Canada Trip Part 5: Quebec City, Canada

city-wall-quebec

If you’re following along on our summer trip to Canada, check out the first four posts in the series:

After enjoying a week in Montreal, we hit the road for a few hours to travel further north and east to Quebec City.  The drive between Montreal and Quebec City is really easy since the entire route is all freeway and well signed for motorists.  We arrived at our apartment for the week and met the owner who gave us the grand tour of his two bedroom corner unit.  While the owner was with us in the apartment, I didn’t notice anything odd about the place but Mrs. Root of Good certainly did.  I’ll skip that part of the story for now though.

 

Old Quebec

In French, the old part of Quebec City is known as Vieux-Quebec.  This part of town is what makes Quebec such a beautiful destination for tourists.  With city walls and buildings dating from the 1600’s and 1700’s, it gives the visitor the feeling of walking through history.  Some have described Old Quebec as looking like Paris (without the transatlantic flight).

We didn’t have a lot of time to explore Old Quebec but we managed to see most of the Upper Town and the Lower Town on our driving tour.  The historic buildings, courtyards, plazas, tree-lined sidewalks, and cobblestone streets did remind me of an old European city.

old-city-quebec

 

quebec-1

The Chateau Frontenac must be the most iconic building in Quebec City.  More than just a landmark, it’s a fully operational hotel where you can stay for just a few hundred bucks per night.  Or you can drive through the central courtyard for free.  Tours are available if you’re interested in seeing the inside.

chateau-frontenac-1

Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City

 

Chateau Frontenac from afar

Chateau Frontenac from Lower Town

The Citadelle of Quebec is a 17th century fort and still used as a military installation today.  Most of what you see today was built in the 1800’s.  We walked along the Citadelle walls that overlooked the St. Lawrence river.  Great views from up there!

citadel-quebec

Wall of the Citadelle of Quebec

 

This can't be safe.

The view is great, but this can’t be safe.

 

The St. Lawrence river itself is quite a sight to see.  It’s probably a mile wide in the vicinity of Quebec City and reminds me of the great Mississippi river here in the US.  Very broad and speckled with a range of boats from personal watercraft to container ships.

 

saint-lawrence-2

Tiny riverboat or huge river?

 

Montmorency Falls

Ten minutes (seven miles) outside of Old Quebec lies the Montmorency Falls (“Chute Montmorency” in French).  We were planning on visiting Niagara Falls and were excited to learn that this waterfall, at 275 feet, is 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls.  In terms of sheer volume of water, Niagara handily beats Montmorency Falls.  But it’s still quite a sight to see the towering height of the Montmorency Falls from below.  And for those not afraid of heights, you can walk over the top of the falls on a footbridge.  The flow rate of water going over the edge is still impressive, even though it’s just a trickle compared to Niagara Falls.

Entrance to the park is free but parking was $12.  There is a parking lot at the bottom of the falls and at the top in case you want to drive between the two vantage points instead of climbing 30 flights of stairs up the side of a cliff.  The $12 fee lets you park in both parking lots.  I also noticed that around closing time they didn’t ask for the parking ticket at the upper falls parking lot (if you want to save your twelve hard earned Canadian dollars).

 

Montmorency Falls from the bottom.

Montmorency Falls from the bottom.  Can you find Mr. Root of Good and his two daughters?  (hint: check the stairs)

 

Montmorency Falls from the western overlook

Montmorency Falls from the western overlook

 

Food in Quebec City

We managed to avoid starvation in Quebec City without too much effort.  Thai take out places were all over.  We tried a few while we were there.  The food was good but nothing special.  They all offered traditional Thai dishes and a regular assortment of Chinese food (General Tso Chicken, lo mein, fried rice).

 

thai-takeout-quebec

$15 worth of General Tso Chicken from Thai Zone. We made rice in our rice cooker at the apartment and economized on the take out order.

