There is always a difference between the face one shows the public and how one app rears at home. Game face perhaps, showing only what we want others to see. I am starting to think that this is most noticeable in tourist areas. Take our stop today in French speaking Canada. We are greeted on the pier by individuals dressed as 16th century First Nations, by those outfitted as fur trappers and even more as early French settlers to the area. I didn’t see a priest but perhaps I just missed him. There is a major cultural show production which features the story and music of the area. Sold out to the ship which insures that both sides RCI & local make money.

I decided to hike out of the port area to the rest of town and found what is really important. Hockey. For a town this size the ice complex is amazing. Multiple rinks, overhead connecting skyways. Much more than what would expect from the size of either the population or parking lots.

The town itself is neat and well maintained. The houses are almost all wooden, two stories with upper balconies and the kind of pitch to the roof that might just indicate a tendency to snowfall in the area. If one has enough snow, that second floor, noted often to have outside side stairs might provide an outside escape route. This is not to say that the town is absent the usual flat roofed apartment buildings or a few McMansions on the bluff overlooking the area where most mortals live and shop.

The strip mall has a Dollarama which seems to serve as holiday inexpensive decoration Central, cheap craft supplies and a awesome selection of kitchen outfitting supplies. I don’t need a measuring cup that can double as an oil separator, but they have one. I found a strand of holly garland to augment my shipboard door decoration and some beads for Cruise Critic gatherings. I didn’t indulge in any of the Halloween items, just not enough suitcase space.

There are local artisan boutiques with excellent fur, fabric, glass, leather and wooden items for sale. There is a museum for the local area which is also on my list. And then there is Tim Horton’s with coffee, autumn spiced muffins and free wifi.

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