Tag Archives: Sherbrooke

The final trip to Quebec for Convocation

This past weekend was our final trip to Quebec with middle child (note I say middle child since the young man still has two more years oh gawd). We were going Bishop’s to watch her graduate from University. After five years of living in Lennoxville for nine months of the year, it had finally come to an end, there would be no more 9+ hour drives up on Saturday, collapse into bed, than the next morning open our wallets take her grocery shopping Sunday morning, say goodbye, and start the drive home. Knowing it would be the last time she would see a lot of the friends, it was a sad trip for her, friendships she had built up over the five years she spent at Bishop’s University.

The drive up was not a quiet drive at all. We were not only taking middle child but two of her best friends. Having driven with the girls many times, the first thing one of them asked was whether or not we would play the alphabet game? (This is where you start at the beginning of the alphabet, try to find the letter ‘a’ on a truck, continue on until you have found all the letters, then start again, this time using signs on the side of the road).

The drive started off fine, the usual stop at the drive-thru for coffee, tea, ice coffee, sandwiches, muffins, etc., and since we left at rush hour, traffic was congested so we hopped on the toll highway to try to avoid tie-ups. All was going fine until it started to rain, well drop buckets of raindrops that we had to have the wipers on high for a good portion of the first two hours. Then all of a sudden, the wiper flies off, with the arm still attached it scratches deep into the glass, sounding far worse than nails on a chalkboard.

We pulled over to the side of the road as soon as possible, and hubby walked down the side of the road trying to find the wiper hoping it would still be in one piece. No such luck though, just as he saw the wiper, it was run over by a vehicle rendering it useless. Still raining outside, and in need of a wiper we found an extra one in the back of the van. The only problem with this wiper – it was for the back window, thus half the size of a regular wiper. Hubby moved the wiper on the passenger side window to the driver’s side, and installed the smaller wiper on the passenger side.

A bit further down the road we stopped at the store to find new wipers. Well apparently you need a degree to understand how to install a wiper! In the rain, trying to read instructions, through foggy glasses, hubby finally is able to attach the new wiper. He then goes to remove the much smaller wiper on the passenger side, but it is jammed in so tight it won’t come off. We have no choice but to leave it where it is, and hope it does an adequate job. As the rain starts to come down harder, friend number one can’t get her seatbelt on because part of the belt was stuck in the door. Hubby gets out of the van again, in the rain, and after a few tries is able to open the door to unstick the seatbelt. We stop for coffee before entering the highway again.

Continuing on with our drive, the girls take control of the music, and we grudgingly joyfully listen to the girls sing for the next eight hours. Eventually we arrive in Lennoxville, drop the girls off at our son’s apartment (which was not cleaned by the previous tenants – eww!!) with air mattresses, alcohol and clothes, well hubby and I go to a motel.

Saturday morning we are up early (habit from all those years of feeding the dogs at 6:30 a.m.) so we pick up the flowers I had ordered earlier in the week for middle child. She did not want the usual roses but Gerber Daisies. The rest of the morning was spent waiting for the girls to get ready, then pictures were taken at the apartment, and on campus. Thankfully the rain we had on Friday, did not appear on Saturday, it was a tad cold but otherwise a bright and sunny day. At last we headed into the auditorium for the convocation.

With our new graduate we headed off to North Hatley for more pictures, and dinner at Le Pilsen Pub and Restaurant. After a delicious meal, we headed back to Lennoxville to drop middle child off at her brother’s apartment once again with explicit instructions to have everyone out of by 9 a.m. because we would be starting the drive home.

Picture of middle child waiting to graduate

Our daughter, the new graduate

The drive home was a non-event with the girls pretty much sleeping all the way. As usual there were numerous stops for more coffee and bathroom breaks.

 

 

 

The whirlwind drive to Quebec & back

Last weekend we endured enjoyed one of our whirlwind trips to Quebec and back in two days. The purpose of our drive? Taking the young man back to university and since he had so much baggage this time, putting him on a bus & train & bus was impractical. Even though the drive is very long (9 hours one way, if there are no traffic issues), I always find it enjoyable, except this time, the weather was deplorable.

Driving before the snow storm hit.

Driving before the snow storm hit.