For someone who loves ethnic cuisines, I was really disappointed in the absence of Mexican restaurants in Quebec Province.  Here in the States, Mexican food equals quick, cheap, relatively good food with a side of mariachi background music.  None was to be found on our Canadian voyage this summer.  After returning home, I ate Mexican food every day for a week straight (no lie).

Seeking a taste of home, we did hit up the KFC for some good ole fried chicken.  Except they francophoned it with the name “PFK”.  That’s the acronym for “Poulet Frit du Kentucky”.  Which sounds really fancy but signifies nothing more than “fried chicken of Kentucky”.  Or KFC as we call it.

The PFK restaurant experience was interesting.  After scanning the menu board and being shocked at the prices for fried chicken (“$25 for a 10 piece?!”), I eventually found the “family economy meal” that cost the same amount as a bucket of chicken but traded off a few pieces of chicken in exchange for a large Pizza Hut pizza and a large order of fries for about the same price.  And the pizza came with three toppings!  I ordered pepperoni and sausage, thereby exhausting my knowledge of meats in French.  Wanting a slightly healthy pizza, I quickly scanned through my mental rolodex of vegetable names in French for that third topping.  Oignon was the only word that came to mind, so we had pepperoni, sausage and onion pizza.

It was a little different than the pizza we get at Pizza Hut in the US.  The sauce was a bit zestier, the pepperoni less zesty and more like salami, and the cheese a bit bolder.  PFK / Pizza Hut was a success and appreciated by all (especially the children).

While in the restaurant I overheard the French speaking cashier using some pretty awful French.  Her cash register tape started shooting out of the register at maximum velocity and as she scurried to fix the misbehaving paper roll, she repeatedly uttered “What de fouck?!  What de fouck?!  What de fouck?!  What de fouck?!  What de fouck?!”  Over and over.  I can’t believe I didn’t say something pithy to her like “pardon your French!”.  I’m going to regret that the rest of my life.

 

pfk-quebec

Chowing down on a family economy size “bucket” of fried chicken with a side of fries and a pizza. And “sauce”, or as we call it, gravy. I’m not sure if the sauce is for the chicken or the fries, given the Canadian proclivity for poutine.

 

Our AirBnB Apartment

We rented a two bedroom apartment in Quebec City.  The reviews at AirBnB were great and made the place sound clean and well-appointed.  It had a large kitchen with plenty of room for us to cook.  The living room was spacious and had enough seating for our family of five.  The bedrooms had comfortable beds and plenty of linens.

The kitchen in our apartment

The kitchen in our apartment

When I first walked in and the host toured me around his apartment, I thought, “hey this place looks great!”.  I was taking in the big picture of where we would be relaxing and enjoying our vacation for the next week in this beautiful city.  As soon as the host handed over the keys and left, Mrs. Root of Good looks at me with this look.  It’s hard to describe, but it’s the “oh no, something is really wrong” look I rapidly discovered.  It turns out the place was filthy and I was somehow enamored of the big picture of the place and didn’t pay attention to the tiny, crusty, hairy, grimy details of the general state of filth.

Bedroom.  Looks clean enough.  Sleeping toddler looks comfortable on the bed.

Bedroom. Looks clean enough. Sleeping toddler looks comfortable on the bed.

 

This place was dirty enough that it warrants its own separate blog post, so I’ll leave the details to that later post.

We tried to clean up and make do with the apartment.  We went to sleep the first night exhausted from cleaning and disappointed that the place wasn’t in good condition upon our arrival.

Just a thick layer of cat fur covering every cloth surface in the living room.  Seems legit.

Just a thick layer of cat fur covering every cloth surface in the living room. Seems legit.  And this was after we tried to clean up.

As soon as we woke up the next morning I think we both realized this apartment wasn’t going to work out.  We quickly made the joint executive decision to cut our losses and move on.

