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Quirky in Quebec

As we first drove into Quebec we stopped off alongside the St Lawrence River as our road into the city was right next to it. It was a great introduction to Quebec, to admire the view on such a stunning day.

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From then on, it just got even better. Our hotel (Hotel Jardine Ste-Anne) was situated right in the center of Quebec City which meant we got a sneak peek before we set out to explore. We drove up and down the cobbled streets, round and round one roundabout and finally down a cute small street to our hotel- so glad it was valet parking as getting down the street was enough lol.

Our hotel was in an old building but part of a new building, Mother was very happy that we were on the old side as it adds to the character of the stay. The building was an old house/home and converted into a hotel and it was very cute as it had a living room and a fireplace at the top of the stairs.

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Of course, pretty much straight away we went out to explore. We were located close to a square which I believe is called Place d’Armes, this was surrounded by lots of restaurants and shops as well as the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. It was just so lovely, honestly felt like I was on holiday (I know I was but in the same country mostly doesn’t feel like you are). And I must say Quebec city was my favourite place of our road trip! I think mum can agree?!

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We eat lunch and dinner here- delicious!
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Guy playing some absolute bangers whilst we were eating dinner!

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For the first day (half a day after we arrived), we spent the day roaming part of the city. It was lovely weather, some may say a little hot but I never moan about warm weather! We ate, we took in the scenery and tried to be that little bit french that day. The second day, we drove to a nearby waterfall (it is saying on google maps a 45 minute drive but I’m sure it only took us 10 minutes lol) which was nice to see, but you can only look at waterfalls for so long ey.

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We then headed back to the city to roam some more (areas we hadn’t got too the previous day) and found some right gems!

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I couldn’t recommend Quebec city enough to anyone, I would visit anytime and would also like to see it in the winter (I bet its beautiful). If anyone has visited in the winter, please let me know in the comments if its worth going? I feel I have more pictures than words in this blog post but I’m hoping the pictures do it justice.

 

Until next time…

Jollie xxx

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Road Trippin’ with Momma

I feel like I need to start of by explaining my absence- now there is really no excuse but (I hate it when people say this but now I understand) I have been extremely busy this summer. The good news though is I have plenty of stories to tell and lots of places I’ve been and seen. So I will start from the beginning, my mum came to visit me after 16 months of not seeing her. You can imagine my excitement! 🙂

Now here was the plan, the first two days she got here I decided to show her the 6 (Toronto- it’s what us folk refer to it as here 😉 drake influence you know). We went up the CN Tower to the 360 Restaurant for dinner and to watch the sun set and then on the Saturday, shock I took her to Niagara falls. But then we did go to Niagara on the lake, which was new to Jamie and I and let me tell you- its gorgeous. It’s a cute little town which actually has a lot of British influence.

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Momma & Me 🙂

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The Lake of course
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The British influence inspired me to have Fish & Chips, yum!

Now after I had shown my mum the typical tourist attractions in Toronto and Niagara, it was time to hit the road for out ROAD TRIP. First thing Sunday morning, we were off… first stop was OTTAWA (the Capital of Canada)!

It took us about 5 hours to get to Ottawa and it decided to torrential rain as well which didn’t make it any easier. Now I would say I am a confident driver back in the UK but driving in Canada is a different story. I would love a Canadians perspective on this, but I think the drivers out here on insane. Everyone cuts each other up, goes so fast- it really doesn’t surprise me how many accidents there are. Anyway we arrive in Ottawa around mid afternoon and were worried we weren’t going to have much time to explore as we were leaving the next morning. I can tell you now, we were wrong… we explored what we wanted of Ottawa all in that afternoon.

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Our B&B for the night: Auberge ‘The King Edward’ B&B

I would definitely recommend staying at this B&B if staying in Ottawa. The host was very pleasant and gave us all the information on Ottawa we needed, as well as some recommendations on where to go after (we’ll come onto this). AND he has a dog, which is always a bonus for me… AND the breakfast was delicious… it had me at homemade breakfast muffins, croissant with Nutella, granola- all that good sweet stuff lol. They do savoury options as well but if you know me…IMG_5194.JPG

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View of parliament

Personally, Ottawa didn’t do it for me, an afternoon was enough there. But if you are interested in Parliament, Museums and spending over the odds for dinner in Byward market then this is the place for you.

Now the next day we were heading up to Montreal, and our host recommended driving on the Quebec side and to go through a small town called Montebello. Here there is the largest Fairmont Chateau in the world and let me tell you, it is grand. This is definitely what I like about meeting people and the advantage of having a car… to be able to discover treasures like this that we wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for our B&B host.

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The outside looks like pencils

DSCF4191.JPGDSCF4203.JPGWe literally stayed here an hour as thats all we had on the car park lol, so we had a cup of tea, admired the Fairmont Le Chateau Montebello and left; short and sweet!

Next we went to Montreal for a 1 night stay, unfortunately the weather was shocking and a lot was closed because of the rain. Click here to read what I got up to the other times I have visited Montreal.

