Using bicycles as transportation is not foreign to us since we biked a fair amount when we lived in New Zealand. It was out of necessity since we didn’t rent a car the majority of our time there. But one of the bonuses of driving our own vehicle up to Canada is that we could bring our own bikes and ride for “leisure”. As in, no hauling bags and bags of groceries along with us around Québec.
The other day was our first family bike ride with all 4 of us together. Natasha has now graduated from riding in a bike trailer to riding on a “giraffe” bike, or tag-along bike as seen below. Daniel found it here in Québec on their equivalent of Craigslist. It can be folded, and there’s room in the trunk for it to go back to the States with us for future family rides. Daniel has picked up the sport (do I call it that? Maybe it’s an activity.) of mountain biking in the last year or so and the mountain bike trails around Québec are one of the main reasons we made it a point to bring the bikes.
I am thrilled to have my very own Dutch City style bicycle, a Papillionaire, which Daniel completely surprised me with on my last birthday. It makes me so happy and I feel very European pedaling along. I have my own little riding companion too. Lincoln is a happy little fella, who stares up at the trees and sky while contentedly sucking on his fingers. I carry him on my front in the Asian style soft-structured baby carrier I made. When he’s a little bigger, I can put him on my back, but until then he’s perfectly cozy on my front.
There is a fantastic bike path not far from our house and it goes ALL the way into Old City Québec. I have told Daniel twice now, “I love bike paths.” It’s super nice to avoid traffic and ride on a paved surface dedicated for cycling.
The first couple days or so in a new country always leave me feeling a little out of my comfort zone. It takes me a while to feel at home with my new surroundings, figure out how to fall into a routine and get accustomed to the workings of the kitchen. Getting out for fresh air always helps, but it’s usually the last thing I think of. Not sure why. This particular outing was needed for me and Natasha, who is just as disoriented without her normal bedroom and amusements from home. Daniel was, away grocery shopping. It seems like that’s all he does the first couple days in a new country, because naturally, the kitchen fridge is mostly empty and we all need to eat. He likes to say, “I’m bringing home the bacon,” in these circumstances. It works well though since he can scout the area and I can watch the little ones. (We have two now. As in, plural, children! It still surprises me to say that.)
Our AirBnB house is in a new suburban neighborhood north of the main city area. There are houses being built just down the street and the paved street becomes gravel around the bend. So on this first stroll, I asked Natasha if she could show me the path to the river that Daniel showed her earlier. She happily led the way and I happily tried out our new-to-us stroller which I didn’t even know Daniel had stowed in the trunk of the car. He’s so sneaky like that. Or else, I was too busy counting onesies to see what he was packing…
I really must find out how to procure some boulders and large rocks for Natasha to climb on at our home in the States. It’s her favorite part of all our outings if she can climb on something.
There is a walking path not far from the house and it goes through the woods with little side trails and footpaths to follow. I always keep a keen eye out for poison ivy but haven’t seen any yet. (!)
At the turning around point for us the other day, we discovered this:
Quebec, I think we’re going to get along just fine.
Driving 13 hours to Quebec with children isn’t as easy as driving 13 hours without children. But if you divide it up between two days, keep snacks handy, stop often, and be sure to have audio books downloaded, it can be done.
We divided our travel time into two days stopping at Toronto for the part-way mark. The sunrise the next morning was beautiful over the city in the distance.
On the road again, some of us took naps…
…while the scenery of Quebec whizzed by. We arrived after dark in Quebec City at our AirBnB house, grateful to be out of the car.
It has been a while aye? But here we are again, ready to use 4, yes, 4, passports and see some new parts of the country. This time on our own continent, up north in Canada. We drove this time, so we could bring our bikes and do some leisure cycling. Daniel has really enjoyed mountain biking the past year or so, and there are some good trails he’d like to try. As for me, I’ll stick with my Dutch City style bike. More on all that later.
But in the mean time, we’re happy to be traveling once again.
He’ll be 4 weeks old this Thursday, but he still seems new, and we’re so glad he’s here.
Let me introduce to you, Lincoln Daniel, who was born June 2nd, 2016.