I found out we could cancel the AirBnB reservation and get a full refund (less AirBnB reservation fees) for the unused nights remaining on our reservation.  I only had 30 minutes to cancel before incurring costs for another day, so I went ahead and processed the cancellation and immediately received a refund for the last six nights of our stay.

At that point, getting a refund was secondary to getting out of that apartment.  We spent the rest of that day sightseeing around Quebec City.  After a day of touring the town that we had planned on visiting over the course of a whole week, we returned to the apartment, packed everything we could into the trunk of our Accord, and went to sleep for night number two in our dirty apartment.  First thing the next morning we set out for the long drive back to North Carolina.  Home.  And cleanliness.

AirBnB eventually made things right with us.  I’ll share the whole story in a separate blog post soon.  You’ll see in that post why I still recommend AirBnB as a great alternative to hotels.  I would encourage you to take a look at AirBnB’s listings the next time you need a place to stay while on vacation.  If you want to save $25 off your booking, please click through this link.

 

Quebec City Expenses

We only spent two nights in Quebec City and ended up getting a full refund on our apartment rental so the stay was incredibly cheap at $82 (mostly for food).

CategoryNotesCost
Restaurant Meals$33/day - we didn't cook; ate take out instead65
Groceriesconsumed groceries we bought in Montreal5
Gas didn't need to refuel in Quebec City0
Parkingparked once at the waterfall12
Tollsnone0
Transitwe drove0
AirBnB Apartment - Quebec City2 nights; $446 total minus $446 refund0
Souvenirsdigital pics and rocks from the waterfall were free0
TRIP BUDGET - Quebec City2 days at $41/day82

 

In Part 6, I’ll wrap up our Canada trip summary, share some money saving vacation tips, and explain what it’s like to embark on a long road trip with three kids (the youngest being two!).

 

If you want to ensure you receive the rest of the story of our trip to Canada, make sure to subscribe on FacebookTwitter, or by email or RSS reader (in the column to the right).

 

 

19 comments

  • 3 things:

    1. Real bummer about the nastiness of the apartment! I suppose this could happen to anybody anywhere, but it sure sucks when you are on holiday and really looking forward to focussing on the tourist stuff and not wanting to worry about living arrangements! I’m glad you got the full refund!

    2.”I was really disappointed in the absence of Mexican restaurants in Quebec province.” Ha-ha, that’s a joke right? It makes sense these are available where YOU come from as there is a huge latin presence in the US as well as much shared history (including war, gulp!) with Mexico. Canada is a different COUNTRY, and Quebec in particular has no shared history with things Mexican! Certainly many fast food chains have set up shop in Quebec ( Thai zone and Poulet Frit Kentucky, to mention two), but would you really want the place just to resemble a US mall food court? You missed a great opportunity to sample local cuisine and maybe understand just a little better what makes Quebec different from your part of the world! If “French cuisine” sounds expensive, it doesn’t have to. You could have visited the fast food franchise “Ashton” and sampled THE definitive Quebec invention – poutine! (If necessary you can google that). Next time, maybe….

    3. In Quebecois French, the word “F%&K” is not a swear word. Real swear words come from using religious words in a profane way. Example “Tabernac” holds as much weight as the F – bomb. To a Quebecois, to say something is “fuckée” means it is broken, or ruined or not working properly – to the cashier, her cash register was “fuckée” – no disrespect to you intended. The fact that the F word appears so often in Hollywood cinema, means that Quebecois have heard it so often that it has been absorbed into the language with a new meaning.

    I hope these comments are not too “preachy!” Hopefully next time you visit you will be able to experience a more profound understanding of this neighbouring country.

