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Quebec rolls out the red carpet

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The stewardess announced, “A gentleman just boarded the plane complaining, ‘You don’t let me sleep anymore! Always waking me up for something!’ I assured him, ‘We’re going to leave this flight alone, Captain Clark.'”

Airlines rarely intend to be humorous, as when they solemnly order: “If you must evacuate suddenly, leave your luggage with you” or “Before using the oxygen mask, remove your Covid mask “. Then there’s “Fasten your seat belt by placing the flat metal fitting through the buckle.” Margie is dreading this moment because I’m screaming “Aha!”

At least Margie reports that I don’t snore sitting on airplanes. Phew. Passengers would react if, despite all this security, someone came on board with a chainsaw.

Besides stocking a favorite cheese called Zacharie Cloutier, a Mario Pelchat concert drew us to Quebec. Wonderful Francophone music like his awaits more Anglo-Saxon listeners. I once got excited about Mario to a Pegger who replied, “Yeah, she’s awesome.”

Here is my advice for conversing there: practice pronouncing the French vowels. Hearing-impaired Quebecers think I’m French-speaking – then talk endlessly. When I ask questions, I don’t understand the answers. I say yes !” – maybe agree to lead a rally against English.

Yet Margie is descended from Abraham, of Plains fame, and Xainte Dupont and Zacharie Cloutier (yes, the name of our cheese), ancestors to millions but notably Celine, Shania, Madonna, Beyonce, Angelina, Justin B I let slip this information from the daily newspaper.

And I’m just saying to the liberals: Justin T.

The Germain family restored a Lower Town bank dating back to 1912 in our charming hotel. From a hill, a gleaming black cannon aimed at our bedroom. I inspected, but I bet no one has tried since the FLQ days.

We strolled down cobbled streets among century-old stone and multicolored steep metal roofs that, like a joke, slush April snowfalls haphazardly slide over startled garbage collectors. One for Margie, five for me.


Le Di Giorgio, one of Pizzaiole’s delicious creations that defies circular plates.

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Le Di Giorgio, one of Pizzaiole’s delicious creations that defies circular plates.

During a tour, the guide announces at the Plains of Abraham: “Do you see this stop sign? This is where Montcalm died. He didn’t stop.

And I said, “My wife’s great-grandfather is Abraham.”

The discreet and usually wintry cavernous cellar, embracing the wood fire of Pub L’Oncle Antoine summons. Ordering Griffon Rousse beers, the waiter exclaimed, “With these, you have maple whiskey. Always!”

We refused.

The beers have arrived — along with the Sortilège maple whiskey.

They squint and cook the onion soup which is still simmering. We shared the Quebec appetizer: Parmesan fondue – fried squares of a delicious blend of cheeses.

A few blocks away, Marco-Christian of Pizzaiole creates beautiful pizzas – without borders. The cheese escapes far beyond the usual circle. Luckily, Margie got me out of my zone for the popular Di Giorgio with prosciutto, goat cheese and – take it – pear confit. Yes me.

The next morning, I needed to sleep. Three early knocks, though gentle, woke me up. Why? We had activated room service turning down the red hallway light. I stood still, hoping Margie would answer. The blows became stronger.

A smothered Margie pleaded, “Gord!”

I obeyed, “I’ll get it!”




<p>Perhaps jokingly, a cannon points towards Gord and Margie’s hotel room.</p>
<p>“/><figcaption>
<p>Perhaps jokingly, a cannon points towards Gord and Margie’s hotel room.</p>
</figcaption></figure>
<p>Margie wasn’t in bed.			</p>
<p>The knocks came from the bathroom.  The doorknob had opened and Margie wanted to get out.			</p>
<p>Need I ask how long she stayed there?			</p>
<p>Lower Town is fabulous.  But it’s lower.  There is a real climb to the Upper Town.  The central staircase that goes halfway has an ominous name: Escalier Casse-Cou – probably named by a civil servant who also owned the funicular at nearby Quebec.			</p>
<p>I insisted: “Let’s take the funicular!”			</p>
<p>Margie insisted: “We walk.  We need exercise, with all that cheese, and Sortilège.			</p>
<p>I replied, “The word ‘funicular’ starts with ‘fun’, and that’s us!”			</p>
<p>She added, “It’s four dollars each.”			</p>
<p>I thought, “That’s another creme brulee.”			</p>
<p>Walking is healthy.			</p>
<figure class=

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As for Mario’s performance, we walked over to reserve dinner in the grand building hosting our highly anticipated concert. The butler asked for our preferred time. I answered enthusiastically: “We see Mario Pelchat at 8:00 am, so 6:30 am?”

She replied: “The concert is cancelled. Mr. Pelchat has Covid.”

Regaining consciousness, we discovered a wood fire gloriously warming a vacant stone room at Pub St-Patrick. Margie has rearranged a table and chairs in front of the comforting fireplace. It certainly caught the eye – something about a large reservation that the diligent staff had arranged. Well seated, we savored the Boréale Noire stout, and recovered.

On the way back, the seat belt instructions began. At “in the loop”, an elbow to my right rib cut short another shot.

But given the events, “Next time!”

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