Unfortunately I was hyper-ventilating about getting out of Montreal so my time at the BAnQ in Montreal was short. However, now that I have visited Montreal, seen the Grand Bibliotheque and the Archives of Quebec, I am feeling a whole lot more confident. I don’t know if I have figured out how to do Quebec genealogical research but I am getting smarter. HA!
It was time to move on and head for New York state and the USA. Early in the morning I had loaded as much of my luggage into the car parked in the garage down the street as I could. So I had only my computer case to worry about and as usual I stuff my pockets. I went back to the Hotel St. Denis to check out.
The area in front of the Hotel St. Denis was filled with construction workers in the morning and by the time I had returned they had cut a hole in the sidewalk right in front of the hotel and taken up the parking space out front. The hotel staff were not happy they didn’t know about this till it happened. The receptionist was very kind and we figured out that I could mail back the garage card to them rather than have to try to negotiate the mess out in front of the hotel. She prepared an envelope and put some stamps on it. I mailed it at my next stop. I hope they got it safely?
My business done, I headed to my rental car and proceeded to get all my maps and stuff ready for getting me out of Montreal. I was going over the Champlain Bridge. See the photo below, yup the very one I drove over.
I took Rue Rene-Leverseque to Atwater and then turned left. I continued on Atwater till it went under an underpass and just on the other side was the turn off to Hwy 20/15. So far so good.
As I entered the Hwy 20/15 to get on the Champlain Bridge I discovered I had a big semi right behind me and he was not nice, he rode my bumper almost the whole of the bridge. This bridge is very long and it crosses the St. Lawrence River. Just on the other side I turned off to get on Hwy 15 to go south to the NY border, and fortunately, the signs said just that and I was able to follow easily.
Hwy 15 south to the USA border follows the St. Lawrence for a while and then it is inland and pretty straight with exits that are very far apart. The signage is not very helpful for food and other needs. It is about 45 minutes to the border but before I arrived there, I stopped at a huge Souvenir shop and bought myself another T-Shirt which had Canada on it and then smaller letters for Montreal. It is one of those that is very long so it is almost a dress but it was not expensive so it was a good thing.
The border came up very quickly and I was ready. This time I had a nice young man who asked me just a few questions and then wanted to know more about my genealogy quest. So we chatted a little and then I had to move on. I think he was bored. I had read this was a very busy border crossing and I had been prepared to wait but I was through it in not time. There was a lot of construction in the area and the route back onto the highway was a little obscured with cones and things but I managed to find it. I was now on I-87 going south.
I was home, back in the USA. I really like Canada it is a beautiful country – Ontario and Quebec – but there is something about the USA…
There was a McDonald’s at the next exit and I decided to stop and take a break. Plattsburgh was not that far and I was not in any hurry. It was about 12 noon and so I had plenty of time.
It was nice to hear English and use dollars and I reflected that in Montreal they don’t smile. I have to mention however that at the cafe down the street while eating my scone and having coffee one morning in Montreal the proprietor burst into song and all of us were smiling. However, other than that, I did not see any smiling faces or hear laughter in Montreal. The conversations at the restaurants were very serious but animated in French. The hotel staff was friendly and I liked hearing “Bonjour Madame,” or “Pardon Madame” or just a simple “Bonjour.”
Finding the Econo Lodge in Plattsburg was not to difficult and I was soon in my room. They had the Keurig Single Coffee maker but if I wanted coffee I was to buy it in the lobby. What? Don’t worry I was prepared.
I wanted to see Lake Champlain so I had sought out the Naked Turtle Restaurant as a place to go for dinner but when I got there it was gone! So I took my pics of the lake and marina and went in search of the Applebees that I had noted earlier. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Champlain
I saw signs for ferry boats to Vermont on the highway I-81. Here is some info about the city of Plattsburgh: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plattsburgh_(city),_New_York
Well, it was not that hard to go back and forth across the border even with a rental car so in retrospect I could have done my trip a bit different. Living 2.5 hours from the border in Seattle I just don’t go back and forth and when I do we usually have trouble getting from Canada back into the US. So I was concerned. I have had the car/van inspected and other things happen. I have to admit that it went a whole lot better going in and out of Ontario and Quebec than I thought. Rental Car companies do not want you to leave the car in another country so I was obligated to bring it back to New York State. Make sure that they will allow you to take the car into Canada before you rent. Budget in Buffalo at the airport assured me they were bonded to do just that and go into Canada. I did have the rental agreement with me so if I was asked I could hand it to the border guard.