This week, we travelled back to Quebec for our first Thanksgiving, watched round 2 of the Trump vs. Clinton name calling contest, took advantage of our newly acquired free healthcare status, witnessed some impressive Canadian sporting prowess, and got stuck underground in the subway during the morning commute thanks to a trespasser on the tracks. Read on to find out which of these made our High / Low this week.
There were so many highs this past week that it is hard for me to pick just one to crown as my absolute high point. That said, technically all of those highs were broadly encapsulated in the one event, and so I guess I can cheat and group this week’s high under the one heading – Thanksgiving Weekend.
Other than the fact that this was our very first Canadian Thanksgiving (which is such a significant milestone that it will eventually earn its own dedicated post), the weekend as a whole was a highlight thanks to the always warm hospitality of the Canadian Yeats Family at their cottages/homes in the mountains of Quebec.
As is tradition during Thanksgiving (and, in our experience, during every visit to the Canadian Yeats), our bellies were overflowing with delicious food throughout the entire stay. Between Kim’s almost commercial-scale kitchen – which seems to be open for business 24 hours a day – to Sheila’s ‘could be straight out of a Cottage Living magazine‘ kitchen next door, we were in a constant grazing state from the moment we arrived until our departure on Sunday afternoon.
Fortunately our waist lines were protected from exploding by the constant flow of activity going on, from impromptu walks out to the ‘beach’, to strolls through Morin Heights, to late night games of Beer Cork (which we, unfortunately, missed out on this time but I am told is like Beer Pong but when you can’t find the ping-pong balls and therefore substitute said balls with wine corks!)
The icing on the cake, however, was the beautiful fall colours which provided the most picturesque surrounding one could ask for. I have never seen such a mix of colours, almost like a painter dotted his canvas with all the different colours from his pots of paint being ever so careful to ensure that no same colour touched. And when the sun cast its light across the trees in the distance, it’s as though the foliage erupted with even more colour (if that is even possible). Pictures just can’t do the beauty of the scenery justice, but I’m going to share one anyway.
I hear that fall arrives in the mountains of Quebec three or four weeks before Toronto, so I am looking forward to having the opportunity to experience this high again in the coming weeks.
With any trip to Quebec comes the long drive home in stop-start traffic for most of the journey. Thanksgiving Weekend was no different to all the other long weekends we have made the trip up to the Yeats’ cottages, requiring 9 and a half hours in our BJ to make the normally 6 hour drive home.
That said, it’s always worth it to have the opportunity to catch up with family and to see how the cottage scenery (and lake temperature) has changed with the change of seasons.
I could easily just repeat Cindy’s high with the bountiful food and breathtaking colours but I’ll mix it up a bit and give a shout out to the Toronto Blue Jays, who swept the Texas Rangers to move through to the American League Championship Series (essentially the semi-finals of Major League Baseball). I love my sport and, having played the game myself for over a decade, I have loved having one of the most exciting baseball teams in the world as my home team.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to get our hands on playoff tickets to see them live but watching on television was almost as exciting, especially when Josh Donaldson sprinted home to clinch the win in the bottom of the 10th inning to secure the series sweep. Here’s hoping they can make it through the next round against Cleveland and into the World Series!
Fun fact: Cleveland beat Toronto in the Eastern Conference Finals of the NBA earlier this year and now the two cities are facing off again for the American League Championship in the MLB. It’s the first time ever that the same two cities have faced off in the semi-finals of both the NBA and MLB in the same year.
This time I will have to go with Cindy and say traffic! Ugh, I love Toronto but the reputation it has for traffic is well-earned! As far as our drive back this time ’round though, I can’t put all the blame on Toronto as it was slow going well before we got anywhere near the city. I shouldn’t be surprised by it anymore and I really need to stop putting my faith in Google Maps to accurately predict the travel time at the end of a long weekend, but there are few things more frustrating than crawling along on a major highway for hours on end (first world problem I know).