This 7-Day Summer Adventure lead my family though a road trip across Canada.
After traveling for about 12 hours or so from Maryland (with a overnight stop halfway in New York.) our first destination was Mont Tremblant, a ski resort in Quebec.
Mont Tremblant, QuebecOne thing I noticed instantly when we arrived was how many of the signs and writing were in French. (This instantly made me regret not choosing to learn it back in middle and high school.)
The resort itself was so beautiful. The architecture of the buildings were so colorful and intricate. But beyond the man-made features, was the beauty of the natural surrounding mountains. It made me really wonder how this landscape looked during its primetime in the winter.
It was great to be reunited with relatives I haven't seen in awhile or meeting for the first time since I was a baby. During our 3-night stay at the beautiful resort, we balanced our time between relaxing, eating, and adventuring.
One of the first things we did was go lugeing. (I seriously felt like I was in real life Mario Kart.) To prepare you had to wear a helmet and ride a gondola up to the top of the hill where the lugeing course began. Then you got into your luge, received a quick tutorial from an instructor, and were let go to ride down the course.
If lugging is not for you there were so many other activities! We explored the resort and found there were so many activities for kids and adults! My nephew loved jumping on the trampoline.
There were many stages set up across the resort during the weekend we arrived. It was pretty neat to hear all of the live music.
Of course we just had to sign our own autographs!
From ice cream, gelato, "beaver tails", and some home cooked filipino food, I can say I was pretty well-fed throughout this entire trip.
My birthday was just two days before we arrived to Quebec, so my sister bought me Ferrero Roche Cake at the french speaking grocery store we went to and celebrated that way.
It was also my parents 39th Wedding Anniversary so of course we had cake for them as well! (My Dad is a goof.)
Gondola to the Top
Although there are many gondolas throughout the resort, this particular Gondola stood out because it seemed to take you to the top of the Mountain. My relatives and I rode it to the top to check it out and were extremely surprised with how long and FAR the gondola took you. The distance from our resort (which was at the base of the mountain) and the actual top was a lot further than I expected.
Once we reached the top, there was a clear difference in temperature and I wish I had brought my jacket. It was so windy, but the view made it all worth it.
Hiking Down the Mountain
After exploring most of the resort, one of my cousins had the bright idea of taking the Gondola back up the mountain and then hiking back down to the base. I thought she was insane and thought it was impossible, but I did remember seeing many people hiking down and up the mountain.
Two and a half hours later.... we made it back. And the feeling of accomplishing a feat like that made the experience so much more worthwhile! We may have taken a safer route down the mountain but it was definitely not always easy. The terrain was a mix of rocky, sandy, muddy, earthy, and steep(-y). We walked on planks of wood, avoided loose rocks, hopped away from the muddy earth, and even skipped on a drawstring bridge. (A few of us may or may not have slipped and fell on our bums.)
The sights and views were well worth the dangerous terrain, I wish I could have documented the whole thing on video but I did try to take photographs every chance that I had (even if that meant accidentally dropping my phone in the mud.)
Finally it was time to pack up from the resort and road trip to Toronto where more of my relatives live. We would stay in Toronto for two nights.
We stopped in Montreal to visit St. Joseph's Oratory, which was a stunning steep church.
If there is one activity that all my family members love to partake in, it's karaoke. I personally love to sing myself probably because I grew up doing karaoke at all of my family parties. Being with my relatives in Toronto was no different and I love the fact that my husband enjoys singing too!
Now I understand why I love taking photos and always have a desire to do so. Everyone in my family are really photogenic. So of course, with them being all reunited together we had to capture those moments with lots of selfies!
This one is by far my favorite: My father and his sisters. I think this truly defines my Dad's relationship with his siblings.
Niagara FallsOur last stop was Niagara Falls where we would be staying for one night.
It's such a wonder to see these magnificent waterfalls in action and it's amazing to think that the water is rushing out from the United States border and merging with the Canada border. Definitely the view from the Canadian side is phenomenal and I was able to capture a perfect rainbow by the falls.
Hornblower a.k.a Maid of the Mist
A bunch of us wanted to do the boat tour that sailed you up close to the falls. I hadn't done this since early high school. It is such a great experience if you ever go to visit there! The falls are powerful! Just being near them, you get so soaked from the mist it creates after the water splashes down.
via Niagara Falls
After a jam packed 7 days, I think we were all ready to be back home. It was a long and tiring road trip back, but it gave me time to really reflect about the experiences and relationships I developed.