Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Canada: La Malbaie

After spending the majority of my summer living in Missouri and interning with State Farm, it was nice to come home for a little while before school starts up again. As soon as my internship finished up, we packed our bags and headed out for our annual summer trip. The location always varies, and this year we decided to venture to Quebec, Canada.

We flew into Quebec City on Saturday evening and made the two hour drive northeast to La Malbaie. It's a quaint little village, right on the Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St. Lawrence River). We checked into the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, had a late dinner, and went to bed to rest up for the next day's adventures.

On Sunday, we drove 45 minutes further northeast to Baie-Sainte-Catherine for a whale watching excursion. Although a bit chilly once on the water, we had a nice time. We saw a few blue whales (which are endangered) and also got to sport some very interesting outfits (see below). The jackets and pants kept us warm and dry!

All suited up

After we got back on dry land, we drove back to La Malbaie and grabbed lunch at a roadside cafe (think beachy, snack stand type vibe) We ordered some poutine for the table, which is a traditional dish in Quebec. It consists of french fries covered in gravy and cheese curds. Delicious. I wish I would have gotten a picture, but I'm sure I'll have another opportunity since my brother is in pursuit of more poutine before trip's end. 

We spent the afternoon at the pool and then got cleaned up for dinner. We chose Allegro, an italian place in La Malbaie. The interior was very hip and the food was great.

We started Monday with breakfast at the hotel (Lox on a bagel with all the trimmings for me, I could eat that everyday!) and then headed out on a hike. We were going to hike in a national park nearby, but it turned out it was closed for renovations to the dam. We ended up hiking on some paths near our hotel. The weather was perfect, not too hot but sunny. It was a beautiful hike, but it was STEEP. I think going back down at the end was more difficult than going up because of the incline. We're talking 20% grades in some places!

Breathtaking view of the Fleuve Saint Laurent

After we returned from our hike, my mom and I decided to rent bikes and ride into town. We stopped for lunch at Le Cafe de la Gare by the river and ate on the patio. We continued our ride right along the fleuve, stopping every once in a while to take pictures of the beautiful scenery.

The cutest colorful bed and breakfasts and shops right along the water

Monday afternoon was spent napping, and then we got ready for dinner. We had some appetizers on the patio of the hotel and then headed to Restaurant L'Orchidee for dinner. We had a delicious meal and enjoyed great conversation. I ordered linguini with shrimp, scallops, and mussels for dinner and it was outstanding. I always try to take advantage of the fresh seafood when we go on vacation! 

Before dinner. 
I'm wearing a C.Wonder top, American Eagle jeans, and Jack Rogers sandals. 

Adorable window box outside the restaurant


La Malbaie was beautiful, quaint, and very European. I think Quebec seems the most European compared to other places in Canada (Alberta, British Columbia). This could be due to the fact that French is the primary language spoken here. Not knowing French has proven to be a bit of a challenge, but many employees at hotels and restaurants have pretty good English. However, listening to people speak French makes me want to learn. I can't give up my Spanish minor, though. I might have to do it on my own time!

Today we are in Baie-Saint-Paul and plan on hiking, and tomorrow we will begin our journey West to Quebec City.

Stay Stylish. Stay Classy. Be Creative.


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