Friday, March 30, 2012

Falls, Friends, Feast

There are some beautiful waterfalls about 15 minutes away. I love going to see them in every season. During the fall, they are surrounded by the most stunning Fall colours, in winter, there are frozen parts, in the spring it is a mass of gushing water and in summer it's nice a nice and relaxed flow and you can lie on a rock and go swimming down below.

I had promised some of the students I would take them for sushi, but you can't just go for sushi of course. One must make some fun stops along the way!  So our first stop was the Falls.

Normally you can see more rocks in the middle and there's more distinct parts to the waterfall, but now it's simple a huge gush of rushing water. Love it!

We then proceeded to take some amazing pictures...

Once again, I love that I can tell everyone to start jumping for a photo and they will. Oh the power a camera yields.

We decided to wander the mall before dinner to build up an appetite. And somehow Leonie was convinced to dress up and try to fit in with the mannequins. I think she does an excellent job. Kind of like Where's Waldo.

And for some reason the photos won't let me write between them. But we went for sushi and it was fabulous. Tried a new roll called the Sumo Roll, which has mushrooms and other things and it was amazing!  On the way home, we stopped at a couple churches along the way to snap some photos.

And thus ends another adventure. Sometimes when I look where I live, it still doesn't hit me that I actually live in Quebec.  I have a Quebec driver's license, a Quebec health card and a Quebec vehicle license plate. I'm a resident of Quebec. Weird.  Maybe one day it will click. For now I will just enjoy the wonder of not believing I live in a place where there is so much history and character to be discovered!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Swimming, Seasonals, Safari

 One of the fun things about spring break here at school is the change of pace. It's a bit quieter (except when we have groups in) and there are students who stay behind to join staff!  So it's a good time to be able to hang out with them and do fun random things.

I usually go swimming twice a week at a local pool. Last Monday I was joined by a fantastic swimming crew and we had a great time. Well, it was great until at the end when we were playing marco polo and jordan decided to hide behind a small girl. I leaped towards him and may have brushed her face with my fist. Oops. She seemed okay although quite shocked. 

After swimming we stopped at Tim Hortons (because they're having roll up the rim of course-and Jordan won.. so we went back, and he won again. Amazing.) We were driving back when someone jokingly said we should go to the falls. So I decided to turn in. Above is the photo of us at the falls. No, you can't see the waterfalls in the photo, and neither could we. Well, we could see the huge volume of water (thanks to all the thawing of late), but it was still a fun adventure in the pitch black. 

Then, since we were in adventure mode, I decided we would drive to Safari burger. Quebec has really random restaurants. One of which is safari burger. It is in the middle of nowhere and has giant fries outside as well as a zebra and some weird statues. I've always wanted to stop there and take photos, so I figured nighttime would be perfect when no one was around.

I also love that when you are holding a camera, you can tell people to do anything and usually they will do it for the joy of taking a photo. Either that or I am really good at persuading people (or perhaps a mix of the two). 

What can we take away from all of this?  Always carry your camera with you... you never know what type of adventure awaits you. Or I will just keep bringing you on my adventures!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Swings, Stars, Snow

One of my most favourite things to do here in Quebec is to go on random adventures. I live in the middle of nowhere, yet the number of tiny towns and beautiful discoveries that surround us are innumerable. Generally I pull out of our driveway and go a certain direction. Every fork in the road, we decide what way to go. In a way, it's like getting intentionally lost, but we always find our way back home. The goal is to find new fun towns, to discover fun spots and to stop and take pictures along the way.  So the other evening, when Jamie asked if I wanted to hang out, I decided it was time for an adventure.

Since Jamie love playgrounds, we decided to stop at one nearby. We had a heat wave last week where it was 25 degrees for about 5 days. It was glorious. And most of the snow melted. Except for the piles of dirty snow. Unfortunately you have to go through a pile of dirty snow to get to the playground and my entire leg may have fallen in a couple times. Thankfully I escaped and went to play.

This playground has the best rope/web thing. Not sure what to call it and I feel like it would be dangerous for actual children, since I even have a hard time stepping to the next level of rope. But climb we did and what fun was had.

The little town we were in has some fun old buildings as well as some beautiful churches, so it's a lovely view from the top as well.

If you look closely in the photo below, you will see Jamie on the swings, although from the blur you wouldn't be able to tell it was her.

Quebec used to be really Catholic. Then during the 70's, the Quiet Revolution took place and the church fell apart from within and the pendulum swung the other way to secularism. So now only .05% of the population is evangelical Christian, and although many people would still say they are Catholic, church attendance has severely declined. But as a result, there are a lot of beautiful churches in every single town. Usually each town has a church and if you look for the steeple in the skyline you will find it.  So we decided to stop at churches and take some photos.

So here are some pictures of churches to enjoy.

We spotted a Tim Horton's and although I'm not usually a fan, it is roll up the rim time right now, so we decided to get hot beverages for the next leg of our journey. In a span of three days, we won four coffees in a row, all from the previous free coffee.. it was quite exciting.

We took our warm drinks and drove down some random road until we came across Lac Noel (Christmas Lake). We found a dead end road where it was pitch black and opened the sun roof and enjoyed stargazing from the comfort of our seats, and later from the comfort of the roof. I especially love all the shooting stars!

After our adventures in Lac Noel, we decided to follow the signs to a town called "Mille Iles" (thousand Islands) and after driving through some hilly country, through the misty fog we came across the cutest little church. Across the road there was another church. I really want to go back in the day to take some pictures.. and then it won't seem so creepy being on the top of some hill surrounded by fog with random vehicles with people in them in the parking lot...

We found a few other towns that we would love to go to sometime during the day, and found some more lovely churches as well.

Later when we mapped out our journey, we went in a giant circle, around where we live. But now we know a little bit more about the area we live in and a few of the fun places to go.

Thought I would take you along on one of our random adventures. Hope you enjoyed the trip!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Cabane, Celebration, Cutie

Every year we take the students to a cabane a sucre in March. Translated, it is called a 'sugar shack'. It's at a maple syrup farm and we get to see how they make maple syrup and then enjoy a traditional meal. The meal usually involves pea soup, ham, bacon, scrambled eggs, potatoes, sausages and much more. And then you put maple syrup on everything. 

Part of the trip to the cabane is to celebrate the end of the semester with the students. 

It was a wonderful evening of fellowship and good food. It's been a great semester. At the beginning of the year, we had nine new students join us and it's been great to see how well they've fit in and how they have all been growing and changing individually and corporately. 

This is a picture of Jenn and I. Jenn's from Nebraska and she was only here for winter semester but we had a lot of fun together. I'm thankful we can be pen pals now! :)

This is the vat where they boil the sap into maple syrup. It takes 16 litres of maple sap to become maple syrup, so it's quite the process. 

Mean I love this kid. She's turning two in a couple days. 

One my favourite parts of this cabane a sucre is the DJ. There's an older Quebec gentleman who gets so excited when people decide to dance. He turns on his disco lights and is actually a fairly decent dj. Anyway, we had a lot of fun line dancing and just being silly!  

A great end to a great semester! Right now it's spring break and the students are all gone, which means we have numerous groups in during the holidays. There are six students that stayed on spring break staff, so it's been fun to hang out with them as well and go on some fun adventures. One more week until the students are back and then it will be a very fast spring term. More photos from our adventures soon!