je me souviens

This is day two of being home from our trip to Quebec City. The bags have been unpacked. The laundry done. The house cleaned. The sketches posted, and the chest cold that seemed imminent yesterday succumbed to all the sleeping I did. Today is a day to get things done. Sort receipts. Wash the bedding. Organize my email. Purchase festival tickets. And sit on the burnt orange couch is the quietness of the studious little flat and think about my trip.

I'm not entirely certain how to put this trip into interesting words. Quebec City is friendly. Old. Historic. Delightful. Delicious. Chilly. Bustling. Layered. The weather turned quite chilly unexpectedly. That's winter in Canada for you. As such, I wasn't able to get in as much sketching as I would have liked. Between boisterous winds and very cold hands, I'm still pretty impressed with the sketches I WAS able to capture. We did a lot of walking. We did a lot of eating. We hardly did any planning as to where to go and what to see next. We also didn't wander too far out of the Old City. Because of that, we got to know our way around pretty well.

I took so many photos, but here are some of my favorites. These will most likely be turned into paintings:

(there were so many stairs in the Old City. Hidden between buildings, IN buildings and out in the open where they were easy to spot.)

(some of the lovely buildings in Port Royale, one of the few sunny days good for sketching outside.)

(a fantastic back alley we walked through on the way to dinner. Parking and some housing was also to the right, at the very base of the cliff where "Upper City" sat. The overhead walkways were to get to the second and third floor suites.)

(looking down at "the Lower City" from the wall.)

(on our way up to the Citadelle, looking back.)

(a lovely nature trail we came across on the Plains of Abraham.)

(I can't remember what historical person's house this yard belonged to, but it was filled with tiny blue crocuses and fenced in by the lovely brick house in the background.)

(it's hard to emphasize the steepness of some of the city streets there. Sometimes the sidewalk has to be stairs.)

(the "Promenade des Gouverneurs" which starts at the base of the Chateau Frontenac. It's a very wide wooden walk way with a stellar view of the St. Lawrence. It's also VERY imposing looking from the river, being that it is so high up and literally on top of the wall.)

(me and my affinity for fences, old houses, and trees.)

(a photo I took after we climbed the first set of stairs leaving "Petite Champlain" after dinner on our last night. We ran into a carver who had just harvested some wood from the bank along the river. The streets in some places are so narrow you can fit one vehicle and one person side by side....and that's it.)

I was told that "je me souviens" means "I will remember"....though the driver of the carriage ride we took joked and said that no one can remember what it's supposed to remind them not to forget. For me, it means I won't forget my first impression of Quebec City. My first time being a cultural minority on a trip. My first time wandering old cobbled streets and sipping pints in an old converted storehouse that was built in 1754 and run until her death, by the 90 year old woman who lived in the house above. I won't forget the blustery wind and street buskers on the promenade, or the colorful awnings or the way waiters and waitresses would wait outside the front door of some restaurants to greet you and entice you to come in by handing you a menu. There is so much to do and see there. I think it should be on your bucket list of places to visit before you die. You won't forget it. You'll definitely make plans to go back. And if you go in the spring, you'll definitely need extra socks and batteries for your camera. I miss it already. Now I'm going to paint it.

Je me souviens...