Tag Archives: quebec

Québec City – Our First Look


I chose Québec as our international travel destination this year for a few reasons:

  1. I’d never been to Canada {seriously!}.
  2. To save time and money.
  3. I’m a francophile.
  4. I’ve read that it would still feel foreign.

We wouldn’t have enough time to explore the countryside, but decided to fly into Québec City, stay a few days, then take the train to Montréal. We had learned that Montréal is truly a food destination!

Our flight from JFK to Québec City was overbooked. There wasn’t another flight until the following day. The final going rate for the taker to remain in NYC was a $1200 Amex Gift Card (or flight voucher) and paid overnight stay. If only there had been two seats overbooked!

Arrival at the tiny airport in Québec City did feel foreign! Going through customs took a bit of time, but was uneventful. While looking at our passports, the agent asked, “Are you celebrating anything special?” Just as I was about to respond, “No, just vacation,” Rob declared, POUTINE!” Yes, this made everyone laugh.

I decided to wing it with currency. I figured we’d just hit the ATM upon arrival. However, I was getting a bit nervous when I hadn’t seen one because the only way into the city is via taxi! Luckily, I found the lone ATM at the very end of the airport. Whew!

Our taxi took us to the Vieille Ville (old city) aka Vieux-Québec. Yes, you do feel like you are in a European city with all the cobblestone streets and stone buildings!


The Château Fleur de Lys was a cute, quaint, cozy hotel that I found it on Orbitz. Beware, if you book this hotel, you’ll need to climb the stairs with your luggage. {This is common in old European hotels, too, and did not bother us because we packed fairly light.}

Québec City {hereafter shortened to just Québec because that is what the locals call it} is very walkable. Just be ready for a lot of hills! Our hotel was located in the heart of Haute-Ville (upper town) in VieuxQuébec, not too far from the most photographed hotel in the world Château Frontenac.


We could easily walk a couple of blocks to the Terasse Dufferin, which is perfect for a little stroll…


Overlooking the St. Lawrence River…


And there she was in all her glory…


We were recommended to have lunch or a cocktail in Château Frontenac’s cafe or bar. It is highly recommended to go inside to take a peak… But until then, you can get about a 1000 photographs of the hotel at all different angles and light.


Our room was small, but cozy. {To be clear, I’m jumping back to the Château Fleur de Lys. We did not pay to stay at the Château Frontenac!} Upon arrival, I thought our room was tiny, like many European hotel rooms. But it quickly grew on me. It was comfortable and felt like home at the end of exploring each day!


Behind that purple curtain, we even had a door to a tiny, private terrasse (patio) out back were we could enjoy local wine and cider that we had picked up. {We quickly learned how much the Québécois love their terrasses!}


We enjoyed this ^ local cider that was packaged in a wine bottle! We quickly discovered several versions of Les Vergers de la Colline CID Cider widely available the rest of the trip. In addition, we purchased the bottle on the right:


Maple Cider! I was quickly learning new French vocabulary that I never had to learn in France. Of course, you can find sirop d’érable (maple syrup) flavored anything in Canada! Why not?!


I wanted to try as many local products as possible. And of course, since this was supposed to be chilled, we had to drink it immediately that night… out on our terrasse. 😉


But Rob had a different idea about trying the local products…


He’s been doing this for years whenever we travel. You see, has an obsession with chips, especially anything new to him! I was in awe when I accompanied him on his first trip abroad – to Paris, where he brought a half-dozen different flavors of chips back to our hotel room… If you know Rob personally and are reading this blog, you’ll have to ask him his favorite flavor this trip!

And that’s our hotel and the immediate surroundings… More to come!

Do you have something you always buy or try when you travel someplace new?






Hey, let’s catch up! 

{Got this idea from Courtney at Semi-Sweet Eats.}

I started this post on April 29th and then never posted it…. So here are answers from 4/29 and today. Some have changed… some have not!

Currently reading…

April: Still Life – a novel set in Quebec!

May: Sacré Blues – nonfiction about Quebec!

Can you guess where our next international trip destination is?!

