A Study in Full and Empty – #LexGoFurther – A Ford Escape

Finally, I’m was on the road and it was much later than I would have liked. I was finally feeling like I was on a road trip and excited about all my planned stops and I wanted to keep moving until I reached them.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t filled up on gas in quite some time and I had also had a lot of coffee and water at breakfast.  While the Ford Escape has an excellent Low Fuel Warning system, my bladder warning system is not as good, and I was pushing both to their limits.  This was, in part, because once I hit Quebec the gas prices skyrocketed.  They went from the mid-$1.20s to mid-high $1.30s! East of Quebec City they were up close to $1.40.

I’d approach an off-ramp, see the price and gamble that at the next off-ramp the gas would be cheaper. As I zoomed by off-ramp after off-ramp, I realized I kept making the same stupid mistake. After doing this 3 or 4 times, I really had no choice but to take the next exit and find gas. Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

Of course, the next exit had no road side gas station. No gas icon on the exit ramp sign. No indication of much ahead.  But I had snubbed my nose at the last 3 exits and I had no choice. I was desperate.

I drove towards the river and up to the first person I saw!  “Parle vous anglais?”

The older gentleman heading into the Saint-Michel-de-Bellechasse community centre shook his head and looked at me like I was a fish out of water.

“No? Ah bien. Je cherce un gaz bar”, pronounced with all the joual drawl I could put into “gaz bar”.  What the hell, might as well make his story of the desperate woman looking for a gas station more fun for him to tell.

He kindly told me a lot of stuff, of which I understood very little, and then capped it off with a short phrase in English: “5 miles that way”. That part he could have said in French.

I felt like a fool, but I said “Merci bien!” 

And went 5 miles that way to the gaz bar in St-Vallier de Bellechasse.
Centre de L'Auto Guy Alain - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape
Another chance to practice my French, which of course included at least one Spanish phrase by mistake. But I got filled up. I also realized I was really starting to enjoy this adventure!  Of course, that means it’s time to stop for lunch!

I also realized the gaz bar had no customer washroom, so time to rush to lunch!

Off to Saint-Jean-Port-Joli for lunch at Restaurant Porto Bellissimo – a pizzeria and bakery (Les Gâteries de la Mie) combined.  (I didn’t realize but I actually short stopped my original destination because I saw the bakery and was eager to find their washroom.  I never got to my intended destination just 6 buildings further down the road – Boulangerie Sibuet.)

I had the lunch special at Restaurant Porto Bellissimo and I’m so happy I did.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford EscapeLeg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford EscapeLeg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

I had the smoked beef sandwich (Bœuf fumé – Boeuf fumé Morin, fromage Brie, noix de Grenoble, oignons rouges et salade) on crusty white bread.  It was served with walnuts which I found fascinating. The bitterness of the walnut skin worked really well with the meat, though I wouldn’t have thought of it myself.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

What a lovely lunch and they had a special dessert for Valentine’s Day too.

Leg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford EscapeLeg 3 - Quebec to New Brunswick - #LexGoFurther - A Ford Escape

The soup was so good, and so was the bread in the bread basket that when it came to the sandwich and the dessert, I was so full I was only really able to eat half of the serving, so I got it all packed up for a snack later.

I was full (and empty) and the car was full, and it was already mid-afternoon. Time to get back on the road, I had a long way to go still.

Of course, I wish I could say this was the only full-and-empty rush like this I had on this trip, but I continued to do the next-stop gamble the entire trip.
I wonder how many of you do the same?

Alexa Clark

Alexa is a digital marketer and author with over 20 years in digital & interactive communications in the food and tech industries. Alexa's CheapEats Restaurant Guides, for both Toronto & Ottawa, were Canadian best sellers. She is a recognized authority on social media and has been named one of Canada's 20 Leading Women in Social Media.

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