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Help for parents who are not old yet!

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 03:55 PM
LOL, some title, eh? Well, the story is this:

My parents live in France, near Bordeaux (Bergerac, for those who know where that is). Last fall, they came to visit and rented a car from here in Montreal, drove around the Gaspe region and I'm not even sure how far east they got.

Now they just wrote me and said they wanted to come back this fall (nice!) but were thinking of flying to Vancouver, rent a car, and drive over to Montreal, as it's a trip ... and I quote ..."that we feel we should make before we get old" ... they are 71 and 76, so when they plan on getting old I don't know.

The thing is, they re-thought the idea because the plains ... well, when you've seen 2 miles of 'em you've basically seen all, right? No offence guys! So the second idea was to rent a car in Vancouver (still) and drive to Edmonton, drop off the car, take a train to Toronto, and rent a new car there to come here.

The question I have is this:

* is Edmonton the best last-stop-before-the-plaines?
* what places should they plan to stop to see on the train trip?
I know it's possible to jump off (at a station where the train stops, not while it's driving!) a certain number of times when you take one of those trans-Canada-train trips, but it would be silly to miss out on something because they got off at something not as worth while, if you see what I mean.

So if anyone has any imput for me to give them, we'd appreciate it a LOT.

06canyon
February 25th, 2008, 04:02 PM
it's a nice drive from Vancouver to Edmonton. I hope they enjoy it.

chico2
February 25th, 2008, 04:04 PM
I know what you mean with the plains,we drove from Calgary to Pincher Creek for 3 hours,nothing but Canola-fields,gets really hard on the eyes after a while:laughing:
That's as far west as we've been,so I really cannot advice you,but your parents sure have spunk,that's a looong drive.
I know of Bordeaux,but not Bergerac,I am sure it's beautiful though.
Hubby grew up in Toulouse France.

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 04:09 PM
Ah Toulouse, "La Ville Rose" ... hear a lot about it, seen pics, never been!

Bordeaux .. you drive to and through St.Emilion .. keep going east and hit Bergerac with the Chateau Montbasillac ... wine from start to finish! :D

OK, so it looks like (so far, with two ideas coming in) that the Edmonton/Toronto train idea is the best? Keep 'em coming, if any of you plains-guys have any input, or if someone on the car-routes know of something they MUST see ... historical or local manufacturing - from things to food and drinks ... let me know!

14+kitties
February 25th, 2008, 04:10 PM
No advice Sarah. Just wanted to say 71 and 76 really isn't that old these days. My mom is 81 and she thinks she is still young!

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 04:12 PM
Hmm, Gerri I might just tell them to pass by your place! Dad is cat-crazy! He'd love your bunch (you might not see the tail lights of the car for a while though) :laughing:

14+kitties
February 25th, 2008, 04:15 PM
Bring 'em on mf, bring 'em on!!!!!:p
I am good with "old" people. I figure I am gonna be one in about 50 years, I better learn how to be nice. ;)

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 04:19 PM
You're on :thumbs up I'll tell them. E-mail me directions on how to get to you so I can land-mail it to them ... yeah, they are in the dark ages when it comes to electronics, no computer!

jiorji
February 25th, 2008, 04:21 PM
sigh....my parents are barely 50 and they're moping aorund about achy backs and i'm already getting the "we're not as young as we used to be...why don't you ask how our health is when we call??" talk. :eek:...i'm not exagerrating.
I'm not even going to get on the list of supplements they take a day. "After a certain age...".....:rolleyes::frustrated:


I don't know what to say....I love fields. I think it's the most beautiful thing to see. Although Canadian fields aren't the same as the European ones. sigh.....French fields with their little scattered villages ...... :cloud9:

but I also have a barn fascination and i think Sask. has lots of those :cloud9:

and.....there's no poppy fields...Europe has those and it's just AMAZING!! and the sheep and cows :cloud9:


ok...Europe withdrawal :sad: why isn't Europe closer?!?!:yell:

14+kitties
February 25th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Okay dok! I will do that. They would have to backtrack if they got a train to Toronto though. We are 2 hours the other way. Turkey is calling. Gotta go get rest of din din together. :D

