Miss Daisy Driving

she finally decided to take the wheel

Sweet dreams are made of these

I woke up with that song stuck in my head; I think I heard it last night at some point…

Day 2 in Quebec City!

Day 2 in the most photogenic city in Canada.

Day 2 of the softest, kitchen-sink-washed hair.

I woke up around 7:30 but didn’t get out of bed for some time. I’ve been losing a little bit of steam as far as early morning exploring goes. I’ve only been in each city for such a short while that I feel pressured to really discover as much as I can about each given area in that time. It can be stressful! The sights are beautiful, but I kinda just wanna go to the beach… Ah, well.

The airbnb pillows are THE. WORST. Way too soft; they become nothing once you lay your head down. I woke up super sore yesterday for that reason, but luckily (I’ve been saying that a lot in this blog, but I really do feel lucky) I had packed a just-in-case pillow. It, along with the blanket laying under all of my bags in the trunk of my car, really came in handy for when I went glamping — I had forgotten that bedding was not included in the camper and that I should bring my own. Luckily (!!!) I had packed all of that (by mistake)!

The point is, I wasn’t sore this morning; thank goodness for my pillow!

First thing in the morning, after dressing myself in possibly the weirdest outfit ever (I couldn’t decide if I should be comfy sport or comfy chic so it ended up being sort of a mix of both), I headed to Canyon Sainte-Anne, a forty minute drive away. I was really excited to see it, and boy was it worth it.

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Pont Mostachibo — the beginning of the canyon

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Not for those with health problems or really out of shape people like me -- almost decided to give up and camp out at the bottom

Not for those with health problems or really out of shape people like me — almost decided to give up and camp out at the bottom

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It was so magical. I’m surprised it doesn’t attract more tourists!

On the way back to Shamanda, a coyote tried to eat me but instead we became lifelong pals.

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Now, back into the city! This time it was to catch a tour of the countryside. I hadn’t gotten a ticket yet, so I did that first thing at around 10:20, but since the 10:30 bus was already full, my tour wasn’t until 1. So, I sat down for another huge but incredibly delicious breakfast  and then explored the town for a while, going in and out of boutiques and shops, miraculously walking out with not a single elephant figurine.

I did buy some new shades, though.

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Almost bought this in the church gift shop but then I felt silly so I didn’t

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Finally, it was time for my tour! The bus was super late, but here are a few things I noticed while I was waiting:

  • The overly exhausted child who claims he’s ‘not tired’ is universal and can be easily spotted in any language
  • Some people really just have no sense of their surroundings

I also finally found a fellow solo traveler! Unfortunately…

The hate; er, I mean hat.

The hate; er, I mean hat.

I tried to get away from him as fast as I could. And then… he sat RIGHT behind me on the bus.

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He breathed that heavily the entire tour.

He also never got off of the bus once (we made stops along the way) and was either passed out asleep or on his iPad for the entire bus ride.

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Don’t get me wrong, though; I’m not trying to be mean. I have a close friend who supports this party as well and we get along just fine. More than fine! However, this dude made me REALLY uncomfortable. I’m not sure what it was exactly, but I felt the need to get away from him any chance that I could.

Anyway, back to the tour! It was beautiful! I could’ve discovered everything I wanted to by myself in Shamanda (probably saving some money), but I was glad to give her a break (and myself, because I was actually able to drift off in a moving vehicle for the first time in almost two weeks!!!).

The driver was funny, cracking little jokes along the way. Before we left the meeting place he said, “Alright close enough, let’s go” after he counted how many people were on the bus, which got everyone laughing — especially this dude near the front with the most comical laugh I’ve ever heard. Hard to describe, though, so I won’t even try. Just imagine what you think of as a comical laugh and that’ll be his laugh.

The driver also said something so accurate that I got angry at myself and all other Americans: “Your English is probably better than mine. But my English is WAY better than your French.” Ugh.

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It was really difficult to capture photos from the window of the bus, so I didn’t get a lot of pictures this time around.

Our first stop was Île d’Orléans, and island right outside of Quebec City. We stopped at a chocolate factory where I got THE tastiest gelato.

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Quebec City in the distance

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Chocolaterie de l’Jle d’Orleans

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I think I had a dream about that gelato last night.

Next stop: my second waterfall of the day! This time, the Chutes of Montmorency.

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My favorite thing about traveling alone is that nobody cares if you decide to skip the huge staircase to the top of the waterfall because you’re too out of shape.

That didn’t actually happen, but I wish it had with every step towards the top. The view was only a little worth it. (Just kidding the view was amazing.)

This girl doesn’t need a cable car to get to the top!!! Although it would’ve made for a much less sweaty excursion.

On the way back down I spotted a couple who were on the tour as well. The man was frantic, trying to figure out how to get back down; he thought they were going to miss the bus. They had plenty of time, but he was very stressed. Speed walking, he left his wife (girlfriend?) in the dust. I felt so bad for her, she was moving as quickly as she could but he stayed ahead of her the entire time.

She was pissed (arms crossed and everything) for the rest of the day.

After hiking back down, I joined the rest of the tour waiting outside the bus for the driver to let us in. A lady came up to me, speaking another language, commenting on my rosy cheeks. Classic.

The next two stops were just okay. One was to a family run copper museum (super interesting but I have no photos) and another was to a bakery that was built in 1652.

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Finally, we stopped at the Basilica of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. Beautiful, but we stopped here for forty-five minutes. Much too long — I was ready to get back to the city.

Alpaca (& others) farm

Alpaca & friends

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Fun facts of the day:

  • More people live in California than in Canada
  • You need 40 gallons of tree sap in order to make 1 gallon of maple syrup

Favorite sign:

  • “Anquites” (no, that’s not how you say antiques in French… it’s just totally misspelled).

The tour was great, but you definitely had to enjoy it at the speed of the slowest person; just like math class. You couldn’t stay later anywhere because then you’d be stranded; you couldn’t leave somewhere if it didn’t interest you as much because you had no way of getting anywhere.

We were almost always waiting for a few people after the time we said we would all meet back at the bus, so that put us behind schedule even more (the bus had already been late). We got back to Quebec City at around 6:15, so I walked around a bit in search of a restaurant. Starving, I finally sat down at a cute place with terrible music choices. I mean, they were fun for me because I was alone and able to sing along and not worry about making conversation, but seriously. This was a portion of their playlist:

  • It’s Raining Men
  • 9 to 5
  • Footloose
  • Don’t You (Forget About Me)

The hostess sat me down at a table outside and said, “you can sit here and people watch!”

She knows me so well.

I ordered the lobster club roll, but I didn’t really know what that even meant… Well, I was very, VERY pleased, to say the least.

YUM.

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After dinner I walked around for a little bit before heading to grab Shamanda and driving back to the apartment. The city looks so beautiful at dusk.

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Then I headed back, finished the last of the cookies, danced around to some musica, packed up, and then went to SLEEP!

And now I’m off!

Quick pit stop in Kingston, Ontario before heading to Toronto to end my tour!

2 Comments

  1. Don’t you hate it when you miss it all? When I was visiting Quebec and loving the old city I had NO idea that there were surrounds such as you’ve seen.
    Canyon Sainte-Anne is so breathtaking.
    Your photos of all of these places make me say…”what was that whirlwind visit (one night)” that I had in Quebec?
    I think I could definitely live in Quebec if indeed I could afford the historic area.
    I’m anxious to see your take on Toronto. I’m wondering if I got to the “bottom” of that city too.

  2. “Wear good shoes”

    So, did you go with the sparkly red pumps, or the strappy sandals for that jaunt?

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