Normally when “Oh Canada” comes out, it’s because our dear friend, Jeff, is singing his version of the Canadian National Anthem; complete with lyrics like “the land of moose and beer.” But this time, it was the first of our journeys into Canada to explore their great nation.
We started out by travelling to Toronto in order to make it to an Alcor (Shea’s employer) sponsored ServiceNow User Group. We found a great little campground on the east side of the city that was run by their conservation agency. The campground was immaculate – much like everywhere else we went in Canada. We loved how clean and well-manicured everything was. While driving through the city, we remembered why we love avoiding cities, especially cities as large as Toronto. Even though the city was packed with people and cars, it was great to see how many people were out and about in pretty much every area we visited, even until late at night.
The SNUG (ServiceNow User Group) went off without a hitch and it was great for me to see one in person. They even let me be a part of the team for the day – thanks again, everyone! As if the event wasn’t enough of a highlight, the day took a turn for the AWESOME! I randomly sent a message to one of my dearest friends and it turns out that she and another friend were there too – and not even a mile away. Getting to spend the afternoon/evening with Steph and Jen was the best possible way to spend our last few hours in Toronto.
After our amazingly fantastic evening, we made our way toward Montreal with a stop through the Prince Edward Peninsula to check out the sandbanks and some charming little towns along the way. We crossed over the sand dunes and walked through the beautiful blue waters in Lake Ontario; but we weren’t brave enough to jump in like some of the other folks at the park. Since it was getting late in the day, we ended up pulling over and staying at one of Quebec’s versions of a rest stop. It was funny to see our little rig lined up with a bunch of 18-wheelers in the morning, but the fact that we could just walk over to Tim Hortons to grab coffee before getting on the road totally made it worth staying in a parking lot!
When we finally made it to Montreal, we decided to stay at a KOA on the south side simply for proximity to the city and the highways to keep heading north. We have stayed at a lot of RV parks along our journey, and the showers usually determine just how nice we think the place is; and the showers at this KOA were by far the nicest we have ever seen on the road. I think they were even nicer than the bathroom at our hold house in Minneapolis! They also had the fastest wireless we’ve come across while on the road. We made our way into the city to explore on a couple different occasions and it was absolutely beautiful. Filled with old architecture, great restaurants, parks and fun little waterfront. Oh, and Molson! We even got to celebrate our 6th wedding anniversary while we were there. Our friend, Aleks, told us about a great little deli called Schwartz’s near downtown so we made the walk through the city to find it and enjoyed an excellent sandwich and poutine. That’s right, we’re super classy and had poutine for our anniversary dinner – ha! To top it off, we stopped at a little chocolate shop for some amazing dessert… that may have been ginormous.
While Montreal gave us a little taste of the French Canadians, Quebec City was the real deal. Even though French is the provincial language, we were able to make our way with ease and still manage to have friendly conversations with everyone we met. Thankfully all their road signs have clear, and easy to follow pictures – something I would love to see us adopt in the US. The city itself was fantastic and beyond charming filled with cobblestone roads and stone city walls. We stretched the charm by staying at a beautiful little vineyard that overlooks the St. Lawrence for two nights. Since the vineyard was on the outskirts of the town, it gave us an opportunity to see the city from afar, adding to the beauty. If anyone is looking for a little getaway without the long flight overseas, we highly recommend Quebec and we can’t wait to go back!