Oh, Canada [impressions] by
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Prompted By Family Trips

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Woods and water on Lac Tremblant

In the summer of 1967, my family drove from New Jersey through New York State to Canada. The throughway was nearly empty of cars. The scenery green, peaceful, with little woodchucks popping up periodically. Arriving in Montreal for the World’s Fair, Expo 67. Fabulous and exciting time. Wonderful cuisine. People asked me questions in French, and I loved it, because “je parle francais.”

Arriving in Montreal ... on to Quebec ... finally, the Laurentian mountains ...

On to Quebec, a marvelous old city, to stay at the Chateau Frontenac. Another party had taken our room in a mix-up, so they put is in a cavernous suite. What fun! Lunch at an old farmhouse on an island in the St. Lawrence river. I remember dessert: French bread lapped with creme fraiche, sprinkled with maple sugar.

Le Chateau Frontenac, now a Fairmont Hotel

Finally, a week at a hotel in the Laurentian mountains on Lac Tremblant. Rowing slowly in an old boat, swimming in bracingly cold, deep water. Three delicious continental meals a day. The whole trip, my mother and I weren’t fighting. My parents weren’t fighting. Didn’t want to leave. May I go back now?

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I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: moving, well written


  1. Thanx for this lovely story Marian remembering a wonderful trip with no family fights!

    As a kid I also went to Canada with my folks. I don’t remember our itinerary but I do know that we also stayed in Quebec at the Chateau Frontenac!

  2. Khati Hendry says:

    What a special and delightful trip, and yes, Marian, you many return very soon! They should be lightening restrictions for the fully vaccinated this month. Isn’t it amazing to visit “France” just across the border? And, if the heat dome doesn’t return and wildfires abate, come visit “Napa north” in the Okanagan and I will show you around.

  3. John Shutkin says:

    What a terrific vacation, Marian. And, of course, the perfect title. I just confirmed with my wife that she and her family — all skiers — also stayed at the Chateau Frontenac in the 60’s and found it delightful.

    That said, I think you’ll have to put off your return visit for a while. Canada is still not crazy about letting Americans across the border. Can’t say I blame them. So I guess you’ll just have to get your Donuts from Dunkin rather than Tim Horton’s for a while longer, eh?

  4. Suzy says:

    Mare, I went to Expo 67 in Montreal too! I wonder if we were there at the same time. I mainly remember waiting in lines, although they weren’t as bad as the lines at the New York World’s Fair in ’64 and ’65, which I visited several times. We didn’t go to Quebec, so I missed out on the Chateau Frontenac, which looks amazing! Sounds like you had a great family trip!

    • Marian says:

      Funny, I don’t remember too much about Expo 67 except that I liked it. We probably were there at the same time. We were at the New York World’s Fair as well, and I recall my mom telling stories about her experiences at the 1939 World’s Fair. She lived right near the site and had some sort of “season pass,” so she went all summer.

  5. Laurie Levy says:

    Yes, Marian, you may go back once they decide Americans are welcome. We also loved Quebec and have taken many Canadian trips.

  6. Betsy Pfau says:

    This trip sounds idyllic, Marian. From beautiful city to rolling country et tu parle francais! Très bon! The food was excellent, your suite sounds divine and your parents weren’t fighting. What more can be said?

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