Francine and I had thought about going back to Europe for several years. We had plans for September of 2005 to go to Belgium and Holland - not only to see those beautiful countries but to finish the retracing of my father's path during World War II, which we had started on our last trip to France.
However, a combination of factors - Francine's new job with ING, my mother's recuperation from her heart attacks, and my early "retirement" - lead us to decide to stay in the Great White North for our September holiday.
As well, although we have been to many countries, neither of us had ever traveled to northern Ontario or northern Quebec, and Francine had never visited our nation's capital.
Accordingly, we decided to do a "fall colour" tour of northern Ontario and visit the cities and towns with which we have been so familiar - at least by name - for all our lives.
Although it does not look like a long trip we eventually covered about 3,300 kilometres. Our route took us north from the Big Smoke, through Parry Sound to Sudbury. Then, we turned west to Sault Ste. Marie and north again to Wawa. From there, it was east across northern Ontario to Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec. From there we headed south through the Laurentians and it was our intention to spend some time in Montreal and then go to the Eastern Townships, south of the Saint Lawrence River.