Saturday, August 11, 2012

Our last day of touring we went to see "les 7 chutes" or the seven waterfalls. I got a couple of good ones from the top of the seven where the dam was built. We took a little tour of the powerplant that was built some time ago that harnessed the power of these particular river. They didn't allow pictures of the inside and the outside of the building was pretty plain and factory-building looking.

Below is a picture of the dam.

Another rainbow that need to be captured... :)

An even better look at the first and greatest of the 7 waterfalls.

On the last day we decided to stop by a Tim Hortons, as was recommended to us, to try some Timbits (the donut holes). The one on the right was called "Hollandaise" and the left was "cerise" (cherry). Now, I was under the impression that Hollandaise was the sauce one puts over eggs benedict. Maybe here they actually meant "from holland" or some such though because there was no "eggy" flavor. It was a cinnamon-raisin flavored donut. The cherry didn't tast like REAL cherries, so I rated is a 6 out of the 10. The Hollandaise one I rate an 8. Mum and I each had a bite. Now we can say we ate Timbits!  :P

There were a couple of pics of me eating them, but I looked like I was a monster devouring them, so I thought I'd skip it.

Tomorrow we head off for a family vacation with ALL the in-laws, as in my parents, my aunt, my sister and her husband, sister's hubby's parents, and me and my hubby and his parents. It should be quite the crew.

I have some nice pics of the new kitten my parents have now and a few from a wedding I just attended today. Those will be good blog posts for later.

Sorry this post is so short, but if you missed all of my other posts about Quebec, just click the title of my blog after scrolling up and all of my posts will show up one after the other on the page so you can see if you missed any. There's some pretty awesome videos and photos...

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! Soon I will be back subbing the beginning of september. *sigh* the things we do to pay the bills, but that is another topic entirely.
read:  A new series in which the first book is called "eyes like stars". If you like playacting and fantasy, you'll like this series. (and I'm still waiting on bitterblue, the last book to the previous series I started 
taste:  grapefruit juice 
see:  tons and tons of people talking about Mr. Ryan, the GOP VP nominee. Oh the drama *rolls eyes*
hear: nothing much, just waiting to hear the sound of a car dropping my darling husband off.
smell: see taste...
touch: My satin bathrobe...delish
think:  that I should prolly hit the rack (I haven't packed at all yet, but I'm putting it off till morning)
feel:  tired

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The "chute" (waterfall) in Quebec

So after we went to see the Old Town of Quebec City (at least part of it), we wanted to stop by the Chute de Montmorency on the way back to our condo. It's right off of the main highway and looks massive from the road. We weren't really sure what we were in for, but as we headed out to get a closer look it became clear that there would be some hiking involved to get the best view...

See that staircase?

We had to climb it. ;) I knew the views would be amazing. Mom wasn't so sure it would be worth it.

On the way up, we took various pictures of the falls.

When we neared the top of the staircase, we had such an amazing view.

A video I took of the way up.


It was a short walk from the top of the staircase to the top of the falls. This is a picture I took from a small little bridge that connected the two trails.
The top of the waterfall, with a huge drop-off.

I'm about ready to go out and take some pictures on the bridge above the falls.
Some pics I got from the middle of the bridge.

Looking down over the edge. I was fine mentally with the height, but I was pretty concerned I'd drop my smartphone. :S I had it in an iron grip because it required putting it out over the edge to get a good view.
A last video of the view from the top. 

More of Quebec City in the next post.

If you haven't seen my other Quebec posts they are here, here, and here.

read: nothing yet...I have some jewelry books coming soon hopefully though
taste: pizza. Micah was naughty and got pizza. Blah, so much for eating healthy today.
see: Olympics, news, etc.
hear: commercials (worst invention since...ever)
smell: Micah and I agree that we're not sure what we're smelling right now.
touch: kitty, since she was just stuck in my face by yours truly for kisses
think: fuzzy headed, so not much?
feel: see above

Monday, July 30, 2012

The next day in Quebec, in pictures.

