Tag Archives: Vieux-Québec

It’s time for the November edition of Searching for Serenity!

Let’s play the November edition of

Searching for Serenity!

 

Where will we find her this time? You want to make sure you behave in here. There are at least four elves in the shelter. Two on the throne and two in the back corners.

Serenity and Roger visited this park area in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace. When they did, the throne was outdoors totally, not sheltered by three walls and a roof.

november edition

Serenity may not have visited here, but we frequently do for a bowl of their French Onion Soup. It’s to die for! If you look out the window, you see the Christmas market across the street in the square and the Simons department store in the background.

November edition

If you were to turn 90 degrees to the right from where this picture was taken, you would see the Château Frontenac Hotel.

november edition

The street at the top of the staircase is Avenue St Denis. This is a place Serenity visits in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.

november edition

It’s quite the trek up all these stairs, especially in winter conditions. Obviously, it was something important that brought here here and up the wooden flight of steps.

november edition

So there you have it. A few more spottings of Serenity around Vieux-Québec.

Do you think you know these locations or why she’s in them?

 

Let the Vacation Begin!

After breakfast at Cosmos and gathering our various accoutrements, we started towards the wall and the old part of the city. On a good day, it would take five minutes tops. It was still snowing, and the sidewalks hadn’t been cleared yet. But, we’re on vacation so have no deadlines. We get there when we get there.

vacation

Despite the snow, the sun tried to shine. You can see it peeking through the cloud cover over the drill hall. In 2008, this grand building caught fire. You can read about it here. I’m really pleased they restored the building. Being a UNESCO world heritage site, it was a no-brainer, although if it were in the city I live in, it would be pulled down before there was a chance to even think of saving it.

When we arrived inside the walls of the old city, we walked through the Christmas Market, which wouldn’t open until the following day.

vacation

Because of the snow covering the roofs of the buildings, it didn’t look like the section behind City Hall was filled.

vacation

It was nice to be able to wander through and not be jostled by people. A few vendors were getting their huts ready, but other than that and the occasional pedestrian like us, the place was deserted.

vacation

The building in the background with the green trim at the top and around the windows is Simons. I love that store! No trip to the old city is complete without a stop there. Today was no different.

Back in the summer, I bought some slate coasters and a funky stainless steel spoon rest. Well, I wanted at least one more of the latter so when one was in the dishwasher, I had another. They only had one left, so I snagged it. I also bought a battery operated set of LED lights inside a bottle.

There was one thing lacking on this trip to the store, and it wasn’t until a bit later, it hit me. They still didn’t have their large, green wreath hung on the exterior of the building. The window displays were all done up, but not the outside. Somehow, it didn’t feel like Christmas without it there.

vacation

From there it was over to Dufferin Terrace. Between the falling snow and the overcast conditions, you could barely see across the river.

After some time spent here, we gingerly (I gingerly) worked my way down the steps behind the post office to the street below and eventually onto Rue du Petit Champlain.

vacation

It probably would have been easier to come down via the Funiculaire, but the downhill bit isn’t as difficult as the trip back up the slope. The steps from one street to the other are the killers – especially on my knees.

vacation

The arbour here in Parc Félix-Leclerc was festively decorated. This year, instead of the huge ‘Santa’ chair being out in the open, it was sheltered under a hut (see the left of the picture). On the right was a small building. I’m not sure if you could enter it or not. In front of it were the Muskoka chairs arranged in a circle around a fire.

The arrangement this year was a bit different from when Serenity and Roger passed by in It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.

vacation

Construction made it difficult to get decent photos when we were in Place Royale. To the right of the Christmas tree above were lengths of fence and an enormous hole in the ground in front of Geomania.

vacation

By now the snow had stopped. The ambient light was at the perfect level for the Christmas lights to show.

Tomorrow the Christmas market opens! I’m looking forward to that and spending more time here in lower town.

BREAKING NEWS via Able Cane

breaking news

Able Cane here with some breaking news from Vieux-Québec. World Famous Author, Melanie Robertson-King, is once again in the old city. I’m waiting outside her hotel hoping to catch her coming or going.

