Booking a walking tour on Quebec’s hottest day so far this year might not be perfect travel planning. Whether we erred in judgement or the problems stem from the anger of the weather gods is uncertain. A nice day nevertheless…well except for my near heat stroke. I suppose given all of the pollutants I emitted in my years of cigarette smoking I am fair game for punishment.

Quebec City has led a fascinating life of cultural invasion, frontier rowdiness and weather extremes. It’s a beautiful city, historic in the Santa Fe, Bergen, etc. way of significant architecture, excessively cute (but often excellent) restaurants that make me quite sad to be a failed foodie, and way way too many people.

The first order of the day was a rather lengthy history tour with an articulate and knowledgeable guide; unfortunately by the end it was 90° and 51% humidity. We stopped for a way-above-average lunch, Patricia with eggs benedict and me with crispy toasts of baguette and beet hummus (who knew!). I had something called a milkshake IPA but it was too hot to drink most of it…unfortunate since it is the best IPA I’ve ever tasted…(Scott, if you’re reading this I, YOUR MOTHER, has discovered the best IPA when you always thought that was your forte…ha!)

Our next gig was a tour of the famous Fairmont Le Château Frontenac (better you google it than I try to reword the brochure for you) which Patricia was anxious to visit based on a friend’s recommendation. Here’s where things went slightly awry. As in after the morning’s walk and a steep climb up thousands of steps (maybe a few less…) I was feeling definitely unwell. I did make it up the many miles or so of stairs (so slight exaggerations are acceptable when one is promoting tourism, haven’t you noticed that?) but then collapsed under a tree in the small park nearby…along with a whole lot of others. Turned out fine. Patricia had a great time on her tour and I spent an hour pleasantly dozing on the grass. Honestly, it was quite a lovely way to spend part of a hot lazy day.

For our next act we walked back to our hotel, stopping along the way for a cafe au lait and what our guide had described earlier as ‘poor man’s pudding.’ The latter a decadent maple syrup, cake/bread and whipped cream concoction. Quick trip into a deli for provisions for the evening and now we’ve been home for awhile vegging nicely with yogurt (me) and wine (Patricia).

Back to Montreal tomorrow.



  1. Thanks for the delightful tour, verbally and visually. However, you guys are weather wimps. It is 100 degrees here today and our humidity is around 70%…well, yes, we are dying here. 90 degrees and 50% humidity would be wonderful.

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