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Monthly Archives: September 2016

Day 1 in Percé

Day 1 in Percé

July 15 was our first official day in this lovely city. We woke up to a fascinating view. And to think, this would be our view for the next few days. Not bad at all. We woke up and immediately checked the time. We wanted to have breakfast, and we also wanted to go to hotel reception as we were advised the previous night. So, we called my parents and left for the reception desk. Thankfully, we met a receptionist who spoke fluent English. This meant I wouldn’t have to fake my way through “speaking” French. And it turned out that the gentleman we spoke with the previous night only asked us to go in the morning to make sure we’d be able to communicate with someone. We asked about breakfast and made our way into the dining area.

We were given a table by a window with a view of Pèrce Rock. Our waitress came over with the menu and I went straight for what I knew.


French toast and scrambled eggs, yum 😋. It was the best French toast I had ever eaten. And because I know what I like, I ordered the same thing for the next two days. My husband and parents caught on and soon all of them were ordering the French toast. The teeny tiny dish of beans was just part of the meal I guess. I asked the waitress if there was any meat in the beans because they looked a lot like pork and beans. She kindly told me, “No, there’s no meat. If you find a little piece of pork, you can just take it out.” Um, that sounds a lot like meat in the dish. And of course, it would be pork since I don’t eat it. But I’m glad I asked.

We finished breakfast, went back to the room, and then sat out on the balcony while we waited for my parents to finish breakfast. Once they returned to their room, we all decided to head into town. It wasn’t really a long walk, but it was downhill which would mean a walk uphill to get back to the hotel. I wasn’t really looking forward to that, and secretly I hoped we’d be able to teleport back to the hotel later on.

The weather was lovely, as you can see in the photos below. But, it wouldn’t stay that way. My parents had returned to the hotel, and we decided to stay in town. We stopped at a little cafe and had fries. My husband had coffee because he’s all about the coffee.

We were sitting outside until it started raining. If it were just a light rain, we could’ve handled it. But it was really coming down. We were forced to go buy an umbrella from the gift shop owned by the cafe owners. But, it wasn’t enough for the walk we had. So, I called my dad and asked him to pick us up. Look at that, I managed to not climb that hill afterall. 😉

 

Note to self: When traveling outside of Saudi Arabia, it might actually rain. So, be prepared! Carry an umbrella or rainjacket or something.

 

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Our First Night in Percé

In my previous post, I mentioned that we arrived late at night. We were extremely tired, but happy to have arrived. My dad, my husband and I all walked into to the reception. My dad ran off to the restroom as I walked in with all the confidence in the world and said, “We’re checking in.” The older man behind the counter asked, in French of course, “You don’t speak a little French?” I was so proud to say, “Non.” He then looked at my husband and asked, “And you?” My husband would be worse than me, but you can’t blame the man for trying. He continued talking to us in French, and I just smiled. What else could I do? I suppose I could’ve used Google translate, but it really didn’t occur to me. Actually I don’t trust Google translate because I’ve seen my students’ writing.

As I said previously, I do remember some things here and there and I was able to understand what he was saying to us. He knew we had two rooms. He asked me about the tall man, my dad. So, he wrote that one person would be in the second room and I told him that they were two, ma mère wa (Arabic for “and”) mon père. My husband said, “So you do speak French!” I laughed at this of course. What, I remembered two words and now I speak French? If that’s all it takes, I speak many languages. We were finally shown our rooms, and he showed us where to park the car. He asked us, “Combien nuit (How many nights)?” And I replied, “Quatre (four).” He told us bon nuit (good night) and we called it a night. Finally!

 

 

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The Importance of Trip Planning

The Importance of Trip Planning

We left Ile Aux Perroquets on July 14. And after that, we would be going to Perce in the Gaspesie region. I knew we’d have to take a ferry though I didn’t know how long the ferry ride would be. I also didn’t know that I should make a reservation to ensure we’d be able to cross. I assumed it would be like the ferry we took across to Tadoussac. And all I could think about was having to call to make reservations. Would I be able to communicate with the person? How much would this call cost me? I was using my Saudi number. Yikes! Louise, our hostess, suggested I also check the available trips. So I also wondered if we’d miss the ferry and therefore be stuck somewhere with no hotel reservation. I was calmly freaking out. When we got to the mainland and to the office, we asked Jeff to make the reservation for us. He did it. Yes!!! We had a reservation for 6pm which meant we wouldn’t reach Perce until well after dark. But, at least we wouldn’t be stuck somewhere.

I contacted the hotel where we’d be staying to inform them that we’d be arriving very late. The last thing I needed would be to get there and still be stuck because there’s no one there for us to check in. Whew!

We got in line to park the car on the ferry. It was a ginormous boat. Once we got inside, we paid the balance for the reservation and sat comfortably for the two-hour trip across. It began raining so the view from the window wasn’t anything to write home about. My husband got up in search of coffee because he’s a coffee junkie and it’s all that matters in life apparently. While he was searching for coffee, I sat watching “something”. That’s all I can say about it because I didn’t have a clue what I was watching nor did I understand it. 🙂 Good times!

Once we got closer to arriving, apparently announcements were made. We simply took cues from the people around us and followed along. We got up and headed to the car. When we reached the stairs and the elevator, we all debated about which level the car was actually on. While doing so, a man walked by and stopped. He was quite friendly. He was making a feeble attempt to talk to my husband. Oh the joys of not being able to communicate with someone. He was asking him if we’re going to Gaspe. I was able to understand that, but my husband was unable to understand even me at that point. He was focused on the man’s words and focused on telling him that he didn’t understand. I tried to tell him, but to no avail. The man was so enthusiastic as he asked, and I kept trying to tell my husband to say “Perce”. But they kept having the same exchange.

Man: Are you going to Gaspesie? But in French of course.

My husband: I don’t understand. I don’t speak French.

After witnessing this several times, I raised my voice to say, “Perce.”He was seemingly satisfied with that and wished us a pleasant trip. It was a view into what was to come. But, that was fine with me. I rather enjoyed our “adventures” with French.

We finally made it off the ferry and were headed toward Perce. It should have been about a 2-3 hour drive. But that’s for people who know where they’re going and what they’re doing. We got on the road, and we at least knew we were heading in the right direction. Miles and miles of coastline. It was beautiful. We were able to see one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen. It was not feasible to stop, so I took a picture from the window.

I did my best to make sure my dad was paying attention. My best wasn’t good enough. We missed a turn and instead of trying to turn around, he continued along the same road. It was foggy at times and foggy and rainy at times. On top of all of that, it was pitch black out. It felt like we were the only people on the road. Wait, I think we were the only people on that road. It was pretty scary. Being the paranoid person I am, I kept worrying that we’d find ourselves in the water and never to be found again. My mom was most definitely boiling inside, but I tried my best to convince her to just hold it in.

We managed to make it to the hotel around midnight. Maybe it was later. It was probably later. But who cared at that time? We were just happy that we made it there safely despite the scary conditions.

All of this might have been different if only I had planned things a little better. What’s done is done. What else can I say about it?

Live and learn, friends. Live and learn.

 

 

 

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