A day in Dayton started at Wegerzyn Gardens.
Bienvenue au Québec
Quebec is 2 1/2 times the size of Texas, and nearly as large as Alaska, stretching from the USA border to past the Arctic Circle, with nearly all the people living within 100 miles of the American border.
With French being the primary language it truly feels like you have arrived in Europe, only it looks ‘North American’. I have always enjoyed visits to Quebec and look forward to going back.
Quebec City is the capital of the province. It is one of the oldest towns in North America, having been first settled in 1535, and founded as a town in 1608.
Nearby is Montmorency Falls, one of the largest volume waterfalls on the continent.
Canyon Saint Anne is another impressive natural setting, with a series of waterfalls dropping over 200′ through the canyon.
Pohenegamook is a small town on the Maine border, where some houses literally are sitting in both countries.
Montreal is the 2nd largest French speaking city in the world.
Old Montreal was the original setting for the town. Today it is the tourist center.
Montreal is home to a number of impressive cathedrals.
Parc Jean Drapeau is on a couple of islands in the middle of the St Lawrence River. It is home to, among other things, the Formula 1 racetrack. It is easily accessible via the Metro.
The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest in the world.
Montreal was host to the 1976 Olympics.
Olympic Stadium was home to the Montreal Expos until left town to move to Washington DC
The city has a great collection of architecture.
Au revoir du Québec, c’est parti pour l’Ontario
Dating from the late 1800s, the Carlos Thays Botanicall Garden is a beautiful setting for the plants, trees, sculptures and buildings that make up the 17 acre urban oasis. It is located just off the Plaza italia.
As noted in the previous posting the Montreal Botanical Gardens has a number of specialty gardens that are extraordinary. The Chinese Gardens is the best.
As a bonus the Japanese Gardens are right next door!
The Montreal Botanical Gardens is one of the finest, if not the finest, botanical gardens in North America. It has a large number of specialty gardens, such as a Chinese Gardens (covered in a separate posting), as well as numerous thematic gardens – including one dedicated to poisonous plants!
Overall the gardens are amazingly beautiful, and well kept.
In the world of blown glass nobody is better than Dale Chihuly. For more than 50 years he has turned out the most impressive glass pieces around.
The Franklin Park Botanical Gardens has always had a number of Chihuly pieces, but for the next few months they have expanded their collection to be the largest Chihuly collection in a botanical garden anywhere. Entitled Chihuly: Celebrating Nature, it blends nicely with the gardens.
A morning at the botanical gardens to check out the Chihuly Exhibit (in a different posting) allowed us to see the gardens in full bloom, along with active butterflies.
In West Texas the story goes there are 3 types of people: Those who know Judge Roy Bean from a 1970s movie, those who know Judge Roy Bean from their Texas schoolbooks, and those who are ignorant to the most important person in the history of West Texas. I come from the first group.
Roy Bean was born in Kentucky in 1825, and lived an adventuresome life that eventually lead him to a small Texas town which he renamed after his favorite actress, Lily Langtry – and became the Justice of the Peace for the ‘Law West of the Pecos’
Today there isn’t much in Langtry except a visitor center with a fantastic cactus garden, as well as the original buildings the Judge built in the 1800s.
The cactus garden is very cool with numerous different types of cacti.
The Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center & Museum, and Cactus Garden was a very unexpectedly nice stop in the desolation of West Texas.
Just south of downtown Houston is Hermann Park, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. It is a small, well thought out space with flowers, plants and statues.
The statues featured great Latin American leaders, as well as (strangely) Scottish poet Robert Burns!
With Avery Island’s location in southern Louisiana the main agricultural business is sugar cane.
With the year round warm, wet weather it is the perfect climate for nature to grow. In the late 1800s the son of the founder of Tabasco sauce, Edward Avery McIlhenny, created the botanical gardens known as Jungle Gardens.
The gardens cover 170 acres of Avery Island.
There isn’t a large number of different plants, flowers and trees, but the gardens are well laid out, and immaculately kept up.
As with most of Louisiana, water is always nearby.
Including this nice pond, with a warning sign to not feed the alligators (which seems like anyone would know that).
We did NOT feed this alligator.
The turtles were safely out of harms way.
A few buildings remain from the early days of Tabasco pepper growing.
This drive is appropriately named Wisteria Lane, as you make your way under the Wisteria arch.
The highlight however is Bird City. In 1895 Edward raised eight egrets in captivity, releasing them in the fall for their migration. The next year they returned with more egrets.
Ever since then thousands of egrets return to Avery Island in the spring and reside there until late summer.
When we arrived for the Tabasco tour we were one of the few who opted to purchase combination tickets for the factory tour and the gardens. It was money well spent!