After months of preparation, our eager engines gathered in Port Hope on August 6th. After handing out our goody bags/trip itineraries and signing the appropriate documents, we headed eastbound on the 401 to meet our last car in Brockville. Joined now by our final couple, we headed off again toward Hawkesbury in perfect top-down weather! Approaching Alexandria, we came upon a detour that took us off the beaten track and onto a dusty gravel road past farmers’ cornfields. Over our crackling walkie-talkies came the voice of our past president, wanting to know, “If anyone sees a Tim Horton’s out here…?”.
Once we crossed the bridge into Quebec, we had a beautiful drive along the Ottawa River to Château Montebello. For those who have never been, the Château is the largest free-standing log structure in the world! It was built in the early 1930s and eventually become the home of the G7 Summit and NATO gatherings (in 1981 and 1983, respectively). Once we were settled at the Chateau, our group converged on the patio for drinks and then into the dining room for a sumptuous dinner and a great evening of camaraderie!
After breakfast, our group splintered into multiple directions taking advantage of all that Château Montebello had to offer. A group of equestrians took in a morning ride, while others availed themselves of spa services, took picturesque walks along the river or simply lazed by the pool or hot tub. At departure time, we returned to our private “Porsche” parking lot to regroup for a series of photos, sporting our Montebello hats and shirts furnished by Porsche Centre Oakville.
With great excitement, we fired up our engines once again, departing at around 2:30pm for Mont-Tremblant. The twisty river road took us through some beautifully quaint Quebec towns and we stopped in Lachute for our mid-trip coffee stop. Lachute was fun, as the Timmy’s had parking for about 10 cars and all spots were taken! We arrived on the scene with 14 Porsches and parking was an interesting challenge, but we somehow made it work!
We then travelled along some of the most exquisite newly paved roads, which had us all very excited with the many hills, great twisty turns and stunning “post card” like lakeside scenery. We arrived at Mont-Tremblant for check-in at around 5:30pm and proceeded to put our four-wheeled babies to bed for the night in our special underground parking area. Dinner was at 8pm at “La Petite Cachée” in the Old Village of Tremblant. We hired six large cabs to shuttle our brood to dinner and back. A fabulous dinner, great wine, many laughs and an all round awesome day!
Breakfast at 9am then a stunning gondola ride to the summit of Mt. Tremblant! Another perfect weather day and the view of the village, lakes and golf courses below were enjoyed by everyone. Our trip photographer, Rick Zuccato, had us in a school photo pose at the top of the hill…say CHEESE!
We headed back down to load our lonely four wheeled friends for another driving experience. We travelled along some of the most desirable Porsche roads in Canada on our way to Saint-Sauveur, Quebec! This was our lady’s day drive as Martine Holjevac and Michelle Gamauf were at the helm of their Porsches for the morning trip, while Tour soloist Lesley Thouret continued to expertly carve the asphalt as usual, in her 911.
We stopped for an hour and a half for a “French” lunch in Saint-Sauveur before venturing on to Hudson. Once again, the scenery was breathtaking and the roads were freshly paved, delivering what could easily be called the ultimate driving experience!
The last portion of the drive into Hudson followed the shoreline and afforded us views of some very exclusive residences, the likes of which you might have seen on the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”! We were met with a warm welcome at the Auberge Willow and escorted to our private Porsche parking lot. Once everyone was settled, we met in our private dining room for drinks and the night unfolded. We told our group that we had booked “private track time”. We cleared the dining room table and set up a Hot Wheels track and the games began! Each participant was furnished with a brand-new-in-the-box Porsche to race on the track! The top three winners left with some great prizes, and there was also a door prize table so that everyone left with something!! Given the volume of the cheering, laughing and carrying on, it was a blessing that we had such a large room to ourselves! Dinner was delayed due to our track time, but nonetheless it proved to be another amazing meal! Certainly, a most memorable night for all!
Rick and I would like to thank his bride Claire, and my better half Molly, for putting up with the numerous hours of planning and for their enthusiasm and assistance in helping to make this adventure come together so smoothly! Thanks also to Francesco Policaro and Nicole Trivieri for supplying us with the Porsche Centre Oakville items! We have also added some of the feedback that we’ve received from a few of our tour members for this article.
Rick and I have already started the 2nd annual Blinn/Zuccato tour, and the destinations etc. will be published shortly. I can tell you now that the theme will be “THE SOUND OF PORSCHES”!
Walter & Sheila Murray – Rick, Mike, Molly and Claire – What a team. Your organization skills and creativity were outstanding. Your concern that everyone have a good time was incredibly considerate. The route and accommodation was excellent. We extend our sincere thanks for including us at the last minute and the weekend had to be one of the most enjoyable “Porsche” events we have been on. A tribute to you all. So thanks a mil and we look forward to participating with you on future events.
Regards, Walter and Sheila
Lesley Thouret – Wow, what a lovely fun event. I truly appreciate all the time that went into planning and executing this 4 day event. The twisty roads were ideal for getting in the groove of driving and pace. The scenery was beautiful from mountains to river views. You picked such wonderful venues and managed a perfect balance between the driving component and enjoying the resort activities. A highlight for me was horseback riding with the girls in Montebello. And what a fun finish to the weekend with the Hot Wheels Porsche racing contest. The camaraderie was awesome.
Thank you Mike, Molly, Rick and Claire for making this a delightful, relaxed and fun weekend, a highlight of the summer. I am still laughing about all the good times we shared. Looking forward to being together again. Congratulations on hosting a best in class event.
Roberta & Dave Riddell – Hats off to Mike and Rick. I can’t remember the last time Dave and I had such an enjoyable car trip. Thank you for making us feel so welcome. We really don’t know anyone in the UCR group as we live so far away and so don’t participate in many outings. The camaraderie of you two was infectious. Molly and Claire were modest when asked about their involvement, but we could tell it was a team that put this together.
We loved the route and the pace of the ride. Accommodations were a good mix of small and large and city and rural. I’ve been telling our friends all about this trip because everything was so fun. Plus, I got to drive a new Porsche AND take it home. Please count us in for the 2016 tour where ever you go. If you do plan an Adirondack tour, Dave would be pleased to help with routes etc.
John & Martine Holjevac – The Montebello Tour 2015 was a great experience for both Martine and myself. As “first timers” we weren’t sure what to expect but we couldn’t have felt more welcome by everyone and look forward to renewing those acquaintances at future PCA-UCR events. Beyond the camaraderie, the passion for Porsche automobiles and the desire to drive them skillfully was clearly evident. As a tour bonus, we even picked up some great driving tips along the way.
For something to be this well planned, organized, and executed, a significant amount of time and energy was obviously invested on your part. A big thanks to Rick & Claire, Mike & Molly – you folks hit a home run with this event! The destinations were great, the routes interesting and the driving was a lot of fun. Looking forward to the 2016 Tour! We will also be extending our thanks to Porsche Centre Oakville for their contributions.
Safe & fun driving everyone! John & Martine Holjevac
Guenter & Michelle Gamauf – Michelle and I arrived safely back at Chateau Gamauf around 7 pm. Although the drive started out cool and misty, the sun soon burned that stuff off and it was a beautiful drive home the rest of the way. We just wanted to let you know how much we appreciate all the work and organizing you did to put this whole event together. Based on our own experience, we know just how much planning is involved. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting other Porschephiles. So a big thank you from both of us.
Guenter and Michelle