• Wed, Jun 29 2011

Jen’s Mom’s Guide To The Royal Tour Of Canada

Oh Canada – you are feverishly preparing for the most eagerly anticipated sightseeing trip of the year. In exactly one day, William and Kate, aka the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, will arrive in (according to the Government of Canada’s very formal and complete itinerary) the National Capital Region.

We know a lot about the royal couple, but do they know much about you, Canada? I will speak to you as though you are a person, Canada. I expect you have prepared big, fat, boring briefing books for the royal couple, and that isn’t fair, because those statistics are overwhelming. Keep it simple – make each city on the tour “come alive” in three simple phrases.

I will help you.

I gathered my family (my husband and mother, not Jennifer, who is not helpful, and is in New York) together last night to play a drinking game as we dined on mooseburgers, fiddleheads and poutine. Everyone had to offer the first three ideas that came to mind for each city on the itinerary. No Googling, no Wikipedia – just our own recollections of our times in Canada. Then we picked our favorites. With these three easily memorized phrases, Kate will be the best prepared-for-touring Duchess of Cambridge there ever was.

Ed note: It’s not a “game” when you are just hanging out drinking and talking about things, also, I was not invited.

June 30 to July 2 Ottawa – Capital, tulip festival, ice skating on the canal [OK, the last two are not seasonal but the story of how the tulips originally came from Holland after WWII is charming.]

Gatineau – Hills, maybe used to be the city of Hull with a new name, near Ottawa [I admit, not much to work with here – maybe hills is the best choice; there are hills in the Gatineau and hills in Scotland.]

July 2 Montreal – Chic, excellent restaurants, a cross on the top of Mount Royal [This will be great – fashion, food and religion.]

July 3 Quebec – Very French, sometimes not friendly to the English, rickety elevator into the Old Town [Be très gentil and don’t get on the elevator if your hosts seem surly.]

July 3 to July 4 Charlottetown – Prince Edward Island is the smallest province, potatoes, sandy beaches [The recollection of sandy beaches is iffy – just talk about the potatoes.]

July 4 Summerside – Close to Cavendish, Anne of Green Gables, Matthew and Marilla [It is good that you have read the book, Kate.]

July 4 to July 5 Yellowknife – Near the Arctic Circle, aboriginals, black flies [Smile a lot, the people are lovely.]

July 6 to 8 Calgary – Chuck wagon races, the Olympics, oil [This is going to be THE BEST.]

Now, dear Canadians, it is possible that our copious consumption of Labatt’s Blue while preparing this list may have influenced our judgment.

Do you have better descriptions? Or do you violently disagree with the phrases selected? (In the latter case I will know you are an imposter because Canadians are peace-loving, kindly people who are REALLY EXCITED to show off their country.)

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  • Eileen

    I’m not sure how much they want the religion found in Montreal, given that if William had married a Roman Catholic he would have had to give up his position in the succession. But the top of Mount Royal used to be a good “parking” destination, or so I’m told. I think the Westmounters might have gotten annoyed and blocked it off, but they could probably make an exception for royalty.