Katherine Maas & Roberta Clair

VW Vagabonds

Katherine Maas & Roberta Clair

We are two women from western Canada, breaking with our usual tradition of traveling in a VW camper to take a six-week train trip to Montreal, Halifax, NB, Quebec City, Ottawa, and Toronto!



North America » Canada » Alberta » Calgary October 22nd 2012

And look what we came home to! It's cold and there's a dusting of snow on the ground, though the trees I can see from my office window are still covered with green and yellow leaves. Go figure. Roberta, whose cold is still lingering, went out to pick up a pizza for our supper last night and was shocked to the marrow of her bones by the cold. Still, it was good to sleep in our own bed last night, and to be back in familiar surroundings. The laundry is done, the mail opened and dealt with, and we have a couple of days to relax before our local responsibilities kick in.... read more
The ground in front of our building

North America » Canada » Manitoba » Winnipeg October 20th 2012

We had a 4-hour layover in Winnipeg, so we took advantage of a city tour that Via arranged with a local bus company. Invariably I find these tours are a great source of historical information about a city and this one was no exception. We visited the legislature, a beauiful sculpture garden, the grave of Louis Riel, and a church, driving through many interesting neighborhoods along the way. Many photos of this tour can be found at https://picasaweb.google.com/109471170472848057534/WinnipegAndPrairies Then, back on the train for the last leg of our journey. We both agreed that if the train were to be delayed a day, we would be happy to remain on board as long as they continued to feed and care for us as they have so far! In the afternoon our car attendant gave a very ... read more

North America » Canada » Ontario » Toronto October 19th 2012

As I write this we are sitting in the Panorama Lounge at Union Station in Toronto, waiting to board our train home! It's been an amazing trip, and we are tired and ready to be home. Our visit to Toronto was cut a bit short, due to Katherine having a severe allergic reaction (read: couldn't breathe) to friend Susan's cats. We had planned to spend three days with Susan, but had to leave her place last night or spend the night on the balcony. Fortunately we were able to find a room at the hostel. But by that time we'd also looked into coming home two days early and booked that. Technically we could have stayed the three days at the hostel, but I think the decision to stay with the early trip back is a ... read more
lunch with Susan
Not Niagara
Street art

North America » Canada » Quebec » Gatineau October 15th 2012

We woke up this morning to find the sun shining (a little bit) and our colds abated (somewhat), so we decided to take advantage of the good conditions while they lasted, and headed off to drive the Gatineau Parkway. What a trip down memory lane to be in these hills amid the fall colors, with the sun dashing in and out! I remember many hikes up to the Belvedere Lookout, in company with different family and friends over the years. I remember hiking myriad trails with friends Patrice and Susan back in the 90s, getting so lost we probably logged 20 km one Sunday instead of the 5 we intended. I remember the many times I took my mother to Moorside for a coffee and a slice of pumpkin-mince pie. How she loved the tea room! ... read more
MacKenzie King Estate
The ruins
Color!

North America » Canada » Ontario » Ottawa October 13th 2012

We've been neglecting the blog since getting to Ottawa! Blame it on a nasty cold I started to come down with on Tuesday. I've spent much of the last three days sleeping, trying to get on top of it. And today Roberta reports a scratchy throat, dashing our hopes that she might escape catching this from me. We stayed with good friends John and Maggie until Thursday morning. It was hard to leave their comfortable digs and cosy friendship! However, I managed to leave my knitting bag behind there (horrors!) so we'll be scheduling a rematch before we leave Ottawa. Thursday afternoon we spent with Nora Hammell at her new lake home on White Lake -- gorgeous! We are still amid the most beautiful fall folliage here. Then back to our hostel at friends' Carmen and ... read more
And more leaves
Green door
Same as ever

North America » Canada » Ontario » Kinburn October 8th 2012

We arrived at John and Maggie's in Kinburn around noon today! After our problems yesterday with getting access to the Internet in Ottawa, we have found J&M's Internet to be exemplary here today - everything is working just as it should! Yay! We spent a wonderful day here. It always feels like coming home to me to come to this house. We were given a very comfortable room, an even more comfortable bed, and wonderful food, including home made scones and 6-year-old cheddr for lunch and Thanksgiving dinner in the evening. In the afternoon, Maggie was gracious enough to take Katherine out to some artisans who were exhibiting their wares in this area this long weekend. We saw beautiful pottery, woodworking, fiber art, blown glass, home-made soap, and more. And at long last I've found Sarah's ... read more
Thanksgiving dinner

North America » Canada » Ontario » Ottawa October 7th 2012

We were up at the crack of dawn this morning (actually the dawn had not yet cracked) to cach the train from Quebec City to Ottawa. This actually consisted of two trains. The first, from Quebec City to Montreal was very impressive! Instead of the usual four seats across, it had only three, two on one side and one on the other. The overhead baggage compartments were smaller than normal, but faced the rear of the car so they were accessible without having to stand up and get into the aisle. There was a large table with each seat, so I was able to work on my computer the whole trip, which naturally went very fast since I was so busily occupied! We had just enough time in Montreal between trains to grab some breakfast. The ... read more

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City October 6th 2012

Well, we spent another day walking all over old Quebec City but today we gave up an hour earlier! C'est la fatigue accumulée! We ache all over! But we’ve had a marvelous time. Easier to reflect on that from the relative comfort of our room, however. We started out our morning with a caleche ride. It seemed like a pretty good thing to do, given that it was pouring rain this morning. This would have been even more fun on a dry day, with the roof down, but it was pleasant to ride at a slow pace and our driver was extremely knowledgeable about the history of this city, so we learned a lot. We paid another visit to Le Cochon Dingue for café au lait (Roberta) and chocolat chaud à l'ancien (me). Then we visited ... read more

North America » Canada » Quebec » Québec City October 5th 2012

Oh. My. Gosh. (OK, I censored that for Mal....) This city is SO amazing! Roberta and I got up early and were out the door by 7:30 this morning. We didn't get home until 4 pm. In the interim we ate two meals, had chocolat chaud à l'ancienne at a bistro down by the port, took a cruise on the St. Lawrence, and walked, walked, walked all over the old city. Our hostel is located on rue Ste. Ursule, right in the heart of the old city. Like most of the buildings in this area it's old. Not sure of the date. I'd have to get up and go outside to look and I'm too tired to move. We have one more day here, and before we go we are hoping to take a caleche ride ... read more
Fall colors
Harbour view

North America » Canada » New Brunswick » Edmundston October 3rd 2012

As an aside, I absolutely HATE the fact that this blog forces me to select a continent, country, region, and city and then doesn't give me the choice of Clair, NB, which is where I've been for the last 5-6 days. The best I could do was Edmundston, NB. Sigh! We've had the extraordinary good luck to be here for the absolute best of the fall colors. We came east at this time of year in part to see this again, and we have certainly not been disappointed. We're hoping that as we move westward, we'll catch more of the peak, given that the season is probably earlier here than in Quebec and Ontario. A bit of comic relief from all this beauty are the cluster flies that have been plaguing us at the camp for ... read more
Glazier Lake
Lac Unique
Unique lake




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