Last week I had the pleasure of welcoming my first visitors into my new place in Joliette, and not just any visitors, but my favourite brother and his wife ;) Got to pick them up late on Friday night and then get up early Saturday to teach dance. Which was a little bit brutal for the sleep quota, but worth it in these circumstances. Saturday we did a little bit of exploring in Joliette to admire the fall colours and to give a small tour of some of my “haunts”.
Fortunately I didn’t have to teach much of the rest of the week, so we could do some adventuring together. And adventuring we did on Sunday, heading up the St. Lawrence to the region of Charlevoix near Ste-Irénée…We stayed at Domaine Forget in Ste-Irénée in a little studio appartment with a view of the fleuve that was quite spectacular.
On the way to Charlevoix we had lunch and a walk up to Montmorency falls in the sunshine. Perhaps with a slight frolic in the fallen leaves :)
Monday we drove over to the Parc National des Grands Jardins to do a hike up a “mont” to have a spectacular view of the region and the fleuve in the distance. I’ve never been to this area before and would be game to go back again another time. We were so blessed to have days with sun and relative warmth when they had been announcing clouds and rain. And I think we did see at least one “Mount” (an almost mountain) amongst all the hills, which is quite the statement for people coming from the Rockies and the Coast Mountains.
We did stop briefly in the city of Baie St-Paul to walk around some of the cute inner streets with their many art galleries. Then we continued back to our accomodations to make a Thanksgiving dinner meal, complete with roast chicken, butternut squash and potatoes, and an experimental vegan pumpkin cheesecake which tasted amazing. We were so full from dinner but still managed to eat half of it :P Would definitely remake the recipe.
A day wouldn’t be complete without some goofing around. So we had some fun around the quai near the Domaine Forget, including squishing pennies under the passenger train that passed by. Nothing like re-living childhood experiences haha.
Tuesday we drove back down the river to visit Quebec City with a short stop near St-Joachim and admire the thousands of white geese migrating through the area. We opted not to go into the national park when we saw that it would cost us about 20$ just to go look at geese, and then tried to find another place where we could see them. We could hear them all around but with the different hunting areas, we were somewhat limited. Just when we thought we’d have to satisfy ourselves with seeing a few birds in the distance, we drove past a field covered in birds. Quite impressive.
Though we didn’t have much time to visit the old city, we were quite effective in seeing the few key sights on my brother’s list. And it sounds like he might want to come back one day to explore more of the historical sights. Of course that could be when he’s retired, but I still found it encouraging to maybe have the prospect of another visit ;)
Wednesday we got up really early to head to NY state for a hike with my good friend, A., currently on a visit home from her work in PNG. With good intentions we left my house at 6h30 in the morning but soon got caught in rush hour traffic, so we didn’t arrive at her place until about 2 hours later :S With so much driving time, we decided to do a shorter hike in the Adirondacks, listed as 2.5 hours to the summit off of the website. Though it only took us 1.5 hours up. We got very warm on the climb up and then blasted in the wind on the open-faced summit. Had some great views of the region from the top. And we finished the hike with a short drive over to Lake Placid to see the former Olympic sites in a drive-by. Not to forget the token picture of the lake :)
I’d like to go back to the Adirondacks to climb some more of the mountains, but I think I’d want to stay overnight in Montréal or somewhere closer to the border the next time. It’s the traffic that just drains all your energy and takes a lot of time. Apparently there are at least 46 peaks people climb, so I suppose I have lots of choices for a next time ;)
Thursday we stayed in town and kept things relaxed. I was teaching some more dance classes all night, and I was spoiled by my guests who made dinner and a fancy dessert. Apple and pumpkin crumble. Mmm. Sorry no pictures of that recipe unfortunately. And Friday we headed into Montréal for a visit, starting with a trip to Ikea to return the futon mattress that ended up being the wrong style to fit with my futon base. (Ask me if you want to hear the tale of the Futon fiasco). We continued with a quick walk around St-Denis, St-Laurent and Ste-Catherine streets, involving a stop at a Chocolaterie for my brother’s wife and a stop at Schwartz’s for my brother and I to try some of their famous smoked meat. Since we finished off all the meat we bought, I think we found it acceptable :P As a family with various allergies and food preferences, and several people who are not so keen on shopping, we concluded that perhaps these streets were not the most exciting for our particular case. Nice to visit one time and maybe spend more time elsewhere another time. We also toured around the Old Port a bit, including a stop in the really fun toy store off of the water. Then it was time to bring my guests to the bus station and brave traffic back to Joliette. Which once again proved to be a lot, alas! I certainly feel fortunate not to have that commute every week day.
Anyhow, thanks for reading! Thanks to my lovely visitors for your presence and for letting me share with you some of the beauty that can be found in this province! Who’s next?? ;)
More to come on my trip from the summer (soon, I hope!)
à la prochaine!