We travelled to Shannon, QC in July for Jasper’s Christening, staying from July 6-13th.
Monday: Trip to Quebec
We left our house at 5:00am and arrived in Shannon a little after 5:00pm. On the way there we made stops in Port Hope for breakfast. We then stopped for about an hour and half at a Leash-Free Dog Park in Kingston. The park was really nice and right next to a kids park so the kids could also get a stretch break. We then stopped in Cornwall for a late lunch at McDs. While in Cornwall, we found a beautiful park on the St. Lawrence. We then drove straight from Cornwall without stopping, which was fine until we passed Montreal. The stretch from Montreal to Shannon was so boring. It was just trees, the same looking overpass every 10Km and then a police turnaround every 5 Km or so. And this repeated for 200Km!!! We arrived in Shannon a little after 5:00p.m. and the kids got to go for a quick swim and then we had lovely supper with Holly, Martin Cathy and Jack. After supper the kids started their sleepover and Marley and Merlin got to have some playtime in the Living room, wrestling for about 15 min.
Tuesday: Day in Shannon
On Tuesday we decided to spend the day around Shannon since we were so tired from travelling the previous day. So in the morning, the kids and I went to the Splash Pad and Holly and Melissa went to the Leash Free Dog Park with the dogs. We then went for a short visit to Jack and Cathy’s and the kids played in the yard while we visited on the back deck. We then spent the afternoon hanging out at Martin and Holly’s with the kids swimming and playing on the trampoline.
Wednesday: Trip to Citadel and Old Quebec
On Wednesday we got up and went to the Citadel with Martin, Holly, the kids and Auntie Cathy in time to watch the Changing of the Guard at 10:00am. It was a little windy watching them Change the Guard, but the kids and us really enjoyed watching the ceremony. They also got to see Batisse the Royal Goat of Quebec.
After the ceremony, Martin took us to his Mess to get some hot chocolate to warm-up. After the hot Chocolate, we got some lunch and ate in the Mess. This was really neat as it is not something we would be able to do without Martin. The mess was decorated with Swords and Shields on the ceiling and walls.
After that, we took a walk around the Citadel and checked out the Canons, Tanks, and breathtaking views of Old Quebec. The kids really enjoyed seeing the canons!!! We then quickly checked out the museum at the Citadel, bought a few gifts at the gift shop, took some pics put front and then headed out to the Boardwalk that wraps around the Citadel.
When we were there, we saw them setting up for the Summer Festival that is hosted on the Plains of Abraham for 2 weeks. We then walked down the boardwalk towards Old Quebec. When we got to the end of the Boardwalk. the kids posed for some pictures on some canons and then they all got some ice cream courtesy of Auntie Cathy. They then ate in the shadow of the Chateau Frontenac. At this point, Martin and Holly left to go and pick up Jasper from daycare and Cathy, Melissa, the kids and I carried on touring Old Quebec.
We headed down the Chateau and the kids spent 15 min watching a busker perform some street theatre under the statue of Samuel de Champlain. While the kids and I watched the performer, Melissa and Cathy went into the Chateau and checked out the main lobby.
After we tore the kids away from the performance we all rode the funicular down into Old Quebec. We then walked through old Quebec looking at the buildings and churches. We then took a return trip on the Ferry across to Levis, QC. We took the Ferry for two reasons: Firstly, the kids would get to ride across the St. Lawrence on a boat and have some fun and secondly, it would give us a a great view of Old Quebec from the St. Lawrence. The kids loved the Ferry. On the way back, Colton, Aiden and I explored every square inch of the ferry, while Abby, Sage, Melissa and Cathy checked out the view from the back of the ship.
After we returned we went and ate some Beaver Tails and did some shopping before we headed back to Martin and Holly’s. We must have went to 5 or 6 shops for the kids to choose something they wanted to buy. Aiden bought 2 different Quebec flags and Abby and Sage purchased matching wallets. Colton never found something he liked.
After we finished shopping, we started to make our way back to the Citadel which proved more challenging than we expected. We had almost made it back to the front of the citadel, but we turned around and headed back to the boardwalk because we thought that we had missed our street. This added an extra 20 min to our walk, but the kids didn’t seem to mind walking the boardwalk again. It also gave me the chance to scare the crap out of Sage and Abby. We had let the two girls walk ahead on the boardwalk with each other. When I had the opportunity, I snuck up behind them and when I was within 5ft, I screamed “ATTACK!!!!!.” It was hilarious!!!!! We did eventually make our way back to the van and headed back to Shannon for the evening.
Thursday: St. Anne de Beaupre , Monmorency Falls and the Splash Pad
On Thursday morning, we headed to St. Anne de Beaupre in the morning with Holly, Cathy, Sage and Colton. When we got to St. Anne, Cathy and Holly took the kids around the Basilica, while Melissa and I explored on our own. Inside St. Anne was breathtaking. In addition to all of the canes and crutches left by the people who had been healed by visiting the Basilica, the inside was breathtaking with small shrines to many saints at the back behind the altar (See videos below).
