CANADA, EH?!

We just got back from a whirlwind adventure to Canada, and we have been itching to share all of our stories with you!  So here it is!

We have been to Canada once before and we absolutely LOVE it.  We have some wonderful friends, Jordan and Emily, who live in Ottawa, and our first visit was for their wedding.  This time was to visit them and to welcome their new baby girl Grace to the world!  Grace is just 4 months old, but she is already quite the adventurer!  She quickly melted our hearts 🙂

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Meet Grace! Isn’t she precious?!

GETTING THROUGH TSA

This was our first time traveling with all of our camera gear, and of course I got searched.  I guess my luck streak of never getting searched and always getting to go through the “fast lane” (i.e. pre-check) ran out this trip.  At DIA, they decided to pull everything out of my camera bag and search it all.  They even went so far as to asking me what each piece of equipment was for.  It was a bit of a headache, but I got through it and went on my way.

Steph getting searched by TSA

Steph getting searched by TSA

After a brief layover in Washington, DC, we headed on to Ottawa, where Jordan picked us up from the airport and we headed back to their house.  Baby Grace was already asleep, but I got to peek in and at least look at her precious face that evening.  We chatted a bit with Jordan and Emily and then headed to bed so we could rest up for the next day.

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ARRIVING IN QUÉBEC

Sunday morning, we headed out pretty early and made our way into Québec.  After stopping at Schwartz’s for smoked meat sandwiches in Montréal, we continued on our way.  Our first adventure in Québec was ice skating.  Not just any ice skating, though.  We ice skated through about 12km of wooded trails in this amazing place called Domaine de la Forêt Perdue in Trois-Rivières.  This was such a cool adventure!  The park has a ropes course in the summer as well.  In the winter, they freeze all of the trails in ice, run a Zamboni over it, and open it to ice skating.  Bonus: there are petting zoo animals every so often.  So you basically skate a while, stop and pet a goat, skate some more, stop and pet an alpaca… so cool!  We put Grace in her stroller and skated with it, and that was a really easy and fun way to include her in the adventure!

After skating, we stopped at the maple taffy hut at the entrance and got ourselves some maple taffy.  We had been in Canada for all of one day and had already ice skated through the woods, eaten maple taffy, and traveled through 2 provinces.  I’d say we were doing pretty well!

We headed out from Troi-Rivières and headed to our condo in Lévis, which was across the St. Lawrence River from Québec City.  We had some amazing views from our condo!

View of Quebec City from our condo in Levis

View of Quebec City from our condo in Levis

BRONCOS NATION: CANADA STYLE

Sunday evening was Super Bowl Sunday, and our Broncos were taking on the Panthers!  So we decided to give Jordan and Emily a little taste of Super Bowl etiquette in the States, so we fixed some hot wings, onion rings, chips and salsa, and kale chips to watch the game.  We also brought them some Broncos gear (with Miss Grace in the most adorable Peyton Manning jersey and football toque) so they could watch in style!  Broncos won and my boy Von Miller won MVP!  Couldn’t have asked for a better night!

Cheering on the Broncos in Canada!

Cheering on the Broncos in Canada!

EXPLORING QUÉBEC CITY

We crossed the river on the ferry and explored Québec City in all her beauty on Monday.  It is such a gorgeous city and has a very European look to it.  Being winter, the whole city was decorated and snow-dusted, which made it even more beautiful.  We checked out several local areas as well as more touristy areas.  We stopped at a local pub for lunch and then grabbed some vin chaud (hot wine) at a local shop before heading back to the condo.

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BACKWARDS RIVER

As we headed back across the river on the ferry, Nate and Jordan both thought that the river was flowing the opposite direction from what it was that morning.  I thought they were crazy.  Emily thought it may have something to do with the tides.  But we all just wrote it off as being turned around.  However, once we got back to the condo and had a point of reference, we all agreed that the river was flowing in the wrong direction… what the heck?!  Well, turns out Emily was absolutely correct!  That point of the river was close enough to the ocean that the tides coming in and out actually affected the flow of the river.  So, even if you don’t watch our full video, watch that portion of the time lapse of the river CHANGING DIRECTIONS (7:21 to 8:31 in the video above).  Weird.  But pretty cool!

CARNAVAL DE QUÉBEC

Tuesday, we drove back over to Québec City to go to the Carnaval de Québec!  The Carnaval is a big tourist attraction and we really wanted to see it.  It was certainly worth it!  They had a gorgeous ice castle with nearly everything inside of it made of ice, including an ice pool table!  Fun!  Across the street from the ice castle were the Carnaval activities.  We did ice sled races (similar to a bobsled, sort of), human foosball, human bowling balls, and an obstacle course.  They also had snow sculptures that were gorgeous, and they had dog sledding and sleigh rides, but we opted out of those.  Overall, the Carnaval was so much fun and we were very glad we got to experience it!

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HOCKEY: CANADA’S SPORT

Once we headed back to Ottawa, Nate and Jordan played some ice hockey in the local community ice rink (basketball course in summer, ice rink in winter).  It was quite cold out, and the beers that Emily and I brought to them actually froze while they were drinking them!  Canada Problems, ha!

Thursday evening, we got to see an NHL game in Canada, which was pretty neat!  It was even better that the Colorado Avalanche just happened to be playing the Ottawa Senators that night, so we donned our Avs gear and Jordan and Emily wore their Senators gear.  Nate and I have been to an Avs game in Colorado, but the atmosphere in Ottawa was much different.  The fans take the game much more seriously, so it made for an intense feeling, which was great!  And the Avs won, which made it even sweeter for us!  Man, the Broncos win the Super Bowl and the Avs won in Ottawa:  I think Canada is pretty good luck for our teams!

Friday, Nate and Jordan played some more hockey before we had to pack up and leave.  Nate is certainly a natural at all things athletic, and hockey seemed to come pretty easily to him as well.  I enjoyed watching, as I am no ice skater!

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Check out the Video!

PACKING UP, HEADING OUT

After we packed up and said our goodbyes, Jordan took us to the airport.  It was bittersweet leaving Canada.  We had an amazing time there but we were anxious to get back to our adventure in Backpack and we also had a stopover in Washington, D.C.!  Stay tuned for our post about our D.C. layover!

Until next time, Happy Adventures!  Subscribe below for the latest posts right to your inbox!