This year I was prepared and got everything ready for Christmas the weekend before so we could travel to Canada for a quick get-a-way. Our destination was the lovely Quebec City and what a beautiful, magical city. The Fairmont Frontenac offered me a discount to stay at their hotel and of course I said yes. This magical castle located on Cap Diamant overlooking the majestic St. Lawrence River is the place to stay.
It is a castle and it is magnificent! The lobby was decorated for the holiday season and had about 20 Christmas trees all decorated I believe from local companies. A cute dog greets you when you check in. The hotel is very dog friendly and you can pay a bit extra to have your pup stay with you. Daphnie is their St. Pierre breed (a cross between a Bernese Mountain Dog and Lanernese) and the story is she was trained to be a guide dog by the Mira Foundation. But because of her amazing social skills she is now the Canine Ambassador at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac!
We loved everything about the resort — especially the food. We were lucky to be offered complementary breakfast at the Place Dufferin – Lovely views of the Saint Lawrence River and croissants for everyone! The hotel also has a Starbucks and we had wonderful drinks and light bites at the 1608 bar. There was so much to explore on the grounds of the hotel. The kids loved the pool. I loved the cute shops and really all the holiday décor was magical. I highly recommend traveling here during the holiday season. It is a hotel unlike any other I have ever visited – charming yet grand, magical and stunning – a perfect retreat for the Christmas season.
Fun winter activities in Quebec
In addition to exploring the grounds of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac we ventured out to the Quartier Petit-Champlain. This area right below the hotel with adorable shops and restaurants is a must to visit. With the holiday lights and Christmas trees with snow it was like being in a snow globe! We were also able to experience the German Christmas Market. Beautiful decorations, tasty treats, choral singers – all around a magical time! The toboggan slide at the Frontenac is a must ride! It is open Mid-December to March and what a rush and fantastic views of the Frontenac and the River. I read that it can be as fast as 40 miles an hour! This is one activity that you have to experience! In addition, we took a ride and went dog sledding! This was the best experience. We went to Aventures nord-Bec Stoneham. The whole experience was a dream! First you learn how to maneuver the sled (yourself!) Then a guide takes you on a ride in the forest with your dogs. Each sled is for two people so you get a chance to ride and then steer the sled – it was a magical experience. We also got a chance to visit with the puppies after. They also served hot chocolate and cookies to us. This activity is a must if you go in the winter to Quebec. We also went ice skating too – there are a few places to go and here is a link. I do believe we stopped at this place – the Plains of Abraham. There are so many outdoor activities to enjoy in Quebec in the winter.
I would highly recommend a winter trip to Quebec and to stay at the Fairmont Frontenac! We loved it!
Disclosure: The Frontenac offered me a discount on the room and complementary breakfast. As always all opinions in this blog post are my own.
Happy 2018! January is well underway and it is a new year! I hate to say the word resolutions….I like New Year’s Goals better! What are your goals for the new year? How do you achieve them? I do like to write them down in a travel journal. I also loved the last time I was at lululemon they posted the employees vision and goals worksheet. It is just one of the many sheets that to help you visualize and plan out your goals. Last year my goal was to travel more and this year my goal is to travel monthly. I don’t mean get on a plane each month, but I do mean travel – day trips, new experiences, spending time with family and friends. Whether it’s that girls’ weekend you have been planning or a birthday celebration…just do it! We love our trips into Boston, the beach, skiing, visits with friends, the beach, the beach….Did I mention the beach? Anytime my toes are in the sand, the waves are crashing and my kids are taking selfies (lol) or just spending time together traveling is worth it. Happy 2018 and here’s to a year of good travel and health and happiness!
Christmas is almost here! Are you ready? Any travel plans in the near future? Whether you are traveling near or far to visit family or spend time with friends on a vacation it can be stressful traveling during the holiday season. We just got back from the Bahamas as we were lucky enough to head there for my daughter’s gymnastics meet. There were lots of kids from all over the world and a great opportunity for all the girls at our gym. It was such a fun experience. I like how it was the week before Christmas although we did need to take the girls out of school for a few days but it was a great opportunity! Sun and warmth when it was in the teens and 2os for temperatures in Boston was a welcome relief. We got to enjoy beach activities, all the slides at Atlantis and quality family time. It was THE BEST trip. Next time we go to Atlantis I will plan ahead a bit more and bring snacks for sure as the food can be a bit pricy. Speaking of planning if you are traveling before or during the holidays here are a few tips!
1. Plan ahead – I did all my holiday shopping and wrapped the presents before I left. So right now I am relaxing and watching holiday movies! If you are headed someplace for the holiday think about sending your packages ahead of time.
2. Use the plane or car ride for lists, planning and any last minute work – My girls had to do some school work and homework and I suggested they do it on the plane so they could enjoy the time on the beach. I got some work done as well – use the transition time to your destination wisely.
3. Limit technology if you can – It was nice to do activities without being glued to our phones. That and the Wi-Fi was spotty in places so it was forced family fun lol – no, but seriously I tried to take some photos, relax, and check the phone at night before bed. The kids were really good at taking breaks with their phones. Plus the slides at Atlantis are just crazy fun so no phones allowed! See video below.
Here are some photos from our Atlantis get-a-way.
A fun Atlantis Bahamas trip the week before Christmas!
My gymnast at Atlantis Bahamas – at the Atlantis Crown Gymnastics Invitational
So glad last year we got a Go Pro. It is amazing to take action photos!
Go Pro action photo while parasailing at Atlantis Bahamas
It HAS been a while since I went on a trip without my kids and my husband and I really needed a quick get-a-way. That is why a couple friends and I booked a trip to Miami! It has always been a favorite place of mine to visit and a quick plane right from Boston (about 3 hours) and provides lots of warmth, good shopping and great food! We stayed at the Fontaine Bleau
This is THE hotel to stay at and it was lots of fun. Each restaurant at the hotel is award winning. Even the treats at the coffee shop were yummy. Our first night we ate at ScarpettaWe indulged in the chefs choice 4 course meal and it was fantastic. Two appetizers both hot and cold, a sampling of fresh pasta (duck and veal – thankfully our wonderful waiter said to step out of our comfort zone!) and the main course of beef and chicken and the two best deserts I have ever had!
The next night we ate at the Yard Bird Another step out of our comfort zone and they served traditional southern meals. We ordered essentially the fried chicken sliders, mashed potatoes (but with a few veggies thrown in) and a hard cider! It was sooo good! Our last night we grabbed a burger at 5 Napkin(yes, It was the best burger I have had in a long time!) We also ate lunch at the famous Joe’s Stone Crab.
I am so glad were were able to eat at Joe’s as it is a Miami hot spot and my crab cake sandwich was unlike any I have ever had. Nice presentation too!
If you do head to Miami a trip down Lincoln Road and Ocean Drive is a must, Drinks poolside @DelanoSoBe is also recommended. I loved my pina colada (but if you want several drinks be warned that they are $17 each!)
We really weren’t into partying too much as laying by the pool @FontaineBleau was a party itself and lots of fun to people watch (I thought I had high heels but I have never seen so many platform heels in my life) The fashions were also very colorful – for men, women and kids! One family stepped on our elevator and the dad had on orange skinny jeans and converse sneakers, the mom had on a flower dress and the boy and girl had on bright pink polo shirts. We visited the spa Lapis and we just opted for a trip to the mineral pools, massage-jet showers and a trip to the quiet room. We both emerged three hours later so relaxed. So if you are looking for a great, quick get-a-way check out all Miami has to offer – especially @FontaineBleau!