Nine things that made October special

  1. Hikes 

Determined to make the most of the autumn sun, we spent many a Sunday this month conquering local mountains such as La Grande Morne, Mont Orford and Mont Adstock. I’ll let the photos do the talking – as you can see, it’s always worth struggling with the extra weight of my camera on the climb!   

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2. Poetry (and all that jazz)

We began Thanksgiving Weekend in Montréal seeing the sensational Rupi Kaur perform from her new book, The Sun and Her Flowers. We were all welcomed into the beautiful old National theatre with a free copy of the book, which has since become a treasured possession of mine as every few pages evokes another memory of her mesmerising performance. She delivers hard-hitting topics with a refreshing mixture of empathy and sass, and the book does extremely well to mark the transition from wilting to blooming flowers as the poetry that initially weighs on your heart becomes lighter and more hopeful.

This was always going to be a tough act to follow, but my friend and I then spent a wonderful few hours at the Upstairs Jazz club in downtown Montréal where we enjoyed dessert, sangria and the smooth sounds of the Groove Gang. One of my favourite evenings so far!

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 3. Road trips

From Montréal we took our time driving through the beautiful Eastern Townships region of Québec. We sampled ice cider in Granby, saw the autumn colours of Eastman, sneaked a free sports massage at a 160km mountain race in Bromont and visited the Magog chocolaterie. We took turns driving my car so that one person was free to take photos and gaze properly at the stunning landscape, and I would definitely recommend taking this route in the autumn (particularly if, like me, you are fortunate enough to find a road trip partner with excellent music taste)!     

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4. Feeling thankful

We met up with more friends at Mégantic and then spent the night in Sherbrooke, where the next morning we had what can only be described as a Brunch Of Dreams that set us up for a day of exploring. Upon returning to Saint-Georges the next day, we prepared an unconventional Thanksgiving lasagne together and reflected on an excellent weekend spent in company for which we were all very grateful.

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5. Celebrations

Having an early birthday in the academic year always makes me slightly worried that people won’t know me well enough to want to celebrate with me, and this time the 5000km between me and home heightened this irrational panic even further. However, just thinking back to the love and kindness with which the day was filled makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I luckily had the day off work, so I spent it treating myself at the nearby NRJ Spa Nordique with a friend before we returned home for a lovely meal out at the snazzy Rock Café with a mixture of assistants (some of whom had travelled from as far as Beaupré to be there for the evening) and their responsables. I was overwhelmed to have spent the day in such lovely company and will never forget turning 23 in this home away from home.

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6. Breathtaking experiences 

We couldn’t spend autumn in Québec without undertaking the classic Tadoussac manoeuvre, so a couple of weeks ago five of us piled into my car and we set off to see some whales. I was honestly expecting to just spot a couple of distant grey slivers disappearing into the water, but we ended up seeing 5 different species up close, including a blue and humpback whale! This ended up being one of my favourite experiences so far and I would recommend making a trip next season. As you can see, Tadoussac itself wasn’t half bad either!

 

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7. The best kind of tour guide  

Having new friends in new places made for an excellent spontaneous weekend of sushi and waterfalls in beautiful Beaupré before we ventured to Cap Tourmente and witnessed thousands of geese arriving for a pit-stop during their autumn migration, which is something I didn’t even know was a thing let alone something that would be so spectacular. Thanks again Lizzie for having me! ❤

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8. Getting all extra-curricular

As the weekend trips have been excellent so far, it can become easy to just count down the weekdays in anticipation and not make the most of the evenings after returning from work. I am thus grateful for the recent efforts of the Saint-Georges squad in getting out and playing badminton and basketball several times a week, as it’s always a good time and makes us feel slightly less guilty about the whole poutine situation. I was also so pleased to find an opportunity to get my clarinet out as I ventured further afield to Disraeli to try out their wind orchestra a few weeks ago. It’s quite the trek but everyone was so nice and welcoming that once fuel prices have calmed down a bit in Saint-Georges I’m hoping to return!

9. Looking up 

A final memorable moment from this October has to be when we all lay on the beach in Tadoussac and witnessed the Orionid meteor shower (to the ambient sounds of M83 from Ellie’s phone). The universe is always a wonder to observe, and hopefully I’ll be able to take some clearer photos of it one day!

I’m looking forward to seeing what November has in store!

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