We had hoped that when we started the drive to Lennoxville, the snowstorm would be one step behind us, sadly though the bad weather caught up with us quite quickly. Now we do have snow tires on our van, especially since you never know what type of weather you will experience, when driving through the Appalachian mountains in the eastern townships of Quebec. Thankfully we arrived at our destination with nerves still intact.

River outside son's apartment

I was quite surprised at how fast the river, outside my son’s apartment was flowing.

After a good night’s sleep, and no sleepwalking by me, we were ready to take the young man grocery shopping.  Actually he shopped, well hubby and I took selfies in the supermarket. I did toss a can of Maple Syrup into my son’s cart, while hubby tossed in a few cans of tuna. (Note: hours later, when we were on the road home, I received a phone call from the young man asking “Mom why do I have a can of Maple Syrup?” Damn, I forgot it, hubby remembered to take home the tuna he tossed into the shopping cart).

Goofing around well son is shopping for food

Goofing around well son is shopping for food

When shopping was finished, and the groceries carried up the four floors to his apartment, we started our way home. The drive home was no better than the day before, the only difference was we were driving in an ice storm rather than a snowstorm. As hubby drove, we counted twelve vehicles in the ditch. It was a scary drive home, thankfully though we arrived safely.

The return of the young man

Early yesterday morning,  the young man started his return home for Christmas break. The trip requires a lot of patience and travelling. His day begins with a cab ride to the bus station, then a two-hour bus ride from Sherbrooke, Quebec to Montreal. In Montreal he catches the subway to the train station (Mom forked out the money for the express train). The train ride from Montreal to Toronto takes approximately five and a half hours. Once in Toronto, he catches another train, which will take him to Aldershot, where he will be picked up by his father. The entire trip takes approximately nine hours, so he is quite the tired camper when he arrives home.

When he started his trip yesterday, I sent him a text message, this was how our conversation went:

Mom: Have a safe trip today.

The young man: Pretty sure the bus is going to crash.

Mom: Why of why do you say these things to me?

The young man: I can’t even see my hand in front of my face, it’s so white out and I’m in the bus.

Mom: Are you serious or are you just freaking me out.

The young man: Oh, it’s my turn to drive now, can’t talk. The driver lost his arm to a wild boar, so we’ve been rotating.

Mom: Geez. Love you. I’m off to the market now.

The young man: Don’t forget to actually buy, and bring food home.

Mom: I’ve bought milk, one is defrosting, plus cereal, and chewy bars. Now I just need Brussel sprouts to go with the ribs.

The young man: NO! My first meal home is not going to be Brussel sprouts. I refuse. Buy good food. Broccoli.

Mom: Wide grin.

The young man: Cauliflower. Beans. Potatoes.

Mom: Squash.

The young man: No, ew. Didn’t you get the memo? Contrary to popular belief, everything isn’t about you. You have a child (which you seemingly forgot about) who wants to eat. You have to cater to everybody. Surprise.

Mom: I have to make your sister happy too.

The young man: She doesn’t like food. It’s pointless.

Mom: She likes veggies. Gotta go bye. How is your window seat I bought for you?

The young man: Could be better.

Mom: How?

The young man: It’s fine.

Mom: Okay, enjoy. Text me when you get into Toronto. Your dad is picking you up in Aldershot right?

The young man: Yes. I don’t suppose the GoTrain station is where the GO buses are, right?

Mom: No. They are in union, down 2 floors. I think.

The young man: Score. So I don’t have to walk anywhere?

Mom: Not really, it is under construction, and a mess.

The young man: Yeah, its been under construction since I’ve been born so I’m used to it. (Mom: Not true)

Mom: Whereabouts are you, besides on a train?

The young man: Golly you know me so well.

Mom: Yep.

The young man: Passing some trees.

Mom: Ass

The young man: I need a landmark.

Mom: I was thinking towns, cities, but it might be to fast for you (referring to the speed of the train).

The young man: We haven’t passed a road lately, so no idea. I’m in this really big forest area, though. I bet if you Google map it from space, you could see it, it’s that big. It’ll be a big green blob.

Mom: Your sister says for you to turn on location on your phone, then Google map yourself.

The young man: Oh I know, but where’s the fun? Look. I describe landmarks and you guess. I spy with my little eye a big field. Probably a farm.

Mom: That will never work, I can’t guess who sings a song so why would I be able to figure that out.

The young man: PING. Whoops

Mom: Why are you pinging me?

The young man: ahem note the “whoops”

Mom: Sticks tongue out.