We got up early, in hopes of catching up to Sherri and Erick, who were about 2 ¾ hours ahead of us. By the time they were up and leaving, we were only about 45 min. behind them.
As we worked our way towards Ottawa, we wondered how we could get in to see Parliament Hill (with our trailers in tow). Dale suggested I just call their visitor information line, and so I did. The guy suggested 3 options (there is no parking right at Parliament Hill)
1. Downtown Tourbus Parking ( I’m still not entirely sure what he was referring to, as we were not going to use this option, and I didn’t ask for any more info.)
2. Parking at Champagne pool (321 King Edward Ave.) and then walking 15 min. to Parliament Hill
3. Parking at a Walmart in the suburbs and taking public transit
I called Sherri and relayed our options. We decided on parking at Champagne Pool and walking. A while later Sherri called and said “Don’t do it!”. They were downtown caught in heavy traffic and the parking lot was congested, full, and gave no opportunity to turn around. They were headed for a nearby Walmart, and were going to take a cab.
We quickly detoured to the Walmart suggested to me by the information line. If you’re ever in the area, here’s the info:
Walmart located at 2210 Bank Street. Take the #97 Bay Shore bus and get off at the Metcalf/Albert stop (it’s about a 30 min. bus ride). It’s then less than a 5 minute walk to the Hill. When returning, catch the bus 1 block over (on Metcalf and Slater) to the South Keys stop. You DO need to ask about parking the trailer at that Walmart. It IS allowed, but there’s a specific area you need to be in. At the time we went (summer 2017) it was $1.75 for kids 6 and up, and $3.40 for adults to take the bus.
We got there too late in the day to take a tour (which you needed to be a part of to go inside the building , but we did walk around the grounds and admire the views.
After that quick visit we headed back out to the Trans Canada Hwy. We were headed towards Montreal, but had been warned by numerous people that we did NOT want to take the Trans Canada through the city. Instead, we turned off onto the #30 HWY, just before Montreal. A little way down the road is a toll (you pay $2.05/axle) but it is apparently totally worth it, for the time savings and better road conditions. We turned back onto the Trans Canada on the other side of Montreal and continued east. About 30 minutes later we pulled into a roadside rest stop to cook supper, use their (very clean!) bathrooms, let the kids run around, and discuss how much farther we wanted to drive.
We decided on another “Walmart Night” at a place south of Quebec City (just across the St. Lawrence River). At one point (near our destination) we accidentally too our first wrong turn of the entire trip, and ended up going over the bridge into Quebec City. The bridge itself was gorgeous! I wish I’d gotten a photo, but in the moment it was dark, we were tired, flustered, and trying to find our way back. Alas – another photo op. missed!
It was around 11:00 pm when we finally pulled in to Walmart, and I couldn’t believe how many trailers, motorhomes, camper vans, etc. were already parked there! The lot was probably 1/3 full of overnighters. (But no other Winnebagos!) Time to sleep, and get ready for Day 5!