    • The reason I mentioned the absence of Mexican food is two-fold. I loooooove Mexican food, so I was disappointed by not finding any Mexican restaurants. And secondly, given the ubiquity in the US (or at least the southern US that I’m most familiar with), I figured the cuisine would have spread north to Canada. I think there’s something like a million latinos living in NYC and that’s not too far from Montreal and Quebec, so I figured there would be more than a handful of transplants that would set up a latino restaurant of some sort. I mean I’m not heartbroken, just surprised since the food is very popular in much of the US. From locally owned sit down Mexican restaurants to fast food restaurants and “fresh burrito” joints (Taco Bell, Qdoba, Chipotle, Moe’s, etc), they are everywhere. Just very curious that the cultural transfer hasn’t shifted more north.

      It might have to do with our extensive shared history with Mexico and Spain as you mention. Florida was once Spanish, and most of the southwest was Mexican for a third of our history as a country.

      We actually tried a ton of Quebecois foods while on vacation. Poutine at a few places (didn’t like it better than it’s constituent parts eaten separately). One plate of poutine was from a local hole in the wall and that place was 100% Quebecois for sure. Local cheeses, beers, baguettes, pastries, and a Montreal meat sandwich rounded out our local food experience.

      One of the draws of Montreal was supposed to be the international cuisine available, which is why the absence of latin cuisines was surprising. Plenty of Asian and middle eastern foods though.

      As for the f-bombs I heard in Pizza Hut, I found it amusing and a nice little bit of culture. I figured it wasn’t as offensive there as it would be down south. And our saying “pardon my French” when one cusses makes it a funny event in my mind (that may not translate well!). Just funny the way she kept uttering it at her cash register. FYI, in the US military they use the slang verb “unf*ck” to refer to fixing something that’s broken. Perhaps they learned that usage from the Quebecois? 🙂

      • Heh, I was quite surprised the first time I drove over the border into Washington State at the sudden increase in Mexican restaurants. Even little Mexican grocery stores! even in small towns! – still never seen one of those in Canada, and I’ve lived in a few provinces. It’s definitely a far more common cuisine south of the border, which makes me a bit jealous as I’m a fan of Mexican food too.

        I suppose it makes sense, though; *we* don’t share a border with Mexico, so it’s natural we’d have less Mexican influence – and for me that’s the normal cultural baseline, so one of the things that always makes me notice I’m in a different country, when I’m in the States, is how much Spanish is the unofficial second language there. Here…learning something like French or Mandarin is a lot more useful; I actually studied Spanish in university and never got a chance to practice it in real life until I visited Costa Rica.

        P.S. That gravy in your picture is for *both* the chicken and the fries. 😛 Why have it on only one when you could do both? (At least, that’s my approach. But then, I like poutine…)

        • I don’t know how pervasive Spanish language is in all of the US, but in many cities and states it’s pretty common (probably more in the South and some coastal cities). Here in Raleigh and North Carolina, a lot of things are bilingual (especially government communications) like the English/French in Canada. My area of Raleigh in particular has a lot of Spanish speakers. I think our kids’ elementary school has 40-45% Spanish speakers (with a portion of them being of “limited English proficiency”).

          Regarding the gravy, I love gravy on chicken and turkey. And mashed / pureed potatoes. Just not so much on fries. The crispy texture of the fries are ruined by the gravy in my opinion. If I’m going to eat something deep fried, I might as well enjoy the texture of it!

  • Bummer on the AirBnB place, but good to hear they were amenable to refunding you. I look forward to reading more in your post about it. And, I’m with you on the Mexican food! We actually don’t have great Mexican food up here in the Boston area and we miss it dearly!

    • Yeah, the Airbnb place in Quebec City was disappointing for sure! Getting a full refund was a nice way for Airbnb to say “we care”. I feel your pain re: Mexican food. Sounds like Boston is barely livable! 😉

  • Hi

    To answer to Trombone, the F word is definately a swear word in french, and yes it is used in different situations, but never when you are working as a cashier in a restaurant. Totally unprofessionnal, but hey he was probably a student making minimum wage. I do agre Too e that you missed on a lot of the local food (things way better than poutine!) but I guess with a family of five it is hard to keep it cheap when you go to mid to high end restaurants. KFC is in my opinion the worst restaurant in the world and to be avoided at all costs 🙂

    Too bad about the dirty apartment, but maybe 41$ a night should have been a warning sign, even though you say the reviews were great. Quebec city is getting expensive (lots of government jobs, making real estate pricy) so 41$ normally gets you a dorm room!

