BONJOUR! imagine me saying that in my most perfect french accent, because in reality i probably sound more like brad pitt saying "BAWNGEEORNO" in inglorious bastards. i spent a long weekend in quebec city with my family and, all in in all, it's a pretty magical place.
our hotel, l'hotel du vieux quebec, was super cute, perfectly located, and just generally fantastic. it's a family-owned boutique hotel, and has a cozy, charming vibe. the staff was extremely accommodating throughout our stay, and the room was comfy and spacious.
but it was extra touches like the the freakin' picnic basket breakfast placed on our door each morning --with pastries, fruit, yogurt, and OJ -- that took things above and beyond. you'd best believe i ate all the croissants every morning. there was also a nespresso machine and i became kind of addicted.
we watched the changing of the guard and took a tour of the citadelle, which was cool. the highlight for me, though, was the "official" goat named betsy who gave absolutely no fucks. like, i swear "fancy" by iggy azalea should have played every time she started walking (trotting?). observe:
speaking of animals, i ate bison cheek at this sweet little bistro, chez boulay. not kidding when i say it's in my top 10 meals of all time. it tasted like short rib, and was braised in red currant vinegar. along with the accompanying celery root, carrots, mushrooms, and onions, it was out of control awesome.
also ate poutine, and i swear that nothing has ever felt more right:
the city itself didn't necessarily feel all that much like europe to me, though i could see why people would say that. between the french-canadian locals and international tourists, it had a totally funky, eclectic vibe. i dug it, and i'm now entertaining fantasies of being a cool french-canadian hipster that doesn't know french and just wanders the streets. sorry, "rues". whatever.
perhaps the most popular attraction in the city is the chateau frontenac hotel. believe it or not, it's the most-photographed hotel in the world! i've now taken at least 20 of those photographs.
rue st. jean is one of the main thoroughfares in QC and is lined with shops, bars, and bistros. at night and on weekend days, the street is blocked off to cars, and pedestrians take over. as you can probably imagine, the people-watching is phenomenal. i saw someone dressed as beetlejuice and a group of punk teens dressed as lord of the rings characters. normal.
another great spot to sit and watch the world go by is the dufferin terrace, a boardwalk that runs in front of the chateau frontenac. there was a singer there, trudging through god-awful covers of downer tunes like sarah mclachlan's "angel," but eh. it was a gorgeous day and i was on vacation!
we also saw a street performer here who did a hand-balancing act. when he did a quick poll of the audience to see how many of us fools weren't french-speakers, he decided to translate the whole show. at one point, he purposely messed something up, and a few of us laughed. his response: "why you laughing? it's not funny. where you from, US?" pretty much.
however, i was very pleased at how sweet and friendly the locals were, as quebec tends to have an, um, reputation for not being so kind to americans. i was amazed at how many began speaking to us in english BEFORE we even said anything, though! how did they know?
and while we're on the topic of cultural differences, the tinder conversations i had were all quite amusing (context: my tagline is "all sizzle. all steak.").
also, fun fact: KFC is PFK up in quebec, and i don't think anyone was as amused by this as i was.
my favorite neighborhood was the quartier petit champlain, in the lower town. it's quaint and vibrant, with brightly-colored buildings and street-lamps. we stumbled into a restaurant in this neighborhood for dinner on our final night, bistro sous le fort, and it had a wonderful atmosphere and equally amazing food!
on the way home, the U.S. customs agent jokingly called me a "miscreant" and asked me if i brought back any canadian boyfriends. i said "i wish" and he chuckled. now i HAVE to go back, right?
until next time, QC ... au revoir!