My cohort, Roxie Rebel, and I followed her down to Dufferin Terrace, the place where Roger and Serenity first meet in Melanie’s Christmas novella; It Happened on Dufferin Terrace.

breaking news

Roxie captured her trying to catch snowflakes here before she disappeared down the Frontenac Stairs. I tell you, she’s a brave woman tackling the steep slope of Côte de la Montagne in these snowy conditions.

breaking news

I couldn’t resist taking a moment to capture the magical street, Rue du Petit Champlain.

They don’t call these Breakneck Stairs for nothing. I almost wiped out in my haste to get ahead of Melanie so I could get a picture of her gingerly making her way down them.

breaking news

That’s all for now. Able Cane and Roxie Rebel signing off.

 

 

 

Wishes … not always good

Wishes are usually good things when they come true. Not always. We returned to Vieux-Québec last Tuesday so we could spend some time in the beautiful city when she was in her seasonal finery and spend some time in the Christmas market which opens on the evening of the American Thanksgiving.

I wished for snow since the last couple of times we’ve been down in November (same time of year), there wasn’t any. And that’s where the not always good comes in. As in, be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

We left home in a snowstorm and drove the entire way in the blizzard. See where I’m going? The drive was longer than usual and in less than perfect conditions. Ugh. But, I did wish for snow.

I don’t like driving at night anymore, and by the time we got there, it was pitch black. The clouds and shiny pavement in the city made it even worse.

Because of the hour and the fact we’d left a couple of things behind, our first night was a quick trip to the pharmacy for distilled water for hubby’s CPAP machine and across the street to Mary’s Popcorn for some munchies for later in the evening. The variety of flavours is amazing!

The sidewalks were snow covered and slippery in places, so when it was time to go for supper, we only walked to the end of the block to the St. Hubert. Their chicken and ribs are great.

Our wee hound accompanied us on this trip, too. Maybe his wishes came true? And before you ask, he was very well behaved in the restaurant.

Because I got what I wished for, the trip wouldn’t start in earnest until the following day.

 

Day Four of the “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” tour

Day Four

Compared to the previous few days, this one is tame. After our last breakfast at JA JA, we checked out of the hotel to begin our final day in this beautiful, and friendly area we know and love.

Since I first spotted this gothic mansion in 1993 when I was a parent chaperone on my son’s year-end school trip, it niggled at me. The house looked like this in 2004.
Day Four of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

And with some photoshopping, it looked like this.

Under the watchful eye of a neighbour, we walked around the perimeter, never venturing onto the actual property. I think that would have created a call to the local constabulary. I know I have photos between then and now, but of course, when I want them, they’re hiding elsewhere.

Aside from a few public conveniences stops on the trip home, our final stop was on Île d’Orléans and the Chocolaterie de I’lle Orleans. And before you ask, no it wasn’t for chocolate. We discovered honey here that we love. So, brought back the empty jar to ensure we got the right one. The girls working in the shop got a kick out of us bringing back a used container but understood when we told them we loved this blend and wanted to ensure we got the same.

I didn’t bother recording my Fitbit stats today. They were awful. Only about 4500 steps.

 

 

Day Three of the “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” tour

Day Three

Today, we’re doing the crypt tour at Notre-Dame de Québec Basilica. At some point in our travels, the previous day, we found out we weren’t too late in the season for the tour, but a day early. They don’t start until Wednesday.

Day Three of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

Here we were all excited to go on the tour only to find out we were a couple of hours early. I poked around and took this photo of the interior. Isn’t that beautiful?

Day Three of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

After that, I got my simons fix, and we took the purchases back to the hotel. Again, no sense dragging a bag around with you that you don’t need.

Still plenty of time to kill before the 1:00 pm start. For some reason, I got it in my head the first tour was at 10:00 in the morning. Yeesh. Across the street to La Boutique de Nöel Quebec. I don’t get all gooey over Christmas anymore, but I love this shop. Summer or winter, it’s beautiful. I took this photo from the mezzanine area at the back of the store.

I was tempted to buy a jigsaw puzzle while I was in there but resisted the temptation. It would only lead to purchasing something else to assemble and store it on, then a place to put that, a place to work on the said puzzle where there is good light.

Day Three of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

We decided to go over to the Pub D’Orsay for a drink and to wait for the crypt tour. In the meantime, it started to rain so inside the bar was the best place to be. Comfortable, dry and inviting. Before we left, we said we’d be back later … and we were.

