Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Kurby, Jun 28, 2010.
Log in or Sign up to hide this advert.
Nice post,, thanks!
Well today was an off day from the planning stage. We kept it open in case weather prevented us from doing something one day during the week but since we had completed everything we wanted to we took advantage of this off day to pack and relax.
We decided to go over to the Delta for breakfast since earlier in the week we were told that we could use their pool since ours was closed. The breakfast there was ok. More families and far more kids then over at the Hilton. After breakfast we went to check out the pool and found it a lot smaller then our pool and in total sun by 10am. We had every intention of just slathering on the sunscreen and dawning t-shirts but when we arrived back at our hotel we found out that even though they were still doing renovations they had opened out a walk way to our pool through one of the hall windows so it was an easy choice. Our pool was still in complete shade and much bigger. Plus we were the only ones there for well over an hour, bonus.
Auntie decided to stay up stairs and read her book and just relax while we enjoyed the very nice cool water. Before long the air temp had dropped a few degrees and the wind picked up so there was a nice breeze coming across the deck. After a week in an oven who's complaining right.
When the 3 hour mark came we decided and our wrinkly bodies had had enough and we headed up stairs to start packing. Boy 3 people sure can pack a lot for 1 week LOL.
I had found out that Hilton had a kids club and decided to put Cassandra in for the afternoon and evening. She remembered the kids club on the Disney cruise and was excited to go down. I had thought that we'd only put her in for 2-2.5 hours while we finished packing then we'd get ready to go out for dinner until the lady told Cassie that she could have dinner then and have Mac and Cheese. No asking Cassie twice if she wanted to stay.
Patrick had found out that they were having a sea food buffet in the hotel so that was an dinner as both Helen and Patrick wanted to have it.
It was perfect timing too because the kids club was closing up at the same time we finished and headed over to pick Cassandra wonderful time and said she would do it again.
This morning we headed back to the "Crazy Pig" for breakfast and everyone had the same breakfast as before except Cassandra who opted for crapes with strawberries and bananas.
We got back to our hotel washed up, packed up the nights clothes and toiletries and waited about an hour before we needed to head to the train station. Good thing we were early too as of our departure had changed and i needed to go exchange our tickets for corrected ones. It wasn't that big a deal only delayed by 10 minutes which gave us time to take some pictures and chat with another family heading to Montreal.
Before long we were on our way to Montreal where we found out that the inbound train from Toronto was to be delayed by 20 minutes but it wasn't to impact our departure at 6pm and true to form on the 6pm dot our Toronto bound train started rolling out of the station.
With today's technology I'm sitting here typing this on the train as we cross the Quebec/Ontario boarder on VIA's free on board wireless. Cassandra and Patrick are both watching their IPods while Helen is reading a pretty large book. It's a beautiful travel day and we are at the start of what I think will be a beautiful sunset. Lots of fluffy and dense clouds in the sky should help a gorgeous red glow in the distance.
After turning on the GPS I can tell you that VIA's top speed runs around 145km per hour and when we travel parallel to the highways it's amazing how many cars actually keep up with us - tisk tisk tisk.
Well that brings our Quebec trip to a close. With a final photo wishing Cassandra sweet dreams on the train.
Hope you enjoyed our updates. Catch you in a weeks time when we head down to Richmond VA, Savannah GA and Disney World.
Glad you enjoyed your time in Quebec
You vacation sounds so lovely! How lucky your daughter is to have parents to take her on such a wonderful holiday and with more to come!!
I'm starting to add the photos to my posts.
i know their big - hope you guys don't mind
looks like you're going to wdw the same time as we are - hope you enjoy your vacation and lets both hope it's not an oven down there
sounds like you had a ton of fun! I'm here, subbing to hear about the rest of your trip
So glad you had a FABULOUS time in Quebec, Kurby!!!
VA, GA and then the WORLD!!!
And........................ we're off.
Day 1 of vacation 2
not really a day since we just drove from Toronto to Niagara Falls NY.
total driving time 2 hours. included rush hour traffic and the 3 minutes at the boarder.
can i just say THANK GOD FOR AC
Tonight we're staying in the Hampton Inn then off to Richmond. Approx a 9 hour drive. Being that tomorrow is Saturday I'm not expecting too much traffic - but i could be wrong.
