Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bonnes Journees dans Quebec

Place d'Youville- square right outside the walls to the old city

It has been a jam-packed two weeks here in Quebec! Which doesn't allow for much time to blog, but I'll do a summation of my time followed by lot's of pics. 

We start everyday with 3 hours of French class, super intensive! We have three wonderful professors that focus on different things and breaks up the 3 hours nicely: Richard (Francais pratique), Juliette (Expression orale), and Jean-Francois (phonetique)-the most confusing because in French there are so many silent letters and linked words that make them sound completely different. Anna, Emily (since we are on her way to school), and I walk to class together. It's about a 20-30 min walk through beautiful snow covered streets. Well it was at least lovely for the first couple days until it got into the negatives! Then we quickly figured out the fantastic bus system...only got on the wrong bus once (there are two #7's in my defense!). 

C'est fret!!(i think that's the correct spelling, French is so confusing!) -this is Quebecois slang basically for "it is freakin' cold out!!!" I think it is appropriate that they have a special phrase for it because, well, there is no other way to describe it. Froid (cold) is just not strong enough. 

On the first day of class during our break for lunch, when it was actually kind of warm, we wandered around the ramparts of the old city and found some incredible views!!

Exploring along the ramparts-can see la base ville (lower city) and St. Lawrence River

We got to go up into the tallest building in Quebec (La Observitoire de la Capitale) which has a phenomenal view of basically all of Quebec city! (pics below)-with Andre who is in affiliation with the Languabec program and helps guide us around the city to our different excursions in the afternoons.

View from the observatoire de la capitale towards current Laval University

Petite Seminaire, Hotel Frontinac, fleuve Saint Laurant (background)
Parliament (foreground)

After the obervatoire, we got a tour of the Parliament building for Quebec. It had beautiful architecture!

Main room in Parliament
(painting in the background is of the first gathering-decided that one could speak in English or French)

Break-neck stairs down to the lower city  
Ferry we took across the St. Lawrence-fantastic view back onto Quebec!

View from Ferry boat (Quebec)-hotel Frontinac left/center and La Petite Seminaire far right tower

A team practicing for a competition during the Quebec annual Winter Carnival

Stopped here for a delicious apple pastry to get out of the cold on our 30 min walk home (on rue Saint-Jean-main st.)
Exhibit at Musee de l'Amerique francaise: Renee April (costume designer) Night at the Museum 

Renee April: Cirque du Soleil 

The arch we go through everyday walking to class (or busing when -25 F) - a skating rink in the middle

Ice formations along the rocks on the trial to the Chutes Montmorency 
Chutes Montmotency on a lovely snowy day-we walked across the bridge upper left above waterfall

The SLU group: Emily, Anna, Brittney, Me (and Josie-Elun and Donna's daughter)
It is amazing how fast things are going by! I have already packed up most things to prepare for our flight on Friday to France...crazy. 

We will have a souper d'adieu (goodbye dinner) with all of the professes here and our host families as well as Laura and Andre. It feels like we just got here and am beginning to feel settled...on to the next adventure!


Bonne nuit

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Au revoir Amérique!

Leaving for Quebec from Reagan National Airport! (originally Dulles-Dad, you are a life saver!)

Sunday the 13th of January-Well the commencement of this Global Francophone journey wasn't quite as planned, but amazingly ended up perfectly thanks to a well organized father and an early start. My mom woke me up just as my alarm was supposed to go off around 6 am. She looked very flustered and explained that my flight had been cancelled due to fog and my dad was on the phone with the airline desperately trying to tell them that, no his daughter could not take the next flight to Newark flying out on Tuesday! So I hopped out of bed and hurriedly got dressed and packed my two large suitcases into the car. Amazingly he found a way to get me on an 8:46 am flight to Newark (around the same time as the original) from Reagan National which would allow me to make my connection in Newark to Quebec. So off we went and made it to the airport with enough time to have a nice breakfast together!  
The goodbye
Other than the adrenaline pumping start to the day, the rest of the journey went calmly and smoothly and I arrived safe and sound in Quebec. I successfully found Le Petit Seminaire (the prep school where our French classes are held) where we met our professors and host families. After meeting everyone, we parted ways with our respective host families and went to a much needed dinner and rest from the long day of travel.

The house I am staying in (the first floor-kitchen, living room and their bedrooms and a basement-our rooms)

I am staying with Michele and Michael, and her son Sebastian. Anna (another student in the program) is living with me in the same household which is really nice because it gives me a little bit of a safety net for the first few days of this semester. They have two sweet grey tabby cats Charlotte and Mini Fait (sp?). Michelle and Michael had an excellent meal waiting for us once we arrived at their home of a homemade chicken pot pie accompanied by a pureed vegetable soup and a dessert of sorbet, all excellent! 

Phew, first entry's almost Thursday of the first week already, woah! But also only the end of the third day of this wonderful long adventure, tons more to come! 

Bonne nuit!