After I took a couple of photos in the crypt, I found out you weren’t supposed to. I assumed because you could take as many as you wanted upstairs (without flash), it was the same down here. I got these two. And basically, this is the entire crypt.

Day Three of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

Day Three of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour
Disappointed? You bet. When we found out about the tour last November, the fellow at the tourist information office made it sound like it was the end all, be all. I didn’t figure it would be like the catacombs in Paris but thought there was more to it.

As promised at the Pub D’Orsay, we went back. This time we had a bowl of their French Onion Soup. It’s the best I’ve tasted this side of Paris.

We puttered our way back to the hotel and opened the last bottle of champagne we brought with us. It had been in the fridge since Monday when we arrived, so it was good and cold.

When supper rolled around, it was chucking down with rain, so we went St Hubert in the Château Laurier just down the street from us.

Buddy even joined us for supper.

Day Three of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

Today’s Fitbit stats:

22312 steps
47 flights of stairs
8.87 miles

Tomorrow is a travel day as we have to go home and the ‘real’ world. But we’ll be back here two more times this year.

 

Day Two of the “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” tour

Day Two

After breakfast this morning, our mission was to go to Metro for French’s Sweet Onion Mustard. We love it, and it’s no longer available where we live. How rude!

As luck would have it, the closest Metro is on Avenue Cartier, which is a street we wanted to visit because of the funky street lights which are year-round installations.
Day Two of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

When we reached the intersection with Rue Fraser, we came across this bike. It has a USB port so you can pedal your way to charging your phone or other devices.
Day Two of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour
Mustard purchased and taken back to the hotel (who wants to drag around six squeeze bottles all day?), we went to fulfill our other mission which we couldn’t do last November. The gates of the old cemetery are locked by November 1st and not opened again until spring.

The most direct route from our hotel is to head a bit further away from the wall along Grande Allée then turn down Rue de Claire-Fontaine.

Looks steep going down, doesn’t it? Well, that’s nothing. When you reach the last block, there are steps on the sidewalk rather than the slope. And a handrail!

We prowled through here. It’s just something I have to do when I go somewhere. Find an old cemetery and take wander through it. This one, although small and not a huge number of stones remaining, didn’t disappoint. Roxie Rebel trailed me here, and you probably saw pictures of me in here already.

Two things off the “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” bucket list for this trip. Next up benjo. And to get there, you guessed it – another steep hill going down followed by more stairs.

This place is huge! Amazing! Toy heaven for all kids big and small.
Day Two of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

From what I can tell from the size of the sign in the photograph, this train runs around the store on Saturdays and Sundays at scheduled times. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Day Two of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

Number 5 is alive! They didn’t disassemble him. The gentleman working at this counter led the robot through a demonstration for us because we expressed an interest.

Day Two of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

And a tower of the stuffies from the movie, The Secret Life of Pets. Buddy clones! Don’t tell. They’ll all want to come home with him. I’ve never seen the movie, but my Buddy (purchased in Vieux-Québec last November at La Boutique de Nöel de Québec) has brought me as much enjoyment as a real dog.

Day Two of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

After all this walking, it was time for some liquid refreshment. Replace the fluids we sweated out. Off to the Pub Saint Alexandre. On our way there we spotted this beauty. How would you like to drive to and from work in it?

Revived and refreshed after a couple of drinks, we decided to do the open-top, hop on-hop off bus tour. And sit up top, naturally. It was a good thing we had our umbrellas with us because we did get rained on a couple of times up there. While others sought shelter below, we toughed it out under our brolley.

This photo of the Price Building and the Château Frontenac are from almost the same vantage point as the one taken our first night. Before and after this picture was taken, it rained.

A wander along Rue des Remparts up through Artillery Park, we found ourselves back at the pub where we had an early supper before going back to the hotel.

Fitbit stats for today:

19278 steps
49 flights of stairs
7.67 miles

 

Day One of the “Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt” tour

Day One

I’ve posted other photos during our trip – mostly those taken by the “intrepid” Roxie Rebel, and others in the Searching for Serenity game.

Here are some that have nothing to do with them (well almost nothing).

This was the closest to the white horse-drawn carriage; we rode in on a previous trip, I could find. No heart-shaped window in the canopy when the top is pulled up, and the exterior of it is black.  Still, a ride in one of these is SO romantic. We met up with this handsome equine at Port St Louis just down the road from our hotel.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

The bear family in La Fudgerie Boutique on Rue du Cul de Sac. A quick way to go through a pile of money is a stop in this store will all the chocolate, fudge and other products. Yum!

