I spent my childhood camping with my parents in the Sépaq national parks. We loved the beautiful landscapes, swimming in the lakes and the fires with marshmallows at night. We wanted so much to see animals! Deers, raccoons, animals that we invented…We often took the porcupines for beavers and we insisted to our parents that we were right! My brother and I were always happy to go with them but I must admit that the best memories I have are the friendships I made. We finally met people different from our family or school social circle. I also remember that once adolescence started, childhood friendships were more and more like summer love crushes… Young men made my heart and organs tingle and inspired me to write my diary, which I hid carefully so my mother wouldn’t find it. I was so naive that I had no idea that she already knew everything about me…
Now I’m the mom and my boyfriend is the dad. My young children also like camping, swimming and nature, except that we are much more sociable than our parents. We don’t see ourselves isolated in a family bubble next summer, especially after a year of confinement and pandemic. This summer, we want to meet new people, but we know that we’ll have to be a little more careful. We know that it is better to travel in Quebec, at least for a little while.
Me and my boyfriend were thinking: “What would be our vacation plan for this summer? We have to think about it quickly because we suspect that the 2021 tourist season in Quebec is going to be even crazier than last year’s and we certainly don’t want to end up camping like idiots on a beach in Gaspésie illegally, that would be ridiculously unacceptable!
As I’m the one in charge of the family’s vacation research, I asked my friends, Google and social networks and I think I found the perfect formula! Camping des Vallons at Auberge de nos Aïeux in Les Éboulements.
The new gang at the Auberge
This legendary Auberge in Charlevoix has just been bought by Gab, a really cool entrepreneur, and it’s now a gang of super dynamic nomads who carry the new project. The camping site attached to the Auberge will open for the first time this summer. I think it’s a perfect concept because it’s in nature, the view on the Saint-Laurent river is breathtaking, there are lots of hikes to do around, my kids will be able to see animals and spend time in nature but moreover, there is a pool, lots of common outdoor spaces, a fire pit, a terrace and a big field for them to play around. There is also a common kitchen and picnic tables outside…It’s really complete!
The gang at the Auberge confirmed to me that while the kids are running around, we can have a drink, smoke a little SQDC joint on the terrace and chat with some new humans, FINALLY.
A good Internet
The other cool thing is that there is a coworking room with good Internet. It’s all well and good to say “I’m off the Internet when I go camping” but that’s like dieting: it doesn’t work in real life. In our case, since we are two creative freelancers who never stop taking new projects, we must be able to answer our emails at least once a day. At the Auberge, it takes the stress out of looking for a place to network.
Lots of activities and local products
Plus, it’s amazing how many activities there are to do in Charlevoix! The Alpaga Charlevoix farm just next door, more than twenty hiking trails, the maritime museum with the big outdoor schooners, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste street in Baie Saint-Paul where you can go for a walk and eat an ice cream with the kids, the Saint Irénée beach 15 minutes from the Auberge, the Forget domain with concerts every week. I quickly realized that our stay would pass quickly and that our cultural need would be fulfilled as much as the need for nature.
What I like about Charlevoix is also the quality of the food. There are many producers in the region. I was told that we can get organic lamb and even eggs at the Éboulmontaise farm, just 5 minutes away from the campground. We will have a great BBQ made of local products. Marshmallows are nice, but we’re aiming a little bit more at the quality of the food!
I’m really looking forward to it! I can already see us making up constellations with the kids in our sleeping bags near the tent!
In short, this summer, we want to be in a place that looks like us, with friendly and uncomplicated people. We want to drink a little bottle of wine, laugh, make a fire, be crazy, and not take ourselves too seriously, like being kids with our kids without making too many plans.
Camping in a friendly environment with everything within reach without compromising our thirst for the outdoors and nature…. sounds like a good plan!