Summit Drive in Quebec’s Eastern Townships

The past weekend was the Canadian Thanksgiving.  My annual activity is to go for a nice hike with my boyfriend however, this year he ended up hurting his foot so we had to look for an alternative.  He had suggested for a drive on one of the many scenic routes so after a little research, we ended up leaving in late morning on Monday and heading to the Summit drive in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.

The Summit Drive is 157km in length and goes over a series of that area’s mountains to see the beautiful views.  Although there aren’t any actual viewpoints (unlike the Charlevoix River Route that I had done last month), it was quite nice to see the beautiful mountainous and colorful scenery full of colorful trees 🙂

The route looks like this:

Route des Sommets

It starts at La Patrie and Notre Dame des Bois (where this picture was taken) and then to Piopolis, Lac Megantic through to the granite houses in Lac Drolet and then to Stratford in the core of the Eastern Townships area ending in St Adrien.  Thats the short version of this drive because despite its many stops, we drove through the landmarks because most of them were closed due to Thanksgiving holiday.

With that said a lot of the pictures are in the car so excuse the reflections in certain pictures 😉

Autumn in Quebec

On the way to Summit Drive starting area

Summit Drive

Eastern Townships

Summit Drive

Over the treetops

Magog

Heading into the Magog area

Autumn in Quebec

Colorful tree all around us on the highway

Beautiful sunny weather: blue skies, slightly cloudy

Beautiful sunny weather: blue skies, slightly cloudy

In the lovely small towns

In the lovely small towns

Notre Dame des Bois

Viewpoint at Notre Dame des Bois

Lac Megantic

Lac Megantic crash site (extends for a pretty long distance)

I need to pause a little and talk about this.  I’m not sure how many people know about the Lac Megantic train crash but I actually left for vacation in the US  (the day of) a year or so ago when this happened, so I didn’t get to see the footage on how extensive the damage was.  Seeing it in front of my eyes while driving through was pretty intense.  Its a tragedy to see this beautiful area being affected like this and the distance that it covers.

Eastern Townships

On our way home

Lac Megantic was the middle of the Summit Drive but we always forget that Thanksgiving is literally the last weekend for seeing these colorful trees because wind and rain usually takes away most of the leaves.  Next year, we have to mark it down to go at the end of September or early October to get even more colorful pictures 🙂

Still, it was a nice drive out with my boyfriend and we had a few laughs and sang to songs on the radio. It was the quality time we wanted together. Plus, we came home to make a lovely meal: our breakfast style dinners 🙂

IMG_7309

Whats on the menu: Sweet Potato Fries, Fried eggs, Bacon, and Lettuce with a delicious rose wine called Beringer 🙂

That was my Thanksgiving event (along with dinner with family but I’ll talk about that in another post).

How was your weekend? Did you celebrate Thanksgiving? 

Hiking: Marais de la Riviere aux Cerises

Thanksgiving weekend usually also means going for a nice hike to catch the last of the colorful palettes that cover the forest from the maple trees that change their colors. The drive is beautiful and the walk is calm and comfortable.  We definitely chose the best day to go for our hike this year.  It was mild weather, sunny, colorful leaves and it was in a beautiful area of the province of Quebec of approximately an hour drive over.

We went to Eastern Townships in the Magog area. Eastern Townships of the beautiful Province of Quebec is one of the many places known for its impeccable scenery.  I’ve been there a few times for Bleu Lavande which is lavender fields, one of the biggest in North America, and I’ve been for the Magog Winter Fest.  However, I’ve never done the hike there.  We chose a relatively easy hike which felt more like a walk on Marais de la Riviere aux Cerises.  Its pretty much a flat area with a few trails that run through the forest and then onto a boardwalk for a good length and that makes this one very special because we haven’t done one like that before.  My boyfriend and I were both recuperating from lack of sleep from the past weeks so it was easy enough for us to get some fresh air and for me to do some photo shooting.

The longest trail there is the Pioneer Trail which is 2.5 km.  With all the stops and detours we took to see observation points, we took about 2 hours or so to finish it up.  I’m sure we’ll be back to hit some of the other trails in the future, maybe at the other national parks to get some mountainous hiking in. This time around, it was amazing fun and very family friendly if ever you want to head there for a relaxing walk :).  I can imagine how equally beautiful it’d look in the summer when all the flowers are blooming and the marsh lands looking more moist than it was this time around.

Do you like to take nature walks/trails? Are there any around you that you’d recommend?

 

Giving Thanks Even More and Lots of Food!

I know, lame title! You already know about the highlight of last week: Boyce Avenue Concert! If you missed that post from earlier today, you can check it out HERE!

This weekend was Thanksgiving weekend in Canada! YAY! Long weekend means so much more time to do lots of stuff! I did talk about doing some stuff on my Pinterest post on Friday night! Guess what? Apparently, whenever I post about doing something, I end up actually doing it more than when I just write it up on my notebook or post it on my fridge or something.

