Parc national de la Jacques-Cartier

We have concluded our time in Canada for 2016 and are now back home in the States soaking up what’s left of a gorgeous fall. But I will continue to post about our Québec adventure to be fully caught up. It may take longer than I’d like and be more spread out, but I’ll try. :)

On one of the warmer days back in October we went hiking to take full advantage of the amazing weather. About 45 minutes north of our AirBnB home in Québec was the Jacques-Cartier National Park with many hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty, canoeing, kayaking, etc… Natasha was hesitant to go “on a walk”, but if you get her imagination going, she’s ready for anything. For this particular hike, she was transported to Narnia and was having a grand time climbing over the rocks in the creek. Daniel has been reading through the Chronicles of Narnia series again, and she felt very Narnian in the woods with her walking stick.






She declared it “one of the best days ever”. Which was fun to hear.




Whale Watching Interview

Bright and early one morning, Daniel woke Natasha and got her dressed before I was even out of bed. They were on their way to catch the bus to take them to a special boat, in search of whales. I stayed home with baby Lincoln and since I wasn’t on this water adventure, I will turn this blog post over to 6 year old Natasha. She’s going to tell you about their day.

Janel: “So Natasha, you had trouble the day before catching the bus because of traffic delays in Québec City during the morning rush hour. The ticket lady kindly did a favor for you and allowed you to come back the next day. This morning then, you made it, but still not without some difficulties. Can you tell me about that?”

Natasha: “After we parked we had to run a while. Then when we were running, we dropped my books and catalog. A man was walking by and he picked them up for us. That delayed us a little bit. Dad carried me piggy-back but after a bit I got down and ran too. After we ran some more, I asked why I couldn’t be on his shoulders. He said I was getting too big.”

Janel: “So you finally made it to the bus line up after running approximately a mile. How was the bus ride?”

Natasha: “It was pretty good. But the driver kept on talking and talking. I didn’t listen to all of it.”

Janel: “What was he talking about?”

Natasha: “Whales.”

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Janel: “Once you reached the boat dock, what did you do?”

Natasha: “Well, first we talked to a lady in the line for our big coats and pants for the Zodiac. When we got them we went to a room where everyone was putting on their Zodiac coats and pants. But when I got my skirt off and was putting them on I didn’t like them. After a bit of talking, Dad had an idea: We would go on the big boat. The big boat is big and doesn’t have waves like the Zodiac and we wouldn’t have to wear the coats and pants. But there wasn’t much time to sign out of the Zodiac and onto the big boat. So when we were running to change tickets Daddy suddenly realized he had forgotten something. His own coat! So I was left with the backpack and was just about to pray that we could get on the big boat in time, when Dad rushed back with his coat! So we got on the big boat in time!”

Janel: “What was the big boat like?”


  1. It had a bar*. The bar was downstairs and it was warm. On one half of it there were lots of tables and on the other side there was a place to get chips and drinks. In the middle there were stairs that go down, down, down. Over top of the stairs there was a model whale that was cut open to see what it was like inside. I thought that the brain was where the intestines are!
  2. The big boat had a display of replica whale bones.
  3. There were lots of floors and an observatory deck. But you could observe on the regular deck too.

*Something like a pub.



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Janel: “What did you do on the observatory deck?”

Natasha: “Obverse the whales.”

Janel: “Of course. Was it cold up there?”

Natasha: “No, the oddest thing about the boat was that the downstairs (not the bar) was very windy and cold. And the top wasn’t windy and cold!”

Janel: “Where did you spend most of your time?”

Natasha: “The bar, eating chips. Because it was warm. But there were windows and I could still see out.”

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Janel: “I’m sure everyone is wondering by now, did you see any whales?”

Natasha: “Of course! 11 minke whales. And a whole pod of belugas. The belugas were all around the boat at the very end and they were lovely. Whiter than white!”

Janel: “Wow! How many belugas are in a pod?”

Natasha: “I don’t know.”

Janel: “Tell me more about the minke whales. Did they jump all the way out of the water like in a lot of pictures we might see?”

Natasha: “No. That happens very rarely. We saw their backs with their fins and their blows. You just looked around till you saw their back or their blow.”

Janel: “Did you get any pictures of the whales?”

Natasha: “No. You never knew when they’d come out.”

Janel: “So, you had a good time?”

Natasha: “Yeah!”

Janel: “Do you have any tips or anything you might like to tell someone who is interested in going whale watching on the St. Lawrence River in Québec, Canada?”

Natasha: “One tip would be if you don’t want waves, go on the big boat instead of the Zodiac.   p.s. it has a bar!”


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Fall in Quebec

We have biked.


We have returned to Île d’Orléans for more apple cider and added some squash to our purchases.06-36707-370
(The butternut squash truly are “méga” here.)
We have changed a baby’s complete outfit on a picnic table in the golden sunshine.04-001

We have soaked up all the views and all the autumn glory Canada has to offer.05-00501-010

And it has been so good.02-02203-0171-016

Fall Celebration at the Citadelle

A couple Sundays ago we headed to the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle of Québec for the afternoon* for a fall celebration. There were some acrobats, jugglers, a tour of the Governor’s residence, a brass quintet, samples of apple juice, face painting and general fun activities happening. We thought it would be much busier, but it turned out to be a rather laid back, easy going event.

*Do you sense a pattern here? We go out in the afternoons. It’s easier that way since the smallest person in our group, i.e. the baby, needs his morning nap. That’s one change with being a family of four and having a baby in tow. It is kind of nice since we get to eat lunch at home, tidy the kitchen and then go off adventuring.

Back to the fall festival. First off, a maple leaf was painted on Natasha’s cheek. I thought it quite appropriate, and glad she selected it.


The face painting station was set up right outside of the main entrance for the residence tour. There was no way I was going to play tourist and go right up in front of the guards to snap a picture, but it was easy to do at a slight distance while the maple leaf was being applied. Had we been here earlier in September, we could have come to see the changing of the guard, but alas, it has ended for the season. Natasha kept asking why they have their hats on so far over their heads.


One of the event staff members mentioned that the mascot of the Royal 22e Régiment here is a goat. That explains the painted goat hoof prints we saw leading up on the path to the citadelle, and the following picture. What a stern faced soldier and cheerful goat they have!