We’ve just returned from our winter vacation to Quebec City, Canada, and to say we had a wonderful time would be an understatement. We enjoyed ourselves every bit as much as we did four years ago and honestly even more because we were able to share the fun with people we love.
Andy’s parents flew up from Texas and we all drove up together. Speaking of the drive, we left at 4:00 AM on Friday morning to try and beat winter storm “Nemo” up the east coast. For the most part, we succeeded. About half way there the roads got a bit messy, but Andy’s a great driver so I wasn’t worried. I only wish I could say the same about
nervous caring family members who sent concerned messages. We felt very loved, and arrived to Quebec City safely.
We stayed at the Hilton Quebec Hotel. It was our second time there, and I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Quebec City. The hotel has everything you need: a spa, fitness center with steam rooms, and a heated indoor-outdoor pool. It is great for families, but we were disappointed to learn an obscure Quebec law prohibited Lauren from entering the executive lounge. Fortunately, the hotels staff and restaurant were very accommodating and family friendly. Along those lines, another MUST is Allegro Restaurant’s Friday night seafood buffet. It came highly recommended, but I was skeptical. The meal did not disappoint! I ate more shrimp and scallops than I’d like to admit, and the fresh boiled Maine lobster was honestly best I’ve ever had! It was obvious from the crowd that this is the place to go for a special night out and seafood in Quebec City. Delicious!
Our main reason for coming back to Quebec was to pay another visit to the famous Carnaval de Quebec. Quebec’s first winter carnaval took place over one hundred years ago, and the carnaval, as it is today, has been hosted every year since 1955.
Carnaval de Quebec has something for everyone from food to fun to art and music, and trip to experience it all should be on everyone’s “bucket list.”
I think it’s safe to say the favorite part of the trip, for Andy, Lauren, my father-in-law, and me was our day at Valcartier Vacation Village. In addition to the tube slides, there is “snow rafting,” ice skating, a kids play area, and snow-karts (which Lauren loved). I cannot say enough about this place! It is perfect for all ages, trust me. It is clean, amazingly uncrowded, and so reasonably priced. I’ve said it before, but it is just the BEST fun I’ve ever had!
It was as much fun as we remembered and getting to share it with Lauren was wonderful. It wasn’t so much the actual activities that made it special and meaningful, but for me it was one of those moments when a dream is realized, when something you’ve hoped for happens and it was a time for me to be thankful for our little family, especially Lauren.
We also spent a bit of time exploring old Quebec City. It really is a charming place and it reminded us of Paris.
I’d love to go back in the spring or summer and spend more time walking around and browsing the many lovely little shops.
Andy and I enjoyed dinner at Restaurant Le Continental one night while Lauren kept her “Bine-Bine and Pa Jim” busy. (Thank you!)
To our delight we found another great, more casual and family friendly restaurant in town as well. Parmesan serves classic Italian (American) dishes and has great atmosphere and wonderful service. I think the highlight of my mother-in-law’s trip may have been the Irish Coffee, flambéed table-side!
Before we headed back to the US we visited Montmorency Falls. It was just as awesome as we remembered it, but a little more scary with a toddler in tow.
I’d love to go back and visit all of Quebec City again, but especially the falls, in warmer weather. It’s hard for me to believe, but I hear it is even more beautiful in summer. In any case, I am thankful for the memories we made together as a family. Lauren doesn’t get to see her grandparents as often as some children do, but I know the times we spend adventuring with them will always hold a special place in her heart. After two busy, and nearly back-to-back international vacations, my mother-in-law has requested that our next family trip include at least “one day of relaxing.” I’m not sure that will ever happen in this family, but I am certain more wintertime visits to Carnaval and QC are in our family’s future.