Still Life and Quebec

First, I am sorry for my absence as of late. I think I finally will have desk reveal for you in the next few days.

For now, I wanted to tell you about a book that I have been reading. The title is “Still Life” by Louise Penny. I have been a bit enraptured with this book over the past week. It is the first in a mystery novel series about Inspector Armand Gamache.

I love to read, but I often struggle with making time for it. Also, I have a hard time just going into the bookstore without knowing exactly the book I need. I will usually wind up wandering aimlessly and never selecting anything. Overall, I am the kind of person that needs to know a book will be something I’ll like before committing. My mother-in-law suggested this book series to me and was also nice enough to lend me her copies so that I can catch up before the newest book comes out in late summer. For this, I am quite grateful because I have been in need of a good book in which to immerse myself!

In reading Still Life, I found myself reminiscing to a trip I took there with my grandparents in 1999. I was quite young at the time, but I have always thought of it as one of the most meaningful trips I have ever taken. We drove from New Orleans (my extended family’s home base) all the way up the eastern seaboard to Quebec where we were participating in a hot air balloon festival. (That’s right my grandparents owned and flew their own hot air balloon) We stopped for a few days at a time in cities like Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia, etc. They even went so far as to drive through each and every state on the east coast just so that I could say I have been in each state.

Although we spent about half of the trip travelling up to Canada and in the major historical US cities, we spent nearly two weeks in Quebec at the balloon festival. Being in Quebec is so different from the rest of Canada for two reasons; the main language is French and the culture is definitively more francophone. In Quebec, there is a mixture of French speaking Quebecois and English speakers; each with different backgrounds, cultures and ideas.

The International Balloon Festival of Canada is hosted in Ville de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu; which is about a 45 minute drive southeast of Montreal. We had a great time in this town and there were always wonderful crowds gathering to see les montgolfières (hot air balloons). Here are a few current day Google images of the town.




And a few others during the International Balloon Festival, the largest gathering of hot air balloons in Canada.


We made a few day trips as well. One of which was to Mon Tremblant resort, further north.

Oh, how I would love to go back to this beautiful place. It’s like a small slice of Europe.

And just look at it in winter!

…though I am not sure if this thin-blooded southerner would survive a Canadian winter!

Back to the books though…. I started on the next book in the series, “A Fatal Grace“, last night and I am smitten once again by Louise Penny’s writing.


If you are interested in reading books in this series, you can find them here.

I hope to be back again soon with new design related posts!





**This is not a sponsored post. All opinions stated above are my own.**



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