So tonight we're going to hit the pool and hopefully completely wear out Cassandra. She has been non stop chatter since Quebec.
We got into our hotel last night around 7:00, ( Hampton Inn ) about 10 min from the Rainbow Bridge border, nice hotel. We got up around 7:30 this morning, had the complimentary continental breakfast packed up,got gas, and was on the road by 10. By lunch time we were driving through this really quaint little town called Ellicottville New York. The drive was just lovely. The scenery, weather and traffic couldn't be beat until about 4 when we happened upon the tail end of an amazing accident. One could only wonder what was going through not only the driver of the car but the people behind him as someone pulling a 28+ foot trailer took a corner too fast and watched as his trailer toppled over followed by his SUV.
Cassandra kept herself busy colouring and watching her IPOD. Most of the day. She is a good traveller but had her moments of madness but really who could blame her, sitting in a car for the 10 hour drive with only a few stops to stretch. One game we played with Cassie was tree counting, that lasted up til 33 then she admitted there were way to many. We were talking about all the trees that blanketed the mountains and could imagine how beautiful it would be to drive the route in the autumn
Can you spot the hidden Mickey??? ok not so hidden
Typical since i do al the driving
We arrived at the Embassy Suites hotel in Richmond VA just before 8.30 and are very impressed with the hotel. There is a beautiful indoor garden and water feature that runs through the lobby and in between the 2 sets of elevators right up to the breakfast area. We were given our room and headed up for a peak before getting our luggage and a good thing we did. Upon opening the door we encountered a messy room that looked like the previous guests were still there. Food, shoes, papers, towels and a messed up bed. A quick retreat to the front desk rectified the situation and we were off to our new room. A very nice 1 bedroom corner jr. suite. Perfect for us as we can put Cassie down for the night and sit and relax in the livingroom.
Cassie wanted to go exercise LOL too cute.
A bonus with this hotel is not only is the breakfast complementary but they also have an evening reception from 5.30 to 7.30 that includes wine, beer and appies.
Patrick and I are in the livingroom watching Shrek and Cassandra not sleeping on the king sized bed in the bedroom watching Shrek. Oops spoke too soon she's up. Patrick's off to read her a story and hopefully she'll fall asleep soon.
Tomorrow is a non-event day. We do he a few plans but we'll find out tomorrow what there is to do in the area and see if we should change what we're planning. We'll go for a drive, see whats around and take it from there.
Our non event day was well timed. We had a little sleep in, which in our case with early bird Cassandra meant 8am instead of 7am, and headed down for breakfast. Now I'm not much of a breakfast person but it was still nice and everyone enjoyed it. After breakfast Patrick took Cassie swimming while i set up a few things on the laptop and unpacked our stuff.
We love this program called Skype. Normally we use it to do video chatting with my aunt who lives in England but I just found out that for $3 I could get unlimited calling within the US and Canada. you can not get any better then that, so I downloaded the credits. By the time Cassandra and Patrick came up I had already called my parents, aunt (in Canada) and Patrick's mom. Then we called his aunt in Florida who we'll be seeing on Friday and my brother to wish him a happy birthday.
Now it's time to brave the heat and more over the humidity. We stepped outside and were slammed. Ohhhhhh I hope those Chilly Pads get to us at our resort. We needed a few things from Target which was closer then we thought and our car didn't even have a chance to cool down before we got there.
Baskin Robbins was right across the street sooooo we stopped in. Ya know - it's funny, to me, ice cream just doesn't cut it when it's 35 degrees and 98% humidity with 80% chance of rain. I'd have been happier with a very large jug of ice water. But i'm not complaining - it was still nice to have.
Enough is enough time to hit the pool. All the weekend guests who filled the hotel for 2 weddings and a reunion checked out this morning so the hotel was pretty empty. Cassie and I enjoyed the pool while Patrick took a nap.
This hotel puts on a managers reception on the weekends so after our nap we got ready and checked it out. It's a nice cocktail event. Basic snacks, cheese, veggies, and drinks. We have a few bites then headed to the Olive Garden for dinner.
