CHAPTER ELEVEN: DAY TRIPPIN’ – QUÉBEC’S AUTUMN COLORS SHINE BRIGHTLYApril 1, 2020
Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey to Montréal & Québec City
CHAPTER TWELVE: A ROAD FIT FOR A KING
Day Ten – Rolling By The River, Last of the French Regime, Final Resting Place, High Chairs, Church Shut Out, “It’s My Sister’s Boxcutter,” Trying To Find Poutine and Flight Delay
We bid “au revoir” to Hôtel Le Priori and it was time to hit the road back to Montréal. Part of our journey would take us on Chemin du Roy (King’s Highway), along the north bank of the St. Lawrence River. We passed through small towns, enjoying the autumn colors and savoring our final day in Québec.
Not surprisingly, we found an old church to wander through. Église Sainte-Famille in Cap-Santé, which was constructed in the mid 1700s and is “one of the last examples of the typical French Regime structure” and is “ the sole remaining monumental church from the French Regime period.”
The two large bell towers couldn’t be missed.
The interior is beautiful.
It was redone in the mid 19th century, because locals supposedly “did not like the look.” It looks good now.
What really stood out were the stained glass windows.
We hung out here longer than expected admiring them.
Adjacent to the church is the Cimetière Sainte-Famille. Although we had said we wouldn’t be caught dead there, we meandered around for a bit enjoying the tranquility on a bright, chilly morning (the temperature was up to 40 degree).
The cemetery afforded views of the St. Lawrence.
We were the only people around.
Before departing, we noticed across the street stood three very differently sized chairs.
Never ones to miss a unique photo op, we posed before heading out.
Our next stop was another church with a cemetery on the premises, L’église Saint-Charles-Boromée in Grondimes.
We attempted to go inside, but all the doors were locked.
Apparently, Église Sainte-Famille had warned them we were on the way.
The church was built in the mid 1800s, and the two bell towers were completed in 1895.
We kept driving through town after town, passing tiny fruit stands along the way, but realized at one point we’d better hurry to make it to the Montréal airport. No time for lunch meant, once again, no time for poutine.
We dropped the car at the airport and told Kim and Mary we’d meet them for a late snack. Thanks to another security issue, we were a little late.
Tracy had her usual patting down (now marking six consecutive times she’s been pulled out of line. I started writing my new book, “I Married A Terrorist.”
Meanwhile, in that little pod where you have to do contortions so TSA people can see your private parts, I also was patted down (guilt by association?), and then the guy put my bag on the “We’re Going to Inconvenience You Just A Little More Before You Go” conveyor belt.
As I waited for the security guy to go through my dirty underwear, a middle-aged woman in front of me was “shocked” when the agent found a boxcutter in her bag. “My sister must have put it there!” she exclaimed. We did not see her again. These delays are yet another reason I always like to get to the airport early.
Before hooking up with Kim and Mary for lunch, Tracy and I bought a present … for ourselves.
Mai Tai Tom Digression: Before we left on vacation for Canada, we kept coming across something called poutine. Allegedly a “must eat” when you are in Québec. We were skeptical: fries, cheese curds and gravy. Hmmm, sounded like a heart attack waiting to happen. Even though we had several people recommend places for the best poutine, we did not bite (literally). Not until the very last day (hour) of vacation, while we were eating a late lunch in the airport, did we decide to try the national specialty. I ordered a small version and tentatively dug in. WOW! What the heck is a cheese curd and why does it taste so damn GOOD? Too GOOD! I immediately ordered another round of poutine. From Quebec City’s Tourism website, “A guilty pleasure where three ingredients fuse into a typically Québécois meal: French fries and fresh cheese curds topped with abundant gravy. It’s decadent, highly caloric and painstakingly good.” They rolled me to our gate.
As we finished lunch, an announcement came over the speaker saying Kim and Mary’s plane would be an hour late taking off. It turned out paramedics had to meet the plane upon arrival in Montréal, which delayed it.
It had been another memorable trip for the Mai Tai Four. Next stop: Portugal (hopefully)
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: EPILOGUE
This had been a trip long talked about, and we are so happy we finally pulled the trigger on it.
From the light shows of Montréal …
… to the quaint old town of Québec City …
… to the vibrant autumn colors, our trip north of the border was spectacular.
Add in some cool museums …
… historic sites …
… surprisingly lovely gardens …
… colorful food …
… along with numerous gorgeous churches in Montréal …
… and Québec City, it added up to quite a time.
Thank you Québec!
EPILOGUE TO THE EPILOGUE
As I write this final chapter, it has been a little more than six months since we returned from our wonderfully enjoyable trip to Canada. It seems closer to six years. Since then, I’ve had a knee replacement, been hospitalized for a week with an elbow injury, and like everyone else in the world, we are now caught up in the pandemic that seems straight out of a horror movie.
As we navigate through these difficult times, Attitude Is still Everything while we attempt to weather this global storm, and hopefully in the not-too-distant future we can once again … Enjoy The Journey!