    I live 1 hour away from Quebec city and strangely I rarely visit. I’m more the Montreal type (1.5 hours away from my house). But I can understand the appeal of Quebec city for someone visiting the province!

    I know you actually explore those options, but I think you’d be better off travelling to a cheap country (Guatemala, Thailand, Mexico to some extent) and for 41$ a night you’d get something really nice! and you could eat at restaurants every day for the price of groceries at a place like Montreal. Yes there is airfare to consider, but all in all it can come out to the same cost, especially of you stay longer than 2 weeks….

    i’m taking my 4 year old to Thailand this november… Yes the 27 hour flight will be hard, but I really look forward to this!

    • I guess the restaurant choice is partly a compromise that the whole family will enjoy. Price is always a consideration, but I could see some serious whining from at least 3 members of the family (all under age 18 I might add) if we went to certain kinds of “fancy” restaurants. Not that they don’t eat things other than chicken nuggets and hamburgers (who doesn’t love those though, right?), but their adventurous tastes are limited. The oldest kid in particular likes to try different things to a certain extent.

      KFC isn’t my first choice either, although the pizza from there was pretty good. And fried chicken and french fries are hard to screw up. We only stayed 2 days in Quebec City so didn’t really get a good chance to try many different restaurants. Dining out with a 2 year old can be a challenge anyway, so we did more take out meals than sit down meals in general.

      I think we paid closer to $56/nt on a weekly basis, which is hard to compare to a hotel rate on a nightly basis. We did learn that it might make sense to pick a rental a step up from the absolute cheapest (which I think this apartment was close to it). The reviews were solid though. We figured out almost all the reviews were for the bedroom/bathroom rental only. The guy also rents the whole place including living room and kitchen, and those common areas were the filthy parts. Guess no one ever left a review that used the living room and kitchen.

      We definitely liked the vibe in Montreal more. English was more common, so it’s easier to get by. I really wouldn’t mind spending the summer in Montreal at some point due to the awesome weather. I guess I like the slightly larger city feel of Montreal versus Quebec City.

      We did consider Guatemala, Mexico, and Belize as a potential summer trip (discussed in “Summer Plans, Travel the World?). And Thailand, too. Mrs. Root of Good is from Thailand so it would be a natural place to visit. We chickened out on the developing nation trips for this summer. Canada seemed like a nice place to visit with a 2 year old, and we knew we could always drive home in a day or two if we grew exhausted. Thailand, Mexico, Guatemala, and other places are on our list. Good luck with the 4 year old. We might consider a trip like that once Mr ROG Jr. is 4. The lower cost places are more appealing, and yes, $40-50/nt can get some pretty nice places in those developing countries.

  • I’ve never been to Quebec City, but without Mexican food, it sounds like my kinda place! I grew up on the border (used to be Mexico before the Spanish-American war) and try to stay away from the stuff! I’m looking forward to your report of a long car ride with a 2yr old. I can’t convince Dad that Daughter Person at 3 should be able to handle a 2 hr plane ride.

    • If you have a strong aversion to Mexican food, it should be perfect for you! 😉 I’m a little sad that I mentioned Mexican food at all since that’s all the comments have revolved around. 🙂

      I think a 3 year old can handle 2 hours on a plane. I’d suggest working the flight time around nap time and/or crushing up a little benadryl into the little one’s apple juice (check with your pediatrician first of course!). Our kids’ first plane ride was about 2 hours to Chicago (from Raleigh) and that’s about 2 hours non-stop. They were 6 and 8 and had no problem. The ears pressuring could be an issue if you can’t explain how to pop your ears to a 3 year old. Chewing gum helps apparently.