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 04:37 PM
My dad has one small pill to take per day, mom is humouring her Dr. by taking a half-pill daily. The good thing is, that if my parents call him, the Dr. knows it's urgent and serious, because they don't go running after pills and remedies every other day like some people do :rolleyes: my sil is a Dr and she's exasperated with some year-end "heart attacks" that are just severe over-eating symptoms! Or someone calling her at midnight for a splinter in their finger! But there you have it, some HAVE to see a Dr if they sneeze twice in one hour, others just have a glass of cognac (dad) :D

Sheep, cows ... oh, Swiss alpine slanted fields with cows on :cloud9: ... goats, horses ... hmm. I miss my goats :yell: all 13 of them :cry:

True, Europe should be closer! Which way are the continents drifting? Europe to the Americas, or away? I want to show Lewis all the nice little places I know, away from the tourist stream, where the people are authentic and the prices normal.

I think "old" is a state of mind, not age-related. There are people who act old at 30, then you have my two loonies who climb down a steep embarkment to the shore in order to take pictures of seals ... because from the road they'd look like rocks! Well, back up the same way wasn't possible :eek: they walked for 1-2 km along the rocky beack, and climbed up another part of the embarkement over a large-rocks slide, then crossed a feild full of sheep, climbed over the fence and onto the road ... and another 1-2 km back to the car. That was in Scotland last summer.

My grandma was 94 when she died (dad's mom). Guess they die old in the family. Mom's parents ... well, grannie died of cancer when mom was 14, granps managed to get gangrene from a sore he didn't want to bother the Dr with! Dad's dad died at 75 or so, from an old, badly treated illness that he'd survived with for 12 years!

So I think I'll have my folks around for a while longer :thumbs up

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 04:39 PM
Okay dok! I will do that. They would have to backtrack if they got a train to Toronto though. We are 2 hours the other way. Turkey is calling. Gotta go get rest of din din together. :D

If they're even interested, but I'll be sure to tell them about the cat refuge!

Turkey? I'm making chicken breasts, baking them, then putting them in a dish with cooked cauliflower, covered with a thick bechamel sauce (from whole wheat flour, healthy margarine and soy milk, so not fattening at all) and a little low-fat grated cheese on top, and pop back in the oven for just long enough to get golden while we have a salad ... hmm, better get to the kitchen and start on that :D

06canyon
February 25th, 2008, 04:48 PM
I don't want to offend anybody, Fly from Edmonton. Born and raised in the prairies (land locked)

CearaQC
February 25th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Are your parents computer savvy or have access to the internet? My parents are in their mid 60s and are quite skilled at planning trips. They even pre-pay their vacations over a year in advance, like a lay away vacation. :laughing:

But if your parents have internet access, they can read about all sorts of places to see and things to do.

What do they like to do? Just drive around and look at stuff? Or are they more active in taking walks and such? A desire to learn anything new?

If they like flowers or plants, they could visit all the botanical gardens and National Parks on their route. Lots of leisurely strolling, looking and taking pictures. Historic homes and sites is another. Or visit wineries and breweries, places of Canadian crafting, pioneer stuff, etc. Maybe if they had some sort of a plan or theme... that might make trip planning easier.

SnowDancer
February 25th, 2008, 04:52 PM
Personally I would probably drive from Vancouver to Calgary (or Edmonton) and then FLY to Montreal. Same scenery although you can always read a book. Would look for a good Tango fare.

SARAH
February 25th, 2008, 04:59 PM
No PC for them :) they only just got a cell phone!

Last year, they went to see the place where Jaques Cartier landed in Quebec, having been to Honfleur in France where he left from.

One year, they drove around in the States (about 25 years ago), Carlsberg Caverns, the Alamo (history), Bryce Canyon, San Fransisco and Fisherman's Wharf, Yellowstone ... stopped in a few Indian Reservations and bought stuff. Flew to Hawaii and back, drove a Horizon over the Rockies and broke down in Colorado so they came back with a huge Lincoln :laughing:

History is one thing, nature; local arts/crafts, making of local stuff like maple syrup or local cheeses ... you name it, they're susceptible to being interested!