So, the next day in Quebec, we decided we'd better see Quebec. :P It's about a 40 minute drive from our condo, so very doable. We decided to walk around the Old Town right on the water. When we arrived, it was a gorgeous sunny day and offered up a large variety of scenic views. 
 They had SO many gorgeous arrangements of flowers and landscaping. Every shop had quaint window-boxes and flowers. Everything was so beautiful and colorful and well-maintained.

 Below is the Petit Champlain, the little shopping street in Old Town. They had glass-blowers, souvenirs, jewelry (lots of jewelry) and other things handmade by local artists. It was pretty fun to walk around and see it all.

The Petit Champlain had a little garden to rest in about halfway down the street.

As I said, all the shops have the most adorable decor.

This wall had quite the mural on it. The real people liked to take pictures amongst the fake street as you can see.
 When we got hungry, we tried a restaurant that was recommended by the artist's wife from the day before, but it wasn't open until dinner time and we were wanting a late lunch. :( So, that was one place we didn't get to try that she had mentioned as good.

So, we found this quaint little restaurant called Piazzetti.

We had an Aranciata to start.

I had a stuffed pasta dish with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese and homemade bread. It was excellent. 

Then a specialty coffee for afterwards.

Then we ate a molten chocolate cake with salted caramel oozing out of the middle. SOOO good!

Here was the fountain right next to our restaurant. We thought it was pretty unique.

After lunch we wandered some more and found the Notre Dame des Victoires in an adorable courtyard. Below is a sampling of the stores/buildings within the courtyard.

And here is the church.

The victories that this church was named after were both military victories won by the people on Quebec after they prayed for protection and victory in this church.

We saw two more things this day, but they include enough pictures that I didn't want to put them all in one post. Be looking for more tomorrow on the Chute de Montmorency and a quaint little farm with a gorgeous view.
read: Finished Fire today. It was just as excellent as Graceling. Now, I'm just twiddling my thumbs till Bitterblue comes in from the library.
taste: mac n cheese I stole from Micah
see: clouds and sprinklings of rain. I'm not disappointed about it. :)
hear: The Olympics in the background. US women's volleyball just won against Brazil.
smell: the shampoo in my hair?  Can't think of anything else...
touch: the keyboard
think: waterpolo is a very interesting sport...
feel: great!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Quebec trip cont. (picture heavy)

Hello again everyone. We had very slow and unreliable internet at our small condo in Beaupré, so I had to wait until I got home before it would allow me to upload my pictures to the internet.

We had such a lovely time and saw a lot of really awesome things. I'm going to do a post for each day that we went to sightsee. Today's post is from last Monday.

We had driven by the road that led to some sort of a canyon with a huge waterfall, so we knew we wanted to see that. We also saw a sign along the road about an Art Gallery of local artists nearby, so we went there first.

We drove up the driveway and found this absolutely quaint little house.

They had some artwork in their yard, mainly metal and stone sculptures.

They had a gorgeous view. The to left of this was an adorable covered porch with an even better view but that was fenced off to the public.

As with almost every other house in Quebec, they had very well-maintained plants and gardens. So beautiful.
We were not allowed to take pictures inside the gallery, but it was very neat inside, complete with huge stone steps leading to the downstairs, stone walls, and aged hardwood floors, and large overlooking windows. The art was wonderful too, with all types, more modern art, and more realistic. None of which we could afford, but we had a nice time looking.

Anyway, the best part was that the caretaker's (and one of the artists) wife came home while we were there and told us about all of her favorite places to visit in Beaupré and Quebec City. She told us about the "sugar shack" and a scenic drive in the country to get a gorgeous view of the lower town and the St. Lawrence River. We determined to visit as many of these places as we could. She was so helpful, and a darling grandmotherly lady. Everyone here was very helpful and nice. Not that I expected any less...
Since the Canyon de Sainte Anne was closest, we went there first. It was spectacular. We walked down a path that sported several wooden animal sculptures.

