Quebec #2: Frigid Temperatures and Juggling

Will Sussbauer ’23 and Cole Rorick ’26 brave the cold temperatures of Quebec city and share a fun visit to Cirque du Soleil Circus School. 

Perhaps the most lasting legacy of our trip will be of traveling hundreds of miles northward from an already-frigid New England winter on the coldest weekend of the year. At a certain point, though, -14 and -40 have little distinction — both are so cold that scarves become balaclavas and two, even three, pairs of pants at once become acceptable. But we can adapt, particularly in the very capable hands of Ms. Newlon and Mr. Flaska, our fearless and flexible leaders.

We officially began the day at 10:00am, allowing everyone to make full use of the comforts a castle provides; however, Mr. Flaska took a few willing (perhaps reckless?) students out for a morning walk at 9:00am. We went throughout the neighborhood, briefly traipsing through un-plowed snow to reach a boardwalk along the cliffside banking the St. Lawrence River. Shielded from the wind by the rocks, it become a pleasant stroll providing beautiful views across the river; however, just a few meters from the hotel doors, gusts of likely 30+ kilometers-per-hour struck our faces, hitting skin in the few inches between our hats and and scarves — we found our heads aching, like a terrible brain-freeze.

We spent the remainder of the morning strolling through a series of gorgeous brick alleyways, popping into tchotchke shops and resisting the temptation to buy every moose stuffed animal we saw. We then set off to Subway sandwich shop before heading to the Cirque du Soleil circus school for a few hours, where we met a passionate instructor, who shared what he knew about trapeze, acrobatics, and more. We were able to dive into the basics as well as watch professionals practice incredible acts. We all learned a lot, and some of us will be bringing home a new hobby: juggling.

Later on, we made the decision to stay indoors for the night, considering the harsh temperatures and the closure of multiple winter carnival activities. We bonded over games, and ended the night with the delicious cuisine of pizza, pasta, and more. It was a great day in Quebec City and I look forward to tomorrow.