Stu and Tracey's summer vacation travel blog

I wrote this post on the flight home, then the iPad stopped working... Got it fixed now so we can post again.

We are in Cape Breton now and getting ready to make our way back to Halifax to catch a flight in the morning and go visit Grandmas and Grandpas before driving back home.

We went to Louisbourg on Friday, and the girls said it was the best museum/historic site they've been to. I would have to agree. We went into a house where a woman was spinning wool by hand (because this colony was not allowed to have a spinning wheel). She told us what her position in the house was and how life would have been in 1744. It was very well done. We even saw a public shaming, wine was stolen so you have to find out who did it.

Yesterday, we met up with Ainsley and Eric for a visit before we took in the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. It was good and the girls took part in the kite building workshop there. It was a beautiful day to fly kites and to stroll around Baddeck and the harbour. Today was raining as we made our way back to Halifax via Mabou where we took in a really nice farmers market, with live music.

Return to Paris and Canada

We spent our last day in Paris doing what the girls wanted to do... Look in some shops, going to a museum (... of chocolate) and going up the Eiffel Tower. Claire even wanted to walk down part way so Stu went down the stairs from the 2nd level and Eleanor and I joined them for the last part from level 1. We enjoyed it all. Paris seemed really quiet this time compared to when we were here in early July. We asked a cab driver about it and he said it was very unusual and likely related to the attacks that occurred in the time between our visits.

So, had a great time but now we are ready to come back to Canada.

We have tried to put together a "Best Of" list .... It was all good so too many things to choose from, but here's what we agreed on so far.

Best swimming pool: Camping Domaine de la Ville Huchet, St. Malo, France...nice set up for playing tag with lots of little hiding places.

Best restaurant at a campground: L'ile D'Offard, Saumur, France....great food and hospitality.

Best gelato: Carriara Gelateria, Florence, Italy...three big scoops in a cone for 3 euros...the kids couldn't even finish theirs

Best apartment: Tours...nice balcony, good location and value....a treat at the end of the bike trip.

Best cafe: in Saumur or the one in Iceland on our last day...always judge these on the quality of the coffee and hot chocolate, and whether there was good wifi. I think Saumur gets the win as the drinks came with little tarts.

Best natural site: Glymur waterfall, hike in, great views along the way and fewer tourists than at the other sites we visited.

Best drink on a hot day: frozen lemonade slush on trail between Vernazza and Cornigla...a nice surprise, great view of Corniglia and visited with a nice young couple from Kitchener on their honeymoon.

Best historical site: Vimy memorial.....nice job, Canada!

Best staircase: I think the engineering that went into the Duomo staircase and dome is amazing considering the time period that it was designed and built.

Best campground: St. pool, and had a creparie and bar on site.

Best campground for cyclists: Montsoreau, fridges and picnic tables for everyone, pool, and good restaurant.

Best water activity: boat rental in Vernazza...nice to get out on the ocean, and get some great views of the Cinque Terre.

Best hill-top town to drive through when the girls are feeling car sick and there's a market being set up so there's no room to move... Bonnieux.

Best bike riding section: trail into Angers, along the river with a canopy of trees taking you right to the campground on the edge of the old city. Also, from Saumur to Turquant where we found the troglodyte caves to ride through.

That's it....we're home!

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