Another miserable UK bank holiday over and a moment to reflect on a pretty good Summer before it’s back to work without a break until Christmas…..no don’t tell me how many days that is, it’s actually wrong if you have that information to hand !
This summer the four of us headed for a Canadian adventure from Toronto to Niagara, Huntsville, Ottawa, Mont Tremblant, Quebec and Montreal. That’s a lot of shopping opportunities with teenagers when there’s $2 Canadian to the pound! Hollister, Abercrombie and Pink got a real spanking, we almost needed to check another case to get home.
On the other hand, two teenagers, a lot of driving, living out a never unpacked suitcase and four of you in a range of family rooms has its challenges, but what we saw in a relatively short space of time was amazing. Upgrades in Niagara ( 2 nights in a 2 bedroom, falls view suite ) and Huntsville ( 1 night in a 2 bedroom apartment that we could happily have spent 2 weeks in !) were a very welcome relief. My daughter spent her sweet 16th birthday at Niagara Falls, breakfast and dinner overlooking the falls and happy birthday sung over the roar of Horseshoe falls on the ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat.
We arrived at Mont Tremblant two days before the legendary Iron Man. The only thing I knew about Tremblant was the Iron Man as I’d watched it on telly, so to arrive as the atmosphere built for the next one was amazing. There were many fine specimens gracing the small town, I never felt such an under achiever simply having run a marathon this year ! Respect to the many ladies also gearing up to compete. The scenery was stunning, very tempting
Running has become a depressing issue. I’d rather talk about my holiday. That niggle I mentioned at the start of August is now a major pain, the break didn’t stop it, it’s there all the time. Worse if I’ve been sat down for a while. There was little time to holiday run anyway being on the move so much, you never get your bearings. But pain or not , I had to keep a holiday running tradition alive and I had to run at Niagara. An amazing 3 miles along the Niagara river from the hotel to the Rainbow bridge which is a border crossing between Canada and the USA, past American and Bridal Veil falls and up to the top of the amazing Horseshoe falls. Who wouldn’t run early morning to get a tourist free picture at this point !
I still can’t give in to what I know is a problem , I tried 5 miles along the edge of Lake Ontario in the beautiful town of Kingston which actually had the only dedicated running shop I saw in the whole of Canada. I then caught a long haul flight home so the limited leg room ( no, sadly not first class!) and limited movement was agony. I’m being an ostrich on this one, I know it.
So back to the holiday,one key question to any Canadians out there……. I never really got the main Canada joke. T shirts, mugs and all those lovely gifts from those lovely Tourist ‘shops of quality’ were emblazoned with “Canada…..eh?” Is that what they say, I never heard it? We all felt left out of an in joke.
But things I now know about Canada….
- The Canadians are really friendly and sincere in a much less brash way than the Americans.
- They’re not as fat as Americans. Or as fat as we seem to be getting for that matter!
- Don’t order a local dish called a ‘poutine’ , it’s just chips and gravy
- There are more trees than I’ve ever seen anywhere, no artificial Christmas trees there
- Quebec is more French than France ! No bilingual signs, no English spoken, great patisserie
Me and my running shoes want to go back in full fitness and in a more settled location to explore that scenery and run through those trees. I feel the next running stories will be somewhat depressing………so long happy summer memories.