We left Montreal on a frigid, -10 degree, morning. We crossed the Champlain Bridge; the windshield was a mess. I thought the wiper fluid was frozen as I kept pushing the button, and, despite the wipers moving their obligatory three swipes, no fluid came out. The sun reflected a dirty, opaque sheen.
We stopped at a gas station. I cleaned off the windshield and noticed that there was purple-ish snow and ice blocking the windshield fluid dispenser. I didn’t refill the dispenser, but I did get some Tim Horton’s doughnuts for everybody. We headed north on Autoroute 20.
We had been in Montreal for four months without trying poutine, so, about 15 minutes before getting into Quebec, we stopped and ordered some. The poutine, which was french fries smothered with beef gravy and squeaky cheese curds, was tasty, but the kids wouldn’t eat it.
Back in the van, we drove over the frozen, splintery St. Lawrence river and to the Citadelle de Quebec, a museum of Quebec’s 300 year-old fortress. We paid for the tour and wondered through the 22nd Regiment’s history while we waited for the tour to begin.
When our tour time was called, we learned that it was an outdoor, 30-minute tour. As it was still three below zero, we went back in the van and drove to the hotel.
The Le Chateau Frontenac is a gorgeous, historic hotel. After checking in and settling in our room, we wandered around the Christmas tree displays they had in the lobby, and admired the historic photos on display throughout the immense property.
Tired from the day’s 2 1/2 hour drive, we went back to the room to sleep.