Day 18 - Team America, we are not
[Since I just typed this, I'll simulcast it from our blog]
So, we're in Quebec for the day, heading down to Quebec City. We know nothing, really, about Quebec, and we don't speak French, at all. This could be fun...
So far in Quebec we'd been in the country side, but as we progressed south we were entering their version of civilization. Here we began to encounter some interesting brands, our favorites being "Couche-Tard" (can someone please translate this??) and PFK .
Further down the road we stopped for lunch, at a McDonald's. Our thoughts were - 'at least we know what's on the menu'. I attempted to order the Bacon and Cheese Angus combo, which went fairly well, while Lindy went the order-by-number route, 'Great Succes!' /Borat. Unfortunately, a wrench was thrown into my plan when we sat down at the table and I found my burger was incorrectly made as the mushroom Angus variant, and I hate mushrooms.... So I made the long walk back to the counter to attempt to get a replacement burger, how, I wasn't sure. My transaction with the manager went something like this:
Manager - something in French
Me (pointing at burger with bun removed) - "No" "ummm" "Bacon?"
Manager - something in French
Me (pointing at the correct picture on the menu) - "Bacon, si vous plait"
Manager - something in French
Me (looking more confused than ever) - "Bacon?!?!"
Manager - says something in French and takes my burger, comes back with correct one
Me - "Gracias, I mean, Merci!"
With some food in our stomach's we headed off, but couldn't help but notice there might be more of a downtown than what we had thought. Sure enough, we were on the outskirts of St. Paul (I think) and there was a really quaint downtown area, so we took advantage of the break in the rain (did I mention it had been raining all day thus far?) and walked around town for a bit.
A while later we reached the edge of Quebec City. Lindy had the bright idea to flip on the radio as we hit the interstate to see what French radio was like. We were shocked when the station it landed on was playing "Numa Numa" and we busted out laughing, so we proceeded to blast Numa all the way through Quebec City on the highway heading towards our supposed campground for the night, a KOA! (technical note - KOA's are not always our chosen method to camp, but based on past experiences being near cities, we figured it was a safe bet). We checked in, located our site, and weighed our options for getting into the city for the evening. We found out that dogs were not permitted on the shuttle buses, so we opted to drive in and look for street parking.
Being dumb Americans, we cruised right into the fortified city of Quebec and were greeted with streets barely big enough for a Fiat, much less our (small by our standards) Tacoma. The French stared in disbelief as we struggled to navigate the maze of tiny one-way streets to get back outside the walled part of the city, where there was ample street parking.
After JD expressed his feelings by urinating on the welcome sign, we spent the next couple hours wandering and sight seeing, even getting to walk around on top of the fortifications, so I'll just wrap this post up with an assortment of photos.
Last edited by CLynn85; 05-14-2012 at 04:45 PM.
Day 19 - Coming to America
Today was fairly straightforward. The rain started last night, and continued all day long. We packed up camp and headed for the border, other than the ridiculously long lines, we skirted through with no problems. Once in Vermont we began to see signs of the destruction that Irene's passing a couple weeks prior had left behind with roads closed and bridges washed out everywhere. It was still pouring rain, so we found a state park and set up camp, there was a break just long enough for JD to go for a walk and view some local wildlife, but that was about it. We deployed the awning so we could at least dine outside the camper, but with the unrelenting rain quickly retreated to the camper. After a couple wet nights the canvas was finally starting to saturate and our bedding was starting to get wet, I was starting to get my fill of rain, as this has undoubtedly been the wettest trip we've ever done.
Our view for most of the day
JD's new friend
Day 20 - Free Samples and a Long Ride Home
When we woke up it was still raining, but thankfully it began to taper off quickly. We packed up our still wet camper once again and headed off to our first stop of the day - Cabot Cheese. Anyone who's unfamiliar with the brand is missing out. If you have the opportunity to get a hold of some of their Vintage choice, do it! We hit up the sample table, bought enough cheese to fill up whatever space was left in our 60qt fridge, and took the tour. Photos don't really do it justice, so I'll omit them in exchange for the Cabot logo.
Stop number two - Ben & Jerry's. I'll be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the trendiness that is Ben & Jerry's, nor do I really get into all the funky flavors. But I can respect where they come from, and I love ice cream, so why not. At least I got to find out why they killed one of the few funky flavors I liked, 'White Russian'.,
Further down the road we stopped at 'The Vermont Country Store'. Lindy had read about it somewhere and it sounded neat, so we made another touristy stop. This place is basically the Cracker Barrel general store on steroids, but we didn't really find anything that we could really get into, so we left empty handed.
Our plan for the night was originally find another campground and take our time going home on backroads. Unfortunately though, we were getting pretty tired of the dismal weather, and figured we'd instead shoot for Connecticut, with the hope of couch surfing with some friends. We finally were able to reach them on the phone mid afternoon, only to find out they were out of town for the evening. We faced two choices, random hotel, or drive home. Nevermind the fact that our day started at 7am and we were a long long way from Fredericksburg and running on minimal sleep with a ton of traffic on the highways between us and our destination, we said screw it, and decided that unless there come Hell or high water, we were making it home tonight. Several hours later, we pulled into the drive at 4am, and slept in our own beds.
Gotta love the eulogy to the white russian...!
Saw this video and it reminded me of this thread.
Wow that guy is enthusiastic! Wish we could've spent more time there, it really was bizarre though with it being lushy green on one side of the road and mars-like on the other side.
yeah, when you start licking the rocks I've got to wonder (and maybe want) whatever it is you're smoking.
Great report, all here in my necks of the woods, I can't wait to hit the Trans Lab Hwy someday, thanks for the inspiration.
Thanks for sharing.