The Joys of Carnaval

February 15, 2017

Even if one chooses not to buy the official effigy of Monsieur Bonhomme, the mascot of Carnaval de Quebec, and enter the official Carnaval sites there is lots to see and do in the city. The snow sculpture competition is free and open to the public.

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The ice sculptures I posted last week were in Le Quartier Petit Champlain in front of various businesses, and the department of tourism had sites throughout the town with fire pits for warming up and selfie spots with interesting views. A lovely young woman who worked for the tourism office was handing out marshmallows on a stick to roast over the fire, and the used sticks then became the quills of a snow porcupine.

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Winter decorations in beautiful window boxes and fanciful storefronts had me oohing and aahing at every turn, as did the lovely old stone buildings with painted murals and fairy lights at night. And an image in the Chateau Frontenac’s historical exhibit showed a pair of skaters at an outdoor ice skating venue being served martinis by a tuxedoed waiter. I realized I’d been born about 50 years too late.

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We had some delicious meals in Quebec. Come to think of it I don’t think I can ever remember a bad one. Some of our favorites were brunch at L’Echaude and Panache, both in walking distance of our digs. And dinner at Bello, a very chic Italian place with a wood burning pizza oven and a very hip clientele was decidedly good. Tagliatelle Funghi with lots of wild mushrooms, truffle oil and Parmesan was outrageous, as were the four guys in matching red plaid suits that came in as part of a bachelor party. The groom had bailed, and I hoped it wasn’t the night before the wedding. Or if the groomsmen were any indication perhaps the bride-to-be had dodged a bullet.

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Our last night in Quebec was Super Bowl Sunday, so we stocked up on wonderful cheese and salami and snacked throughout the game. When I wasn’t leaving the room, certain the Pats would do better if I wasn’t watching. Steve did the same, and sure enough when I came back to the TV they had tied it up. Like we had anything to do with it. But on our long drive home the next day we had to pull over and out of the fast lane for oncoming police vehicles; it was the State Police escorting the Patriots’ busses back to Foxboro from Logan Airport. We honked and cheered.

An exciting way to end a great trip.

Deborah

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Anne February 15, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Quebec City is one of my all time favourite cities. So glad you had such a wonderful time there. One of these days I will get to Carnival!

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Octavia February 16, 2017 at 6:44 am

What a great trip! The marshmallow/porcupine idea is so clever – and the chairs pulled up to the roasting fire…ahhh Also loved your being passed by the Patriot’s buses – I bet you cheered!

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Deborah February 16, 2017 at 7:49 am

We did! Hand honked! It was very exciting!
D.

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Cheryl February 16, 2017 at 7:02 am

Went a few years ago in early summer. What a lovely, sophisticated city! Did you notice all the silver-colored roofs? Never did find out the significance of that.

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Deborah February 16, 2017 at 7:56 am

It’s actually tin plate painted silver. It was all show, apparently, just to look good, but the metal and steep roof design does keep the snow from accumulating. Quebecois walk in the street and leave the sidewalks to visitors – not to be nice, but so the falling snow kills the tourists and not the locals!!
D.

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Linda Beazley February 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Deb,
Thanks so much for posting photos of your wintertime trip to Quebec City. John and I were there years ago and we loved it, too, however, it was not in snow and ice sculpture season. I applaud your bravery. I am usually the person close to a fire pit. Loved the shots of the sculptures and the dining spot with stone walls and of course…. a fire pit. We watched the Super Bowl from our den room, fire going all day long. It sure was major excitement…. Lady Ga Ga in flight, just to add to the wow factor. Hope you both are weathering the winter well, no illness in sight. We are fine. Looking into March for our Craft Show and then I have table scapes to do for a May wedding in our family. Much love to both of you, Linda and John

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Deborah February 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm

I want pictures of the table scares for the wedding!!

D.

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