Our readers share tales of their rambles around the world.
Who: Don (the author) and Nancy Kraft and their daughter, Allyson, 15, all of Manassas, Va.
Where, when, why: We took a road trip to Boston; Bar Harbor, Maine; Quebec City; Montreal; and Oswego, N.Y. We wanted to take a trip for our 30th wedding anniversary and were going to take a cruise to New England and Canada, but the price was too high.
Highlights and high points: In Boston, we loved visiting the Harvard campus in Cambridge (the bookstore was amazing), the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Old North Church.
In Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain and the Bar Harbor shops.
In Quebec City, the Chateau Frontenac, the Citadelle and the changing of the guard, Vieux-Quebec, the Musée National Des Beaux-Arts du Quebec and Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.
In Montreal, Vieux-Montreal and the Musée d’Archéologie et d’histoire Pointe-à-Callière.
Cultural connection or disconnect: We wanted a European experience without the cost of flying to Europe, and Quebec and Montreal gave us that. Quebec is like a foreign country within a foreign country. The last leg of our trip was to Oswego, where my wife and I met in college. We had to go through the province of Ontario, and we all mentioned how it felt as if we were leaving another country coming out of Quebec.
Biggest laugh or cry: A funny experience was getting detained at the Canadian border trying to enter Canada. We are so squeaky clean, and maybe that was the problem. Maybe they wanted us to come clean about the one apple or peach we had in the car. My wife and I remember the days when you were just asked your citizenship and passed on through.
A lesson we learned was that we should have invested in a GPS device that could have accepted our own customized routes. Our GPS was always trying to run us off the cliff or send us some merry way to save six minutes.
A trying aspect was that the trip lasted 12 days; 10 would have been better. We had too much together time, and the teen was getting just a tad cranky.
How unexpected: The high temps — we were so expecting lower temperatures. We’d packed clothes for 70- to 75-degree weather and got weather in the high 80s. It was hotter in Quebec than back home in Virginia. My wife hates the hot weather.
Fondest memento or memory: Visiting Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. My daughter’s confirmation name is Anne, and she had a special connection to this shrine. She actually climbed the holy stairs on her knees, saying the required 28 prayers for each of the 28 steps. Also the smell of the balsam in Maine, the French culture surrounded by the English world, and trying new culinary delights, like poutine.
To tell us about your own trip, go to www.washingtonpost.com/travel and fill out the What a Trip form with your fondest memories, finest moments and favorite photos.