Sunday, July 5, 2009

Feeling lost without the Internet

We have had a very busy couple of days!

On Friday we drove all the rain...and the fog....on roads no person should have to navigate. I think all of Canada is under road construction. We drove through Montreal ...and at first blush I was glad it wasnt one of the cities we had decided to stop. I slept a lot, read a lot. Unfortunately I also got sick a lot. Car sick :( I dont know why, I dont ussually get car sick. I read "The Friday Night Knitting Club" it was so sweet and poignant and I loved it. We had dinner at an A&W Rootbeer in Quebec and marvelled at how in Ontario the signs are in French and English (since both are the National Languages) and as soon as we crossed into Quebec the signs were in French only. So....I tried to order my dinner in French at the A & W and realized rather quickly that I dont really speak french anymore, and they talk so fast that I cant even understand I stood there looking like a dumbstruck fool....and tried a combination of pointing and sign language to communicate what I wanted.

We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast in Cote de St. Anne Beaupre very late - 10:30 in the evening and didnt even check to see if there was internet, we fell into bed exhausted and looked at each other..and tossed and turned and turned and tossed. The bed was sincerely the most uncomfortable bed I have had to sleep in - ever. Morning came slow, always does when you toss and turn and it seemed like no sooner had I fallen into a good sleep than Rich woke me up because it was about to be past time for the breakfast service. Breakfast was good. A cheese omlette, lots of fresh fruit and whole wheat toast...and much needed coffee! After breakfast I turned on my computer to blog and realized that there was no internet! (gasp gasp gasp) It was at this point Rich got a call from his sister that his father was in the hospital. We worried, and planned how to return to Massachusetts immediately if we didnt hear good news shortly. We called my Dad and he offered to visit Dad -in-law in the hospital which made me feel better.

We headed out for our day. When we had arrived it was dark and I didnt realize how absolutely beautiful it was. A feast for the eyes. We were right there on the St. Lawrence.....with Ile De Orleans across the river from lush and green. It was beautiful. First stop was the big catholic cathedral in Cote De St. Anne Beaupre. I have visited lots of cathedrals and churches - I love looking at the architecture and stained glass and expanses of marble. I have never seen one this amazing. The walls and the arched ceilings were all done in mosaic, not just patterns, but actual pictures in mosaic. It was a feast for the eyes. I just stood there, it seemed like for a long time, looking around in wonder. I had to move closer to one of the walls to see how the mosaic was done. I cant imagine the amount of time that was spent on primitive scaffolding painstakingly placing tile after tile to create the pictures covering the ceiling archways.

We looked around for quite a while, and left to head for Montmercy Falls. We followed the signs and found it without a bit of trouble. In fact, we had seen the falls on our way in the night before. They were lighted. We headed in, and discovered that the Visa machine was out of order...and we had no money in canadian. The young man in the booth was kind enough to direct us to 'desjardins' and I was thinking....why is he sending us to the gardens????? DesJardin is the bank, and the ATM was friendly enough to dispense Rich as much $Canadiene as he liked. We then went into the park.

I know I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs that I am terrified of bridges. My mother was terrified of bridges and I think it rubbed off. It is a completely irrational fear, but I cant help it. I had dreamed the night before about crossing a bridge...a footbridge...and it shaking like someone was trying to shake me off, then something stilled it and I crossed to safety. I decided, when I saw the footbridge crossing the top of the falls that It was an omen that I should try to overcome this fear, make Rich happy and my Mother proud and cross. So I did. The falls are 30M higher than the falls at Niagara and beautiful, but I have to admit that on the way across I didnt look anywhere but at my feet with a deathgrip on the handrail. I made it though, and after walking a bit, crossing a second footbridge over a gorge and back....on the reverge trip over the falls I looked and it was breathtaking. I was pumping adrenaline and so excited to have conquered my fear, for at least a moment. There is a very good french restaurant overlooking the falls called Manoir Montmercy and we had lunch there. I had a lamb burger with salad and home made chips. Rich had the bison burger and then he had cheesecake! We called Dad, and the news about my father in law was good...fever was down, and they felt like they had it handled. Deep sigh of relief. Rich called his mom and sister just to confirm, and we both felt better and were less worried. We found a cache, the first in Quebec, and headed into Quebec City.

Quebec City was beautiful. A city of dichotemy..the old mingled with the new, neither overshadowing the other but a seemingly perfect complement. We went to the Parliament Building and had a tour, it was interesting and the architecture was beautiful. We then headed off to find the Chateau Fountainbleu, which I had seen in pictures. We found it, found some street parking, and walked up some rather steep hills to old town Quebec. Old Town was like nothing I have ever seen. Well, that isnt true..there are a few buildings in Boston that reminded me of Old Town, but Boston didnt keep the integrity of their past. Old Town Quebec had retained all of the buildings, in beautiful condition from the 1700's. It was like walking into the past. So beautiful. It was also here that Rich decided that without Rosetta Stone instruction he was not taking me to France. I didnt understand enough. He decided this when I did not know what a Funiculaire was. He explained that it was an incline railway, and didnt I know what a Funicular was? Of course I didnt..and I assure you that the word Funniculaire was not in any french book I have studied. I do need the Rosetta Stone was embarassing how I struggled to understand these people!

We left Quebec City and headed back towards Cote de St. Anne Beaupre. I had tagged a patisserie I wanted to visit and a Frommagerie. (pastry and cheese) that were a bit out of the way on back roads. We found the patisserie without a difficulty. I bought a Napoleon (my favorite sweet treat of all time) and Rich got a negrillon and a citrine. (brownie and lemon tart) and we got croissants for a mid morning snack today. We then tried to find a french bistro for dinner...we drove and drove without luck. We just pulled into a pizza buffet, ate hastily, went to the IGA for ice and baquettes and fruit, and back to the Bed and Breakfast.

I took a bath, Ate my Nepoleon, and climbed into bed to watch the Capital 4 fireworks. I was asleep withint 15 minutes and the sugar sent me into the deep blessed sleep that caused me not to wake up at every toss and turn.

We got up this morning, and headed off for Prince Edward Island. The scenery has been amazing - easily as beautiful as anything we saw on our trip to Alaska last summer. We have found two caches..and right now I am at the first rest area in New Brunswick at a free internet computer trying to catch up on my blogging. We are back to english signs and such.

Now...time for me to get back in the car.

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