The 90-Minute Flight to a European-Getaway Dupe
Basically just Tim Allen's North Pole.
Really excited to hear from all two of you who get this reference.
the 15-60 minute time period spent laying on the floor in the middle of the work day, typically as a relief from the soul-sucking reality of corporate America.
One of my favorite parts about living on the east coast is being able to visit many new places that felt less accessible for a weekend trip when I lived on the west coast.
First on the list: Québec City. Over the long weekend, I paid a visit to our Canadian neighbors. Take my word for it, this place is a fairytale village. More than once, I expected Belle and the villagers to come out and sing about “this provincial life.”
And yes, they speak French. I got to practice my bonjour, allons-y, and sacré bleu’s! One of my servers even asked if I preferred English or French, because my “bonjour” allegedly sounded so French?? Eat your heart out, Emily Cooper!!
Unlike in Nice—where frankly, I found the locals to be a bit frosty—Québécois people are so warm. Every establishment I ate or drank in came with friendly conversation, recommendations to local spots, and overall wonderful service in spite of the city’s current staffing shortage. Basically, I can’t recommend that you visit more. Although a city, it’s extremely quaint and easy to see and do in a weekend. I’ll definitely be heading back, perhaps in summer (I can only take so many 10˚F days). And here I am convincing you to do the same!
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Something to Google
La Buche. This spot was recommended by the New York Times in their 36 Hours in Quebec City article from 2016, and it holds up. The confusing decor, world’s-best-Bloody-Mary, raucous clientele, and delicious Québécois menu make this a must-go.
Chez Rioux & Pettigrew. Probably my favorite meal of the trip. They serve mouth-watering Prince Edward Island oysters, French wines (with a meal pairing option decided by the in-house sommelier), and a whole slew of local cheeses. Also randomly, they made my favorite coffee of the trip. The setting is cozy in what used to be a general store. But the best part of this meal is truly the service—you get Michelin-star treatment at just-slightly-above-everyday-prices.
Poutine. When in Canada :)
Le Clan. The fancy dinner! Super local and delicious, but not very vegetarian-friendly. The setting looks like it’s straight outta The Menu, but I survived.
Paillard. A bakery for to try all the delicious pastries. The fougasse olive & feta actually changed my brain chemistry—I’ll be dreaming of that bread for months to come.
Note: “Pints” in Québec City are 20 oz. Santé!
Bar 1608. For fancier cocktails, head to the hotel bar at Le Chateau Frotenac. Their selection of local and imported liquors is incredible and they made one of my favorite gin & tonics ever—with Ungava, a Québécois gin!
Ninkasi. This is obviously one of the most bumpin’ places to go for evening drinks. On one of the nights, they had live music and a packed crowd. On another, they had the kookiest karaoke I have ever witnessed and it sparked unbridled joy.
Le Sacrilège. Québec City is known for their microbrasseries, aka craft breweries! This spot had a great selection—I especially liked the Boreale Blanche.
Archibald. This brewery was a bit out of the city, but it had one of my favorite beers of the trip, the Chipie Pale Ale Rousse.
Pub St-Alexandre. Actually a very English pub feel, but it has a robust beer selection—one being Unibroue Blanche de Chambly Bleuet. The bartender also introduced us to half & halfs. I had a Guinness & Harp and definitely going to see if the pub by me in NYC will make me the same thing.
La Barberie. Another brewery with lots of fruity beers. It was great to go in winter but I imagine this place pops off in the summer—they have tons of outdoor seating.
To see / do
Le Chateau Frotenac is kind of the monument of the city. Adjacent to it is a toboggan ride that has been around since 1884. For $3 CAD you pull this vintage wooden toboggan up to the top and fly down to the view of le Chateau Frotenac to your left and the St. Lawrence River to your right.
Cross-country skiing. Downhill skiing is great and all that (or so I hear, I’ve only ever been snowboarding), but cross-country skiing may be my new favorite winter activity. The trails at Sentier Du Moulin are stunning and they have gear rental on site. 10/10 would do again.
Hôtel de Glace. The ice hotel!! I truly thought this was gonna be lame and it was actually so, so cool. If you go before 8PM (when guests for the night arrive), you can tour every room and grab a drink at the bar served in literal ice glasses. They hire ice artists to design each room so each one is unique with a different theme and style.
Climb all 310 steps on La Promenade des Gouverneurs from Le Chateau Frotenac to the Plains of Abraham. A great walk with sweeping views of the river.
Ride the Funiculaire. Open year-round, it takes you from the top of Old Town to the bottom. Peak Wes Anderson aesthetic!!
Hope that helps get you started on trip planning—if you do end up visiting during this winter or otherwise, I’d love to hear about it.
There are many amazing photos from the trip to choose from, but I reckon this is my fave. Like, c’mon, how is this place real!!
Something To Laugh About
^Goes from 50 to 10˚ weather once.
This is a glimpse of what it’s like to spend time with me.
Screaming this from the rooftops. Finally, someone understands me!!
And finally, here is some good news for all of us. Enjoy this.
À bientôt! Maybe I’ll take advantage of all this yucky rain we’re having in NYC and hunker down with my Duolingo so that on my next trip to Quebec City, I’ll legit be ~*courante*~.
Til’ next time, croissants. Your friend,
By the way…I’m reading this.
I’m experimenting with a new appendix-y portion of Floor Time, since I got an awesome response on my 2022 book video roundup. In case you’re curious, I’ll share what I’m reading down here—who knows, maybe it’ll turn into our little mini Floor Time book club :)
Currently reading Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Stunning writing, and also absolutely heartbreaking. If you wanna be in your feels, check it out.