Monday, 26 August 2013

, , , , , , ,

Bonus videos!

Hey everyone! I hope that you all have been enjoying your summers so far and that you have settled back into normal every day life... I don't know about everyone else, but it still feels like I'm going to be going back to Quebec really soon, or as if I haven't left yet. This summer passed by so quickly and I am so grateful for all the people I got to spend it with as well as thankful for all the wonderful experiences we had.

While clearing my memory card for my next trip (yes, I'm going away again to New York!), I stumbled across some other videos that were never posted... I think you all might enjoy this :)

Here is a music video for The Bad Joes... just getting the exposure out there !

And of course, who could forget this. Although really, really dark, if anyone worked at a daycamp this summer, you will all be familiar with this song. I believe Patrick is ready for his solo career now!

We only have a week left until school starts! I wish everyone the best this year in their studies, and hopefully we can arrange reunion days! And of course, Quebec Summer 2018 is still alive in my mind :)

And for our song, since I think it is agreed across the board that this was the best summer ever.... "Best Song Ever" by One Direction. I apologize if you aren't a Directioner...

A prochaine et bonne chance tout le monde! Je vous manque beaucoup!


Monday, 19 August 2013

, , , , ,

Train Videos!

Here are two "vlogs" that I had made on the train... I would have made more but unfortunately I ran out of battery :(

This is en route, somewhere in the middle of Ontario with special guest star Patrick Benoit...

And this is a recap of our last full day on the train during our little "party"... by the way, we really did have a Pitch Perfect-esque sing off that lasted a half hour. I wish I had the actual video, but I suppose this will suffice :) Party time!

I really wish that the trip could have lasted longer! But it is really nice to be back home.

My song... since Spencer was doing this almost every meal, "Cups (When I'm Gone)" by Anna Kendrick seems fairly appropriate. LOL, I guess...

Well, this really has been the trip of a lifetime. I'm going to miss seeing everyone's faces on a regular basis. Hopefully we can have a reunion soon!

\A plus tard,

, , , , , , , ,

Train Ride Across Canada

What a rush! I hope that everyone enjoyed the past couple days, I know I did! The past couple days were spent on a train with other YMCA youth from across the country as we took the train from Montreal back into Vancouver with stops made in Toronto, Winnepeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Jasper, Kamloops and finally, home sweet home. Unfortunately there was no WiFi for majority of the trip, but it did enable me to see another side of Canada that I normally wouldn't be able to on my own. And now, it all begins: what can teenagers do on a train for 4 days?

(Just a side note, this post will be post into parts just because of the amount of material to cover...)

We rode one train from Montreal to Toronto, which had an interesting dinner included...
Because we were running a little behind, the time that we were going to spend in Toronto was basically train hopping, and just before midnight we left Toronto and began our journey.

The train ride was certainly an interesting experience... take 50+ teenagers and putting them in a confined space for 4 days was quite fun: all the movies, card games, random junk food and Heads Up that we played was definitely a trip never to be forgotten. The food was better than I expected, the scenery was breathtaking, and the experience was very unique... check it out!

I'm sorry this took so long to post... unpacking has never taken so long! All the pictures have finally made it onto Facebook... and now it's onto the videos! There will be a separate post for that :)

Je t'aime et je te manque Quebec :)


Saturday, 10 August 2013

, , , , , ,


Waking up this morning was quite a challenge, but it was a different challenge from all the other days that I had to get up early for work: this time, I had to come to terms with the fact that I was going to leave this place that I called home and go back to my real home (after 4 long days on the train!).

It is going to be an interesting trip back as I have never taken a train before as a mode of transportation. While Skyping my mom this morning I was doing a final check and packing all my belongings to get ready for departure. Even my breakfast was sad that I was leaving!

After a lot of good byes and a lot of pictures with my host family, we drove to the gare central in Montreal to meet up with Janie and the rest of the Surrey group. We met many people along the way that we will be spending the next four days with. The goodbyes were difficult and waiting to board the train was difficult too, but as of now I am blogging from the train.
My host family and me:

So it is with great regret that I inform you that wifi will be no more as of 10 PM tonight Eastern time...  we arrive at Union Station in Toronto at about 8PM tonight and leaving at 10. While we ride through the Prairies there will be really spotty connection. As we pull into major cities and stops I will put little updates along the way, just keep a look out :)

As for a song, I wonder what that will be today... well, here goes nothing. I love this song, so I hope you enjoy this too. There really is no relevance to be honest, I just like the song. "Industry" by Jon McLaughlin.

Au revoir, Quebec,



Friday, 9 August 2013

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Le Dernier Journee

Je suis tres triste, parce que demain, je pars pour Vancouver. I am sad because I am leaving Quebec, my home away from home for the past six weeks. I miss home just as much as I want to stay here, so inside of me all day was a gigantic tug of war between the two places.

