On the Shores of Lake Champlain

Yesterday (Saturday), I met up with my sister and her family at Camping Plage [Beach] Kirkland, in Venise-en-Québec along the shores of Lake Champlain, for a day of frolicking in sand and surf. I decided to spend the night so that I could visit a nearby attraction today.

The last time I played on a Lake Champlain beach was in the early 1990’s when my dad rented a cottage in the area for our summer holidays. My sister doesn’t remember this, but I do because it’s the only time I remember my father taking us on a proper summer vacation.

With taxes, a dry spot in the campground was $30, an average amount for this part of the province. It would have given me access to the beach till 1PM today, but I left at 9 to give my planned activity, subject of my next post, all the time it would need.

I was on my own by about 5:30 Saturday evening, so I decided to get the truck bed set up for sleeping and then head out in search of dinner. It was really hot in the truck, but the outside temps were going down steadily. I cracked open the windows, set up the curtains, and then took off on foot to explore the dining options.

To my surprise, there aren’t many restaurants in Venise-en-Québec despite it being a very hot tourist location. To the left of the campground, I found a snack bar offering poutine, hot dogs, smoked meat, and the like. To the right, there are a few ice cream parlors and the only real dining option, Papa Suzie Pizzeria. Besides pizza, it offers fast food items like hot dogs and poutine, but also some sandwiches and full dinner options like pasta, fish and chips, and chicken. Nothing gourmet, but definitely a step up from a snack bar.

I ordered the chicken breast dinner. It was modeled after the meals served by Quebec’s quintessential St-Hubert restaurants, an absurdly popular rotisserie offering insipid yet strangely addictive food. So that meant I got a quarter all-white meat chicken, French fries, colesaw, half of a toasted hamburger bun, and gravy.

The chicken was moist and flavourful (St-Hubert’s is dry and bland), the fries were brown and sweet (St-Hubert’s are frozen, what?!), the coleslaw was okay (St-Hubert offers an oil and vinegar slaw that is more to my liking than the kind with mayo), the hamburger bun was of better quality, and the gravy was thicker. I wasn’t able to finish everything and the bill came to less than $15 with tip!

It was going on 7:00 when I got back to the truck and the interior was nice and cool. I laid down with the iPad and wiled away the evening playing games and reading.

The night was very comfortable, but without shade, the truck became an oven very early this morning. Note to self: park in the shade when the temperatures promise to be torrid!

While the campground was adequate for my needs in the truck, I would not have wanted to drive through its narrow streets with Miranda. This is the second campground I’ve visited this summer where people are packed in really tightly. I don’t know if that’s the norm out here or if it just happens at the primarily seasonal campgrounds, but I would not find a stay there too relaxing.

My sister and her boyfriend are thinking of moving their travel trailer to this campground next summer. Like many other Quebecers, they use their trailer as a cottage set on a seasonal lot in a campground, probably because, as in Alberta, registration on a towable RV is a one-time fee. So this option is much cheaper than owning a cottage and you can move the trailer when you get bored with the scenery (or get annoyed with the neighbours!).

I enjoyed my time on the shores of Lake Champlain this weekend. Let me get some sleep and I will move on to my adventures on the Richelieu River in my next post.

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1 Comment

  • I’ve always thought Lake Champlain looked like a nice place to spend some time; I’ve only seen it on the US side though.

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