Canadian Cruise

October 25, 2009 by Julie Perry Nelson

In October of 2009, my husband, Bill, and I, and two friends from Bloomington, IL, took a cruise from New York north to the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City and back.  We were celebrating our 39th wedding anniversary and our friends, Helen and Jim McCalla, were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.

We flew to New York and spent a couple of days sightseeing.  We had a tour of the city, went to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty, and saw “Billy Elliott”, a wonderful play about a young English boy whose father wanted him to take boxing lessons and he wanted to be a dancer.  The music and dancing were marvelous.

We boarded our ship and started sailing.  Our first stop was in Boston where I toured Lexington and Concord and the other three toured Boston.  I learned more about the American Revolution and saw the impressive statue of a Minuteman.  Back on the ship, we set sail for Halifax.  Three of us took a bus tour to Peggy’s Cove, a tiny fishing village with a small lighthouse.  Very picturesque (even in the rain).  After a full day’s sail, we arrived in Quebec City.  The passage down (up?) the St. Lawrence was just beautiful.  The leaves were very colorful and there were scattered houses and churches visible among the trees.

We visited MontmorencyFalls and St. Anne de Beaupre Shrine, a beautiful Catholic Church with wonderful, colorful mosaics throughout the church.  After a tour of Quebec City and a stop in the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, an impressive hotel on top of a hill, we reboarded the ship and sailed back out to sea and a stop at Charlottetown.  Helen and I took a lovely tour of the countryside, had a delicious lobster lunch, and then went to Green Gables.  The author of Anne of Green Gables lived in Charlottetown.  We visited “Green Gables”, a house in which cousins of her grandparents, a sister and brother, lived.  The house and the people must have been the inspiration for characters in the books.  We also went for a walk in the Haunted Wood.  If you haven’t read Anne of Green Gables, check it out.  It is a cute story and being in the house and woods made the characters come to life.

The next port of call was Sydney, a small town.  We went on a walking tour with a guide dressed in period costume.  We had four stops on our tour; the 1787 Jost House, the 1828 St. Patrick’s Museum, the 1785 Cassit House, and the 1904 Lyceum.  Most guides were in period costume.  (After the Revolution, many loyalists fled to Canada.)  The largest fiddle in the world stands on the waterfront.

After another day at sea, we returned to New York and caught our planes for home.  It was a wonderful trip and a lovely way to celebrate our anniversaries.

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