      Long car rides with a 2 year old were tough at times. He slept a lot but when he was up, he was whining a good bit, and constantly asking for snacks (he learned the word “cookie” very well on our trip). Movies while driving are a no go because our middle daughter gets severe motion sickness, otherwise that could keep a toddler entertained pretty well.

  • That’s bad about the apartment – it looks awful! Interested to see your post on that.

  • (Very long comment…)
    Oh well this is too bad. I was really looking forward for this post as I was curious to see what you would have frugally visited in our beautiful city. It seems that you missed a lot. You will definitely have to come back! Of course Montreal is a metropolis while Quebec City is a mid-size town. However you could spend a good 3 days going around the city and add a couple of days more if you go into the surrounding area (ex whales watching, going to the islands etc..)

    For the language, most people speak French amongst themselves and they will greet you in French. However, unless they are elderly, everybody speaks English. I don’t understand how you could have had trouble getting around….(I will not go too much in the politic of it, but sadly I find myself having more and more of a hard time getting around in French in Montreal, we are more than aware of the precarious nature of the language…).

    For the excuse my French, this joke is not known at all here. We lack the cultural reference behind it and it makes no sense whatsoever. I think it comes from the word phoque used for seal which kind of sounds like fuck. As previous commenters have said, fuck is not a bad word here. It is not a nice word, but it is not considered swearing… It is just well… a word. I would not have think twice if someone said it in front of me, and would have absolutely no restriction in saying it in front of my grand-mother (the litmus test for how bad a word is!)

    For the Arnb, I found it really disappointing. We have amazing hotel and B&B. Many people are going to great length to provide quality accommodation and then you have these creeps who abuse the system, do not pay taxes and contribute to give the city a bad reputation. You can press a formal complaint against them. The website is here http://www.tourisme.gouv.qc.ca/messages/contact-plaintes-hebergement.php. Go to courriel (email) in the middle of the page and it will bring you to a form to fill out. These people should be denounced.

    We have great Mexican places. However for the sake of cultural diversity, I found it reassuring that they are not everywhere! We have a lot of immigrants from Maghreb and there are numerous falafel places. The best one is on the grand allée: La galette libanaise. It is amongst the best restaurant in the city on trip advisor. For 20$ you could have easily fed the whole family (their sandwiches are HUGE).

    The old city is a place where you should walk around; visiting it with a car might be difficult. Most streets are one way only and very narrow, there are also a lot of pedestrians everywhere.

    How top of my head a few things that you can do for free with kids around Quebec City
    -There is a museum in the citadel which has an entrance fee. However the Governor’s house located on the premises provides tour free of charge both in French and English (it alternates). The house contains amazing artworks and has the best view on the river of the whole city.
    -Kids would have loved the chocolate museum on St-Jean street
    -There is a great farmer market in the lower city next to the harbor
    -There is also an historic sailboat that you can visit free of charge in the harbor.
    -You can climb of the walls surrounding the city and walk around.
    -There is a park longing the river (promenade Champlain). There are interesting artworks, water fountains where kids can play and an observation tower at the end giving a nice view of the bridges.
    -The city also has a network of several historic houses that host local museums with changing exhibitions. I remember one having an exhibit about dinosaurs some time back. The access to all these historic houses is free.
    -There is a park with a waterfall on the south shore, the access to the park (and parking) is free. You can go down near the river to grab a lunch and there is a bridge overlooking the fall.
    -You can visit the parliament house for free, there is a very nice fountain in front of the building and interesting gardens around
    -The Maizeret park has giant maize, a greenhouse filled with butterflies and an observation tower with a great view of the river
    -There is a botanical garden at the university and a rock museum (both free)
    -There is a first nation village on the north side of town. They have a museum and a beautiful hotel. There is a small fee for the museum but even the lobby of the hotel is worth visiting. The architecture is amazing, people are so very friendly and kids like the décor with the various animals. A walk around the village is also a step back in time.
    -The Basilique is very nice
    -During the summer there are tons of free festivals and concerts all around town. For example in July there is a music festival with talents from all over the world. The cost for the main concerts is around 70$ (still a steal considering the quality of the artists). However, they have many concerts for free, street art and magic shows for the kids. No matter when you were here there should have been a festival of some sort going on.
    Buses are free for kids on the weekend and there are miniature electric buses that go through the main touristic spots (1$ per adult). You can also take the ferry for a small fee and get an amazing view of the castle from the river (the fee include the return ticket).

