By Stephen Johnson
This past summer, we took a family trip to the Eastern Townships. One day, we had some extra time on our hands so decided to check out the Bombardier Museum of Ingenuity. I thought we might see a few old snowmobiles and perhaps spend forty-five minutes or so checking out the exhibits. Instead, we found engaging interactive displays that showcased leading-edge technology. We were so impressed we spent the better part of five hours at the museum.
We started our visit with a multi-media presentation about the life and times of Joseph-Armand Bombardier. His most famous invention was the snowmobile. We learned about the challenges Bombardier faced in his life and also bringing products to market.
Once done the film, we moved on to the passion for innovation exhibit. The exhibit covered everything from how a new product is developed to what it is like to work as an engineer for Bombardier. There were plenty of interactive elements including being able to step onboard a Bombardier light rail vehicle and doing a computer simulation of flying an airplane.
Continuing with the high-tech theme, we checked out the maker space. Again there were many interactive elements including being able to build various structures.
I look forward to visiting the museum again in a few years to see what other innovations they have brought forward.
By the time we were done at the museum, it was already mid-afternoon thus time to head to our hotel. We chose the Hotel Cheribourg since it had got rave reviews online and was relatively close to the museum. The first order of the day was to take a dip in the outdoor pool. The outdoor hot tub was also nearby so we shuttled between the two at least four times.
All of our exercises had worked up our appetite. We wanted to try the hotel restaurant, Les Sommet. The restaurant offered a table d’hote, meaning our appetizer, main course and desserts were included. Our son, David, is the most adventurous in our family, ordered snails as an appetizer, duck breast as a main course and an ice cream sundae for dessert. David loved everything, especially the snails. My wife, Sandy and I have more conservative food tastes chose the caesar salad, fish n chips, and mousse cake. All three were delicious.
After supper, it was still light outside so we set out to explore more of the hotel. One thing the Hotel Cheribourg has done a great job at is preserving the natural environment. There were large green spaces on the hotel grounds. David has a deep fascination for all things reptiles so he immediately went to the pond area. Almost immediately, David heard sounds that he thought were a bullfrog. Sure enough, after some investigation, David found a couple of large bullfrogs. He wanted to catch them but they were always just a little too fast for him.
The next morning, we had a delicious buffet at Les Sommet restaurant. Fueled up, we were ready to slowly make our way back to Ottawa. It will not be our last visit to the Eastern Townships. Perhaps next time, David will catch the frog.
For more information about the Eastern Townships, visit www.easterntownships.org