travel, writing

It’s so cold

Part 1 of 2

So a few days ago, January 10th, I turned twenty-seven. TWENTY-SEVEN! I feel as though I should be more of an adult than I am. The biggest lie I was told growing up was that everyone older than me knew what they were doing and when you were 25 you were an adult.

I’m still trying to figure out all these adult things… like how exactly do people go to work, come home, clean up after kids, make dinner, maybe workout, do bills and taxes and everything else? I can barely manage to take care of myself, a dog, and 3 chickens. (Not so great with the chickens as there used to be 4!)

But this is not a post about how I should have my life together so much more, this is a post about me and Dan, and it being so cold.

A few days leading up to my birthday Dan kept dropping hints about something, some kind of getaway, something I needed to have a passport for, a black dress, and dog food.

I had a few ideas but could have never of guessed what the actual surprise was. The dog food ended up being ploy to try and trick me. Which it did. It was not a cross country dog sled adventure.

It was better.

A night in Quebec City. In a castle.

Yes, a castle.

Hill Farmstead Brewery in Vermont has the world's best beer. Famous for heritage and craft brewing, this is one of the most sought after beers in all of New England and beyond.
The famous Hill Farmstead Brewery, best beer in the world.

It was amazing. And probably one of the sweetest, most awesome, thoughtful thing someone not related to me has ever done.

We started the 5ish hour road trip off with swinging by Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, Vermont. This amazing beer company was named World’s Best Beer, and more than once. We stopped and got 4 six packs of Double Citra and Society & Solitude #9, unfortunately not all for us, some of the guys at Dan’s work sent in requests.

A few barrels of craft beer and other craft alcohols waiting their turn at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, Vermont.
A few barrels waiting their turn at the brewery.

With a trunk load of beer, we continued north. So far north. So cold in the north.

The Canadian border comes into view from Interstate 91 from Vermont.
To Canada!
A cannabis warning sign welcoming visitors from Vermont into Canada.
Interesting sign at the border.

Driving always seems to take forever. We managed to pass the time with Podcasts, coffee, hot chocolate, snacks, and an amazing sunset in the rearview mirror.

It was rush hour when we arrived in Quebec City, so thankfully I wasn’t driving, and Dan handled it like a pro even if my navigation skills were less than stellar.

Arrived at Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. An actual castle.

Hotel Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Old Quebec City, Canada is an actual castle and the nicest hotel in Quebec City.
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, absolutely amazing.

The castle was visible the whole drive through Old Quebec. Driving into it, into the courtyard, was almost surreal. A valet met us at the car, offered to help with our bags (all three of them), and whisked the car away until we were ready to retrieve it.

The entrance had 3 golden revolving doors opening into the lobby of the most expensive, high-quality hotel I have ever stepped foot into. It was like everything was plated in gold and shined hourly.

Golden elevator doors at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City.
The elevator doors were gold mirrors.
The grand lobby and hallways of the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada.
The grand lobby and hallway.

We checked in and headed up to the room. Took us a few tries to get the elevator going since you had to use your key card to make it work, but we got there. The room was the nicest hotel room I have ever been in.

The view from our hotel room at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac overlooked the courtyard and part of Old Quebec.
The view from our hotel room.

A king size bed. Robes. View of the courtyard. Giant TV. Soft, fluffy bedding. Overpriced mini bar and snacks.

And I think Dan may have mentioned it was my birthday because there was a cute note and gift waiting for me when we got into the room. A certificate for a free dessert and a happy birthday card.

Literally one of the most thoughtful things anyone has done for me.

After taking in the room we decided on a restaurant for dinner. Reservations weren’t until 8, so we had a beer and got fancy.

Photo of a can of Double Citra and Society & Solitude #9 from Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro, Vermont.
Sampling some of the beers from Hill Farmstead.

Usually putting my hair in a ponytail or a braid counts as me making an effort, but since it was an uber-fancy hotel, and a special occasion, I actually attempted to look like a put together girl. Straightened my hair, put on mascara and lipstick.

And hey, I didn’t look half bad.

Dinner was at Bistro Le Sam, in the hotel so we didn’t have to face the minus degree weather outside.

We ordered beer. To my amazement, it was served in some fancy looking wine glasses instead of the traditional beer glass, so fancy. Once we ordered, the bread came with individual, neat little balls of butter. We scarfed down the bread like we hadn’t eaten in hours (only partially true.) Quickly after the bread was gone, dinner was served.

Drinking beer out of wine glasses at Le Sam in the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.
Drinking beer from fancy glasses and dressing up.
The menu at Le Sam Bistro at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City.
Delicious menu at Le Sam.

I ordered duck, Dan picked out a flank steak. Even in the dimness of the restaurant, it looked amazing. Tasted even better. Although it is hard to go wrong with steak and duck.

The author makes a funny face at the camera, you can dress a weirdo up, but they're still going to be a weirdo at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac.
You can dress me up, but I’m still going to be a weirdo.

The cozy, intimate setting of the restaurant was made even more so by the view outside the floor to ceiling windows. We could enjoy our meals in the warm candlelight and look outside to the glittering city lights falling on cold snow. Everyone inside chattered in a language neither I or Dan could understand, but the waiters would switch to English for us.

After our main meals, our waiter noticed my coupon card and snapped it up, bringing out the dessert menu. I would have liked to order one of everything, they had everything from creme brule to dessert wines. I chose a dessert platter with a cappuccino. It came with a lemon macaroon, tiny little berry cake, a maple candy, and a tiny dark chocolate piece.


Instead of heading right back to the room, we wandered around a little bit, seeing if we could get into anywhere we weren’t supposed to. We couldn’t and went back to the room to drink a few more Hill Farmstead beers.

The author and her boyfriend take a photo in the gold mirror of the elevator at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Canada.
Sneaking in some photos in the gold mirror elevators.

But not too many because we had to get up and explore the city the next morning.

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