It was late March and spring-breakers were heading from northern climes to the beaches of the Florida coast, ostensibly, to escape the winter doldrums. Not Stacy Lyn. Springtime in Louisiana approaches too quickly – a presage of the inferno that occurs for about six months out of the year. And Stacy Lyn has a winter soul.
What to do, what to do?
Well, head north, of course. That’s what Stacy Lyn did when she packed us (her Traveling Socks), filed into a tin can, and flew to Quebec City.
Yes, in late March, there was still snow on the ground in this unique – yet vaguely familiar – fortified city. Why familiar, you ask, as Stacy Lyn had never been there before? Quebec City has a very French feel to it. Yes, of course, they speak French there, and settlers of yore were of French extraction. But it’s more than that. The city looked French (unlike Montreal) with its stone buildings, uniquely decorated shop fronts, and narrow cobblestone streets. It sounded French as well, and reminded her, too, of her home state – very French as well, at least in the southern part of Louisiana. The music, dancing, food, and festivities at La Cabane à Sucre were reminiscent of the fais-do-dos of Acadiana. The crowded Petit Quartier Champlain reminded her so much of the old neighborhood of the Vieux Carré (French Quarter) of New Orleans where she, her sisters, and their mother lived for a while when Stacy Lyn was young.
An interesting fact that Stacy Lyn learned when she asked the tour guide about crime – pickpockets and the like, you know, the kind of thing one must worry about when traipsing around Europe and the United States – was that there is virtually no crime in Quebec City. No pickpockets!? No. What about violent crimes – should she stay away from certain districts after dark? No, none of that either. People are very civil to one other in Quebec City. Imagine that! It made discovering the city’s charm even more inviting, like the night she played in the snow in Parc Jeanne d’Arc after an evening at Le Ciel, the four-star revolving restaurant in the sky. This was her favorite evening – not really following a schedule, letting the city tell her where to go. A fleeting moment of joy occurred, and in the most unlikely of places. Isn’t that what true joy is – a moment that just happens and is not planned?
As she headed back to her Upper-Town hotel after an enchanting night, the worst sight she encountered was a young man getting (literally) thrown out of a night club by the police. He must have been acting very uncivil.
Stacy Lyn had not nearly enough time in this hypnotic city. She has been charmed, bewitched, and bitten (and not just by a black bear). She must return one day. And Stacy Lyn rarely likes to visit the same place twice.