We've only been once before years ago so we were really looking forward to checking it out. Cassie stuffed herself on cheese at the cocktail party so wasn't interested in eating so she sat and coloured while Patrick and I enjoyed our dinner. He ordered the "taste of Italy" and I had the mushroom ravioli.
LOVED it. The mushroom stuffing tasted exactly like what my mom makes when she makes beef wellington. yummmmy. We didn't get a dessert because we figure we'll be enjoying so many of them at Disney we can do without them this week.
After dinner we got to our car just before the heavens opened. Cassie was excited to walk in the rain when we returned to the hotel until the loudest clap of thunder she had ever heard hit followed by two or three huge bolts of lightning then all bets were off and she made a mad dash to the lobby door.
It's just 10pm and both Cassie and Patrick are fast asleep. Here i thought I was going to be the one who was wiped out with the heat.
Just stepped out on our balcony - Looks like the rain did it's job. It must be at least 10 degrees cooler. Ya i know it's 10 but this time last night it was still in the high 20's.
Today and tomorrow are Cassie's days. After breakfast we headed over the the Children's Museum of Richmond which is really more like a huge indoor play area for kids. She spent hours playing on a stage, in a kitchen, milking a cow, doing art and just having fun. If we let her she could have stayed all day but 3 hours is just about all most adults can take and we stayed 3 1/2 hours. Time to go.
We headed back for the hotel had a light lunch and headed for the pool for a few hours. This is where Cassie met a friend named Sierra. An easy name for her to remember since she has a friend back home with the same name. They played together in the pool for ages until her family finally packed up and headed up stairs. We stayed in the pool for a little longer then decided it was time to figure out what we were doing for dinner.
Cassie and Patrick went to the front desk to pick up some little advertisements of restaurants and brought them up stairs to sort through. Hummm hard choice. Hondos for steak and ribs, CanCan - a local favourite (or so the advertising says), Gibson's Grill (little more upscale then what we're looking for), Stronghill (a fine dining restaurant) and the Melting Pot for Fondue.
We and by we I mean Cassandra chose the Melting Pot. We got ready and took a nice 20 minute drive to their location for a 7.30 reservation. The restaurant was pretty dark with not much lighting above the table, just enough to see the menu but not much more. The stove or heating element was in the middle of the table. We chose the 4 course couples meal to be split between the three of us knowing that Cassie doesn't and wouldn't eat much.
Our first course started with the cheese fondue. yummy. We picked the traditional cheese over ones with blue cheese, beer and nut based. Our server Ariel, made the fondue right in front of us. She started with the wine, added garlic then the cheese, nutmeg and an alcohol i didn't catch the name of. We were given bread, veggies and apples for dipping. This was followed by a salad for Patrick and myself then our main course. A very nice veggy broth with pork, chicken, tuna, steak and shrimp. plus veggies and a few dumplings. Cooking time was 1 - 3 minutes depending on what was on the stick. Cassie didn't eat much of this course, which I didn't think she would, but instead saved all her room for the next and final course. Chocolate fondue.
We had several recipes to choose from and decided on S'mores Fondue. Another Cassie pick. Again it was set up in front of us only this time was set a flame much to Cassandra's surprise. Chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers. We were given strawberries, brownies, rice crispy squares, cheesecake, marshmallows and pound cake for dipping. We all really enjoyed this course.
During our meal the manager came buy to say hello (when I called to make a reservation I asked for directions from our hotel and the girl asked where we were from since we were coming from a hotel, I mentioned Canada and she must have written it down) and to ask where in Canada we were from. When we said Toronto he let us know that they are about to start renovations on 3 locations in and around Toronto and would love to invite us to the opening of the first one in Ontario. This would be the second Canadian location as they have one already in Edmonton. How exciting, being invited to the opening of a new restaurant.
By the time we finished up it was just past 10pm. A very tired Cassandra was sleeping before we even pulled out of the parking lot.
KURBY, such great great pictures!!! You are all having so much fun!!! Cassie is such a doll-baby!!! Always smiling in each picture, what a "ham"!!! She just loves spending time with her Mom and Dad!!! And her little outfits are so cute, right down to her flipflops and sandals.
Your food pics ... awww ... YUMMMMY!!!
