ready for my PERSONAL FAVORITE trek to the Lower Town, you can either 1)  walk (not bad, but lots of steps) Or 2) Take the Funicular (pricing and details here)

The only of its kind on our continent!! It is a must do experience, and well worth the 2.50$ per person 🙂

Stepping off the funicular into the Lower Town portion of Quebec city, was like the part of Wizard of OZ when everything turns from black and white to COLOR 🙂  That is the only way I can describe it.


This by far was my favorite part. It is beautiful.  Words and pictures do not do it justice. In fact, I forgot we were in Canada, and really felt like we were in Europe!


We had 6 pm dinner reservations at Aux Anciens Canadien , if you plan on eating here and want to make the $19.99 deal, be sure to arrive prior to 6 pm. I was not aware there was a time limit, after 6 pm the pricing increases to $49.99 per person. It is a really cool menu and a great Canadian experience.


After dinner, we were tired from all the sight seeing, walking, eating and fun, we headed back to the car to head back to our comfy apartment across the way 🙂

To be continued! Quebec City (part 2), Il D’orleans


Canada , eh? Part 1

Some old maps

some time off


an itch for adventure. ……….

What do these things have in common?

Ah Canada 🙂

In 1978, my grandfather (jah-jah) decided to purchase some lots of land in Canada.

At the time , the “project” had big visions of becoming a marina.  My grandfather had dreams of providing his family with some special places to enjoy. Sadly this dream never happened BUT the curiosity and hope led my parents and I on a family adventure (and trek) to Canada to see if we could finally get some answers to our “Mystery land”.

For years my family had been trying to locate and obtain information on the various lots scattered around Canada.  With some internet research and a little help from our friends, our journey took us about 15 miles south of Montreal , to a little town called Saint Philippe

Here , in Saint Philippe, we stayed with our gracious and generous hosts (air b&b) and not only did they provide us with a fully equipped apartment (so cute and cozy) but also assisted in helping us get answers to our “mystery” land


Dad, don’t have TOO much fun!! :)~ 

All over Canada they had these cute little roads for pedestrians and bikests!  I love how bike friendly they are! Cananda sure does do it right!

I really enjoyed my daily early morning walks because of scenery like this

Carole (our hostess) answered my early morning texts and graciously offered to come down to our apartment and help us look at the maps! She pointed us in the right direction and gave us the municipality info that we needed to contact!! She knew almost the exact location of our “land”!!

So here our adventure really began….

We arrived Saturday evening a bit exhausted from the drive and rainy weather (stressful drive in the down pours!). Carol greeted us and showed is our lovely accommodations for the next few days.  There were fresh home made brownies waiting for us on the table as well!

We settled in, unpacked and drove to a local grocery to grab some items for dinner and the week

The grocery was amazing! So clean (like all of Canada!), Fresh produce,   Everything we needed and more

TIP ****I suggest changing your money to Canadian dollars prior to arrival because we had difficulty using our credit and debit cards in the smaller towns. Our US dollars were accepted but not at the exchange rate so we ended up losing out a few dollars.  On our way home we found an ATM which allowed us to (very easily) exchange some $$. You live and you learn 🙂

We came home and my mom made the BEST dinner (chicken ,steak, salad and sweet potatoes). After we settled down and began what became my favorite activity…..watching the 2016 Summer Olympics!  I could not wait to get home each evening and relax while catching up on all the games (go Poland!!)

Exhausted we went to our cozy rooms and hit the sack to prepare for another fun and full day!


We wanted to take care of our land/lots FIRST, however it being Sunday, we knew everything would be closed. So we got up super early today (and EVERY day) and set out!

We  DID stumble upon our first Tim Hortons and….woah!  The coffee and pastries/donuts are surreal! This quickly became a daily go to for us 🙂 I highly recommend their coffee, and as a quick, inexpensive “to go” breakfast spot!

Being a bit rainy and wanting to avoid the Montreal weekend traffic we opted to ride along the Montreal wine trail (Info here!) to get a feel for the beautiful area!

There are several different routes, but having just driven the previous day, we opted for the scaled down “Le Triangle” wine route. “Le Triangle” was 32 km of wine trails (the shortest of the routes). The itinerary suggests doing it in 3 days (see below)

3 days
Routes 202, 237, 213
In the actual heart of the Wine Route, this triangle merits more than a day of touring.  In addition to a grouping of 10 vineyards, there are blueberry and small fruit growers,  orchards with apples and their derivatives, honey and the mouth-watering aroma of freshly baked bread …so many things to impress your – and your guests’ – taste buds! Your eyes will be in for a treat, too, because this outing takes you along a countryside that’s bucolic and jaw-dropping.
Day 1 : Clos Ste-Croix, Vignoble Les Trois Clochers, Domaine des Côtes d’Ardoise
Lodging in a bed and breakfast in Dunham or Frelighsburg.
Day 2 : Vignoble Gagliano, UNION LIBRE cidre et vin, Vignoble de l’Orpailleur et Château de cartes, vignoble et cidrerie
Day 3 : Clos Saragnat, Val Caudalies, vignoble et cidrerie, Vignoble Centaure


 we crammed it all in one day, since we were sober and not drinking, but more in it for the scenery and experience 🙂

It truly was a beautiful experience!


