Friday, August 23, 2013

Road Trip to Canada~

okay, I guess if you're not a huge "How I Met Your Mother" fan - you wouldn't understand the excitement but it's okay. 

I went to Canada for a week for a mini getaway from all the stress/people and just to relax before my Pharmacy rotations start. Not only am I writing this post for entertainment purposes, but also to be a little more informative. I wish I had researched or brushed up on my French a little more before I went so hopefully this will help future travelers.

So, from Boston (well actually Burlington) to Niagara Falls was about 7-8 hours? I don't quite remember. It took about that much because of Mass. traffic ughh). We got there pretty late (around 12am) because we left a little later in the day. We were only staying for a night and a little site seeing the day after so we booked a private room at a hostel called ACBB Niagara Falls Hostel. For those of you who don't know what a "hostel" is, it varies I guess. Sometimes it's a privately owned home or small apartment building or something like that turned into a like a College dorm setting with just beds. One room may have 6 bunks in it or 4. There are private room options and depending where you go it may be fancier than others. I've been to a couple in Korea as well and it's basically good for backpackers and if you want a cheap place to stay for couple nights.

Back to Niagara Falls. We walked along the typical touristy strip and headed to the falls. It was beautiful - I literally couldn't stop staring. We went on the Maid of the Mist boat ride - where you go like almost into the falls and yes YOU WILL GET WET. I totes underestimated it and was like "how bad can it be." Um yes you will get wet (HAHA that's what she said... ... ... sorry). Anyways, we didn't stay too long. Had lunch walked around a bit more and headed to Toronto to see the boyfrannd's family.

Toronto was pretty good. Mostly it was with the family which was really nice because they were all very sweet and welcoming. Loved the big family atmosphere. In the actual city, we went downtown Toronto i believe and there was like a street with tents everywhere (I'm guessing it was like street fair of some sort). Then walked A LOT towards the waterfront which was stunning. It was semi-sunset so the colors of the sky was very pretty.

Now off to French Canada!!! It was about a 6 hour drive from Toronto.

So one thing about this area is that... everything is in french. 99% of the people do also speak English however, a lot of the menus and ALL of the road signs are in french (but there are pictures next to the names of major signs so it was okay). Having a GPS definitely helped! We had to have the waitresses/waiters to translate the menu sometimes for us but they mostly were helpful and polite.

In Montreal we stayed at another hostel, since we were only there for one night called Montreal Central. It was really nice compared to the last place. It was more like a mini hotel, with bathroom and TV inside the private room. Even had the card key swipe to get in. However, Montreal was the most disappointing aspect of the trip. I don't know if we were just "not prepared" for it like planning or what not but it was A GREAT disappointment. It was hard to find places even with a map and was definitely not tourist friendly. We tried going to a few places that we planned but it was so hard to find anywhere with no signs or anything. So we ended our time there VERY early and headed to Quebec City.

The drive from Montreal to Quebec City was around 2 - 3 hours. We splurged a little more on this city because I really really wanted to go there and besides seeing family in Toronto, this was the main attraction. We stayed at a hotel called "Hotel Sepia" and it was really nice. Contemporary styled rooms and very close to Old Quebec. Quebec City was absolutely ERRMAGERDD <3 It was better than I pictured in my head. What really captured my attention when I first heard of Quebec City from a friend was that it gave you a European feel. I was SOLD. Like I really don't know what else to say, it was AMAZING. Pictures are worth a thousand words so here's some pictures that can maybe further explain what I mean.

Quebec City was definitely more tourist friendly and it was really easy to get around with a map that was provided by our hotel (simplified and easy to follow). We did some research on places to go and where to eat but besides restaurant, everything you really wanted to see was on the map - very handy. A few places I recommend to check out besides the touristy areas is Paillards and Beavertails. Both pastry/bakery/dessert places but OH MY GOODNESS both absolutely amazing! I'm very much a dessert person and as recommended to me, I HIGHLY recommend them to you.

That's about it about my trip in words, maybe pictures can say more. oh!
If you're interested in the FOOD that I had there, which was DELICIOUS!!! Check out my instagram @gracerysh0p =)

Hope you enjoyed and I hope this was helpful to those of you first time travelers to Canada. Honestly, if I ever have a chance to go there again, I totally would!

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