Carrrrrry on ....
After last nights late night dinner I thought Cassie would sleep in but noooooo 7am rolled around and up she sprang. Luckily Patrick got up with her this time and let me sleep in an extra hour.
Another breakfast in the hotel then back to the hotel to get the address and make reservations for the Maymont Estate. We found out they opened at 12 so we had time to start packing in preparation for leaving tomorrow.
Richmond is not a very large city so it didn't take us too long to get there, about 15 minutes. The Maymont estate is a 100 acre Victorian country estate on the banks of the James River and was donated to the city of Richmond by Major and Mrs. James Dooley in 1925 after Mrs. Dooley passed away. Major Dooley passed in 1922.
When we arrived we didn't realize that the parking lot in front of a formidable gate was actually the entrance that is the original gate from 1883. We parked and headed up the very long path that we soon found out was the severance and delivery road. Along the way we passed the stables, garden house and many other unnamed buildings. Eventually we came to the Carriage house and boarded our carriage for a beautiful 20 minute ride around the garden.
We were taken to the front gate and told that this was indeed the route the Dooleys and guests would have been brought in by carriage and later car. Our ride took us to around the house and through the carriage cover where we were told they guests would have been greeted by the butler as they exited their coach. Before long our journey was over and we bid farewell to our tour guide (and his 5 year old daughter)
We took the hot walk back to the house for the inside tour and were very glad we did.
James Dooley was the son of wealthy Irish immigrants and after graduating first in his class from Georgetown College he enlisted and fought in the Confederate army.
After the Civil war he established a law practice in his war torn city. A few years he met and married Sallie May. in the decade that followed James served 3 terms in the state legislature.
He and other prosperous residence were instrumental in rebuilding and expanding the southern railways.
Having no children to inherit their wealth Dooleys left the bulk of their wealth to several Richmond organizations and upon Sallie's death in 1925 and in accordance with her husband's will, she left Maymont to the City of Richmond to be used as a museum and park. However, no endowment was made for its ongoing care so they relay on donations from the public.
Sallie too came from wealth and was famous in her own right. An author, she had a book published in 1906 called "Dem Good Ole Times". A romanticized interpretation of Virginia plantation life.
This home in Virginia was the couples winter and smaller home at 1200 square feet. Their summer home called Swannanoa is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and at 2500 square feet is more than double the size of their main home. In a sad state the summer house has been left and is in major disrepair and is very difficult to get in to see. Some photo are presented in Maymont and one can only imagine how beautiful it once was. Sallie played an active role in developing the estate gardens and brought many different plants and trees not native to the area.
Unfortunately we were not permitted to take any video or photos inside the house which is a shame because it was absolutely beautiful and showed just how wealthy they were at the time. A house for just the two of them also housed 8 house help and more then 20 grounds help.
We decided not to take a walking tour of the gardens as it was getting far too hot and Cassie was very thirsty. When we got back to the car we weren't shocked to see it was 104 degrees in the shade. Before too long Cassandra was sound asleep and we weren't too far behind her.
This is what 10 degrees looks like
We headed back to the hotel and when Cassie woke up we went for a swim. I can honestly say I don't think we've ever been in the pool this many times in one vacation.
The managers reception was being held again tonight rather going out for dinner we decided to just have nibbles instead. Tonight we were again offered on the house beer and wine along with mixed drinks and soft drinks. For eats we had little pizza slices, pop corn, cheese and veggies/dip.
It's now 8pm and we're hoping Cassie falls asleep soon so we can finish packing so we can just leave after breakfast tomorrow and head down to Savannah.
Richmond has been a nice city to visit and I think we'll return (just not in the middle of the summer again.)
Followed you over from my report...what a great vacation you are having! Quebec City looks so beautiful!! I'm thinking this will have to go on the "short trips" list for a future date!
The heat has been unreal, hasn't it?! And it doesn't look like it's going to break around here anytime soon. But, I bet you'll still have a great time in Disney too - you'll get to know the pool area very well!
Today's another travel day. Last night we got everything all packed up and ready to go so that when after breakfast we could just wash up, put the stuff in the car and leave. While Cassandra was getting dressed Patrick took a few of the bags down then we headed off for breakfast.