    Blueberries!! (Bleuets) quickly became our FAVORITE fruit of the trip!  Mmmm

This was probably my favorite place!! There was an outdoor sculpture garden but we opted to skip it and just take in the lovely landscapes!

After the wine trail we decided to drive around the recommended  Quatier Dix 30  (an intersection where routes 10 and 30 meet which is FILLED with shops and restaurants!!)  It was Sunday evening, so everything was closed, BUT it was really cool to see and of course, all the restaurants were buzzing!

Yet, mom wanted sushi, so sushi it was. We went to Sogen based on a recommendation and the sushi really was superb!

After another long day we grabbed our food to GO and set off for our Olympic watching tradition  (still my favorite!!!)


Monday morning we ventured out early to the municipality to get some info  AND ease my moms mind so that we could enjoy the rest of our vacation. Unfortunately we did not get far, as the woman we needed to speak with would not be available until the following day, Tuesday.

So we decided to get an early start on our Montreal City trip .


MONTREAL !  We had been to Montreal city when I was younger so I thought it would be wise and fun to explore the old Montreal city this time around!

We parked our car at this terminal (for $7 (US),  purchased tickets (combo train and bus which was a great and easy travel idea! For $10  we had 24 hour access to train AND all buses!)

And were off!

We began our day with a quick cafe stop for coffee and a light breakfast here.


****Those of you that do not know my family very well, need to understand something………we drink a LOT of coffee and, my father is a bottomless pit that needs to be fed every 30 min.

Next we worked our way up to the #11 bus to take us to the top of Mt Royal! I really wanted to see the views, plus get a bit of walking in before we had to feed dad again! All were successful!  Plus the adorable squirrels entertained us quite well! (we saw an albino squirrel)




After some exploring, we took the bus back down to Plateau Mont Royal, which is the location of famous shops, boutiques and of course eateries!  I had planned a walking tour for us, but first, we had to feed dad 🙂

On the agenda was Schwartz for their famous smoked meat sandwiches!

IMG_3292We tried the turkey which in my opinion was a bit salty and tasted more like ham?! It was good, but we have had better (Sorry don’t be mad Montreal!)

Dad had the original smoked meat sandwich. I turned my head for a minute and it was entirely gone, so mom and I were unable to try his…….


We all agreed we had better, BUT all in all, we had a great experience (We went in the “To GO” line and placed our orders, because the restaurant line was even LONGER!)

I agree it is NOT worth the wait, BUT you have to try and experience for yourself!


Saint-Laurent Blvd was filled with lovely art on the sidewalks and walls!!  It was so much for to check out the graffiti!


Finally we were ready for our walking tour to begin!  I used this as my baseline for the tour and really made sure to hit all the spots I wanted to see, AND we did!

It was nice to do this on our own, so that we could enjoy and really take in the beautiful flowers, streets, buildings, shops and eateries along the way!


We even walked through a little park which was so refreshing!


I loved all the bikers in the area too!  I stopped by Maison De cyclistes and it was FILLED with information for biking, maps, routes, products, helmets…….etc!

Oh, and the men!  Oh, the men of Montreal!!! 🙂

FYI this is a stock photo, I did not really snap this photo myself!!  (sorry ladies!)

My parents were SUCH troopers!  They hung in there with my crazy busy and long walking tour 🙂  We stopped several times along the way for coffee’s, drinks, and just to rest.

When we had finally finished our tour and had enough, we opted again to get some dinner to go!  There were so many fresh bakeries and shops we grabbed some cheese, baguettes and pate and headed back to the train!


Again we set out early to make the most of our day, and of course, get the info we needed about our land!  The woman we needed to speak with was in a meeting and we had an hour to spare, so we did what obviously any other normal family would do………go to Tim Horton’s! 🙂  (A 100x better version of Dunkin Donuts! for those unfamiliar!)

When we finally arrived at the municipality, they were very apologetic and ready for us! We were helped by a wonderful woman who adorably was shy about the quality of her English (which was incredible by the way!!) It was not easy to obtain the information we needed due to several facts. First the law was changed in 1978 Canada deemed our land agricultural ONLY. Our lot was literally located in the middle of a forest. This was the closest we got which still was not really near it

Turns out the “project” had big plans that involved a quaint family oriented marina! How cool would that have been! We are still interested in finding out what happened and why the plan never took off.  However the municipality was able to answer all questions and give is great suggestions of our options on what to do with the lots/land.

Satisfied, we were now ready for the next part of our adventure. Off to Old Quebec City! (Stay tuned for part 2!) Waterfalls, more walking and the most beautiful and romantic city!IMG_3295