I'll tell them you guys said to fly over the plains though :laughing:

pbpatti
February 25th, 2008, 05:22 PM
Hey Sarah it sounds like your folks are still very young at heart and the body will follow. I think that the posters from BC should give you BC and us in AB can do the same, don't forget SK and MB too:D:thumbs up

There is the trip from Calgary to Banff to Jasper that is beautiful, Grande Cache ( NW of Edmonton) area for siteseeing, fishing, hiking. I think there may be some ghost towns in the area also? Then Edmonton, lots to see in and about.

I drove from Edmonton - NL and back and I would do it again. Each province has it's own beauty and differences.

IMO the drive through Ontario has to be the longest drive ever, your wonderful province just does not end:D

I have more:2cents:if you want.:crazy::D pbp

TeriM
February 25th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Sarah, what kind of time frame are they looking at?

I would suggest if they are flying in to Vancouver to take a little time and make a trip to Vancouver Island to see Victoria (fabulous museum, beautiful parliament buildings, butchart gardens etc.) and if they interested a trip to Tofino (west coast of island) is spectacular although it is a twisty drive and if wild beaches aren't their thing then maybe not.

I personally prefer the scenery to Calgary vs Edmonton. The drive through to Banff is spectacular. They could easily do the drive that way and then go up to Edmonton (about 2 hours i think?) to catch the train.

coppperbelle
February 25th, 2008, 06:25 PM
Not having ever been that far out west I don't have any clue what they should do but I just wanted to say "good for them". I hope to be like them some day.
Have they thought of renting an RV? I know a lot of Europeans do that. They fly to a location and then drive across country. Great way to see it.



I hope they have a great trip.

Hogansma
February 25th, 2008, 11:16 PM
I agree that Vancouver Island would be a good place for them to see. There is Chemainus with the hand painted murals (small, crafty place), of course Tofino with endless beaches and whale watching.

On the way to Edmonton is Banff and Lake Louis (the lake is beautiful, a "must see"). Banff is very touristy and a bit expensive. Jasper is nice too and less touristy. They will see all kinds of wildlife so be prepared to stop, but don't be stupid about trying to get out and take photos up close. There is a new bridge, somewhere near Jasper, I think (anyone know the name and location??) that is a totally amazing feat of engineering (your Dad may like that).

Hope they have a wonderful trip!

rainbow
February 25th, 2008, 11:51 PM
Ssrah, I think it's great that your parents are still so active. :thumbs up

Here is the B.C. Tourism website. If you click on "order free travel information" under "Interact" on the right hand side they will send out info and an accomodation guide to you....

http://www.hellobc.com/en-CA/AboutBC/BritishColumbia.htm

SARAH
February 26th, 2008, 06:37 AM
Thank you all so much!

Funny thing, they have a program about Quebec on TV right now ... making poutine! Lol.

Called them with the info you gave. :thumbs up

Love4himies
February 26th, 2008, 06:48 AM
I have driven across the country many times and I WOULD NOT recommend they miss the prairies. It is not as boring as you may think. There are interesting landscapes. Plus out of two week drive, what is a couple of days?

One place they should not miss is Drumheller. It is like nothing on this planet and they have the Royal Tyrrell Museum there.

Once you get past Winnipeg (it is a very nice city, Assiniboine Park is beautiful place to spend the day), the scenery is stunning. Lake of the Woods, driving around the great lakes. Once again along that route, there are many things to see that would be missed if you go by train.

I would be a shame if not to see all that Canada has to offer, prairies included.

Love4himies
February 26th, 2008, 06:53 AM
Sarah, what kind of time frame are they looking at?

I would suggest if they are flying in to Vancouver to take a little time and make a trip to Vancouver Island to see Victoria (fabulous museum, beautiful parliament buildings, butchart gardens etc.) and if they interested a trip to Tofino (west coast of island) is spectacular although it is a twisty drive and if wild beaches aren't their thing then maybe not.

I personally prefer the scenery to Calgary vs Edmonton. The drive through to Banff is spectacular. They could easily do the drive that way and then go up to Edmonton (about 2 hours i think?) to catch the train.

