Sunday, October 27, 2019

Oh, Canada

Steve thoroughly enjoyed our June vacation in France.

He came home with lots of inspiration for paintings

and a willingness to feed my travel bug.

We weren't up for another 12 hour flight so in September we settled on a 5 hour flight to Montreal.

This was a quick getaway, 4 nights/5 days, with no plans

other than walking the streets of Old Montreal and Old Quebec City.

We definitely wanted to see the Leonard Cohen mural on Crescent Street - that day we walked over 9 miles.

We simply wanted to wander, but thanks to Instagram,

I was searching for this cute spot

and it's smaller version.

I snapped pics

of things that caught my eye

like the fun stairs in Thursday's Bistro on Crescent Street.

I love clock faces and the city of Montreal is full of them.

We wanted to stay in the old part of the city


and chose the Vieux Du Port in Old Montreal.

It is the only hotel settled along the Saint Lawrence River - the buildings (originally warehouses) date back to the 1800's which explains the thick stone walls.

The only thing we had planned, and my favorite part of our vacation, was meeting Suzan of Simply Vintageous and her husband John for drinks at 3 p.m. - we ended up leaving our table at 10 p.m.

The drive to Old Quebec City was filled with fall colors despite everyone telling us there was nothing to see on the drive.

I felt right at home when we arrived at our hotel, Auberge Saint Antoine

and saw the red doors.

Just as in Montreal,

we wandered the streets of Old Quebec City.

I loved the greenery

and window boxes full of colorful blooms.

Many of the shops had lovely fall displays.

This fun pumpkin display caught my eye - we popped in for a lunch of French Onion Soup.

We spent less than 24 hours in Old Quebec City

and we loved every minute of it.

Now we're in the planning stages of an April getaway to celebrate 50 years since we met.

We want to keep it in the 6 hour flight range so please leave ideas in the comments.

We're looking for great architecture,

vibrant street life

and wonderful restaurants -

fun art installations would be a bonus.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Look Out the Window

On our visit to France in June, we decided to only schedule two tours and leave the rest of our days to explore at will.

A bicycle tour of Versailles was an unanimous choice and I was pleased when we all settled on Giverny as our second tour.

This was my second visit to Giverny, but my first taking a van tour.

Our guide began shared interesting facts and details from the minute our tour began - I did not know that Claude Monet's first name was actually Oscar.

My favorite tidbit was that Monet designed his garden so that if he looked out any of the windows he would see something to paint.

Because we were with a tour, we entered through a side gate and were then set free to explore on our own for several hours.

We arrived at 1 p.m under gray skies and slight rain, which turned to mist and by 2 p.m. the sky was blue.

The variety of flowers amazed me

and made me a bit envious.

I have many of the same blooms in my garden, but mine do not grow so tall

and look at the size of those leaves.

We spent most of our time in the garden

and finally made our way to the house.

I could easily live in the beautiful house,

 relaxing after a morning of gardening in this beautiful room and enjoying the views that inspired Monet.

I'd happily sit in the kitchen while Steve cooked,

but I would need help keeping the copper shining.

I mentioned envy earlier in my post,

but truly I only felt motivated to come home and cultivate my garden.

Giverny is definitely worth a visit.