The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bonjour du Québec Pt. Quatre

Mauricie National Park(ing lot).

After a few relaxing days staying with our friends in Quebec City, we packed up the car and headed down towards Montreal. Along the way our friends suggested we stop at Le Mauricie National Park to take in the Autumn colours and do a bit of easy hiking. Sounded like a plan. Out west we don't get the brilliant orange and red Autumn colours, so it was a chance to experience them close up.

The park was located about 2 hours west of Quebec City, The Boy slept most of the way there and woke up just as we pulled into the park. Good timing. He's usually in a great mood after a nap so this should be a fun excursion. We pulled in, got his lunch together, plunked him into the stroller and off we went.

He started whining almost right away. A couple hours in a car seat would do that to anyone, so we let him walk the trail with us. We got halfway across the first bridge when he started up again. Maybe he's hungry so we turned back to the picnic area for lunch. Then his toque fell over his eyes, the bugs started biting and he lost it.

We've had more successful lunches I can tell you that. We managed to get a few spoons into him but it wasn't happening, so back to the car we went.

The three of us spend the next hour in the parking lot, communing with the asphalt and car tires. The Boy had a great time, gathering pine cones and burning off some steam, he even finished his lunch. P and I have had better hikes, but at least the parking lot was surrounded by trees. It's like getting The Boy a fancy gift and watching him play with the box; no matter how beautiful the park was, the parking lot was the place for him.

Finally after The Boy burned off some energy we headed down to Trois-Rivières for an early dinner. Monday night in Trois-Rivières, if the place had tumbleweeds they'd be out in force. You could fire a cannon through the downtown core and not hit anyone. Needless to say, finding a place to eat was going to be a challenge.

After some wandering we managed to find a little Italian restaurant that was open and empty; win-win. P and I were hungry and we could let The Boy have the run of the place. Our waitress was super-sweet, despite her poor English and our poor French. The cook on the other hand snarled at us (we're the only paying customers in your establishment buddy, could your attitude be the reason why?). Maybe he didn't like Anglophones, maybe he didn't like Asians, either way we were now suspect about eating here.

"He might spit in our food, or worse." say P.

Worse than spit? You don't mean...

When the food finally arrived we were hesitant, but it was fantastic! "He must have spiced it with hate." Well, I'll take that over spit any day.