If you drive to Calgary, and miss Edm, take a little detour to the Columbia Icefields just outside of Lake Louise.

I loved Tofino, great whale watching and the drive is beautiful.

Love4himies
February 26th, 2008, 06:54 AM
I agree that Vancouver Island would be a good place for them to see. There is Chemainus with the hand painted murals (small, crafty place), of course Tofino with endless beaches and whale watching.

On the way to Edmonton is Banff and Lake Louis (the lake is beautiful, a "must see"). Banff is very touristy and a bit expensive. Jasper is nice too and less touristy. They will see all kinds of wildlife so be prepared to stop, but don't be stupid about trying to get out and take photos up close. There is a new bridge, somewhere near Jasper, I think (anyone know the name and location??) that is a totally amazing feat of engineering (your Dad may like that).

Hope they have a wonderful trip!
I know there is a new bridge in BC that just opened, but I think it is on the way to Calgary, not Edm.

Writing4Fun
February 26th, 2008, 06:58 AM
Agree with L4H. We did the MTL to Calgary drive once. It was an experience I recommend to every Canadian. Also agree that Drumheller is a must-see. :thumbs up :ca:

SARAH
February 26th, 2008, 07:06 AM
I think I'll print this entire thread and send to them :D or I send a link to my brother better, he's got internet!

Actually, they were just saying they'd need about 6 months, because they'd like to go north as well, see if they could spot a polar bear! LOL, if they had the money for a 6-month trip, I know they'd do it too!

Anyway, the car + train will be about the same price as renting the car from Vancouver to Montreal, so it sounded like car all the way was still a possibility. Also, they NEVER take the highways, only the country roads, and there is always something to see at least once during the day :rolleyes:

Heheheh, I remember one summer, we were driving from Norway - ferry to Denmark - through Denmark, and then on through Germany and into France, but this particular day ... Denmark. Road is straight as a ruler. Landscape flat as a pancake, and the same color too because there's a lot of wheat-fields etc. Not ONE curve anywhere, for hours on end. Suddenly, dad turns into a parking area by the road, and back out onto the road. :confused: :confused: "I just had to check and see if the wheels would still turn".

:laughing: :laughing: see the way their minds work ? :laughing: :laughing:

CearaQC
February 26th, 2008, 07:20 AM
No PC for them :) they only just got a cell phone!

Last year, they went to see the place where Jacques Cartier landed in Quebec, having been to Honfleur in France where he left from.



Poutine - yum!

Ah so they came to Gaspe then. Well not much to see here at the Cartier landing area and the only thing commemorating it is a wood cross on the catholic church site not too far away. There isn't much to do here unless you're interested in eco-tourism or hunting/fishing.

I think they would have a blast (if they have the time and $$) to fly to Alaska, and drive down to BC, then to the red wood forests in the USA, then back to BC, drive across the plains and end up back in Montreal, and fly back to France. Or head all the way to the Atlantic coast and tour PEI and Nova Scotia. They might need an interpreter if they ever go to Newfoundland though. I can never understand that heavy accent. :laughing:

A funny note, a friend of ours from Halifax pronounces Quebec as kwee-beck. lol

Love4himies
February 26th, 2008, 07:21 AM
Actually, they were just saying they'd need about 6 months, because they'd like to go north as well, see if they could spot a polar bear! LOL, if they had the money for a 6-month trip, I know they'd do it too!


Then they can head up to Churchill from Winnipeg, not sure on the drive though, may have to take the train (if there is one) or fly in.

SARAH
February 26th, 2008, 07:28 AM
Just sent a link to this thread to my brother. Love all the great advise and comments. Thanks guys!

chico2
February 26th, 2008, 07:44 AM
Sarah,Jiorji mentioned "old"50yr olds and it's sooo true,I know a few of them:laughing:
Hubby and I just finished pulling out the livingroom carpet and laying a new floor,us beeing 64/65 resp,sure we have aches and pains the day after,but after such an adventure we were achy even at 30yrs old.
Friends of ours say,you did WHAT!!
Oh well,your parents seem to live their lives to the fullest and that's great.
Personally I've kind of lost the travel-bug,we've seen a lot,been a lot of places in the world,one place I still like to go to here in Canada is Newfoundland and maybe next winter Martinique to finally meet hubbys sister.

