To my amour, Québec City:
I’d heard about you before I ever laid eyes on you, and though my friends were adamant that I would fall head over heels, something kept me away. Maybe I was afraid because I already knew you would steal my heart.
But, eventually, I had to let down my guard and meet you, Québec City. People told me the timing wasn’t right – it was February, after all, and you were being so cold. But I knew that this would actually be the perfect time because I could see the real you. And the first night I laid eyes on you, you stopped me in my tracks. The pure beauty of your alabaster snow perfectly framed your magnificent architecture. And I can’t deny I’m a sucker for a French accent.
That first night was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, and I was instantly smitten. We only had a few days together before I had to go home, but, oh, did we make the most of them!
You were celebrating the season at your Winter Carnival, and your excitement was contagious! You introduced me to Caribou, the perfect drink to keep warm, and to your dear friend Bonhomme. You took me sledding, and even dog-sledding, too.
Beyond the Carnival, you had so much to show me, Québec City. You taught me the history of your walls, the fortifications that celebrate Old Quebec from the new, and you shared the grandeur of your most popular feature, Chateau Le Frontenac, which took my breath away.
But it was your little quirks that truly won me over. The tiny cobblestone streets, the quaint shops, restaurants, and bars that you keep tucked away, the people who you call friends – and who ended up becoming my friends, too.
And, of course, the Ice Hotel, or Hôtel de Glace, your grandest achievement. Every year, you create this stunning spectacle from the ice and snow, just to share the majesty of winter with the world and make people happy in the cold. You provide something for everyone in this place, with an ice bar for people looking for a good time and even a wedding chapel for people seeking something more serious.
Every year, the Hôtel de Glace melts away as the weather warms, but my love for you lasts far longer than the ephemeral ice hotel, Québec City. Though I haven’t seen you in person in many years, I see you in my dreams every day.