See, back in August we had this soon-to-expire Airbnb discount...
and my husband was scheduled to start a new job in a week, with no vacation days available until he'd been there six months. What could we do? I got online and found a room for two nights in a little residential neighborhood in Quebéc City, that's what.
It was our most impromptu trip yet - I scrambled to cancel out three days in the middle of a week, we booked flights, brushed up on our French, packed a couple of carry-on bags, and flew to Canada. We used our discount to get a very inexpensive room in someone's home. And it was a little odd. Like staying with the friend of a friend. She was welcoming and accommodating, but we tried to stay out of her way when she was getting ready for work in the mornings because it felt a little awkward.
We shared the walk-up with this very fat kitty
and his even fatter brother. Both very sweet. I was pleasantly surprised that the apartment didn't smell like cat at all. One night, though, I heard something in the bedroom and then shrieked when this fellow jumped on the bed. I'd left the door to our room open while I ran to the bathroom, and he got in.
As soon as we'd dropped our bags at the apartment, we headed up to Rue Saint-Jean to Épicerie J.A. Moisan, the oldest grocery store in Quebéc.
J.A. Moisan opened his store in 1885 and it was fun to poke around in for picnic supplies.
We picked up a bottle of red wine, a baguette, some soft cheese in a hardwood ash, crispy pastries with duck confit and a fruit tart.
The plan was to walk until we found a place overlooking the river. But I'm one of those people who gets pretty irritable when my blood sugar starts dropping and I was hungry. The first place we found in the shade was our picnic spot. No glasses, so we drank directly from the bottle.
After lunch we walked along the river towards the old town.
The Saint Lawrence River flows through Québec, and the city is a port of entry.
There is a boardwalk that runs above the river, and we spent some time after our picnic strolling along it and just enjoying the feel of being somewhere different. Our luck of defying predicted bad weather held and it was gorgeous out.
Just doing my part to keep the Château Frontenac in its position of "most photographed hotel in the world."
Québec takes the idea of entertaining tourists and residents seriously and there were street performers out all the time. Not necessarily great ones, but still.
We decided to spend the rest of the afternoon in the lower part of the old town, and headed toward the stairs. But more on that in the next post.