SARAH
February 26th, 2008, 08:03 AM
I can just imagine you being sore :D but isn't it great to be rid og the carpet!!?

Newfoundland I'd like to visit, and Labrador; and Nova Scotia ... Dani's a NS Duck Toller after all :D and the west coast, and ... heck, Quebec! Lol.

You're no older than you think you are. It's all in the head (or mostly).

aslan
February 26th, 2008, 03:31 PM
Sarah if you or a friend have caa you can call them and ask for a Triptick, it is a series of maps, they mark off the course for you whichever route you want, that way mom and dad don't get lost on their excursion.

SARAH
February 26th, 2008, 04:08 PM
:D thanks for the tip, but they won't know where they are going till they get there :laughing: part of the fun, for them, is to take a road because it looks pretty, or the sign shows a name that looks/ sounds funny :D

I remember one summer, my brother looked at the map of the UK and set the route from one weird-looking named city/village to another, with no system or plan other than that! OK, he threw in every castle ruin along the route he'd made from the funny names on the map. It was quite a vacation :laughing:

Still, I'm keeping this thread, so if they are interested we can look into it. Thanks again :thumbs up

coppperbelle
February 26th, 2008, 07:54 PM
[QUOTE=chico2;552972]Sarah,Jiorji mentioned "old"50yr olds and it's sooo true,I know a few of them:laughing:
Hubby and I just finished pulling out the livingroom carpet and laying a new floor,us beeing 64/65 resp,sure we have aches and pains the day after,but after such an adventure we were achy even at 30yrs old.
Friends of ours say,you did WHAT!!
Oh well,your parents seem to live their lives to the fullest and that's great.
Personally I've kind of lost the travel-bug,we've seen a lot,been a lot of places in the world,one place I still like to go to here in Canada is Newfoundland and maybe next winter Martinique to finally meet hubbys sister.[/QUOTE

Newfoundland is beautiful. We never made it Labrador as there is so much to see in Newfoundland.

Hogansma
February 26th, 2008, 10:51 PM
Oh, I forgot to mention too that they may like a day trip from Vancouver up to Whistler. It's where the 2010 winter olympics will be held... all the ski stuff anyway. It is also nice in the summer with neat shops, chalets, hiking trails. It can be done in one day.

pbpatti
February 26th, 2008, 11:14 PM
I need to second for going to Newfoundland, it is so different from the rest of Canada but it fits. I for one will go back there. The ferry landing at Port Au Basque at dawn...ohhh what a beautiful site that was. the colors of the sky mingling with the colors of the homes, it was perfect. the return trip from Argentia was a longer journey and the Atlantic Ocean was not happy the night we crossed back to the mainland.:sick::sad: pbp

aslan
February 27th, 2008, 05:44 AM
LOL, pbp my newfie spouse is jumping up and down thoroughly agreeing with you. If nothing else they will learn a new language in newfie.

coppperbelle
February 27th, 2008, 06:07 AM
I heard the crossing from Argentia was a bit loooong so we opted to drive back to Port aux Basques and on the way stop and see all our favorite spots one more time.
Absolutely beautiful!

chico2
February 27th, 2008, 06:27 AM
We drove a few summers ago from here to Halifax and Cape Breton,crossed over to Maine,US on the way,soo many beautiful places.
We will definetly visit Newfoundland before we are an urn on the fireplace mantle:laughing:
I met a friend of a friend,a lady from NF,although at times I did not understand her:laughing:she is wonderful,even though she's not able to make a decent living in NF,she glows when talking about NF.

aslan
February 27th, 2008, 06:33 AM
Lol, can totally understand the (not understanding) when my partner gets really mad i have no idea what she's saying. Oh yes newfoundland is a definate must. Our house is still being built down there(or is it over) We have a huge amount of land with a creek and pond. So maybe you can come visit when its done. All fur babies will be welcome. oh and Sarah's parents.