We packed the night before we left. I'm not sure if this is a good strategy or a bad one. I used to start packing 2 weeks before a trip and now I just seem to just go with the flow. I was pretty happy with how the packing went until I realized I only brought the 2nd half of my toothpaste duo! Oops! We brought Fred to my parents and got him settled (so hard to say goodbye).
We hopped back in the Fiat and headed north to our 1st destination of La Malbaie Canada. The 7.5 hour drive was interested. We started out with average temperatures and cloudy skies. When we got to Lincoln NH we entered a beautiful snow covered area. A little further north and there wasn't any snow at all. This continued with one area snowy and the next just drab all the way. We entered into Canada after a quick stop at the border and continued past Quebec City up to the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.
We pulled up to the valet and were helped with our bags. We did advance check in for our 2 night stay and the doorman had our keys ready for us. This seemed like a great idea 24 hours ago however, now it was slightly frustrating. We didn't have our preferences checked, couldn't upgrade, and ended up in an area we wouldn't have selected (We were definitely missing our Hilton Diamond Status here). We ended up with a room on the 1st floor surrounded by a large group who were at the hotel for a work party. The hallway basically sounded like the party was on our floor and not in a function room.
The hotel staff from the doormen to room service were all friendly, patient, and professional. At night we went to Bar La Brise and enjoyed the last of the sunset over drinks and food. We ordered a beer and a Le Sour Quebecois (a delicious whiskey based drink). For food we enjoyed the Salmon with celeriac remoulade along with Chips with assorted mayonnaise. The salmon was bold in it's smoked flavor and complimented by the creamy vegetables and shrimp. The chips were salty, crunchy and accompanied by three delicious and unique dips. These dishes were exactly what we were looking for.
After a long day driving we decided to head to bed and be refreshed for some hiking (on site trails) the next morning.