Heh. Yeah. Sorry about that. I splurged on a very nice dinner at the hotel last night and splurged still further by ordering the tasting menu (say it with me: le menu degustation - looks kind of gross when you write it in French, doesn't it?) for all four of us. This wound up being a very long process - which is generally dining with children suicide - but it was made much easier by the fact that there was an honest-to-god fire juggling acrobatic street show going on underneath the window and our waiter was a miracle of service and tact. Also, and this was the point, he paired my entire meal by saying, "I think Madame would enjoy the sweetness of a sauterne with this course, complimentary, just a small taste" and then he would bring me a giant urn full of wine. Repeatedly.
It was extremely enjoyable but by the time I got everyone back upstairs and into bed I was ready for bed myself. Or the floor.
"Quebec!" I shouted (typed) before I fell onto my face and slept until morning.
We left Montreal two days ago but prior to leaving I drove through downtown; got detoured by the comedy festival; went in circles; managed to find a parking lot; negotiated with the parking lot attendant in French, alone, and without a leader; and took the children to the Contemporary Art Museum (hi Elena!) where I got confused about when I was supposed to present the tickets I had purchased - I thought she was asking if we had tickets and I was, like, yep! sure do! nod nod, mais oui, bien sur! and kept going until she gently clarified her need to be handed the tickets.
[Edward loved David Altmejd's Flux exhibit. A lot. So much that he has brought it up repeatedly since then. Caroline, in contrast, looked around and said, "We aren't really going to look at this stuff are we?" and when her brothers gave her a hard time she said, swear it, "OK! I don't know anything about art but I know what I don't like! Which is all of THIS and especially THAT!" then she sulked from room to room.]
Then Montreal to Quebec which is the teddybear pomeranian of cities. It is so ridiculously charming and scenic and lovely and olde worlde that you get things like this when you glance down from the sidewalk:
That would be a cannonball around which the roots of a tree have been growing for two hundred years; which is interesting enough in its own right but Quebec is so secure in its charm that there is no fuss about it. No plaque. No Here Is A Relic. The only reason we knew to go look for it is because our cab driver in Montreal suggested we try to find it and when we asked the concierge about it at the hotel he marked an X on a map.
In conclusion: Quebec City is adverb adverb positive visit exclamation point.
PS On the drive to New Brunswick we saw a moose and a baby black bear. Not together, alas, but still very exciting.