Old Quebec City
After three flights and a four-hour drive over the United States border, Mimi and I arrived at a three-story apartment much like the French bed and breakfasts you see in movies. The home's added charm came from its noncommercial integrity and the two generations of women that lived inside.
Mimi and I walked up the string lit porch into the dining room where we were met with a full spread of bread, ragout, cakes, double cheek kisses, and the most earnest French Canadian female trio; my mother-in-law Carole, her sister Christine and their non-English speaking mother "grandmama". These women were instigators when in the same room together. Not the quiet type. There wasn't a moment that lacked in laughter between the three of them.
After the ragout, a few more laughs and cheeked kisses, we quickly fell asleep. Morning came, along with the morning coffee and French pastries, as we prepared to make the quick twenty-minute drive to Old Quebec City.
There was no one better to show us around Quebec City than my Quebecois mother-in-law, Carole. Not only was she the most qualified "guide touristique" due to the language barrier and her native knowledge... but she is as patient, mindful, and present as they come. No doubt she mustard those qualities from raising 8 children as an immigrant in the most northern part of the states, Maine... in addition to other life experiences that she so generously shares as wisdom at all the right times.
In short, there's nothing like Quebec City in the states.
After a quick 42 hours in Quebec City, our gang drove the three hours to Montreal. We were met with another amazing spread, this time soups, and bread made by my mother-in-law's little sister, Lousie (LouLou).
The next morning, we ventured out with the same intent in a different city. This time... Montreal. My favorite memory from this city was a Harry Potter-themed bar called The Lockhart. 🧙🏼♂️