Thursday, 2 November 2017

Maine - home via Trois Rivieres

On the day we headed back we packed the car (we could just see out the back, there had been some major shopping this trip).
We walked down past the library, where I had been told one time that if I wasn't finished using the internet by the time it closed  I could be shown how to lock up. Another time I was huddled in the cold working on my blog and was invited inside to join the knitting group meeting so I could use the internet in warmth. It, and "the Keag" seem to be the community hubs and both are very welcoming.

We had breakfast at "The Keag"
Checked on the progress on the bridge replacement. Rumour had it that they were ahead of schedule. Judy commented something like "that would never happen in Quebec".
Then we were on the road.Upon entering Maine there are regular Moose warning signs on the road. Our trip down was through a beautifully forested stretch of hills and so was our return trip. We were lamenting the lack of moose sightings when Judy yelled "Moose" from the back seat. I was slow to react, mostly because I thought she was joking, so had to pull a U turn and head back down the road with us all searching the wooded road sides.
She wasn't joking, there they were.

We didn't get close and didn't get out of the car
but she didn't take her eyes of us.
She was magnificent; solidly built and with a gleaming coat.
Her adolescent offspring however was a little homely.
Our border crossing and drive through Quebec were uneventful and the leaves were now past their peak.
They were still beautiful in Trois Rivieres when we walked Judy's neighbour hood the next day.
We had been invited to dinner with some of Judy's relatives, a group that Heather called "The French Connection" as she had holidayed with them near Malaga in the spring. Our hosts, Jacques and Ghislaine live in "The Cap" (Cap de la Madeleine).
This magnificent, relatively modern, cathedral is in "The Cap"
dedicated to Mary.

The original church for the community is still on the property
surrounded by statues for the stations of the cross.
The grounds are peaceful and wooded, right next to the St Lawrence. We read that the river "miraculously" froze over the winter that the stones were bought over for the Cathedral.

We were to be treated to a French Canadian specialty and had to take a vow not to give away the culinary secrets of our host
The French Connection were wonderful. They were warm and welcoming, talkative and enthusiastic. Conversation was in French, broken French, English and broken English as only Judy was truly bilingual. Our French started out Ok but as the evening wore on and the wine, food and hour took their toll I found it harder and harder to follow the conversations and just let the language flow around me.
Crisp and hot out of the fryer. Our choices were to have them with "brown sauce" or tomato sauce, cheese curd from the grocery store or cheese curd fresh from the farm (unpasteurized)
First a layer of fresh cheese curd (we got a nod of approval for choosing the unpasteurized) in the special poutine bowls, then the french fries then the brown sauce (gravy) and then more cheese curd. Delicious.
It felt rude not to try the tomato sauce too, so I had a second helping. Then there was coleslaw. I planned on turning down whatever dessert was offered
but then it just arrived in front of me. What could I do? Especially as Jacques who cooked the fries) had made the fudge. I was stuffed!
Don and I had both indulged in second helpings and we were all uncomfortably full and tired from trying to understand the various conversations going on around us. Judy must have been exhausted translating in both directions. We were early to bed and then drove the 9 hours home (nowhere near as scenic) the next day.

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