“Welcome to Fairmont Le Château Frontenac” declared thee French-speaking tourist guide!

As honored guests (proffered the royal red carpet treatment), the initial open gentle arms greeting guaranteed a memorable and inspiring stay not only in one of the most beautiful cities in the world (with easy walking access to all of the wonderful sites and experiences that Old Québec offered), but also the weeks long stay to indulge other cosmopolitan enclaves!

My father, later mother, deux sisters and this diarist stood in awe at the historic complex edifice standing high on a bluff overlooking the mighty Saint Lawrence River!
Thus began our memorable vacation just north of the border!

As continental drifters, we (albeit the Harris family of four free thinking inquisitive individuals) sought provincial nuances that set Franco American neighbors apart from the madding crowds of United States!
Time constraints winnowed down the agreed upon itinerary to the most popular attractions that populated this vast domain well nigh the geographical size of the contiguous United States!
Unanimous consent fraught with only minor disagreement sans an agreeable battle plan to map out a strategic approach!

These Yankees from Olympia aspired to experience a pinnacle of utmost ecstasy from (literary and figuratively) drinking in the multitudinous trademark cultural accents that drew this urbane entity of trios grown children and their aging parents to the land rich in history and culture!

This thousand word epistle will attempt to underscore the main highlights (predominantly urban hot spots) of this vacation mucho years prior to the onset whence the grim reaper stole the mere from the best works of a close knit clan!

Visitation to Ottowa’s Canadian Museum of Civilization the Toronto Zoo and Ontario Science Center scored high marks with me anthropology cerebral dad and zoologically regal (late) mom!

As Canada’s largest city, Toronto (home to many most-visited tourist attractions) found us ineluctably lured to Harbourfront Centre, a 10-acre site on the waterfront, which included shops, restaurants, green space, art performance venues, an ice-skating rink and an extensive boardwalk.

Almost mind boggling that some 110 languages and dialects are spoken among the population of 2.5 million people!

Vancouver office offers another example of Canada’s thrilling diversity exemplified as a prime example of Canada’s “vibrant cities on the edge of nature” offering one respite from the human hubbub within Stanley Park (the forested oasis in the middle of the city – amply replete for the misanthrope to find solace) just down the street!

Outdoor destinations also figured heavily on the list of must see places before heading home!
Oh, thy sublime natural wonders abound and well nigh quenched thine hunger for nature in sublime beauty!

Thus a hankering to absorb visually (in toto with capturing memorabilia in digital format) figured heavily while considered foreigners in an English speaking country!

One storied crown jewel after allowed eyes to feast on glorious mother- nature and included; Banff National Park, in the Canadian Rockies (in the province of Alberta); The Bay of Fundy, another Canadian natural wonder, straddling the eastern provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In this locale the sea rises 50 feet in about six hours) allowing one to imbibe the myriad natural phenomena, including several species of rare and endangered whales!

Before heading to our berth, hearts and minds soaked in the mist from Niagara Falls!