Just so y’all know! Please visit my regular Tumblr at http://honestlycrazy.tumblr.com/
If I take any road-trips in the future, I will create a new Tumblr for that trip… or resuscitate this one. We’ll see.
Toured Vassar College in the morning. Very small space-wise, but it’s definitely nice and high the list.
Dropped off car at JFK…. and flew home.
Thanks for reading!
WAIT WAIT WAIT — MORE QUÉBEC PICTURES!!!!
And we DID get to a mini changing of the guard. But no room for pictures…
Drove from Montréal to Middlebury College (VT) and walked around a bit. Absolutely beautiful, but very isolated campus. I don’t think I could do it.
Drove to Weston to the Vermont Country Store. This store is huge and has so many old-fashioned nostalgic items. It’s aimed at elderly people, so it even has vibrators for seniors. Okay.
Otherwise, very cool store. Bought some licorice for Dad and a not-so-surprise something for Mom. Got myself some lovely lemon-scented soap.
Drove to Bennington (VT) and drove through some of the famous covered bridges.
Side note: has anyone seen the thing Pleasanton’s got with decorating wooden cow cutouts? Well, Bennington’s got the same thing— except with live-size papa, mama, and baby Moose statues. They’re themed and everything— there was even a Jack Sparrow moose. Hehe.
Drove two loooooooooong hours to Poughkeepsie is the WORST thunder/lightning storm I have EVER seen. Not that that’s saying much. But it was SO cool. But I wasn’t the one driving across bridges and country roads.
Had a surprisingly good dinner at a Round Robin near hotel. Tortilla soup. Yum. Ironically, this was the first hotel room with a kitchenette.
Day 22 (7.23.09) ::: Vieux Québec City
Got up insanely early and drove three hours to Québec. Maps got us confused, so we missed the big changing of the guard at 10:00.
Old walled Québec is absolutely GORGEOUS. It’s like something out of a French postcard. It’s filled to the brim with tourists, but it looks like Belle’s little provincial town. Little town, it’s a quiet village… every day like the one before… okay, snap out of it.
Had crêpes at a little “resto.” The waitresses there dress in traditional northern French Breton-style clothing and nobody spoke English. Yay for restaurant French!
Walked around Old Québec. So beautiful… There is an upper walled city and a lower city at the bottom of this massive hill, with a little glass elevator that goes up and down to take you from top to bottom and vice-versa.
We felt proud that we were actually walking around a looking at all this history rather than having our caricatures drawn and eating ice cream and riding those horrible horse-drawn carriages. Poor slave horses.
Since it would be kind of awkward to go back to that same restaurant (with the flirting maitre d’) we got some sandwiches and fruit to go. Pleasant drive home and nice evening in hotel room.
I forgot to mention that to last two nights there had been a huge performance by some choir right outside our window. It was actually kind of cool. They were on this gigantic scaffolding with a screen hiding them from view. There must have been 200 people in that choir. Every night, they sang new age, love-each-other music while they projected cool videos and art on the screen. There were even fireworks synchronized with the music! It was very cool, but kept us awake for a long time… So it was nice to finally get some sleep.
Day 20 (7.21.09) ::: Montréal
Had a lovely late breakfast in the hotel before showering and packing. Then we drove into Canada! It was about a thirty minute drive to the border.
The officer interrogated us with a very stern French face. Grrrrr. And apparently, even though I was with my mom, I have to have a form from Dad that says I have his permission to cross. Just so Mom doesn’t kidnap me and take me away to Canada. Ugh, I hate being interrogated when I know I have nothing to hide.
Checked into Hôtel Hyatt and painstakingly navigated the ridiculously complicated hotel layout (which was attached to a mall) with a zillion elevators that only went to certain floors. Our room was gross and smelled like mildew. I was afraid to look behind anything in case I found a dead body. So, we changed rooms. Much better and nicer view of a museum and performance stage.
Walked around beautiful old Montéal and saw the AMAZING Notre Dame church. Apparently the arichtect converted to Catholicism himself after designing and building it.
I went back to room for a while to rest and Mom walked around the Mall a bit. I watched a crew of about ten people attempt to pump up a HUGE hot air balloon, but it finally flew!
Had dinner at a lovely French bistro nearby. I had a chicken dish that is the exact same thing that Mom makes! So it was lovely comfort food. They also had a fabulous mango salsa sort of stuff as a starter and gave you lovely little cookies even if you didn’t order dessert. Yummy.
Got Cinnabon-type thing for breakfast in food court. Watched French Backyardigans. Very fun.
Went shopping at H&M (French!) and bought the most beautiful dress. Now the problem is when/where to wear it… Mom was very disappointed because they didn’t have a sweater she wanted very much in her size.
Drove downtown to the Hasidic neighborhood (again!) and got fabulous bagels. Went to a nearby supermarket to get cheese, paté and raspberries to complete the meal. The bagels are very different: salty, chewy, and a bit smaller. Very good, though. We sat outside the shop on a bench to eat and got a lot of weird stares… not quite sure what that was about…
Drove around some interesting neighborhoods and walked around two different underground malls and a department store. Had some coffee ice cream. Yum.
Went out for dinner at the same place as yesterday. By then, we had befriended the maitre d’, who flirted with mom and brought her champagne and me ginger ale in a champagne flute. I ordered some heavenly gazpacho and a duck confit with some crispy, thin-cut potatoes. Also had mango sorbet for dessert. We watched a VIP customer next to us with his lady friend (for whom French was a second language) have a degustation-style meal and romance…
Day 19 (7.20.09) ::: Dartmouth College, Ben & Jerry’s Factory, Cabot’s Creamery (VT)
Drove to Dartmouth College and toured it, which makes a first. Very isolated, but nice campus, and informative tour about college life.
Drove to Waterbury to tour Ben & Jerry’s! It’s like a theme park (Disneyland, maybe), which many photo-ops and even a “Flavor Graveyard.” Short tour, but we got free samples. Hehe.
Backtracked a bit and toured Cabot’s Creamery. Fantastic tour with a helpful tour guide who answered by questions very honestly. The cheese, needless to say, was fabulous. And we found out that cheddar cheese has so lactose, so my beloved lactose-intolerant Daddy can eat it.
Nice late dinner in hotel, back further west. I love Doubletree inns because they give you warm cookies and they always have big rooms with good amenities.