Wow, I guess my adventure in packing the other night tired me out more than I expected because as a perennial night owl, going to bed after midnight is not the end of the world for me. Yet I found I slept in this first day of the year until after 11am! Gasp!
I woke up at once rested but still slow moving and I managed to finally get out of the hostel over an hour later. I did have the latest in my experiences with bad magnetic room keys. I have always had issues with them stopping working (how common is that??), but this has been a personal best. Every day, I’ve had to get multiple new keys. This morning, I hiked down to the shower and when I got back from it, the key no longer worked… sigh… Luckily mama didn’t raise no fool. I was dressed, but I wasn’t entirely slapped together yet… oh well… I’m sure they’ve seen worse in the morning. The desk staff recognize me now and know my room number. This may be a long week for them!
Lunch/breakfast/whatever turned out to be a McPoulet. For those who didn’t take high school french, Poulet is chicken. So, yes, I had a McChicken. In my defense (and I have thin defense for food-related offense), there was hardly anything open. The Chez Ashton I wanted to try again was closed. There were lines anywhere that was open (including McDonalds). Not an auspicious first meal, but it did the trick. Oddly my first McChicken. Back home if I wanted a chicken sandwich, I would never have thought to try McDonalds… go figure…
Finishing there I decided for what I thought would be a leisurely stroll. I wanted to finally walk down to the old city. I went the least direct route by Notre Dame de Quebec. I should have known this wasn’t the recommended route when street signs quit telling me how to get there but luckily there were others going that route and we eventually stumbled into the old city. The climb up/down by the Chateau Frontenac is definitely more direct if steeper.
Anyway Old Quebec is truly charming. A lot of the shops were closed today, but we’ll consider this a scouting mission as I also only had my point and shoot camera with me. I’ll be back before the week is out. Wow! Up until today, I had thought the city up here on the hill within the old city walls was very Dickensian, but now that I’ve seen the old city below, it’s far more so that fairy tale sort of city, particularly in winter.
The winter is pretty… but oh my… One pair of my shoes finally proved not up to the task. Up here, the sidewalks are not nearly so slushy, but down there, I finally stepped into one slush puddle too many. I swear I heard my shoe sigh and say, “sorry” just before the damp crept in. It still wasn’t immediate. At first my foot just felt mildly damp and I kept going. Forty minutes later, I was walking in my own personal puddle with each step. My other shoes are a bit better protection (I think) but I was trying to alternate days and let the outside of that pair dry a bit. I’ll definitely take them into the old city next time so I have a better shot of coming out dry.
At any rate, I chose to take this as an excuse to relax and be warm. I’m catching up on a mountain of emails, not to mention blogging. I’m not even sure I can convince myself to more than walk to the market next door for something for dinner. I’m not (yet) that hungry and baby it’s cold outside…