This was unfortunate for my mum because I wanted to show her Montreal but hopefully our next stop made up for it… QUEBEC CITY!!! I’m just going to say it now, I love Quebec City!IMG_5257.JPGIt’s so strange cause as we drove towards Quebec city, the weather just got brighter and brighter… its like we drove out of the storm and came into the light. It was perfect and as you can see from the above picture, I (and we) was excited! Click here to see what we got up to in Quebec city (I wanted to do a separate post as we stayed for a few days and got up to lots).

After a great few days in Quebec city it was time to make our way back to Toronto, but it is an 8 hour drive (it doesn’t sounds a lot but when we drove to Montreal which is 6 hours, we said we would never do that in one day again). So, we decided to stop off somewhere on the way. Mum had definitely done her research and was reading about Canada and saw a place called a thousand islands, which I googled and it looked cute so thats where we stopped!

It was just over a 5 hour drive from Quebec city, one positive about driving in Canada, well Ontario/Quebec specifically it is very simple. A lot of the roads are highways so its easy to navigate, the tricky part is the cities (and the crazy drivers). As well different provinces have different rules such as you can turn right on a red light in Ontario but you cannot in Quebec. Also, always research which side of the road you are driving on- we have been here over a year now and I have definitely spent some time on the wrong side of the road.

When we got to our B&B in Thousand Islands, Gananoque we were blown away by the view as well as the house we were staying at. Riverview B&B, Lansdowne House was on Thousand Island Parkway which runs along side the River. All of the properties along this road have a pretty stunning view as you will see below.

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The evening we arrived, we went into the town which was like a 10 minute drive away and found a cute place to eat. The town of Gananoque is very cute and picturesque. The houses are adorable and the lake is calming and beautiful. We had a little stroll around before heading back to get some kip.

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The Gananoque Inn

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Dessert with a view

The final day of our trip we only had a 3 hour drive back to Toronto, so we booked onto a boat trip around the thousand islands in Gananoque. The boarder to the States is located in the middle of the water so its interesting to which islands are on which side. This was a nice and cute end to our road trip.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about Mother and I’s 5 night, 6 day road trip, it was a great adventure to endure while my mum came to visit and I was so happy that I got to spend some quality time with her as well as exploring together. Mums last 2 nights we spent at home in Toronto before the dreaded goodbye. Miss you mum, come back soon! Xxx

Jollietravels (well Hollie in this case) xxx

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Niagara Falls!!!

The beautiful wonder of the world, that is, Niagara Falls!!! I will admit, it is truly stunning- but… I have seen this stunning wonder 3 times already and funnily enough I am going tomorrow too lol- my mum is visiting me and I haven’t seen her in 16 months!!!!!DSCF3360

First things first though, I’m not sure about you guys but I thought Niagara Falls was in Toronto, or at least near it… it is not! It’s in Niagara (who’d of thought?!), well I guess it’s not too too far away, it’s about a 2-and-a-half-hour drive, or about 3 hours on public transport (train and bus) or there is a bus trip you can buy from Toronto to Niagara Falls and Niagara on the lake (which I haven’t been too yet, but will be going tomorrow- so stay tuned). Niagara has many different aspects to it, you have the falls; which really do take your breath away. You have the strip of Niagara (Clifton Hill), which to be honest (don’t hate me) reminds me a little of Skegness (UK), I think it takes away from the natural aspect of the falls as it is a very built up and kid friendly. It has a little fair, every fast food restaurant (except McDonalds funnily enough), gift shops, treat shops, a Ripley’s Believe it or not, casinos and much more.

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The Strip

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Then you have ‘The Q’ which is Queen St in Niagara. It is a shame because The Q seems like it was the hustle n bustle once upon a time, but now you just see closed down businesses and hotels. You’re just waiting to see the tumbleweed roll across the road. It is very airy, but it’s kinda cool and calming.

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The Q is where Jamie and I got off the bus and walked from to the falls, it was so nice to see the cute little houses overlooking the lake, which is so sooooooo blue- it’s gorgeous!!! It’s also crazy to think that you are looking directly at the states. Some of the houses have the Canadian flag outside and then on the other side they have the American flag.

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Smaller falls before the Great Niagara Falls

As you get closer to the falls, you can certainly hear the roar of the water falling. It’s exciting, I will let you know though- the actual falls is the last one you see lol there are other falls as you are walking to it and Jamie and I kept getting excited like is this one it? But it wasn’t, and then when you see the actual Niagara Falls you are like ‘ahhh that’s it!!!’.

Now there are different ways you can see the falls, obviously from the side walk, by boat (Maid of the Mist), behind the falls and there is a zip line you can do in front of the falls (which Mum and I will be doing tomorrow). All the others I have done already- so I thought I would share my array of photos with you so you can see the view from each. I will also link all of them, so if you are stopping by Niagara Falls, you know where to go! 😉

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On Maid of the Mist
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Behind the Falls
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Top of the Falls

I hope you have enjoyed the pictures… I feel this post is more pictures than words but it’s something you have to see for your own eyes- the Niagara Falls talks for itself and its truly stunning! See you in my next one.

Jollietravels xxx