Erriel Simon ’24 and Alice Wu ’25, reflect on a culturally, fun filled last day in Quebec.
On the group’s last day in Quebec, we all started off with the morning to ourselves to go explore the beautiful city and the amazing breakfast buffet. We truly ate like we were royalty in a castle! There were various foods ranging from charcuterie boards, fruits, pastries, omelets, waffles and so much more. After eating I headed down to explore some more parts of Quebec from our previous days except this time in weather above -14°F! I bought some nice trinkets and souvenirs that my friends and family are going to love. The city was beautiful and packed while everyone enjoyed sightseeing, shopping, the carnival atmosphere, and various snowy hills.
After some exploring, Alice Wu ‘25 and I rushed back to the hotel lobby to meet the group for our small hike up to Parc de Chute Montmorency Falls. There, we witnessed and photographed some of the most breathtaking waterfall views. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the ice water elegantly skip down the Montmorency river from the park’s bridge. Once we hiked back down from the waterfall we all hopped on the bus after helping a frozen car in need of a little push. From there we headed to grab a quick lunch at the grocery store so that we could visit the Musée de la Civilisation – This Is Our Story – First Nations in the 21st Century. This museum contained many different exhibits but the one we explored together informed us about First Nations, the indigenous peoples of Canada. Here we first learned about the residential schools where government-sponsored religious schools were created to force Euro-Canadian culture onto Indigenous children. After exploring some very moving, powerful stories and histories the group split off to do some more city exploration since today would be the last day. Some revisited the Winter Carnival while others shopped and explored new places with friends.
As the sun began to fall we regrouped for a delicious lunch at Sagamité Old Quebec (First Nations Restaurant) which combined history, crafts, art, and gastronomy all in one. The food was absolutely delicious. I can confidently say that everyone at the table tried something new! Finally, as the night began to wrap up, we all set off on one more excursion through the city, some for dessert and some for views. This was my last day in Quebec City, and it was one I will never forget! Thank you Mr. Flaska, Ms. Newlon, and Bus Driver Jim, our trip leaders, for going above and beyond to make this trip unforgettable. Furthermore, I’d like to express my gratitude to the CSGC for making everything possible! Shout out to my Mom and Dad just because! Shout out to Alice Wu for making this trip memorable!
-Erriel Simon ’24
Hello, world! We all had so much fun today! We had a lot of free time to do whatever we wanted in the morning, so many of us ate a very delicious buffet breakfast at Place Dufferin, a restaurant right in our hotel. The restaurant had a large variety of American buffet-style foods, including charcuterie boards, fruit, pastries, cereal, eggs, and juice. Erriel ’24 and I ate a very scrumptious meal– I adored the Chocolatines and omelets. Afterward, we explored the beautifully decorated town, full of unique and adorable shops and restaurants. Many of them had a picture of the face of a very adorable snowman named Bonhomme, who sports a red cap and is the official representative of the Winter Carnival in Quebec! Legend says he is the long lost cousin of the American Frosty the snowman. Seeing his smiling face in all the shop windows always lights my mood! We then walked down the famous Frontenac stairs to stumble upon a very special clothing shop that denounces fashion, founded in 1989 by very funny brothers. Erriel and I bought soft, comfortable sweaters. The group met together in the lobby of our hotel at 12 pm and rode the bus over to Montmorency Falls. I am very thankful to our bus driver Jim for accompanying us this whole trip and driving us places! He always greets all of us happily as we get on the bus. On the way there, Ms. Newlon played a fun game of “can I pogo stick?” and we had to try to guess what the rule is for if we can or cannot pogo stick somewhere. Turns out the rule was very simple–while you asked, you just had to say a filler word like “um” or “like”.
The waterfall was so stunning!! The group took a picture in front of the waterfall, and the views were absolutely breathtaking. You just see a vast area of snow with a huge bridge almost crossing over from the useable fog – it looks like heaven! Truly astonishing. We hiked up further to cross the Montmorency Falls suspension bridge and on both sides, you can see the flowing waterfalls. It was so cool how the water was actually only frozen on the surface, but flowing out from the bottom. Soon after, the group stopped at the Metro Plus grocery store to grab a quick lunch, and we headed over to the Musée de la Civilization- This Is Our Story – First Nations in the 21st Century, which examines the history of the aboriginal people that resided in Canada before colonization. The museum taught me a lot about the history of Canada, where the tribes’ children were forced into residential schools that separated them from their families, stripped them of their heritage, brutally abused and malnourished them, and tried to convert the youth into Euro-Canadian culture and religion. There was an exhibit of a blanket woven with past artifacts and quotes, bringing light to the unlawful oppression of indigenous people in Canada. The exhibit was very moving and unforgettable. I still vividly remember a narration of an indigenous story of the sons of the Earth Mother.
With some free time left before dinner, Erriel and I explored the wintry town of Old Quebec, shopping for cute Bonhomme plushies and taking aesthetic pictures in the nearby shops. At 5:50 pm (I arrived 2 minutes early which shocked everyone!), the group met in the lobby of the hotel and walked over together in the quaint town of Quebec to our dinner reservation at a First Nations Restaurant! The menu consisted of a variety of foods, including elk, bison, and deer. Many of us had the Elk ravioli, which was very meaty and flavorful. The delectable and luscious ravioli sauce seemingly melted on my tongue. After this mouthwatering and piquant meal, half of the group went to a nearby shop for some dessert, while the other half attended the Winter Carnival and shopped around. Erriel and I took some pulchritudinous pictures around the elegant town, full of shimmering fairy lights and glittering snow falling from the night sky.
Alas, my trip to Quebec has come to an end. A trip that I will hold dear to my heart forever, with all the confluence of culture, brimming with lessons and joyous memories that will last me through my days of glory. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of French Quebec involved, and as a French-learning student, I loved practicing my Français by ordering at restaurants and cafes, talking to locals everywhere, saying “Bonjour!” to everyone I see on the streets, and in the Winter Carnival. This experience was profoundly the highlight of my Winter term at Deerfield Academy.
Thank you so much to Mr. Flaska and Ms. Newlon for chaperoning this whole trip, I really appreciate all the wonderful effort that made this trip worthwhile. To Jim, our enthusiastic bus driver, thank you so much for staying with us for the entire trip and driving us to various locations. We couldn’t have done it without you! Moreover, I would like to express my gratitude to the CSGC for making this entire expedition possible. In addition, thank you so so so much to my parents for allowing me to go on this trip and staying in touch with me throughout this journey. Lastly, to my dear friends that are on this trip with me, thank you for the everlasting memories we made together.
Shoutout to Erriel Simon’24 for being my best friend throughout this whole trip!
-Alice Wu ’25