    If you have some budget the aquarium is interesting, there is a huge waterpark, adventure park, local museums, an observatory in the highest skyscraper etc…

    • Long comment, indeed, James!

      That’s a good list of things to do in Quebec City. We had many of those on our list to visit. After we saw how dirty the apartment was, and tried to find similar accommodations (but couldn’t), and thought about packing up again and unpacking again, we just decided to end the trip and head back home. Nothing against Quebec City at all, just the guy that rented the apartment. It could have happened anywhere.

      We did enjoy our limited time in Quebec, but we had to compress our week of planned sightseeing into one day, which called for sacrifices. That meant we did a quick tour of the old city in an afternoon (by car) when we planned to spend three or four days walking around and visiting the different attractions. It’s a shame we didn’t have more time, but it’s also hard with a two year old to do much sightseeing on foot (as we found out).

  • Too bad about the apartment. Good thing airbnb made it right. I’ve had to get things resolved twice in like 5 years, and they do it quickly and efficiently. Whenever the reviews ONLY speaks of the host, run!!!! The old city looks quite nice, not what l expected…I’ve only been to Vancouver areas..looking forward to the post on the rental.

    • I was really surprised we actually received a full refund. When I hit “cancel” and saw we would get back the rent for the last 6 unused nights (less small fees), I was happy enough. But the fact that they reviewed the facts and gave a full refund including fees makes a difference since I’m now very likely to give airbnb another shot. And talk kindly about them on Root of Good (though I didn’t mention my celebrity status while making the complaint).

      Quebec City is certainly worth a visit. If you can’t make it to Europe from the US especially, since it has that European flavor to it. Weather is awesome in the summer too. If you ever end up back in N America, I’d highly recommend a summer in Quebec province with stays in Montreal and Quebec City. Way better than TX or FL summers for sure!

      • hey justin are you satisfied with your life overall retiring at 33 i know you make huge money but you know people get bored please asap i would like to meet u someday

        • Pretty happy with it! And if I’m not happy and work is the answer to my boredom, I can always go back to work. So far I haven’t encountered any boredom that would drive me back to work.

  • We just went there this summer and stayed at a KOA campground nearby. We got a cabin which fit all six of us, just need sleeping bags. It was part of a road trip circling the U.S. and Canada. I’m curious if you have cooked anything else in the rice cooker, I debated whether we would use it enough to stuff it in the rental minivan. We are from Hawaii so rice is a staple. I never thought of buying a takeout entree and just cooking the rice, that would have saved us money. Overall I think we could have done better with our food situation but only having a cooler and a camp stove felt limiting.

    • We rarely cook anything beyond rice in our rice cooker. I think we did fish and rice once, and occasionally I’ll add some spices like turmeric or some tomatoes to season it a bit. But I’ve heard (from a Bhutanese friend) that you can cook virtually everything in the rice cooker. It was very handy and fit easily into the trunk of our Accord. You can also store a bag of rice inside the rice cooker pot to save on space.

      I’ve also seen folks packing an electric hot plate and a pan or pot to make stuff like spaghetti or ramen or stir fry. I guess that’s no harder than a rice cooker and would give us more versatility. But we only spent a few nights here and there in hotels so enjoyed dining out while we were in hotels.

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