Videos from St. Anne
After seeing the Basilica, Melissa and I went downstairs to the Immaculate Conception Chapel which was in the basement. Also in the basement were the candles that had been lit by any visitors praying for someone. They bring them here until they burnout. We then went to the souvenir shop and purchased a few items. While getting the gifts, Cathy took all four children to visit the priest and have them blessed for the upcoming school year.
Immaculate Conception Chapel
Bells outside Bascilla
After we finished at St. Anne de Beaupre, we headed to Montmorency Falls. Instead of climbing the stairs at the Falls, we decided, since the kids were tired, to go the Hotel at the top of the falls to see the view. When we got there we had a lovely picnic that Cathy had packed for us and the kids. Uncle Jack had even cut the crusts off the sandwiches for them 🙂 This confused Aiden a little because he was not sure where to hold the sandwich and where to eat the sandwich. Once we broke it into a couple pieces he ate most of it up. During the picnic the kids enjoyed climbing some of the trees on the Hotel grounds.
After the picnic we all walked to the bridge and crossed the falls. The view was unbelievable, especially when you looked straight over the bridge down to the bottom. The bridge that you see in the distance takes you over to the Ile d’ Orleans. Also at the bottom of the falls someone had taken driftwood and written “Jesus Loves You” as well as some other words.
When we got across the bridge, which was a challenge for Melissa and Cathy given their fear of heights, we all posed for some family pics at the top of the falls. After that, the kids and I went for a run through some of the trails. After that, Cathy and I headed back to Shannon, while Holly and Melissa went to Holly’s work.
When we got back, the kids, Cathy and I met up with Sarah, Jake and Ella who had just arrived from Montreal and all headed to the Splash Pad and park to play. There, the kids and I played in the splash pad and had some fun on the swings with the Slow-Motion feature on the phone.
Slow-Motion Videos from the park
After that, the kids and I headed back to Martin and Holly’s, while Cathy, Sarah and the kids headed back to Cathy’s house for the night.
Friday: Picnic at the Bridge
On Friday morning, Holly and Melissa took the kids to park and splash pad to play, while Martin and I took the dogs to their park. After that, most of us went to the Jacques Cartier river for a picnic. Martin and Sage had to go home and to some stuff at the house. The place we went for the picnic was underneath the one-way bridge that leads into Shannon. We all had another picnic courtesy of Cathy and Jack (beer included!!!)
Picnic at Jacques Cartier River
After that we all went back to Holly and Martin’s and visited for a little while. We were joined there by Matthew who had arrived from Montreal after work and Nicole, Martin’s mother who had also come from Granby for the Christening on Sunday.
Saturday: Day in Shannon
On Saturday we spent the day around the house with the kids. Cathy and Melissa went shopping at Costco. Melissa loved it there because she could also sample beer at Costco!!! When they came home, we all had a restful afternoon visiting while the kids played in the pool and on the trampoline. At night after the kids went to bed, there was thunderstorm that we watched from the front porch of the house.
On Jasper’s Christening Day, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It ended up being in the high 20’s by the afternoon. In the morning, we finished getting the house ready for company and then we all got ready to go to the chapel. Jasper was Christened by the Padre at the Chapel on Valcartier base. We all arrived a little early and took some pictures before the ceremony.
The ceremony itself was lovely and really well done since it was the first one that the Padre had ever done in English. The Padre had a great sense of humour. During the ceremony, Grandma Nicole gave Jasper her keys to play with and when he threw them out to the front of the Chapel, he commented something to the effect: “That’s a nice donation to the church :)” Jasper was well behaved during the ceremony, only getting a little upset when Melissa had to hold him for a small portion near the end. He had no problems when the water was put on his forehead.
After the ceremony we all returned to Martin and Holly’s for snacks, cake and presents. We also took some group shots on the front lawn of the church and Holly’s as well before everyone changed out of their dress clothes. The kids, except for Aiden, all got in the pool and the adults visited for the afternoon. We then tidied up the house and packed a little for our trip home in the morning.
At the end of the evening, Martin and I had some Scotch, while I enjoyed the couch without any sheets on them for the first time!!! (The sheets have to be on the couch to keep Merlin’s drool from staining the couch).
Monday: Trip back to Mississauga
On Monday morning, Martin headed up to do some repairs on the camp that Holly’s workplace uses and Sage and Colton headed to Granby for a week with Grandma Nicole. Melissa and the kids then headed over to Jack and Cathy’s for a little visit while Marley and I walked there from Holly’s. We then headed out around noon and got back to Mississauga at 11:oopm. The drive home was uneventful with stops in a small community before Montreal for a short picnic, supper at Memorial Park in Cornwall and some stops at rest stops along the way.