Vacation in the Time of Pandemic
“Let’s take a vacation!” I said to my husband. We’ve been cooped up enough in the house during this pandemic. It’s time to go somewhere. So we set off on a cross-country car trip across Canada. We figured it would take 3 weeks and we’d see interesting sights, meet some nice people and have enjoyable experiences. We planned to transport the car home when we got to Vancouver, and then hop a plane to fly home. We’d been to many provinces in Canada including all the Maritimes and thought that this would be different. So we packed up our bags and headed for the open road. We were not disappointed.
Of course this all took place on our couch. No mask face masks, no Purell, no fear of transmission of Covid. I got out the album that I had painstakingly created from our 1995 TransCanada trip and we re-lived every moment with pictures of people we met, historical sites we visited and items we had collected along the way, such as brochures and labels from wine we particularly enjoyed. We called it our Couchcation!
Montreal was our first stop where we enjoyed the entertainment provided at the International Jazz Festival; I still have the t-shirt! The Botanical Gardens contained both Japanese and Chinese gardens as well as an Insectarium! With over 100,000 specimens from over 100 countries…ewww….some were downright creepy! That evening, we treated ourselves to a nice dinner at a French Restaurant and (of course) saved the label from the wine bottle!
In Ottawa, we did not miss the National Gallery where 30 paintings from the Royal collection were on view … the only exhibition in North America.
In North Bay, we went to the former home of the Dionne Quintuplets (now a museum) who many of my readers will remember as the first quintuplets known to have survived their infancy. Born in 1934, they spent only four months with their family, after which, custody was signed over to the Red Cross. Less than a year after this agreement was signed, the Ontario Government stepped in and passed the Dionne Quintuplets’ Guardianship Act, 1935 which made them Wards of the Crown until the age of 18.The Ontario provincial government and those around them began to profit by making them a significant tourist attraction. Quintland became Ontario’s biggest tourist attraction of the era, surpassing the Canadian side of Niagara Falls! The quaint museum gives all this history accompanied by photos and artifacts.
In Sudbury, I brought in a load of laundry and when I wrote my name on the ticket, the attendant said, “We have a famous store here with your name.” He proceeded to give us directions and we made our way to the Yolles Furniture Store!
Stay tuned for the next episode of this cross-Canada trip where you will encounter a moose that almost took us out and the Alfa Romeo we were driving!