Apologies to all for the better-late-than-never blog post! We didn’t return home last night until almost 11 pm and had to be up at 6 am in the morning. In order to be the best and least grumpiest chaperone I could possibly be, I decided to turn in and work work work today on the bus and at the airport! Chaperone life can be difficile sometimes!
Realizing I had not included any pictures of the delicious pains au chocolat, I had to snap one this morning! While WHS travelers loaded up on all other types of nutritional foods as well, nothing can compete with this delicious pastry. Is this one travler’s plate or a plate to share? I’ll leave that one up to your imagination!
Today was a day that was packed with activities– a day with a lot of cultural stops and tasty treats. As we hit the road a little bit later today, WHS travelers were well-rested and ready for another day in Quebec City. First stop, Chez Marie! The bakery has been passed down from generation to generation and the specialize in baking bread. The cool part? The ovens are outside! Chez Marie is well known also for its homemade maple butter, which we got to enjoy on a slice of their homemade bread. This turned out to be Grace’s favorite part of the day, as she just couldn’t get enough maple treats from the sugar shack the night before.
After Chez Marie, we were back on the bus to our next stop- St. Anne’s Basilica on the Saint Lawrence River. It is a Catholic Church that welcomes many pilgrims each year on a variety of different pilgrimmages all over North America. The decoration in the church reflected this to welcome pilgrims with lots of floral and fauna in beautiful tiles on the walls and on the ceiling. Why St. Anne, you wonder? Well, St. Anne is the patron saint of Quebec City, the grandmother of Jesus, mother of Mary. Rumor has it that this church has healed many sick people, from those on crutches to those in wheelchairs! There was even a display of medical equipment that people donated to the church after they were cured following their visit to St. Anne’s basilica. WHS travelers had some free time to roam around and discover the nooks and crannies of the cathedral before jumping back on the bus for our excursion to continue.
Next stop? The Dollarama store! Why on earth would this be a stop on the trip, you ask? Well, for the Fete de Saint Jean Baptiste, of course! Quebec as a province celebrates its national holiday on June 24th, so the evening prior there is always a huge party! In order to be properly Quebecois, WHS travelers bought stickers, temporary tattoos, Quebec flags, hats, and t-shirts. We were pretty decked out afterwards – able to fool any Quebecois that we were one of them!
Following Dollarama, it was time for lunch! This was one of my favorite restaurants because students had to interact in French with the wait staff! For lunch, we had a variety of things- Hunter had fried onions, Zoe calamari, Grace a sandwhich, and Maci a pizza! Success was had by all as we all ate and paid en français!
Following lunch, we headed to another museum! This time, it was a copper museum. A pressed copper museum, in fact. What does that mean? Well, simply that to put designs into copper sheets, they applied pressure with tools to raise it up. Working on both sides of the sheets, sometimes the artists would have to stand with their tools in order to apply enough pressure to make the indentation desired! This was cool because we had seen copper doors at the St. Anne’s Basilica which had been done by the original owner of the museum! After going on a short tour of the museum, we got the chance to create our own designs with mini sheets of copper and miniature tools. Most of us used sketchs that were pre-designed to ensure our copper sheet would come out beautiful. Maci designed a beautiful fleur-de-lys, which is on the flag of Quebec, and represents royalty, proving to be her favorite part of the day. A few purchases at the gift shop (of course!) were necessary; Alisha bought an Aries necklace and Zoe bought a cute necklace! Afterwards, it was back on the bus for our next activity.
After the copper museum, we had worked up a bit of an appetite with all that focus on our copper work! We took a stop at the chocolatier’s to buy ice cream and chocolates and spendd some time on a stone beach. While it was cold and rainy outside, WHS travelers were not bothered as they ventured out into the cove after enjoying a tasty sweet treat.
Now, the legends and myths workshop that I told our travelers about in Wisconsin did not get much hype at the parent meeting pre-departure, but everyone participated and was surprised at how much fun they had! Essentially, two acting coaches worked with two separate groups of students in order to tell Quebecois legends. One legend, about a werewolf, cautioned people to always go to church. The second legend, about a flying canoe, warned people of the dangers of drinking and driving. Each student had a role to read in the telling of these tales and acted it out on stage for the other group, costumes and all. Alisha KILLED IT. She did an awesome job being the bitter and grumpy cook for the lumberjacks, and I fully expect her to go into show business and give this workshop credit for her success! Kitana, playing Pierre the lumberjack, found this to be the best part of the day, having a lot of fun and laughing a lot. This was also Zoe’s highlight of the day!
Time for dinner! We headed to Spag&tini, an Italian restaurant which had three different pasta options- lasagna, penne with tomato sauce, or spaghetti with meat sauce. Collectively, again, we tried all three! Yay for diversity, WHS travelers! We also got to enjoy a green onion and noodle soup to start off with, and a light and fluffy caramel cake. Délicieux!
Alright, time for the part of the blog which made out to be HALF of the squad’s favorite thing about the day: La fête Saint-Jean-Baptiste! Set up on the Plains of Abraham, the party was to take place all night and we were lucky enough to get to see a little over an hour of it! We were handed Bonne Fete flags to wave around, blue and white of course, as we entered the terrain. Then, parading up the Plains of Abraham, we found a space to call our own. A large concert venue, there were thousands of people in attendance! Zoe, Grace, Andrea, and Kitana decided to play it safe and stick up on the hill overlooking the concert, while Chaperone Ebling took Taryn, Sage, Alisha, Hunter, Maci, and Jaden to the front lines (okay, maybe not the front front lines, but we got up there!). We listened to Quebecois stars perform Quebecois and French songs for the crowd, cheering and waving our flags the whole time. Taryn liked going “down to the mosh pit,” but worry not parents, there was no moshing about. Alisha, Hunter, Jaden, and Sage all expressed how much they enjoyed listening to the concert from up close and how much fun they had! Andrea, though, particulary enjoyed the view and the sounds from up high.
We danced and clapped, sang and swayed, and laughed and cheered all night! Well, till 9:45 to be exact…we had a long trek back to our hotel afterwards. And, we also celebrated Marie-Eve’s 30th birthday! All in all, it was a fabulous day, with lots of stops and lots to celebrate!
We’re headed to the airport as I type, to embark on our long journey home. Stay tuned for our final update (probably some time tomorrow… because let’s be honest… when we return home at midnight, we’re all going to be exhausted!). A toute à l’heure!