Catching up with Family

One wonderful thing about our RV trip is being able to reconnect with family and friends who are otherwise too far out of reach. I don’t have any family in the US, so I was excited to see my first cousin in Salaberry-De-Valleyfield, Canada, after 20 years.

The border crossing from New York into Canada was smooth and we were greeted by the peaceful Quebec countryside on the other side of St. Lawrence River, across Larocque Bridge. We parked our RV in front of a cute suburban home and gave my cousin a big hug. In the back yard, humans and canines alike enjoyed a peaceful afternoon, followed by an evening walk through downtown Salaberry-De-Valleyfield.

We had a blast riding our bikes in the cool weather on the banks of Beauharnois Canal and savoring a good cup of coffee and chocolates at Café Chocolatier Giroux. We browsed through old books at Coté Gauche and found plenty of treats at La Petite Grange bakery. One day, David and I were walking through Salaberry Park and were seduced by the smell of freshly-baked bread. Of course, we immediately set course to find the source of the divine smell and to acquire some bread. The only potential provider seemed the Italian restaurant on the corner, Antonio Pizzeria. David went in while I waited outside with the dogs, and returned with an order of bread to go. Although the bread was good, it didn’t seem to rise up to the expectations dictated by our olfactory senses. When I told my cousin, she laughed and pointed out that we were probably smelling the whiskey distillery not far from us….

For a day trip, we drove to Ottawa, a short 2 hr ride. The rain kept us from fully enjoying the city, but we got to visit the Parliament Hill, where we chatted with a couple of friendly local utility workers.

Another day trip took us one hour away, to Montreal, where we walked around the old port. We strolled on the boardwalk, passed the ferris wheel, and walked along the water, admiring the old Clock Tower. We walked downtown, by the Gothic Notre-Dame Basilica and past a flamenco street performer, through Place Jacques-Cartier, and checked out the offerings of shops on Saint-Paul Street (one of the city’s oldest streets, dating back to 1673). My cousin’s husband had never tasted poutine, so we had to stop and rectify the situation. Following the smell of baked goods once again, we found a food truck offering ooey gooey giant cookies. The cherry on top was the view from Mount Royal Park, offering panoramic views of the city from the charming Mount Royal Chalet and Belvédère Kondiaronk lookout.

We had a most delightful time with my cousin and her family, and really enjoyed my cousin’s delicious home cooking and playing card games with the family. I loved getting to know my first cousin once removed and befriending the shy family feline. Our week with family flew by quickly, and we said “good bye,” but not before celebrating my cousin’s husband’s birthday and indulging one more meal together. À bientôt!

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