Steve & Dana

Steve and Dana

Steve & Dana

North America » Canada » Quebec June 24th 2016

Our last full day of vacation--we enjoyed this day the best. We took a bus day trip to Quebec City and Montmorency Falls. Quebec City was settled in 1608 by the French, and the buildings from the 1600's-1800's have been preserved very well. It is a very charming town, especially within the walls of the old city--very European feel. And, of course, many of the cute buildings are filled with shops and restaurants now. People play various instruments in the cobblestone squares. 99% of the people here are Catholic--mostly French and some Irish. The city is filled with beautiful old cathedrals, as was Montreal. 95% of the population speak French. Many in the city speak English as a second language, but people in the rural and small towns may not. The feeling that you get from ... read more
Steve at Montmorency Falls
Dana at Montmorency Falls
Montmorency Falls near Quebec City

North America » Canada » Quebec June 22nd 2016

The theme of this vacation seems to be relaxing--not so fast paced--sleeping late--I have to accept that we aren't going to get to see everything! Our ViaRail train from Toronto to Montreal was very comfortable (especially compared to airplane seats!) After the six hour train ride, we still had time to explore Old Montreal and eat at one of the many restaurants with sidewalk patios. We thought we were eating at a French restaurant, but found out it was Portuguese-La Sauvagine. The cuisine here is a combination of Canadian, French, British, and there are many other ethnic cuisines in the big cities. Wild game, such as wild boar, pheasant, "woodcock" (quail), etc. are seen on many menus. And of course the Canada specialty--poutine (fries with cheese curds and gravy on top)--even McDonald's here carries it. Haven't ... read more
Norte Dame Basilica--One of many historic cathedrals in Montreal
Steve eating at sidewalk patio in Old Montreal
Musee des Beaux-Arts

North America » Canada » Ontario June 20th 2016

On Friday, we checked out of our beautiful suite overlooking Niagara Falls and ate a leisurely lunch in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Skylon Tower. Left Niagara Falls, Ontario, for Toronto. Decided to take our rental car back early, as it was more of a hassle and expense, rather than a convenience, in Toronto traffic. Found that our Super 8 hotel (1 night free on Wynham points) is actually in Chinatown Centre, somewhat of a China Town mall. Of course, we had Chinese food for supper. . . On Saturday, we did the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus and cruise around Toronto harbour and islands. Our favorite experience was the St. Lawrence market, with 130 venders of fresh foods. Steve had a delicious crab salad sandwich, and I tried the regional specialty "pea-meal bacon" ... read more
American Falls view from Skylon Tower restaurant
Horseshoe Falls view from Skylon Tower restaurant
Casa Loma's stables and carriage house

North America » Canada » Ontario June 16th 2016

Enjoying the awesome view from our Niagara Falls Embassy Suites room! Relaxing and watching the huge volume of water rushing over the horseshoe-shaped edge of the Niagara River! Yes, it was an unusual splurge for me to spend so much extra money for a hotel room with a view! Now I'm thinking it was worth it!! Our kids sure would have loved a room like this when we took family vacations when they were little--2 1/2 rooms, 2 t.v.s, 2 sofa sleepers, king bed, whirl pool, fridge, and more! And the attractions around here are crazy--much like the Dells. This morning, we started the day with the Canadian version of the Maid of the Mist boat ride to the bottom of the falls. We had our rain coats on or would have been soaked! The ponchos ... read more
Hornblower boat at base of Falls
Steve on boat -- American Falls
Tram over Niagara River rapids

This morning, we drove from our Oakhurst hotel back to the south gate of Yosemite to see the Mariposa Grove of Sequoia trees. We took the tram tour (rather than hiking a couple miles up and back)--we found out that this will be the last year the tram will run because they want to take out the roads to restore the grove to its natural state. After we left Yosemite, we got some fresh Califonia fruits and nuts from a roadside stand to enjoy as Steve drove us back to our San Francisco airport hotel. Oh, and we found an IN & OUT BURGER drive-through in Merced--one of Laura's favorites, seems to be unique to California. Steve & Dana took the rental car back and got a taxi ride from the airport auto rental place back ... read more
Mural in Hotel Room
Mural in Hotel Room
Hotel Pool with Mountains in Background

Long day today--Steve & Dana tried for some sunrise pictures at 5 a.m. on the California coast, then after breakfast, we all headed on the 4 hour drive to Yosemite. Absolutely breathtaking views that photos can't give it justice--at least not my photos. Saw as many highlights as we could in one afternoon, then drove south on the winding Wawona Road at elevations of 5,000 feet to our hotel in Oakhurst.... read more
Sunrise at Lover's Point--Pacific Grove
Steve looking out on Monterey Bay at Lover's Point
Sunrise at Lover's Point

North America » United States » California » Monterey July 9th 2014

This morning, we drove the 17-mile Drive, which takes in the coast, the forests, and the golf courses of the Monterey Peninsula. Had a late lunch at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, then browsed the shops of the Wharf and Cannery Row. Supper at our cottage, and rented "Captain Phillips". Tried again for sunset photos over the ocean, but no sun. . . But we are having fun!... read more
Point Joe--many early mariners crashed against these rocks.
Wildflowers at Point Joe
Point Joe

North America » United States » California » Big Sur July 8th 2014

Steve chauffeured us around again today--down the coast to Big Sur. Dana was a little nervous on some of those curves at the edge of the cliffs! These were the views we came to California for!! All these years, we have only seen it in pictures or movies. Needless to say, we went crazy taking pictures! Mom took us to the Restaurant at Ventana for lunch, a wonderful place on a high cliff overlooking the ocean (for an early celebration of our birthdays). The food was superb, the landscaped patio we ate on was very serene, and we had a very relaxing time, even though the fog blocked the view of the ocean. We had to take some "David pictures", as we affectionately call pictures of our meals. Stopped at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for ... read more
Asilomar State Beach--Pacific Grove
View of Hwy 1 winding down the coast
Views south of Carmel on Hwy 1

On our way out of San Francisco, we stopped by St. Paul's Catholic Church (near our rental) to see where Sister Act was filmed. Then we had a very beautiful drive along the coast, stopping at Santa Cruz for a walk along the wharf and lunch with a view of the ocean. Drove by the Surfer's Museum and also saw quite a few people surfing, or attempting to surf. Drove to our cozy cottage rental in Pacific Grove and strolled along Lover's Point. Had pizza for supper and rented a movie--saving energy for tomorrow's activities. . .... read more
Mural in the basketball court of St. Paul's school
Reservoir between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay
One of the foggy beaches between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz

North America » United States July 6th 2014

We still haven't figured out the best time of day to avoid the fog in San Francisco. . . Steve drove us around a lot of the sights of the city today. We found our way up to the top of Twin Peaks just as the thick fog set in and totally blocked the spectacular view!! Couldn't believe people were riding their bikes to the top. Then we drove down the famous Lombard Street hill. Drove to some beautiful lookout points along the bay and the Pacific coast, then through Golden Gate Park. If we were here longer, we would have walked or biked the coastal trail. (Laura said biking at Kennebunkport last year was one of her favorite parts of the trip. Hope Bobby & Polly are having a good time in Kennebunkport this weeK!). ... read more
Looking back at cars snaking down Lombard Street hill
View from Fort Point--Golden Gate Bridge
At Fort Point looking toward Golden Gate Bridge

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