Sunday, November 4, 2012

All's well that ends well.

Do you remember my saying that I always forget to pack something when I travel? Even with a list, I invariably check something off before I've actually stuffed it in my bag, simply because I intend to put it in the bag. Dumb, I know.

More often than not, however, I simply ignore the list.

In the past, I have forgotten:

  • pyjamas
  • underwear
  • charger for laptop
  • charger for phone or camera
  • prescriptions
  • shoes
  • umbrella
  • raincoat

This is by no means an exhaustive list, just some of the items in recent memory that I have ended up purchasing under duress. In fact, I now have not one, but two universal laptop chargers.

Today, I'm in Quebec City. I'm here early with Steve for a little RR&R (romantic rest & relaxation) before a business function on Tuesday and Wednesday. My plan is to telecommute on Monday, while nailing down all final details and logistics for the work events.

Not surprisingly, I left the office late on Friday. When I finally shut down my laptop and grabbed my laptop bag (stuffed with various printed materials for our events), I felt pretty smug about how prepared I was. I had it in the bag.

Except, as I discovered on Saturday morning, I did not have one crucial piece of equipment in the bag: my work laptop with all my special software! I did have all my critical files on a memory stick, and I could've brought my personal laptop in its place, but that would have severely limited my telecommuting. So we had to stop by the office.

Also, I had neglected to order a prescription refill and had to stop by the pharmacy before we could head for Quebec.

As we got into the car after picking up my meds, I promptly spilled a full cup of hot coffee down the front of my pants. I grabbed my clean jeans out of the suitcase and decided to change in the car (the parking lot was not very full and we were in a fairly deserted area of the lot).

As you might have predicted, an SUV pulled up beside our little Toyota, giving the driver a nice perspective of my bare legs and granny panties. I turned my head away from him, in the full belief that, if I couldn't see him, he couldn't see me. That's how it works, right?

In the end, we made it to Quebec City shortly after sunset, with my work laptop, clean pants, and my prescriptions.

Today, we've enjoyed all the RR&R prescribed. Here are some pictures of beautiful, beautiful Quebec.
Inukshuk
The first time I saw an inukshuk, I was fascinated. Now, however, they are such a pervasive icon of Canadian northern culture that I'm a little jaded. This particular one, however, was quite lovely.
The Quebec Legislature

We then went inside the walls of vieux Qu├ębec, the only fortified city in Canada (possibly North America, though Steve thinks there may be some old Spanish fortifications in Florida).
Not sure why they had a sculpture of Ben Kingsley.
Oh, wait, yah, that's probably Gandhi.

It really felt as though we had magically travelled backwards through time 250 years. As with Kingston, the stone and architecture were captivating.

This is where we ate brunch.
Aux anciens canadiens
This is the restaurant that my sister recommended - and where we will be dining this evening. As soon as we saw it, Steve said, "Oh! That's where we ate last time we came here. We ate upstairs." I would not have recognized it if my life depended on it (that was almost 30 years ago), but I did remember eating at a quaint, delightful restaurant in the old city, so I trusted Stephen.  

It is the oldest house in Quebec, built between 1675 and 1676.

Art in the city

There was shopping a-plenty!
As with an old, European city, the streets were really more like laneways - narrow and winding.
Meanwhile I found this captivating floor mat inside a dressing room. Made myself dizzy twirling in circles to watch my footprints come and go.



You can tell by the pictures that it was overcast. It was also quite chilly - cold enough that we saw this as we left the walled part of the city.

Temps were not freezing, so we figure there was some means of artificially freezing the ice. These poor ladies were not dressed for the weather at all. 
Les muses
So it has all ended well. We'll enjoy dinner tonight, I'm sure (Steve even called to make a reservation, even though it required using the phone), but I doubt that I'll have much time to get out with the camera this week. 

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