Vacation Week

It’s April School Vacation Week here. Fortunately, we hadn’t planned an extravagant European vacation, so we were spared a long holiday in an airport (although my husband, who has a degree in geology, would LOVE to visit Iceland!) We decided to drive up to Montreal – about 300 miles. Why?

a) we thought there’d be very good croissants there. My boys love croissants. The baked goods proved to be only so-so (anyone want to give me suggestions for next time?)

b) my 16 year old son has his driver’s permit and we promised him that he could get a lot of highway experience. He’s a good driver, however, it turns out that I am a terrible backseat driver and by the trip home, no one could stand it anymore and I got back behind the wheel.

c) we’d never been and we wanted to go somewhere that looked and sounded different. Since all of the signs were in French, it did feel as if we were far away!

The best part of the trip was the afternoon we spent at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. We were quite disappointed that the Insectarium was closed – the insect keepers were on strike – but the gardens were open, including a butterfly house that was magical. The greenhouses were lush and filled with wondrous plants. Outside, not much was in bloom of course, but I saw this garden arch that I’d love to replicate in my garden.

This rock garden was fascinating!

The rock slabs are laid vertically, and they catch heat and rain water. The plants grow in the crevasses. But, now that I have goats, instead of fully being able to appreciate it’s beauty, I thought about how much the kids would like a playground like this in their yard.

We were gone for only four days. It’s spring, so change happens quickly. Flowers are in bloom, the croci are already wilting and the dandelions are up. However, the goats are still shedding.


  1. So sorry your Montreal sojourn was underwhelming. Next time, do yourself a favor and have a martini at Hotel de la Montagne. It’s worth it for the life-size butterfly woman Art Nouveau fountain in the lobby! If you go in the summer, there’s a rooftop terrace bar with pool and dance floor. Panoramic views of the city from the 16th floor…….aaahhhhh Paradise.

    • We stayed at the Hotel Nelligan, in the old quarter. It was very nice and the neighborhood had lots of architectural interest. We spent a fun morning browsing antique shops in the St. Henri area. All in all, a fine break for a short vacation.

  2. Yeah, we didn’t plan an extravagant European vacation, either. I’ve never really wanted to go to Britain, however, till I started blogging. Now, I’d love to see Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England…the works. Glad it was enjoyable.

  3. Really–Insect Keepers have a Union? (still chuckling over that!) Glad you got away for a few days. Ah, the days of driving permits…the only way I found to cope was to stare out the passenger window and ‘try’ to enjoy the scenery. Bless you for hanging in as long as you did! Happy Spring!

  4. Hi Terry! You asked for suggestions on croissants. If you’re ever driving up through Peterborough, NH there is a very good croissant bakery around there. It’s called the Kernel Bakery.

    I enjoy reading your blog!!


  5. I can certainly understand Steve’s interest in Iceland. When I was there it was all quiet on the volcano front but the evidence of on-going geologic activity was everywhere. Actually, I remember a tour guide talking about a spot off the coast where there was new activity. And I read later about the formation of a new island.

    I went to Montreal a couple of times and was underwhelmed both times. Now if I could be there in June/July during the international fireworks competition….!! :)

  6. The best baked goods in Montreal are the bagels. I believe the neighbourhood with the best is near ” the mountain”, Mt. Royal I think it is. There are also great chocolate treats in that area as well.

    • I’d heard about the bagels! But, the only ones we found were at the hotel, and they were pasty. Sorry we missed the chocolate!

  7. I missed this blog entry but glad I caught it late. Although you didn’t find the croissants you’d hoped for that botanical garden looks like it would be beautiful in bloom. I love that rock garden. I’ve got a sloping spot in my back yard that I could attempt a variation of that on.

    My boys love croissants too! They like them stuffed with scrambled eggs and cheese.

    Next year I’ll be in the passenger seat with my oldest son putting in the driving time. Not looking forward to it even though I know he’ll be a good driver. Don’t know how I’m going to maintain an outward appearance of calm when I’m not the one in control.

    I ride horseback with a woman who took a vacation to iceland recently. They toured for several days on horseback. She loved it.