We set off by 9.30. The drive was actually pretty good. With very little traffic on the road we made good time. At one point we stopped for gas, looked east and saw the sky had turned very dark. With a crack of thunder we knew it would be a race to see who would get to Savannah first, the storm or us. For the next 2 hours the dark skies remained in the rear view mirror.
We arrived at our hotel just past 6.30 ahead of what we thought would be a huge storm. It turns out it got tired of following us and changed directions, though we could still see the dark skies off in the distance it looks like other parts of Georgia weren't so lucky.
We're staying outside the historical district which is unfortunate. It would have been great just to be able to go for a walk but where we are there isn't anything worth seeing so tomorrow we'll go on one of the bus tours to see the city.
I called last night and had to leave a message for the bus tour company. I found their site online and it said we had to book the 3 hour tour 48 hours in advance. I hopped it would be ok otherwise we'd just do the 90 minute tour which would have been fine just not as much info. By 9am I hadn't received a call back so I decided to call them instead of waiting any longer. We were in luck, there were 4 spaces left and we're just 3 so we got it. Now, the women on the phone said Cassie would be free but we ended up being changed half our cost for her which I don't mind because she does take a seat, it's just what happens when we're going that kills me LOL.
We got ready and headed down stairs. It was a 3-0 decision. We don't like the breakfast here. The french toast tasted like cardboard, the eggs and been scrambled within an inch of their lives and were nothing but little egg bits and the waffles took forever to cook and were the only ok things there. We'll skip breakfast here tomorrow and opt for paying for it at Mickey D's.
Rather that going swimming again or sitting in our room we decided to take a drive around then headed to the ocean. It's pretty far but we had time before we had to meet the bus at 1.30. The roads and houses at Turtle Island reminded us of Virginia Beach cottages or the houses around the beach near Daytona. By the time we got out there we didn't really have time to walk around which was ok because Cassie was starting to fall asleep so we turned around and headed back to the bus tour location and arrived with 25 minutes to spare.
Our tour of Historical Savannah started at 2 and ended just before 5pm and in between we were amazed with the history of this city. A city made up of 5 "squares" with 40-50 houses around each square. The first was developed in the 1733 when General James Oglethorpe brought 40 families from Britain. If anyone's interested in reading about how Savannah was formed go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squares_of_Savannah,_Georgia it really is interesting.
An interesting movie fact about one of the squares, The Chippiwa Square (one of the original 5 squares) was where Forrest Gump sat, spoke to those who sat beside him and ate his chocolates during the movie "Forrest Gump". The red house across from where Forrest sat was used as Mathew Broadrick's house in the movie "Glory" when he played a confederate army officer.
By the half way point of the tour we found ourselves down at the river front. We were given 15 minutes to walk around, get a snack and see the river before boarding for the second half of the tour which brought us to the newer but still pretty old parts of the city. Very different lay out and house design. More Victorian as a lot of these house had been built in the 1800's. It was an excellent tour and I'm really glad we were able to get into the this one.
After the tour we headed over to a restaurant that advertises in the tour companies lobby. BBQ and the south seem to go hand in hand. Patrick ordered the bbq pulled pork but after being given a sample of 3 of the sauces I opted for the fried chicken. While Patrick really liked the sauce I found it too spicy. We did get a bottle free to take home so we chose the less spicy original but I'm not likely to have any at home.
We had though of going back to the beach after dinner but it was just too far away and it's a good thing too because by the time we got back to our room and looked out the window there was a pretty major lightening storm over where the beach was.
So it's 10pm and Cassie has just fallen asleep all excited to be going to Florida tomorrow. We are seeing Patrick's aunt first and then should be heading to our Disney resort for around dinner time.
And with that we bid Savannah adieu.
Savannah sounds so interesting and beautiful! Did you take any pics of the houses?
sounds like your having a great time!
i did but they were still uploading when i went to bed last night.
i took more video then photos - it was hard to take a lot of pictures because the flash kept wanting to go off and it would hit the window.
i will post what i took later though - today is DISNEY DAY and wre packing up to leave early to get to Patrick's aunts early then to leave early. hehehe
Separate names with a comma.