Summer 2015 RV trip: week 3

As planned, we spent last Saturday walking around Quebec City. To my delight, everyone was quite friendly and, if they could, readily switched to English when they detected our awful attempts at French.

The weather wasn’t fantastic for much of the day, but we could still enjoy walking around and experiencing what a cool town Quebec City is.

It’s pretty interesting how this large city has grown up around the stone walls built hundreds of years ago to keep out invaders.

We really want to go to Europe, and this entire Quebec trip was inspired by the recommendation from a friend (thanks Tawn!) as a more immediate, drive-able substitute. This city’s shops built on narrow, hilly downtown roads did indeed feel very European.

While much of the graffiti of Quebec City has undeniable artistic merit, I was sad to see so much history wantonly vandalized:

It rained Saturday night. Big deal, I know, but it rained really, really hard and I want to remember it:

I’m sure I’ve noted this elsewhere on our blog, but there’s an axiom of RVing that states “if it ain’t broke, it soon will be.” That refrigerator door broke right off its hinges, so it was MacGyver time on Sunday morning:

Sunday was our last day behind Canadian lines, so it was time to stock up on essential supplies like these:

…and several bottles of french wine:

…and lastly, thanks to a fortuitous wrong turn, a Quebec-y dish we’d been meaning to try:

It’s called poutine, and it’s just fries, cheese curds, brown gravy, and a whole lotta delicious:

I like Canada a lot, but after a week of faking French, I was glad to cross that black line back into ‘Merica:

The hills of the Gaspé Peninsula — and Quebec in general — really took a toll on our brakes. We had a leaky brake seal replaced in Burlington, Vermont on Monday, hoping that would solve our smoking brake problem. (It didn’t.)

Monday night was supposed to be a routine stop at the Walmart in Rutland, Vermont, but this place gave me the heebee jeebees. The parking lot was shared with an Amtrack station, and I wasn’t convinced we were on the right side of those tracks.

Reason #781 of why I love RVing: If you don’t like where you’re at, move. We found suitable refuge down the road at Hannaford’s:

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, we’re having some kitchen work done at home while we travel, and our route happened to take us by the Vermont Marble Company where our counter tops are coming from. Turns out they’ve supplied marble for other projects like the Supreme Court Building, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, so their resumé seems pretty solid.

On Tuesday we enjoyed the hospitality of my cousin Joe and his wife Rose in Syracuse, NY. Joe is on staff at Syracuse University and gave us a tour of this lovely campus. Rose is a french-speaking native of Quebec, so it was fun talking with her and getting all of our French Canadian questions answered!

Amy is a grocery store connoisseur, so she was delighted to be in a state that has her favorite grocery store in the whole wide world:

The RV brakes overheated again the previous day, so I spent much of Wednesday calling around looking for some service. Butch at Butch’s Automotive in Liverpool, NY looked at our brakes and advised us to limp home where our normal repair shop could fix them right. (Butch could have done the work, but the RV would have been unusable for a couple days at least.)

Wednesday evening, Amy and I celebrated 20 years of marriage at the Ellicottville Brewing Company in the charming, podunk town of Fredonia, NY. That might not sound like anything fancy, but it was better than the parking lot at Butch’s Automotive.

Thursday morning, the girls and I hung out at a local library while Amy took a half-day field trip to the Chautauqua Institution — an arts and education-centric community she heard about on NPR. The bigwig speaker that day was Alberto Gonzolaz, former US Attorney General.

On Thursday evening we rolled into my hometown of Avon Lake, OH. Our friends Rock and Kym were kind enough to lend us their driveway for the evening on very short notice.

We were glad to have a real campsite on Friday night at East Harbor State Park in Lakeside-Marblehead, OH — it was very warm that evening, so having electrical hookups let us run the ACs without running the smelly generator. We did spend a little bit of time outside to roast (burn) some marshmallows, however:

Saturday was ridiculously fun. We met up with my dearest friend from high school, Jenny, and her husband Bob on Kelleys Island. We toured the island on golf carts:

…saw a so-lame-it-was-charming parade (free candy!):

…hung out on Bob’s and Jen’s swanky boat:

…and cooled off in Lake Erie:

We enjoyed a late dinner with evening fireworks before catching the ferry back to our campsite. It was a very full, very fun day. (Thank you, Bob and Jen, for such a wonderful time!)

We slept in on Sunday and took our time getting to Amy’s parents’ house in Delphos, OH. We’re decompressing here for a few days before driving the final stretch back to Indy.

A mostly-done new kitchen waiting for us at home gives us something to look forward to I suppose, but I’m always a little sad when an RV trip wraps up — especially this one, because this was likely this RV’s last adventure with us.

Yes, it’s time to say goodbye to the ol’ Southy in order to fund a trip to the only state we’ve not traveled to yet.

I’m talking to you, Hawaii.

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