We have concluded our time in Canada for 2016 and are now back home in the States soaking up what’s left of a gorgeous fall. But I will continue to post about our Québec adventure to be fully caught up. It may take longer than I’d like and be more spread out, but I’ll try. :)
On one of the warmer days back in October we went hiking to take full advantage of the amazing weather. About 45 minutes north of our AirBnB home in Québec was the Jacques-Cartier National Park with many hiking trails of varying degrees of difficulty, canoeing, kayaking, etc… Natasha was hesitant to go “on a walk”, but if you get her imagination going, she’s ready for anything. For this particular hike, she was transported to Narnia and was having a grand time climbing over the rocks in the creek. Daniel has been reading through the Chronicles of Narnia series again, and she felt very Narnian in the woods with her walking stick.
She declared it “one of the best days ever”. Which was fun to hear.
A couple Sundays ago we headed to the Residence of the Governor General at the Citadelle of Québec for the afternoon* for a fall celebration. There were some acrobats, jugglers, a tour of the Governor’s residence, a brass quintet, samples of apple juice, face painting and general fun activities happening. We thought it would be much busier, but it turned out to be a rather laid back, easy going event.
*Do you sense a pattern here? We go out in the afternoons. It’s easier that way since the smallest person in our group, i.e. the baby, needs his morning nap. That’s one change with being a family of four and having a baby in tow. It is kind of nice since we get to eat lunch at home, tidy the kitchen and then go off adventuring.
Back to the fall festival. First off, a maple leaf was painted on Natasha’s cheek. I thought it quite appropriate, and glad she selected it.
The face painting station was set up right outside of the main entrance for the residence tour. There was no way I was going to play tourist and go right up in front of the guards to snap a picture, but it was easy to do at a slight distance while the maple leaf was being applied. Had we been here earlier in September, we could have come to see the changing of the guard, but alas, it has ended for the season. Natasha kept asking why they have their hats on so far over their heads.
One of the event staff members mentioned that the mascot of the Royal 22e Régiment here is a goat. That explains the painted goat hoof prints we saw leading up on the path to the citadelle, and the following picture. What a stern faced soldier and cheerful goat they have!
Last Friday I was sitting at the counter doing some blogging and I saw a helmeted person drive pull into our driveway. I couldn’t see who it was, and didn’t have any idea who would be coming to see us in a town where no one even knows us. After I told Daniel, “Someone just pulled in…” he said I should probably get up and see. Lo and behold, it was Daniel’s youngest brother, Silas. He drove up some 800 miles on his motorcycle to visit us for the weekend! Through rain, wet clothes, running out of gas and having to push the bike approximately two miles, more rain and being very sleepy, he made it. He and Daniel kept it surprise from me, and yes, I was completely surprised.
So that afternoon we all went to see more of the Old City, including the Governor’s Promenade, right along the river. We parked above at the citadelle and worked our way down the 310 steps to the riverfront. The view from the walkway showed us from above where we had biked previously, right along those cruise ships.
Down at the bottom then, there is a huge boardwalk leading up to the Château Frontenac. That would be the hotel that looks like a castle below:
To get back to the car we went up the narrow streets through parts of the old city where I fell in love with this church’s doorway.
The citadelle and the Canadian flag were right above us, so of course we walked up to see the view.
And what a view indeed.
Québec City is know for being “So Europe, so close”. And just look at these houses. I have a similar picture from when we were in Strasbourg, France last spring and you might not be able to tell the difference. (By the way, I never blogged about that trip, but one day I might. Ha!)
The first couple days or so in a new country always leave me feeling a little out of my comfort zone. It takes me a while to feel at home with my new surroundings, figure out how to fall into a routine and get accustomed to the workings of the kitchen. Getting out for fresh air always helps, but it’s usually the last thing I think of. Not sure why. This particular outing was needed for me and Natasha, who is just as disoriented without her normal bedroom and amusements from home. Daniel was, away grocery shopping. It seems like that’s all he does the first couple days in a new country, because naturally, the kitchen fridge is mostly empty and we all need to eat. He likes to say, “I’m bringing home the bacon,” in these circumstances. It works well though since he can scout the area and I can watch the little ones. (We have two now. As in, plural, children! It still surprises me to say that.)
Our AirBnB house is in a new suburban neighborhood north of the main city area. There are houses being built just down the street and the paved street becomes gravel around the bend. So on this first stroll, I asked Natasha if she could show me the path to the river that Daniel showed her earlier. She happily led the way and I happily tried out our new-to-us stroller which I didn’t even know Daniel had stowed in the trunk of the car. He’s so sneaky like that. Or else, I was too busy counting onesies to see what he was packing…
I really must find out how to procure some boulders and large rocks for Natasha to climb on at our home in the States. It’s her favorite part of all our outings if she can climb on something.
There is a walking path not far from the house and it goes through the woods with little side trails and footpaths to follow. I always keep a keen eye out for poison ivy but haven’t seen any yet. (!)
At the turning around point for us the other day, we discovered this:
Quebec, I think we’re going to get along just fine.