Currently listening to… 

April: Prince – ‘cuz who isn’t?

May: The same running mix over and over and over…

Current guilty pleasure…

April & May: Reading, reading and more reading. Most nights, you’ll catch me with a glass of wine or cup of tea:

Currently drinking…

April: Tom Gore Cabernet – one of my new faves I discovered on ibotta.


May: LSD! They’ve got it on tap at Indeed right now. It tastes like summer to me!

Currently eating…

April: All The Clementines

May: Tacos, Tacos and More Tacos

Currently watching…

April: Master of None – with Aziz Ansari. So funny!

May: Orphan Black – I was hooked on Episode 1!

Currently needing…

April: More time… off, that is. One of my travel tips is to vacation wherever you know someone and have been invited. We got so many invitations this year and I just am maxxed out on vacation time! I know… First World Problems.

May: New running shoes. These have been my fave… And I always get the new current Asics Gel Cumulus, but I just loved the fit and color of these best. #RIP


Currently celebrating…

April: Our 6-year wedding anniversary

May: A work bonus. Off to Sul Lago we goooooo…

Current bane of my existence…

April: The Vikings Stadium project*

May: The Vikings Stadium project* – Isn’t it over yet?!!

This has nothing to do with me being a Packer fan. It has to do with my day job. I think we are all ready to be done. It’s not even worth my energy to explain.

Currently crushing on…

Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May —- THE LIBRARY!

This one is not going away, people. I will heart the library forever and ever.

 Currently thankful for…

April: Babbel – This is a foreign language app where you can practice and learn anywhere! It’s $19.99 for three months. I just do a lesson or two every day. I’ve been brushing up on my French for our trip to Quebec!

May: My Garmin VivoActive – I originally bought this for the heart rate monitor, but also to track my steps and workouts. But what? I can download golf courses, get my yardage and record my shots! What the … WHAT?! Really, I am loving it for the heart rate monitor. I always feel like I’m going sooooo slow, especially compared to Rob (who doesn’t run often) and when I see my time. But then, I realize I’m in Zone 4 half the time (80 – 90%) and Zone 5 the other half (90 – 100%). This is telling me I shouldn’t push it so hard. Rob is telling me that because I’m so slow, it’s probably not very accurate. Your thoughts?


Current slang…

APRIL & MAY: “All The Things” – It may be overused at this point, but I love this.

{BTW: I couldn’t stand “epic” when it was overused and I still hate “failure is not an option.” That one doesn’t even make sense. Of course it’s not. Failure happens even if we don’t choose it. The most successful people in the world fail! That’s how they become successful. Fail down seven times, get up eight.}

Currently wearing…

April: One of my new favorite outfits! Blue is normally my favorite color, but this green just makes me smile!


May: New Jeans! I went about six months sans jeans {really!} when my last pair died. I just hate shopping. On a whim, I walked into Sears one day {I never shop there} and decided to try on some jeans. I found these!


I was happy to pay the $34.99 for jeans that fit me and that were comfortable. {I usually have to try 20 pairs until I find one that I like. I hate shopping!} But when I got to the register both the Canyon River Blues Skinny Straight Jeans and Straight Leg Jeans were on sale for $20! Needless to say, I immediately went on line and tried to get all of the colors possible.

Currently excited for…

April: Our next vacation. Is that bad having just come back from one? I like always having one lingering in the distance. Planning is fun!

May: Seeing Rob’s parents soon, with a pit stop to see mine on the way!

Currently feeling…

April: Balanced. Never thought that would happen! I’m working out five days a week: running three {C25k again}, lifting weights two … and aiming for 7,500 steps a day when I am not running and 10,000 when I am. #realistic

But really, I’ve been trying to do all of these things every day; and when I do, I feel balanced and happy:

  • Something active
  • Play with pooches
  • Read – me time!
  • Write or take photos for the blog
  • Babbel – an app to catch up on my French

MAY: Energized. Doesn’t everyone in Minnesota kind of wake up when the weather gets this nice?!

What is CURRENTLY happening with you?