My coffee mug reminds me to blog about Quebec

As I was sitting at the kitchen table the other day, coffee mug in hand and halfway through inhaling a biscotti (I know you’re supposed to take your time to enjoy those things, but whatever), I was suddenly reminded of the fact that I have yet to blog about my trip to Quebec this past August. I’m pretty sure I’m experiencing memory lapses because of the stress of the semester. It’s not like this is my first time using the mug I bought in Quebec’s Old Town. There’s French words sprinkled across the entire thing to remind me, for crying out loud.

Realizing I forgot to blog about a trip that I went on 2 months ago.
Image courtesy thedailyquirk.com.

So, here it is, the long-overdue blog post.

Around mid-July, my mother looks up from her iPad and casually says, “Let’s take a trip to Quebec this summer.”

I scoffed at the idea. Not only did we have less than a month to plan this little adventure, but the idea of yet another family road trip gave me a headache. I’m actually quite certain there’s an equation to determine the exact moment during a family vacation that we’ll all start fighting. You take the number of hours trapped in a car whose back seats fail to recline + the number of passengers in the car X the number of minutes you’ve gone without checking your social media sites because you’ve crossed the border and no longer have network connection. Obviously.

Long drives are the worst when I’m not behind the wheel.
Image courtesy of buzzfeed.com.

Next thing you know, I have about 20 browser tabs open, and I’m struggling to find a hotel that will meet my mother’s standards.

“That hotel looks a little cardboard-ish,” she says, head tilted down and glasses perched at the end of her nose as she takes a sip of her coffee and Bailey’s.

“Cardboard-ish?!” I exclaim, ready to abandon my post as travel agent at any moment. I still have yet to figure out what she meant by that description.

Finally, after three hours of comparing booking sites and harping at my father to fork over the money, we were all set to go.

Mid-August rolls around and we pile into the car. My younger brother and I squished into the backseat, and I realized that we still fight like we’re 8 and 12 years old again. Some things never change.

Eight hours and one pit stop at my grandmother’s later, we arrive at our hotel in Quebec. There’s French signs everywhere. What looks like a French-Canadian version of the National Enquirer lingers on a hotel lobby coffee table. Conversations in French are all I hear as I stand waiting for the hotel elevator. And I can’t speak a single sentence of the language.

Image courtesy of rachadams.com.

Thank the good sweet Lord above that almost every single person also spoke English. Their bilingual abilities evidently made me feel like I had been severely lacking in my education. That’s it. Time to fork over the money for Rosetta Stone.

Instead of recounting every detail of a family vacation that consisted of miles of walking, many moments of fighting, and hours of eating, I figured it’s best to let the photos do the talking. With that being said, here are my favorite snapshots of our spur-of-the-moment summer road trip.

My mother, the coffee snob that she is, was craving a cappuccino the moment we set foot in the city. We enjoyed coffee at L'espace MC Chef
My mother, the coffee snob that she is, was craving a cappuccino the moment we set foot in the city. We enjoyed coffee at L’espace MC Chef.
Walking along the boardwalk by Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Town
Walking along the boardwalk by Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Town
Looking up at Le Chateau Frontenac, situated by the St. Lawrence River in Old Town.
Looking up at Le Chateau Frontenac, situated by the St. Lawrence River in Old Town.
Every time we walked by buildings with flowers along the sides, she would shout, "Take a picture of those flowers!"  Here you go, Mom.
Every time we walked by buildings with flowers along the sides, my mom would shout, “Take a picture of those flowers!”
Here you go, Mom.
We couldn't have asked for better weather when we took a 20-minute trip outside of the city to Montmorency Falls (which happen to be 30 m higher than Niagara Falls).
We couldn’t have asked for better weather when we took a 20-minute trip outside of the city to Montmorency Falls (which happen to be 30 m higher than Niagara Falls).
Shopping in Rue du Petit Champlain. My mother insisted on a photo of my brother and I.
Shopping in Rue du Petit Champlain. My mother insisted on a photo of my brother and I.
Also outside of the city is the Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupré, where people have walked in crippled and have come out healed. Walkers, canes, and other helping hands rest near the entrance.
Also outside of the city is the Basilica of Sainte Anne de Beaupré, where people have walked in crippled and have come out healed. Walkers, canes, and other helping hands rest near the entrance.

We thankfully made it back safe and sound across the border. I look forward to heading back to the city soon, but in the meantime, I better start practicing my French.

-Morgan

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