03 September 2012

Road trip

I mentioned in a previous post that Oz was visiting. The reason for her visit was twofold – to see Halifax for the first time, and to be my road trip buddy on my drive to Ontario for my summer vacation.  I took three weeks off work and planned a fairly comprehensive family-and-friend-visiting-vacation tour of Ontario. A grad school reunion with my closest U of A friends was part of that, so Oz hitched a ride with me.

We didn’t do anything fancy on the drive from Halifax to Ontario (our first destination was Ottawa). We left Dartmouth around 7am on Saturday morning. Our first stop was Second Cup, so I could get coffee and we could get oatcakes for everyone. We stopped for gas outside Moncton, then we stopped for lunch at park in a little town called Meductic in NB. We also stopped in Grand Falls, NB, to look at the titular falls. The signage to the falls failed to work and we got a bit turned around, but we found them eventually. The falls were interesting, but would be more impressive during the spring melt. 

Meductic, NB
Grand Falls, NB
The first day of driving was pretty easy. It rained on and off, we couldn’t seem to escape it.  We ended our day at the Motel Loupi in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec.  The motel was perfectly fine. I would stay there again. The rooms had coffee makers and fridges, which is a nice perk. It was also in a great location and had a nice view of the town.

Fleuve Saint-Laurent and Rivière-du-Loup

The motel was near a little walking trail that went to a point of land out in the St. Lawrence. The trail was well maintained and I guess a local school furnished it with a whack of bird houses, so Oz was in birder heaven. The trail took us out onto a pier at a ferry terminal. It was chill, but the rain held off so it was a nice walk and there were lots of people out as well.
Pier at Rivière-du-Loup

Another bonus of Motel Loupi is that it is situated across the street from the Noël au Château, which is a Santa’s Castle type attraction for kids. I think one of the signs said it was a Christmas museum. The main feature is the castle, with a gnome-like Santa statue out front. 

Noël au Château
But there was lots of other statues and displays on the property as well. Like the scariest whale I’ve ever seen (outside of that Orca movie), an actual creche, and dogs and seals.  The creche I get - it's a Christmas attraction after all. But the random marine mammals were just weird. They weren't even wearing Santa hats or anything.

Death whale: giving kids nightmares since 2002
The two weirdest – weirder even than child-eating, sharp-toothed whale, was the fountain and the owl. The fountain-turned-planter featured numerous naked babies riding really ugly dolphins, or maybe they were fish. Either way, I don’t remember the part where Santa’s helpers are fish riding cherubs.

  The owl had obviously been very naughy and was sent to the wall for a time out.

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