Christmas Gift Guide

5 basics to cover when visiting Québec

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of my blogging goals this year is to repurpose old blog posts and to make them relevant again.  What better way than to start today?

Montreal 1995: Grade 11. No digital cameras, lots of money spent developing rolls and rolls of film chez Jean Coutu. No internet, instead a bucket of letters hand-written from friends. No cell phones for texts or daily calls. Once a week, if lucky, calls to friends, family and boyfriend back home. I was lucky to be with a fantastic family who introduced me to their belle province.  I'm still friends with exchange "sister", Annick.

This experience let me fall in love with a language, with my heritage and with another province and culture. OH ya, and poutine. And St. Hubert on Hockey Night in Canada night.




Fact: Did you know that the only reason I signed up to be a French teacher was because I wanted to go back to Quebec and studying at the University of Regina provided you with that experience? Tee hee, glad it worked out.

Quebec City 1999: Second year university. Still no digital cameras or cell phones (thankful for that), kinda getting the hang of the interweb. Very aware of pricy calls made home to friends, family and different boyfriend. Great friends, great memories, absolutely one of the most memorable years of my life. This year let me be the carefree, fun person I had always wanted to be.


April 2009:  I've just spent the past week re-exploring a very important part of who I've become; la belle province de Québec. Following around high school students is not the ideal, but it was a free trip and they've been an exceptionally well behaved group, so all is good. I honestly didn't think I'd enjoy myself as much as I did, as it's been a couple long months of extra-curr and really I just wanted to be at home, relaxing with my boys. But in the end, I had a super time. The weather was great and really, nothing beats strolling around Old Québec in the sunshine. Québec has got to be one of my favourite cities. I knew that I was relaxed when I found myself daydreaming about bringing all my girlfriends on a trip here (something I've always wanted to do) and how cool it'll be to show Willis when he's a bit older.



So, I made you a list of 5 of my favourite things I did in Quebec and Montreal this week, which are you basics, probably should cover at some point in your visits.

1-Visit the many cathedrals in Montréal, particularly Notre Dame. I remember the very first time I stepped into it and felt instantly the need to sit and pray. I could see the kids going through that same state when we visited it this week, some even saying they'd go to Church more if it'd be that pretty.


2- A guided tour of the Chateau Frontenac...this time we got to see one of the 4 presidential suites. Holy shizam it was nice. Won't be staying there in my lifetime.. The view of le fleuve St-Laurent are amazing too!
3-  A guided tour of Old Québec...it is just beautiful alone, but when you throw in some history, that even makes it better. I even learned new things...so smart I feel.  You also get to find out where the best places for crèpes is.  Old Québec (and le vieux Montréal aussi) are very European and if you are wanting something different but don't want the crazy long flight, definitely try either of the two.    For the record, la ville de Québec is my favourite and is the only fortified ramparts left in North America (north of Mexique)


4- A visit to une Cabane à Sucre for a traditional Quebecois meal consisting of nothing my sister would approve of.  It's the music, the atmosphere and the maple syrup straight from the tree that make this experience fantasmagorique (which is also my fave french word).  OH, also la tire sur la niege!





 5- Shopping in Montreal....So many options on St-Catherines and in the underground city.  And Simons...enough said.  I've spoken about my love of Simons before....we'll have to talk more about that on Monday. There may be a giveaway.


 I missed darling husband and Willis immensely this week, but wasn't too worried about them, they are big boys. Was the trip worth it? Apart from being away from my family for longer than I'd like, absolutely. My wish would be that even one of the students on the trip would be just as intrigued by this beautiful culture as I was 14 years ago, and as a result would open the doors to endless opportunities, as it did for me.


This post originally appeared on Shoes to Shiraz in April 2009 and has been modified.

Comments

  1. Hope I am one of the girlfriends you hope to bring back someday :) Glad you had a nice trip! Enjoy your last day in your twenties!

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  2. Would love to go there! French is my second language!

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  3. I've actually never been to Quebec! Isn't that weird! I've been to France so many times, I just haven't headed north!

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  4. Some day maybe I will get to take my french speaking children there. They can tour me around!

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  5. I want to go visit more of Canada (I've only been to PEI and New Brunswick) and Quebec is top on my list! This makes me want to go even more!

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  6. I'd love to visit Canada! My friend was there on exchange 10 years ago and has been reminiscing about and trying to cook poutine - there isn't anywhere here in Brisbane you can have it sadly!

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  7. Nice list... but wow, reflecting on the ways we used to communicate and capture "kodak moments." Haha!! Memory lane...


    Amber
    All the Cute 🎀

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  8. What?! That is so cool...another reason to want to know more about you!

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  9. You commented this 7 YEARS AGO!!!!

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  10. It's a definite must-do...especially for the shopping. Okay, and the poutine and crepes and everything else, really.

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  11. And I'm the opposite. Did you go to immersion your whole life?

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  12. ALLLL those pictures to develop and then only liking one.

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  13. Bah- that's too bad! You have to have the right squeaky cheese curds!

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  14. Quebec is on my travel bucket list. Going with you would be even better!

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  15. Okay one of our TBB going there! :) I'm sure we can convince everyone to do so, hehe.

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  16. Nope! I've never been in an immersion school actually. Just regular French classes, college, Master's and living in France.

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