Friday night was nothing special but consisted mostly of watching Pretty Little Liars! I’m on Season 3 now! Its getting more than relaxing intense but intense intense! Other than Pretty Little Liars, my guilt of sitting around doing nothing kicked in some time around 10pm and I got straight to work and did a ton of chores for the next two hours.  Nothing to really post about there..unless you want to see my wonderful laundry hanging skills 😉

Saturday was pretty cool.  I actually got in a lot of sleep.  One of the 10 things I wanted to do! It doesn’t make up for the past 2 weeks of not sleeping a lot but its getting there.  My boyfriend and I got woke up earlier than usual and we managed to do a shopping run.  I picked up 2 horror movies at Walmart for $5 each: The Descent Original Uncut (my review HERE of it with US ending) and Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark. I also got a indie horror film called Frozen, which I did manage to watch yesterday night as well.  The review goes up next week 🙂 I’m still processing it a little.

I promised you food, right? Last night, I went all out and decided to make a crazy meal, which my boyfriend had to step in to help out nearing the end since I have this weird frustration that sets in when I cook for a while longer and things start going crazy.  Panic, I guess….he never understands why I’m a completely different person when I bake…I’m sure some of you do, right?

Here it goes!

First up, I made an Autumn Sangria in the afternoon to let it sit and soak up the fruits a bit.

Autumn Sangria

Prep for Autumn Sangria

The recipe that I used is this one HERE! This is how it turned out 🙂

Autumn Sangria

Autumn Sangria!

This was really strong in my Chinese alcohol intolerance level.  For one, the bourbon tastes very strong and its what soaked into the fruits mostly, so the fruits were delicious, especially the apples.  Second, if you expect citrus like the normal sangria, this one hits the spicy level a little more.  Definitely more autumn with more fruits from this season and a cinnamon sticks (preferably), I only had ground cinnamon so I added a hint of that to the mix.

Moving on, for the main meal, we made a little twist of the Avocado Basil Pasta featured HERE!

Avocado Basil Pasta

Avocado Basil Pasta

We cooked a bit of topping since I’m not really good with raw foods.  Also, we added in some leftover italian sausages and made a side of potatoes. As much as it may not look that great, it tasted pretty awesome 🙂

Sunday morning came around and I was in an extremely happy mood to make some pancakes.  I mixed the batter and my boyfriend helped make it. They were these Pumpkin Pancakes right HERE!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes!

I’ve never made pancakes non-Bisquick style so this was a pretty good trial.  Plus, they tasted SO GOOD! Whats Halloween or Autumn recipes without pumpkins, right?

After that, we headed off for a nature trail in the Eastern Townships for the afternoon.  I have to sort through about 200 pictures from that but the post will be going up soon.  Here’s a picture to give you an idea!

Marais de la Riviere aux Cerises

Marais de la Riviere aux Cerises

I already remember to be thankful everyday for the great things in life that I have but its also a weekend for me to reflect how to be better at being thankful and grateful for all that I have. So far, this weekend’s been pretty epic.

One more day to go! Before I leave you, here’s a nice video about What to Eat for Happiness from Popsugar Fitness! Enjoy!

Just in case you ever need this, with Halloween around the corner! Lets train in case we get hit by a zombie apocalyse (and to insert a bit more Halloween in here)!

I’ll definitely try it soon 🙂 Tell me how it went if you try it out!

Stay happy and healthy! Thats what I’m grateful for: just being alive, being blessed with what I have, and especially meeting all of you in the blogosphere! Thank you for all the love: likes, comments, follows and just simply visiting! Its been a great year so far on Tranquil Dreams and there isn’t enough thank yous to express how grateful I am and how much I appreciate all of you! 🙂

Hope you all had a great weekend! Drop by again! I have a lot prepped for next week 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peaceful

Peaceful is a term I use to describe several different sorts of places, mostly places where people are minimal and you feel like you’re at one with nature or calm and tranquil.

1) Fields of flowers

This was taken at Bleu Lavande in Eastern Townships of Quebec.  This area is a world of peacefulness/calmness.  Walking through the fields felt so wonderful and stress-free.

2) Mountains and peaks

This was taken as I was hiking up this giant slope with my friend in Hong Kong to find this monastery.  In a bustling city with dense population, the new territories gives us the sense of tranquility, but when you walk up these little secluded places like mountains or trails, it brings you into a whole new acquaintance with the idea.  Staring out into mountains covered in giant trees, you can’t stop yourself from feeling like you’ve become a part of nature.

Peaks are usually very touristic and in Hong Kong, its no different.  There is one part on the Hong Kong peak that I always go to and it gives you this view above.  Not a lot of people actually go there but something about being at the peak lookout in a busy and/or densely populated city like Hong Kong (or downtown Montreal) that brings you to feel peaceful.  Maybe its feeling like your the king of the world or just simply how you can’t see all the people down there, but whatever it is, its what makes me love going to peaks.

3) Temples

To be honest, I’m not a very religious person.  I don’t follow many religious practices except maybe offering incense to deceased loved ones or to Buddhist gods in temples or whatnot.  We have to admit temples are quiet and calm and therefore peaceful.  When you walk into a temple or even a church, we feel at peace with whats around us and whatever is going on in our minds.  I feel that peacefulness is most abundant among sacred places in those with Taoist and/or Buddhist themes.  Being at one with nature and flowing with nature and the elements of life are strongly emphasized.