The conclusion: I had to get the hell out of here again. My yoga teacher Sunday morning summed up my thoughts and feelings exactly, as she had just returned after two months of wandering herself: sometimes our bodies return to the physical location well before our emotions and soul arrive. I still had another week off from work before I started working full steam ahead so I drove, full speed North to the safety of Quebec.
This paragraph might be too political or negative for some so feel free to skip on over it to the lighter side below:
Canadians, much like the French, aren't as raw and blatantly obvious about their flaws as Americans are. Of course, this is a vast generalization but when it comes down to it, I don't feel as if their government is corrupt at layer upon layer, I don't feel as if a Caucasian or any other race "terrorist" is going to show up wherever I may be and I feel a freedom from that corruption and fear that I don't experience here in the "United" States. I did have to weave through some cussing American teenagers, showing off their ignorance and others who I really wanted to ask to not be so open about their nationality as they were representing the country of my birth in a less than shining light but then I was distracted by cheese. Oh la la, les fromages!
I arrived in Quebec around 6pm on Monday and promptly emptied my car of clothes, book and bike and headed downtown. True to form, I walked for about four hours straight, going everywhere and observing everything. Within the first ten minutes, I walked into a market and bought some Château de Bourgogne (only one of the top ten cheese I've ever had! A very soft cow's milk cheese from Burgundy, France), two types of charcuterie, a baguette and St. Ambrose beer brewed with raspberries for later and continued on. I later found another store selling "Extra Old" cheddar which was oddly translated from "Extra Fort" (who's true translation means "strong", not "old") and a candy store which had a child's bicycle adorned top to bottom in gummies: my childhood dream come true. Other sights were a mural of French language books that looked real enough to lend, a church more breathtaking than any American building, fifteen feet of nothing but eclairs and tarts, my future home and so much more.
The second day I was in Quebec, I rode my bike fourteen miles round trip to Montmorency Falls Park which enclosed the 275 feet tall waterfall, which is almost 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls but nowhere near as wide. Upon returning to town and along one alleyway, I found a restaurant called Lapin Saute or Sauteed Rabbit in English. I had to order the rabbit poutine with Perron cheese curds, locally raised rabbit, fresh french fries and a two mustard gravy. Admittedly, this was only the second time I've ever eaten poutine in my life but I think they did a hell of a job! I will return to eat this again but hopefully with others so I can order the full size...
I returned to Maine full of great food, thoughts in French and an excitement to be back. Mission accomplished.