Two days in Québec

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So, you have undoubtedly noticed that I have been away for a while. We have some new downstairs neighbors and it has been a bumpy ride since they took possession of the lower half of the duplex in mid-March and began demolishing it in order to renovate it. A bumpy ride as in beyond the usual irritating consequences of a nearly hundred year-old house being gutted to the studs and rebuilt. We were expecting noise, dust and a few issues being discovered with our home as well, but on top of that we got work being done on common elements of the building without our permission, legal threats, express instructions that  only electricians cut wires being ignored and therefore power to sections of our home being cut, our alarm system being damaged and our phone line being cut. We were also treated to personal accusations and insults being thrown our way through the hypocritical medium of e-mail which led me to put my foot down and cut all ties with the neighbors except for requests for bills being paid or permission being requested for work to be done on common elements.With all this going on, to say that I have been lacking inspiration to create anything at all would be an understatement. I have actually been lacking the time and energy to get anything done beyond dealing with the mess being created by the new neighbors at all. The one thing that has been able to give me a reprieve from the confused heap our life has recently become was a two day trip to Quebec City we ran off on at the drop of a hat two weeks ago so Adam could attend a conference. It gave me a chance to spend some time wandering around one of the most photogenic cities I have ever seen, reconnect with my mother’s family history and disconnect from anything neighbor related. Oh, and Adam and I got to have a nice, romantic dinner in one of our favorite restaurants as well. We discovered it on our last trip to Quebec City two years ago and were so happy to be able to go back.

Quebec City is a beautiful little jewel of a place filled with colorful row houses and its oldest section is surrounded by the only intact fortified walls to be found in America north of Mexico which were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. The city is one of the oldest in North America and was founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. While all of this makes the city exceptional in and of itself, it is the history of my family that always makes me happy to go back and visit it. My mother’s family has its roots in Quebec City and can be traced back to the 17th century in the area, so needless to say I always feel at home when I am there and love remembering all the stories my grandmother has told me about growing up in Quebec City. I love walking through Quebec’s narrow streets and feeling my family’s past around me. This was the first time I really had the time to photograph the city as well and my goodness did I enjoy every second of those two days.

Finally, I’ve decided to post only in English from now on to make life simpler for myself on here. One language to post in means it takes me half the time to get a post up which is a good thing. All the photos featured in the slideshow in this post will be added to the travel photography page, so if you want to get a close look at them, you can pop over there.

 

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New York…much more than just a city!/New York…bien plus qu’une simple ville!

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The Empire State Building seen from the High Line/L’Empire State Building vue de la High Line

As I mentioned in my introduction to my travel photography page, New York City holds a very special place in my heart since it was the city I traveled to on my very first trip away from home without my family. That first trip took place when I was in high school and I have since been back to the City That Never Sleeps twice, once in the Spring of 2002 and again in the Spring of 2014 with my Darling. My experience of New York has been completely different on each of my visits. My first impression of New York was that it was an overwhelmingly crowded, loud, busy and exciting city that was bursting with confidence after rising out of some very troubled time during the eighties. On my second visit to the Big Apple, there was a very hushed, wounded feel to it and its people since I was there just months after the September 11th attacks. New York was still struggling to get back to normal and traces of the attack were still clearly visible. Of all the sides of New York I have seen, however, my favorite one is the one I saw during my most recent visit there in Spring two years ago. The city was vibrant, clean and oh, so resilient. I smiled through the entire five days we were there because I was so happy to see the city I loved not only back to the way I had first known it, but better.

This post is not only about New York City though! So many people forget that there is much more to New York State than one city. New York also has some extremely beautiful countryside on offer and one of the best places to enjoy it, aside from the Adirondack State Park, is the nearby town of Lake Placid which sits right by the beautiful Mirror Lake. My aunt and uncle have been going there for years and not long ago, my brother and sister in-law got in on the fun and relaxation, so My Darling and I decided we had better give it a try as well and oh, my word…What a treat! We stayed at the pampering hub of Lake Placid, the beautiful Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa, which features incredible food, a perfect view on Mirror Lake and Whiteface Mountain and we also had a wonderfully bubbly little brook right outside our room. Relaxation at its best!

You can find some more photos from my time in New York City and Lake Placid in the travel section and a few photos from Lake Placid are also on Déco Photo Plus.


 

Comme je vous l’ai déjà mentionné, la ville de New York m’est très chère puisqu’elle a été ma première destination de voyage ‘en solo’ en quelque sorte, donc à l’extérieur d’un cadre familial. J’y a ai voyagé pour la première fois au secondaire et depuis, j’y suis retourné à deux reprises, en 2002 et avec mon conjoint en 2014. J’ai eu la chance, lors de ces voyages, d’observer plusieurs facettes de New York allant d’une première impression d’un ville énorme, bondée, bruyante et excitante à une ville blessée et tentant tant bien que mal de se relever des attentats du 11 septembre 2001. Je n’ai jamais autant appréciée New York que lors de ma dernière visite par contre. Après une absence de plus de dix ans, j’y suis retournée pour trouver une ville qui vivait une renaissance incroyable. La Grosse Pomme était résiliante, propre, vivante et sereine comme je ne l’avais jamais connue. J’ai sourit tout le long de notre visite cinq jours tellement j’étais heureuse de retrouver la ville non seulement comme je l’avais vue lors de ma première visite quand j’en étais tombée amoureuse, mais encore plus splendide.

Je veux pas seulement vous parler de la la ville de New York aujourd’hui par contre, mais de l’état de New York aussi, car il est tellement facile d’oublier que ce coin des États-Unis abrite bien plus que l’une des villes les plus célèbres au monde! Non, l’État de New York compte aussi de merveilleux paysages et de charmants villages dont la petite ville de Lake Placid qui est juste à côté du superbe parc des Adirondacks. Ma tante et mon oncle visitent ce coin du New York depuis des années et l’ont fait découvrir à mon frère et ma belle-soeur. Ils en chantaient tous tellement les éloges que mon Chéri et moi avons décidé de nous y rendre à notre tour et oh, que de plaisirs! Le Village de Lake Placid est charmant en soit, mais la route pour s’y rendre à partir de Montréal est tout aussi agréable puis la cerise sur le Sundae de notre séjour: le sublime Mirror Lake Inn! La nourriture dans ses restaurants est délectable, la vue sur Mirror Lake et le mont Whiteface est sublime et les chambres sont incroyablements douillets. Nous avions même un charmant petit ruisseau juste à l’extérieur de notre chambre! C’est vraiment le coin idéal pour une scéance de dorlottage et de relaxation!

Vous pouvez voir quelques photos de mon dernier voyage à New York et de notre petit séjour à Lake Placid dans la section voyage et il y a aussi quelques photos de Lake Placid dans mon Portfolio chez Déco Photo Plus.

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Mirror Lake Inn, Lake Placid, NY