Our short but sweet driving vacation to Quebec City was a lot of fun. We always have a great time in Canada so much so that our youngest wants to move there someday.
Last summer we drove to Ottawa to catch the Women’s World Cup Soccer Quarter Finals: U.S.A. versus China. This time, the old walled city beckoned.
I did some research to supplement my husband’s guide-book to plan our family vacation to Quebec City. I had earmarked: Aquarium du Quebec, Old City,Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec, Montmorency Falls, Samuel Champlain Walkway, and The Battlefields Park: Abraham’s Bus and the Odyssey experience at the Plains of Abraham. Read more…
My husband grew up in Monterey Bay and just from living there, knows more about marine biology than I do, and I studied Ichthyology in college! I grew up in a beach town also in Seal Beach, Southern California, but there wasn’t an aquarium nearby back then. But now there is!
The Aquarium of the Pacific is next door to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, one town over from Seal Beach. While the Aquarium of the Pacific can never match up to Monterey Bay Aquarium from location alone (it’s on the ocean’s edge where it dips into a deep cavern), it’s still a pretty nice aquarium to visit.
My son loves Canada. He was the first to declare that he’s moving to Canada if Trump wins, and his sisters agreed. We’ve been to Canada a few times; it’s a road trip for us and we’ve visited Montreal, Toronto, and Ontario for the Women’s World Cup.
Quebec City is considerably farther from our previous Canadian trips, but now our kids are old enough to handle the car ride. Instead of worrying about kids melting down in the car, we are a little worried by our inability to speak French. We are going to have to take a quick crash course, especially on food for reading menus.
My husband has been reading a guide book on Quebec City, but this is what I came up with.
Quebec City Day 1
image from Wikipedia
1. Aquarium du Quebec
We like aquariums. This one sounds great: Aquarium du Québec is a public aquarium located in the former city of Sainte-Foy in Quebec City. The 16-hectare facility is home to more than 10,000 animals representing more than 300 species. Read more…
My husband had it all figured out. The Women’s World Cup was going to be held in Canada and if we got really lucky, we would be able to watch USA Women’s National Team if they made the quarter finals. We watched all their games with excitement! The scores were tight but we were going to see them in Ottawa!
We had never been to Ottawa but had visited Montreal five times and Toronto once. Ottawa is Canada’s capital and famous for a fried dough treat called a Beavertail. It comes topped with an assortment of sweets including Nutella and candy. My kids were delighted to sample it!
The drive up took 10 hours due to an accident involving a semi truck transporting gas that shut down the highway such that everyone shut off their cars for nearly an hour.
We also stopped midway in Burlington, Vermont which is a lovely stop for foodies! Farm to table was invented here I think!
Getting out of Boston during Snowmageddon was a challenge since we were scheduled to fly out on Sunday during a snowstorm and the next flight out after that was three days later and probably full. My husband spent hours trying to book a new flight, knowing that our flight would be canceled and managed to pull off a flight that left three days earlier on Friday before school vacation. We pulled our kids out of school for the day, spent the night in Houston and then spent another night near the airport in Liberia, Costa Rica, because the house we rented wasn’t available earlier.
I have to say that it was totally worth the mad scramble to get out before Mother Nature shut down Boston Logan airport! Houston turned out to be a food mecca for TexMex and BBQ. On the recommendation of a Dad Friend who grew up in Houston, we went to Pappacitos for TexMex and their sister restaurant, Pappas for BBQ. Both were exceptional!
PickyKidPix desperately wanted to join her indoor soccer team on “trip of a lifetime” playing soccer in Italy with USA Premier Soccer so I used my hoarded stash of money from blogging to take her and Grasshopper and Sensei on a 10 day tour that covered:
Como (Lake Como where George Clooney has a house. We didn’t see his house)
San Marino (oldest surviving sovereign state and constitutional republic in the world)
My husband just got back from a trip to the U.K. It was golfing trip with buddies to celebrate his friend’s 60th birthday. When he got back, I asked him if we should go as a family. I had spent time in London and Cambridge, before kids, and I wanted take the kids on more international trips. Bonus points for England, too, since we wouldn’t have the language barrier.
From Boston, where we live in a suburb, it’s the exact same flying time (actually a half hour less) and approximate flight costs to go to California where our relatives are as to go to England. That’s tempting.
Can you believe that I have not chaperoned a field trip for PickyKidPix since she was in Kindergarten?! And now she is about to graduate from 5th grade to start Middle School!
I had two choices, The Museum of Fine Arts and The Freedom Trail so I asked my daughter to choose and she asked me to come on The Freedom Trail. I had not been on The Freedom Trail myself in over 12 years since we moved to Boston!
A History Lesson from The Freedom Trail
We met at Faneuil Hall, the cradle of liberty, where I discovered that this was a guided tour. This is Bob Miller, our tour guide, from Lessons on Liberty: Boston Freedom Trail walking tours with an 18th century living historian.
If you are thinking of traveling to Boston for a family vacation or a family reunion vacation, we just did a nice staycation. The Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge is a wonderfully child-friendly hotel that I’d recommend for being conveniently located and not astronomically expensive. There are lots of museums for kids: Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Science, and New England Aquarium. Of these three, the Museum of Science is large enough to handle crowds so plan on that for the weekend when museums are the most crowded.
Bonus feature is that you can take Boston Duck Tour from the Museum of Science as well. For the other two museums, I’d recommend going later in the afternoon when the little ones leave for their nap. You only need a few hours anyway. Read more…
Hi! I'm Mia Wenjen. I blog excessively about children's books. I am also the co-founder of Multicultural Children's Book Day on Jan 27th.
I'd love to chat with you. Let's connect! PragmaticMomBlog (at) gmail (dot) com.
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