July 7

This was our first full day in Quebec.  And full it was.

Last night, after finding a Tim Horton’s nearby, we staked out a spot to park and sleep.  For some reason I didn’t feel entirely secure in that spot, and woke up a couple times in the night, so first thing this morning we moved.  After hitting Tim Horton’s for bathroom and breakfast.

I feel much happier in our new spot.

Also this morning we bathed.  There is a faucet here in this parking lot for the purpose of filling the water tanks in RVs, so we simply filled a bin with (cold) water and washed with a cloth.  I dunked my hair into the bin as well.  Knowing that bathing might be problematic sometimes on this trip I decided against my usual products and opted for baby soap and mane and tail spray conditioner.  Its designed for horses but does a great job on people too, detangling even my hair no problem.  Isaac is easy to bathe, but washing myself was a bit of a challenge given the complete lack of privacy.  But I managed, and felt pretty clean.

Having been in Quebec city a couple times before, I decided driving the truck into the old city was not a good idea.  However the city transit buses stop right by our parking lot, so we caught a bus.

The bus let us off right outside the gates of Rue St. Jean.  Exactly where I wanted to be.  It’s Summer Fest this week in Quebec City!  Festival d’ete de Quebec!  Its a big music festival over 10 days with acts big and small and immense!  Tonight Lionel Richie plays the main stage on the Plains of Abraham.  Later this week Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Our Lady Peace, and many others.  Too bad I didn’t know my favourite band, Tower of Power played last night.

The stage at Rue St. Jean is a free show every day and from there we caught a shuttle to Place de la Famille le Lait. Family Place sponsored by Milk.  There the circus school had activities set up for kids, including a little zip-line.  Guess whose 3 year old is brave enough to go zip-lining! Mine!

Isaac had fun riding the train, watching the equestrian circus show, zip-lining, playing with random children, getting wet with motion triggered sprayers, etc.

The Family Place is set up down by the quays and the shuttle bus stopped at 5:00, so we walked back up the steep streets into the old city.  We wandered around a bit, watched a busker perform his comedy, juggling, balancing act, ate in an Irish Pub, then caught the bus back to the truck.

On the way to the bus stop we saw a street performance troupe dressed as giant horses.  They had a drummer on a wheeled platform being pushed up the street by one guy, and they ran up and down and danced and posed.  It was cool. It scared Isaac a bit when they charged by him, but we followed the show all the way up Rue St. Jean.  A very energetic performance, for dancers, drummer, and crew.

Now we just have to visit Tim Horton’s again for tea and pee, then its bed time.

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July 6

Last night we ran into our first difficulty.

We slept in the same place we had the night before, a parking lot on the Rockcliffe Parkway.  But this time in the middle of the night I woke up startled.  Someone was outside the truck!

Turns out it was an RCMP officer.  He ran a check on my vehicle, took our information and told me I shouldn’t be parked there over night.  However, once he was sure we weren’t up to no good and I wasn’t kidnapping Isaac, he let us stay.

Interestingly enough, his advice on safe sleeping places was the same as the street kid’s – Walmart.  Apparently its a fairly widely known fact that some Walmarts will allow overnight parking in their lots.

Anyway, the officer let us go back to sleep where we were and made sure we weren’t disturbed the rest of night, which was very kind of him.  He gave me his card and said to call if I needed any help.

So, a bit of night time excitement.

Morning was worse.

I woke up feeling very sick.

Fortunately there is a forested escarpment between the parking lot and the Ottawa River where I was able to hide until my sickness passed.  It took 3 tries to make it out of the parking lot.  I’d get a few things done, like waking up Isaac and putting him in his car seat, then have to run back to the bushes.  Very embarrassing. Luckily there weren’t many people around.

Finally my guts stayed put long enough for me to drive to a Tim Horton’s nearby.  I cleaned up, had tea, and sat still till I felt better. I ate a little bit and eventually decided I was ok to drive.

I decided to cross into Quebec from Ottawa and drive to Quebec City on the north shore of the river.  Except around Montreal and Quebec City its a nice drive on smaller highways and secondary routes.  We passed through a number of cute little towns while I practiced reading French street signs.  There are nice rest stops and tourist info places along the highway between Montreal and Quebec City.  We stopped at one for lunch.

In a booklet I picked up there I found an ad for a free RV parking area.  It says you just register and park.  I used my GPS to find the address, which as it turns out is the old Quebec Zoo grounds.  We arrived here late this afternoon.

Strangely there is no one here to register with.  I spoke to a French couple who have their fancy RV parked here, and they said as far as they can tell, you just park.  You can stay as long as you want and its completely free.  Perfect!

Except there’s no facilities here. Its just a parking lot.

We’re off to find a Tim Horton’s or something in the neighbourhood so we have access to a bathroom.


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Photo Montage – Day 1

Here are all the pictures I took on day 1.

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Running Away From Home – Day 4

Isaac plays at the beach on the Ottawa River.

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Running Away From Home – Day 5

Last morning in Ottawa.

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Running Away From Home – Day 3 – Mosaika

Light and sound show projected against the Parliament building.

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Running Away From Home – Day 4


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July 5

The night passed uneventfully and this morning we went to find the beach.

We found it, used the bathroom there, swam for a while, then I decided we should look for a better sleeping spot.  My GPS failed to find Canadian Tire last night, and as it turns out, Google Maps failed to find Walmart today.

We drove around Ottawa in the hot sun for far too long today without finding anything useful.  Why did I want to stay here another day?

I had intended to go back to the Parliament area, maybe do a tour or something, find more cool stuff to take pictures of.  But in the end we just went back to the beach.  We were hot, tired, cranky, frustrated, and I for one had a headache.  The nice cool water helped.

We went to one of the less busy parking areas to make supper, and now we are back where we were last night, having failed to find anywhere better.  We will be leaving Ottawa in the morning, heading for Quebec City.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

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Running Away From Home – Day 3

Isaac and I talk about our trip so far.

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Running Away From Home – Day 3 – Madawaska

Isaac and I playing in the water.

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