Running through the canyon is the "Rivière Ste Anne du Nord" (North Sainte Anne River). Here was the beginning of the trail that led down and around this river running through the canyon. There were 3 bridges to cross. This one being the most tame.

 Here is the view from the top while you're standing in the middle of the first bridge.

A side-view from the right top.

As we went further down, you could see the first bridge, and then the HUGE drop of the waterfall.

Pictures don't do it justice, but all in all it's taller than the Niagara Falls by several meters.

Down further and around the corner, the falls continue in a series of smaller waterfalls.

It was sooooo hot and humid that day. Mum and I were sweating just standing here. We decided to attempt a decent picture regardless. :P

Did you see the rainbow above? Here's a close up.

The bottom of the waterfalls opened out to this flatter area.

Some videos that give you a better idea of the majesty of this waterfall. : )
video video

Mom conquering her fear of heights. Go you mom! : P

So after we saw the canyon, we drove to the "sugar shack". On the way there, we stopped and got the following view:

A sweet lady was there at the sugar shack, the place where they cook maple syrup. And now you will receive an education about maple syrup.
90% of the world's maple syrup is produced in Canada, and 80% of the syrup is produced in Quebec alone.
Below is a spigot in an example tree with a pail attached. During early spring when the snows are still high, they go out and put in a spigot right above snow level so the pail rests just above the snow. The spigots in Quebec are not left in year to year, the holes are allowed to close and heal after the season. Many producers in the US, if not most, use formaldehyde to keep the holes from closing up throughout the year, so they can tap the same hole every year. The problem with this is the trace amounts of formaldehyde in the syrup and the fact that their trees only live 30 years tops as opposed to 200 years with those that are allowed to reclose out-of-season. Since the snow levels in Quebec always vary, the spigots are never placed in the same holes. Every day in Quebec, they go out and collect the maple water. It is very watery and just slightly sweet. This is what's boiled down to make the syrup and it takes a very great amount of maple water to make just one liter of syrup (a 12:1 ratio I believe?). Early season makes light syrup, middle season makes darker syrup and late season collects much more actual sap making very dark syrup. The best is the middle season. Some manfacturers combine the light and dark to make "medium" but it's not the same flavor as the straight up middle season syrup.

Below is the sugar shack and on top is the smokestack that they open when boiling down maple water. That hinged panel is opened completely.
 So, I've tried "maple syrup" before, bought here in the US or in Whistler, Canada and frankly, I never really liked it. It had a weird flavor that was different than butterworths, but just weird. Evidentally, this is because it's not actually full maple syrup! The US brands (you know the really expensive stuff that's called 100% real maple syrup), is in actuality only 8% maple syrup on average, with fillers. In Quebec, they're not even allowed to say on the label that it's "maple" anything unless it is completely 100% maple syrup. If it's a smaller percentage than 100% it's called "table syrup". But, even their table syrup is better than the "maple syrup" we get here in the US. Anyway, they had lots of free samples. I LOVE maple syrup! The real stuff that is. It was thick and the flavor wasn't at all weird. It was sweet and tasty and just so nummm. I bought some regular maple syrup and some cranberry flavored maple syrup (that was an excellent combo).

Never again will I buy the fake maple syrup. It's not worth it. I'm not sure how I'll get the genuine stuff. Maybe order it? I dunno, but it's just the kind you can use to make the maple syrup candy (like in Laura Ingalls Wilder books :) ). Maybe I'll buy it just for special occasions. Not sure, but I can't wait to make something that calls for my new maple syrup (which I was told was canned about a week and a half ago). :D

Anyway, that's the scoop on Monday of last week. More upcoming.

read: Fire, a prequel to Graceling (such an excellent series).
taste: maple syrup
see: blue sky! The sun's been doing it's job burning off the clouds, yet it's not too hot here, just right.
hear: the waterfalls from the videos I posted. They were even louder irl.
smell: maple syrup
touch: Micah. It was so nice to wrap my arms around him in the airport and this morning.
think: that I need to get more stuff made for my shop! :)
feel: rejuvenated, ready to take on the world!