At first light, the boys woke us by throwing back the curtains to marvel at the piles of snow outside the hotel window. We had arrived at the hotel the night before, but the drive from Montreal to Quebec City without a GPS (a huge oversight) had taken us longer than expected. The morning was the first time we were able to really explore how our environment had changed overnight. To help you fully appreciate, I should explain the concept of snow in Texas. Maybe once a year, we have Texas “snow,” which will be at most a foot of snow, but usually just a light dusting. The boys had never seen a snow drift, much less the winter wonderland that Quebec had to offer. After marveling from the inside, we were ready to bundle up and take on the Quebec Winter Carnival with the kids.
Tickets to Quebec Winter Carnival
~There really are two little boys under all that gear~
Be Prepared for the Cold in Quebec
I checked one last time to make sure we were properly bundled and we stepped out the door to find some breakfast. To say that we were unprepared for the chilly blast that hit us would be an understatement. The cold of that first day has become a measuring stick for all other temperatures. If ever the boys complain that they are cold we ask “Is it Canada cold?” and they always reluctantly admit no. Breakfast at McDonalds was a short walk uphill, but felt like an eternity as we walked into the wind. We were so grateful for the warmth of the restaurant, but the warmth did nothing to thaw the constant complaining. It was cold and there was whining. I tried giving my best mommy pep talk, but in my heart I wanted to do a little whining myself, so I don’t
Ice Sculptures, Snow Castles, and Tubing Hills
Another short walk back to the hotel and another few blocks brought us to the heart of life sized Ice Castle and snow sculptures of all kinds. We explored the variety of sculptures, and then carried on towards the main park. At this point, the boys were trudging through the snow and cold had numbed the whining into miserable silence.
~View of the Carnival from atop the hill~
Luckily, just inside the park, we saw something that brightened everyone’s mood: a tubing hill. Up the hill, Mom and Dad dutifully pulled two happy boys so that they could race down the hill with broad smiles. After several tube rides, we decided to find someplace to warm up. There was a kid’s tent where there were all sorts of games that appealed to kids. Of course, all the instructions were in French, so we all had to do some creative deciphering. The boys were unflappable in the face of language barriers, and jumped right in to enjoy the fun. I was thrilled that they were able to embrace the cultural without fear.
Traditional Carnival Snacks
Next, we popped over to the refreshment tent where we enjoyed “beaver tails,” a pastry sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar and some hot chocolate. While we waited for Gary for to bring us our treats, I had an opportunity to embrace the culture without fear. Apparently, we had chosen to sit in a seat that was reserved for a school group, but with the language difference it took us a while to understand. After snacking, we stepped back into the cold, but the shock of moving from the warm tents to the cold wind was almost too much. Instead of fighting the weather, we decided to head back to the hotel and find an activity to enjoy indoors. The terrific hotel staff suggested that we head over to Mega Parc, an indoor amusement park located inside a mall. We ended the day wa