Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bonjour de Canada!

Just returning from an exciting weekend in Quebec, Canada!

Russell works with a flooring company, and one of their manufacturers hosts a mill tour in Canada each year. This year, I got to tag along! So, in addition to a work trip for Russell, this was our final "Babymoon" before Rhys arrives! Our immediate team from Birmingham...Russell's invited architects and designers...consisted of 4 others, in addition to us...an awesome team!

We all met at the B'ham airport on Saturday morning during the wee 5:00 hour, boarded our flight and arrived in Quebec City about 1:30pm EST. We unloaded our luggage at our ritzy hotel (pictured below), and we were off to find some lunch! I've truly never seen so many eateries in one town or city! So many quaint and cute cafes, restaurants, coffee shops, candy shops, etc! Our choices were many! "Jenn, Ryan, I thought about our trip to New Orleans so often during our stay in Canada! Remember how much we ate over that 4th of July weekend? Yeah, same story here! Russell and I are still recovering from all the food!" We ended up eating pizza waffles at a cute little waffle shop just down the street from our hotel in Old Quebec City.
Above, the wall/bridge leading into Old Quebec City, just below our hotel...

Above, our Pizza Waffle lunch cafe! Asparagus Pizza Waffle below. Yum!

We then walked around the city in the 40 degree, misty weather, all bundled up in our outdoor attire and gear. We made it back to the hotel a short while later, where I hung up my wet jeans to air dry so that I could take a nice, long HOT bath then nap before dinner!

Dinner...a whole subject for itself! It was phenomenal! We dined at Portofino...you guessed it...Italiano! We were lavished with wonderful red and white wines (yes, I taste tested EVERYthing!), appetizers such as fried fresh Parmesan, smoked Salmon, Salami, Bruschetta, other specialty cheeses and meats! I thought that was dinner, but we were then given dinner menus. I was already full! However, I didn't hold back! I ordered a mouth watering, buttery linguine tossed with crabmeat and leak. I was told to save room for dessert, too! Whether I saved room or not, I ordered on command ;), and I devoured my Chocolate Truffle cake, along with coaching Russell on ordering the Tiramisu so that I could taste test that, too! :) Dinner seriously lasted at least 2 or 3 hours! It was absolutely delicious and overly filling! I admit, I did NOT want to see food for a while! :)


The next day, Sunday, we toured the city, and I thought of many of you...

Notice the amazing architecture throughout Old Quebec!

Erika, the above and below pics are for you! :) I know your appreciation for quaint, historic village settings!


Stephanie, the above picture is for you...I thought of you when we passed by this quaint art store! :)

Above, one of many gorgeous cathedrals!
Below, Sarah, my sweet architect friend :), this picture is for you! I thought of you when Russell pointed out the curved facade! Amazing!

Darby, Jenn, I totally thought of you two when I took these pics (above and below)...all the shops had the most adorable decorations adorning their facades! I just wanted to go into each shop because of the tastefully decorated and inviting front awnings!


Below, a beautiful, HUGE mural! Quebec has so much character!

Sunday night, we were yet again 'wined & dined' to the max! This time a steak house! For starters, we were served some kind of patte (yuck! I learned that I cannot stand for my food to be mashed and blended together into a mousse-like texture that looks like dessert but tastes like some kind of meat! I much prefer to eat the original texture and know what I'm eating, thank you very much!) I did enjoy, however, the wonderful sour dough bread, fried brie, shrimp cocktail, a wonderful baked mushroom and cream cheese spread and more! As if all of that was not enough, we were once again given dinner menus...I ordered a fabulous French onion soup, of which I ate every bite and sip! :) I did order some kind of a fish, steamed vegetable and rice dish, but I hardly touched it. Sad, but it wasn't worth the room in my tummy, as I looked forward to dessert time! Even with Rhys in my tummy, I did manage to squeeze in some yummy desserts! I enjoyed a smooth and creamy chocolate mousse dome (Ashley, Dan, y'all would've LOVED this!) with vanilla icecream and chocolate covered strawberries. Once again, stuffed beyond my limit.

Our final day, Russell was off to treat his clients to a mill tour! I was literally alone from waking up at 6am until 8:00 that night! I'd really prayed toward this day, asking that the Lord would give me His peace, strength and courage in getting out and about in the city...to not be lonely, scared or too bored on my own. The Lord really provided, as I spent several hours walking through Old and New Quebec, shopping, eating breakfast and lunch by myself (I've always feared having to eat out all alone! Now, I know that I can do it!), going back to the hotel for rest and naps, reading by the hotel's fireplace, and constantly praising the Lord for leading me through the day. I was so thankful at the end of the day for more than 'surviving' a day to myself in a big city with mostly French-speaking strangers surrounding me! I admit, at one point during the day, I told myself that I was so ready to get away from all of the French speaking...I needed some English-speaking fellowship! :) Russell and his team returned just shy of 8:00 that evening. By then, I was too exhausted to do anything but eat a turkey sub from Subway (yay for a simple turkey sandwich! :)), pack, set my alarm for 4:00am EST and go to sleep!

We're home safe & sound, with a wonderful experience to remember and share! I praise the Lord for the richly fulfilling time with HIM and with my husband! What a wonderful Babymoon! "Okay, Rhys, we're 'officially' ready for you!" ;)

All Canada trip pics here!

6 comments:

Mama Matteo said...

hey
great pics and even though i just heard about all the details yesterday, i still loved reading all about it again. love ya friend and i am glad yall got to take a little adventure together before Rhys gets here.
ashley

Darby said...

I waited all day to read this! Love the new blog design too! It as worth the wait. Oh my! What a beautiful {and chilly place... did I see snow?!}. I love all the history and architecture! I loved all the picasa picts too and commented over there too! I love you!! Thanks for sharing your very special trip with us!!!

Kathryn said...

What a beautiful city! I'm so glad you guys got to enjoy a special trip together before Rhys' arrival. Love the new blog design too!

Dave and Carrie Tyson said...

Wowzers!!! That looked like it was so much fun!!! I'm glad you were able to go with your hubby and that you were able to have a great trip. Love you!!!

erika said...

Shireen!
Just catching up on blog reading and ooooooh what a treat for my eyes this post was!!! I LOVE all of it! I wish I could have squeezed in your suitcase!
Thanks for taking us along for the ride (virtually)! :)
XO
erika

Tracey said...

hey, I wish I knew y'all were going there. That is where David & I went on part of our honeymoon, we also went to Montreal. My family lives right on the Quebec border & we drove there. It was one of the most beautiful & memorable trips I've ever taken. It reminded me a lot of France.
Tracey