We left Wells as early as we could as we had a big day of driving up to Stowe. We stopped at White Mountain National National Park first where the girls swam in the river and we relaxed in the sun. We then moved onto explore Flume Gorge before finishing our drive to Stowe. It was a picturesque drive up through leaf peeping country as fall started to show its colours. After a late dinner at Trio Amigoes it was a quiet night before moving on. Ice cream awaits.
We left Stowe early to fit in a walk up a valley to a local waterfall before heading to the Ben & Jerry's Factory for a tour. I always love finding out how things are made and hearing a brand's story and the girls like ice cream so it was a great half hour break on our drive from Stowe across Vermont and up in to Canada and Montreal where we were heading. We heard all about the "cow to cart" journey of their chunky ice cream and its beginnings in Vermont in the late 70s after Ben and Jerry they took a $5 correspondence course from Penn State on ice cream making.
It was an interesting comparison to 'Mast' chocolate and its "bean to bar" story. Then it was back on the road for a border crossing and on to Montreal.
We unloaded the car at Hotel Brossard our very French looking hotel outside the centre of Montreal. After waiting for rush hour to clear we then drove into the centre for Vietnamese in China Town.
In Montreal we spent our full day exploring the stunning Notre-Dame Basilica which was unbelievably beautiful, walking down to the old waterfront, lunching at Bagel etc, exploring the Parc Mont Royal and then ending with dinner at Sumac.
From Montreal it was on along the Lake Ontario on our way to Toronto. Along the way we fitted in:
In Toronto we settled in down at our central hotel and got some good shoes on for some serious exploring. After 3 days of heatwave the temperature dropped and we got our raincoats out for one of the few times of the trip to head off to the Invictus Games archery. We had hoped to catch the NZ team but missed them by an hour or two. We were able to see Great Britain win a gold against the USA and also tour a tank on the way out of the venue. We then walked right across town to the distillery district where there lots of great little design and art shops before dinner at the Mill St Brewery.
Day two in Toronto we enjoyed exploring more of Toronto by foot including the St Lawrence Street markets before Rob went off to see a game of ice hockey that evening and I took the girls to see all the Invictus athletes walking into the stadium. It was great to be able to cheer in team NZ, Sophia and Olivia were given pins from several athletes while Olivia even got to wear Vanessa Bawden-Pere's gold medal.
It has been an exciting and action packed seven days and it wasn't time to stop as next up was Niagara Falls. A short drive from Toronto and we were there. We unloaded quickly and rushed down to see the Falls before sunset. It was absolutely breathtaking, the amount of water going over was unbelievable. It was hard to believe anyone had ever passed over them and survived but we were told about a seven year old who had fallen in and survived.
My Mum had been to see them 40ish years ago and recommended the Lady of the Mist boat trip so after a morning of arcade games and mini golf we went across the bridge back to America and down to catch a Maid of the Mist boat tour. We were lucky to get quite an empty boat so were able to stand right at the front and get soaked as the boat went right up and through the mist of the falling waters. Of course all Olivia's soft animals also had to take the trip with us. Also Olivia refused to wear one of the pink rain coats provided - the only one on the boat not to...of course! 🙂
That night it was off to Buffalo the home place of buffalo wings. You can guess what we had for dinner.