I confess: I prepped these photos for bloggery two days ago but haven’t had the heart to post them. Yen did such a nice job blogging it all (July 1 here, July 2 here, July 3 here, July 4 here) that I just didn’t feel motivated. But you know, whatever. I can still go.

Last year, I celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence by leaving the country. It seems like a good tradition, so off we headed for Quebec.

(These two lovely photos by Yen.)

A common theme during this trip was Yen’s frustration with “collapsing verticals.” Every time I turned around, he had moved another 50 yards back from the object in question to try to get – what? – a vertically stable shot. So it was through this lens that I examined my own photos upon return and yea, verily, my verticals are shit.

Doesn’t change the fact that this hotel is pretty stinkin’ awesome, even with the clever disguise it’s wearing as a hat.

The Chateau is near the Citadel, which is perched way the hell up on a cliff (which is wise for a citadel). And apparently “belvedere” is a word, not just the name of a dog.

My god, it was hot. And that hill was high. That day we climbed it not once but twice, approaching from the front and back like the rigorous villains we are.

The park behind the Citadel had three (of an original 4) Martello Towers, which, apparently, are eccentric.

Who am I turn down the chance to look down the barrel of a musket?

Here’s the view once we’re down on the boardwalk again. This is, oh, about halfway down the side of the cliff.

Below that is a little shopping area with bunnies.

Which you can see pleased me. See me all happy and relaxed? Photo by Yen (ostensibly cuz I’m in it).

Loads of people roaming around. Lots of tourists.

We found a lot of artwork on walls, underpasses (see below), which I really admire. I like the city giving over these spaces to folks with a sense of humor. Photo by Yen.

Oh, here are the bunnies again.

And I really admired this shop sign.

We didn’t eat at the bunny restaurant. No, we dined at The Crazy Pig.

A boat.

These stubby little cannons were all over the place.

Chairman Meow!

We saw a lot of fake owls put up to scare off pigeons. This one was looking right at the pigeon and having no effect.

Isn’t this a great photo? Yen’s, naturally.

Another mural. I really liked this one.

Folks with unicycles thataway!

Um, so, we didn’t go in this store. I’ve got all the pelts I need.

Unclear exactly what the beaver remembers (or perhaps we’re supposed to remember him?).

Here’s the view from on top of the Citadel where we had a very nice nap.

Refreshed from his nap, Yen announced that during a previous visit, he’d rolled down the hill below us. I said I found that a little hard to believe given what I know of his character. He proved me wrong.

Here we’ve left and walked down the ramparts toward our B&B (which was down the hill in St Roch).

View from the same.

And here’s a photo Yen took of me lounging against the wall (as I’m wont to do).

Ok, so. We loved our little B&B and absolutely recommend it to all of you. But there was a funny detail: most of the rooms are en suite, which here means a toilet, sink and shower are next to the bed. Convient when you’ve had too much watermelon in the evening and need relief. But, ah. Well. I feel very comfortable around Mr. Tran but am not quite ready to reveal myself in this manner. We ended up in the non-en-suite room, which meant we enjoyed a communal bathroom (no problem!), but I still had to sneak into another room and get this shot for you.

Next morning, off we went to Montmorency Falls.

This is the view behind/above the falls. They’re actually higher than Niagra.

We climbed down this staircase. A brave woman was climbing up and down, up and down for exercise while we were there. Insanity, pure and simple. Photo by Yen.

Aw, here’s Yen looking cute as usual.

See that speck? That’s a man fly-fishing.

From the staircase.

Look down at the bottom: another person fly-fishing. Nice way to grasp the scale of the Falls.

After the Falls, Île d’Orléans. Very nice drive around the island, which is rural, agricultural, and full of cottages and old churches with neat cemeteries. I enjoyed the flowers preserved on this marker.

The Île is known for strawberries. We bought a giant basket – you really can’t grasp how giant from this photo; it was spilling over the brim – and ate them all while driving.

Yen took this lovely photo while I was inside sampling wine and ultimately buying two bottles. (Vignoble de Sainte-Petronille, if you’re interested.)

And so then we headed back across the river and to Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. I don’t fully understand what all these canes are doing. But you know, I don’t ask; I take photos.

Here’s my collapsed-vertical shot of the whole giant thing.

A nice shot by Yen of the statue in front.

Fake owls everywhere, apparently effective if lack of pigeons is a sign. I think he looks like he’s about to give a big speech.

Here I am enjoying wine and food that isn’t proper Vietnamese food despite a label as such. We don’t judge, we eat. After this photo, it began to rain. Everyone moved inside except for us. We pulled our table under a tree and kept enjoying the view (and the company). Two different pedestrians came over to hold an umbrella over us and laugh.

Last morning before heading back south, we went to photograph the excellent drawings under the highway overpass.

Yen was a little troubled that this one combines Egyptian and Aztec themes, but he ultimately got over it.

I dunno. I just like a good mummy.

We couldn’t see everything because Cirque du Soleil has set up a stage own there and gives a free performance most nights.

But perhaps the most exciting part of the trip? On the drive home, Yen’s brave little Fit averaged 50.1mpg. Awesome.