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How to Be a Better Tourist Than I Was in Quebec City

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By Deidre Lynn ThompsonPublished 2 months ago 4 min read

Learn military time, because stopping in the middle of the road to read parking signs is frowned upon, and people will honk when you have to take time to subtract by 12.

Be open to any kind of food. Because when you order the salmon tartare at La Buche, the waitress may accidentally bring you the deer tartare. And it may not be the kind and capable server’s fault. Because you might eat the whole thing thinking it’s salmon the whole time. It may have been the 30oz cider you can get there for 16 CAD, or the excitement of the first thing you do in QC, but somehow you’ll convince yourself that salmon is just a little more gamey in Canada, and darker, too. It’s the northern water in the St. Lawrence, you tell yourself. And once you sober up and realize you had raw deer instead, you’ll laugh it off and repent to Bambi, because it was delicious, and because La Buche is definitely a don’t-miss Quebecoise restaurant.

Take a chance on new experiences. Because like a Tesla that’s 10% off, you may feel inclined to buy all-inclusive passes to the Strom Nordic Spa thermal experience, just because the favorable conversion from Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars makes it feel like a bargain. Then you’ll find yourself walking around a beautiful outdoor oasis overlooking the river, in a white robe, unable to talk, going from 110 degree hot tubs, saunas, and steam baths to 55 degree Nordic waterfall baths (you know it’s touristy because the signs are in Fahrenheit). You'll marvel at the dozens of people also walking around in white robes unable to talk, as you listen to the serene vibraphones in the surround-sound speakers. You might expect to stay forever, partly because of how relaxed you feel, and partly because their leader might force you to become “one” with the Nordic experience. As you get back in your car after taking your complimentary shower, instead of the complimentary shower you also paid for at your AirBnB, half of you feels like you’ve successfully escaped a cult, and the other half of you feels extra exfoliated. This is all to say, you’ll be hooked on the white robe life and will definitely return.

Check the weather, because you’ll probably pack some cute fall outfits even though your trip is in August, because it’s north, you know? But Quebec in August will cause you to get heat exhaustion in your cute long-sleeve sweater. And Quebec in August will cause you to fall asleep in a Starbucks in the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. Why there is a Starbucks in a castle is beyond you, but my are their chairs comfy! You may also want to check for rain, because when your sweater becomes devastatingly drenched, you’ll want to hang it up in your AirBnB. And then your sweet unsuspecting boyfriend will wake up in the middle of the night thinking that a person broke in and is standing completely still next to the fan. And you’ll wake up to him in a frozen shellshock thinking his life is about to be over. Then you’ll have to tell him that you hung up a sweater and caused him to panic at 3am, so your life is actually about to be over.

Take the stairs if you’re able. The funicular is 5 CAD and no more than fifteen seconds. AND it causes your boyfriend to say things like, “well that put the FUN in FUN-icular!”

Check the conversion rate between Canadian dollars and U.S. dollars. It might work out in your favor! Right now, 1 CAD is 0.74 USD. You’ll be pretty excited, and it does make everything seem cheap. So in your head, you’ll increase the difference more and more every time you buy a drink. So by the time you get to the fancy bar in the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, you’ll say, “wow! I can’t believe I’m getting a drink at Bar 1608 for 25 Canadian dollars! That’s like 8 American dollars!” It’ll still be $18, babe. It’ll still be an $18 gin and tonic.

Apprends le français. Vous vous sentirez stupide en utilisant Google Translate alors que tout le monde parle une belle langue.

Go to the Citadelle museum BEFORE 17:00. It closes.

Try Brasserie Les Mordus’s special chowder. Even if you spend a weekend in New England as part of your road trip. Trust me. It’s better.

Spend an hour or two in Montreal while you’re in Quebec. Even if Quebec City is your primary destination, convince your boyfriend to stop in Montreal on your way back to New York City. It’ll help your FOMO on the entire world, and he’ll get to convince you to jump in Lake Champlain further down the road in return. While you’re there, have poutine, and then ride Le Grande Roue ferris wheel to cheat and see the entire city in fifteen minutes.

Visit Quebec City if you’re from NYC and craving that European summer, but can’t get on a plane. You’ll have a positive and relaxing experience full of discoveries and comfort. Stroll around the old city walls to find charming buildings, art installments, and neighborhood stores, bars, and restaurants. It’s a taste of France without the tourist-traps or the hatred for Americans. The people are friendly and proud of their city, and you’ll wish you’d moved to Canada after the 2016 election like your liberal dad said you all should. I can’t speak for the winter, but Quebec City is a beautifully quaint destination for a relaxing summer road trip!

satiretravel tipstravel advicehumorcouples travelcanada

About the Creator

Deidre Lynn Thompson

Girl Moves to NYC and Becomes a Writer Thinking It Will Make Her Famous (EPIC FAIL COMPILATION) www.donttouchdeidre.com

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