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

Next door is Boutique Bilodeau. This stuffed bear cub has been standing guard outside the shop for as long as I can remember.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

And how about this guy in the window!

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

These umbrellas were just one of the colourful, summer displays set up in the old city.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

We had Italian for supper at Spag&Tini. The walls in the fireplace room looked so naked compared to closer to Christmas when all the decorations take over the ledges. In It Happened on Dufferin Terrace, Roger and Serenity went to this restaurant.

This was the only night we used the Funiculaire to come back up the hill. When we reached Rue Saint-Jean, it was closed down to traffic between Côte du Palais and Rue d’Auteuil. Pedestrians meandered up and down taking in the street entertainment set up in various locations – not to mention, the bistros and pubs with their outdoor patios.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

The Price Building (left) and the Château Frontenac showing off their brightly coloured nighttime lighting.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

The Fontaine de Tourny in middle of the ’roundabout.’ It’s beautiful in the daytime but even more so at night when it’s illuminated.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

Oh, and look. The hotel rolled out the red carpet for me. Although, in this lighting and no flash, it appears more orange.

Day One of the "Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt" tour

So that was the end of our first day on this Vieux-Québec adventure.
How did we do? Well, here are the stats from my Fitbit and much of the day was spent in the car getting there.

12738 steps
29 flights of stairs
5.06 miles

BUSTED! Roxie Rebel’s last post from Vieux-Québec … for now

Roxie RebelHi Able! Roxie here with an update on the Melanie Robertson-King assignment. So this morning, I tailed the world-famous author, from her hotel to the jaja restaurant in theHôtel Le Concorde Quebec.

My patience was rewarded. As I rounded the corner onto Wilfred-Laurier Avenue, I spotted her heading to a seat near the window. And what luck! She took the one looking outside. I crept around, and hid behind the planters and set up.

Well, just as I was focusing in on my subject, the worst possible thing happened.

I raised my camera to get a snapshot of my quarry, and a burly, security guard grabbed me by the arm. Luckily, I managed to get a photo, albeit on a bit of an angle, and upload it to the cloud before he had the nerve to confiscate my camera.

BUSTED

able caneRoxie, Roxie, Roxie. How many times do I have to remind you? You can’t get caught when you’re on assignment.

I know, Able. I’m sorry. But I got the job done. You can’t fault me for that.

No, you’re right.

And the best thing is, the police weren’t involved. The security guy took pity on me and didn’t call. Told me, too, if I behave myself these next few days, after he’s had a chance to look at the pictures on my SD card and eliminate them, I’ll get my camera back! Wheeeee!

Focus, girl. Focus. The assignment isn’t over.

Aw, I was hoping to get a chance to poke around on my own without chasing anyone.

You do this one last thing, and you’ll get your well-deserved break.

What’s that?

See if you can find out where Melanie is going next and when so we can plan.

You got it, boss. Roxie Rebel won’t let you down.

 

 

 

 

ROXIE REBEL on assignment in Vieux-Québec

Roxie RebelHi fans, Roxie Rebel coming to you from Vieux-Québec where I’m tracking world-famous author, Melanie Robertson-King.

I caught up with her this morning on Avenue Cartier. Look at the funky street light shades!
roxie rebel

You can see two more in the photo below. able cane What’s that Able? I know I’m supposed to be tracking Melanie, and that’s what I’m doing. Honestly, you think I’d never completed an assignment like this before.

roxie rebel

After that, I tracked her to Saint Matthew Anglican Cemetery on Rue Saint-Jean. The weird thing about Melanie is she likes to prowl through cemeteries. Especially old ones.

roxie rebel

She back-tracked a bit on me between the cemetery and the next photo. Glad we were going down these steps and not up. Yikes!

roxie rebel

See what I mean about the steps?

After I captured her here, she slipped across the street into an enormous toy store. The place is called benjo. Talk about toy heaven! You name it; they had it. Even a full-sized copy of Number 5 from the movie Short Circuit.

roxie rebel

You have to send me back here, Able. I want to spend more time in the store.

Roxie Rebel signing off for today.