It was a bunch of lasts of sorts today: it started with the last day of work with the Camp du Jour Crabtree. My coworkers and all the campers were kind enough to make me a huge card that was filled with well wishes and much thanks. While there were a lot of things that I did grumble about and kids that I found annoying, in truth it was all a rewarding experience and I did grow bonds with many of these kids. I will miss a lot of them, my coworkers and just the entire camp and all its activities and quirks. It was the last time that I rode a bicycle to work as well. *Siiiigh*....
It is currently past midnight, so it was officially last night (or tonight, ton choix) that we all went to Patrick's host family's home for our fete du depart. It was a wonderful night filled with laughs and good times and music, and it was all very bittersweet for me... it's crazy to think that 6 weeks has come and gone, just like that. To quote Patrick, "I still remember the welcome barbeque. It felt like such a long time ago but really, it wasn't". I think we all feel the same. The good news is that we get to spend four more days on a train together, and since we all live so close, it will be possible to hang out during the summer and the rest of the year and hopefully into the future.

The "sweetest" part would have to be the cakes that were made for us... we really are the"Terrebonnest"!


Fiona and Valerie!

Trampoline with Valerie and Patrick!

It's okay, don't cry you guys! :P

the wonderful cakes :)

Packing was depressing, but I believe I am finished and all set. I pray that no baggage is over weight, fingers crossed.

Tonight Spencer and I did a Marianas Trench mash up of "Beside You" and "By Now", so I think that since tonight is a special night, here are two songs... those two listed above :)

"Beside You"
"By Now"
 Our train ride begins tomorrow and lasts for four days. I am praying for WiFi so that I can update every so often. In the meantime, I thank you all for reading and following along. It's been a pleasure <3

bon retour tout le monde,


Thursday, 8 August 2013

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dance the Night Away!

It is with mixed emotions that I write these last few posts while actually in Quebec - part of me really wants to stay longer, get to know all the people that I spent the summer with a lot better, take more pictures, do more activities... but I also know that all good things must come to an end, and it would be really nice to spend some of this summer with my family and friends back home. I feel quite torn, c'est tellement difficile pour moi!

Wednesday night was our party night on a cruise. There were 6 YMCA groups - 3 from Ontario, 2 from BC, and 1 with kids from all over the country - and we spent this last night altogether, partying and living it up. This was the group of people that we braved a ghetto gym with, so I think we're all pretty bonded :P Everyone was dressed very nice and it seriously felt like prom or something... I just loved seeing all the wonderful dresses and suits and ties (there goes "Suit and Tie" by Justin Timberlake again...)

Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn't quite in our favour... il a plu un petit peu! (it rained a bit) but that didn't stop us from having a good time. From the time we got on to the time we were forced off, we were all dancing in the rain, dancing on the floor or on the open air deck. It was a wonderful time and a great way to hang out one final time with one another.

Just take a look at this crazy party:


Like I said, it's quite difficult to fathom the fact that I called this place home for the past 6 weeks. I have started to assimilate myself and suddenly, it's all over. Crazy how time flies when you have fun, I believe I've heard that expression before ;)

In the meantime, I hope that everyone enjoys their last couple days.

This is a really cute Quebecois song that I hear all the time: "Ca Fait Rire les Oiseaux" by La Compagnie Creole.

a tantot,


Sunday, 4 August 2013

, , , , , , , , , , ,

St. Joseph's Oratory

How's everyone's weekend going so far? For me, my weekend ends tonight but not without an amazing and serene trip to a very holy place in Montreal!

Our first stop was a lunch stop at this cute diner called Paulo and Suzanne's. Simon introduced this place to me as "a place with real poutine"... and amazing it was! Instead of the typical original poutine that is stereotypical to Canada, we had many choices with other toppings. I went with Simon's recommendation of "Philly Bomb" Poutine! It was huge and delicious :)

check that out! :) with Karen, Remy and Simon
After that delicious lunch, we drove to Mount Royal to where St. Joseph Oratory was. It was just breathtaking to see as well pulled in!
Just some history behind the Oratory, as read taken from the Arrow Guide:
Brother Andre was born in 1845 in a town southeast of Montreal. He had incredible confidence in St. Joseph, who he could relate to as Brother Andre was an orphan who had little education and was poor and sick. At the age of 30, much attention was brought towards him as he was attributed for the reason of many miracles and cures. Br. Andre attributed these miracles to the power of St. Joseph.
In 1904, he built a chapel across from the college that he worked at as a porter in honor of St. Joseph. This chapel soon became a great basilica as there were many people that came to visit Br. Andre.
Br. Andre passed away on January 6, 1937. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II on May 23, 1982 and was canonized on October 17, 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. Every year more than 2 million people come to visit the Oratory, which houses the tomb of Br. Andre as well as his heart.
By the numbers....
- Brother Andre lived to the age of 91, living from 1845-1937
- In the bell tower (Carillon - one of the largest in North America), there are 56 bells weighing a total of 24,000 kg
- In the Votive Chapel, there are 10,000 vigil lights present
- The Crypt-Church has a seating capacity of 1,000
- A statue of St. Joseph in the Crypt-Church weighs 5,000 lbs and is 9 feet tall
- The statues in the Way of the Cross Gardens were created between 1943-1953, and carved between 1952-1959
- In front of the Main Portico, the Corinthian columns rise up to 60 ft. At this place, one would be 537 ft above sea level, and it would take 283 steps to return back to street level.
- The exterior dome of the Basilica rises 506 ft above street level and 856 ft above average sea level. It is the highest point of Montreal.
- The Grand Organ within the Basilica is 60 ft high, 44 ft wide, and consists of 5,811 pipes
- The original chapel has a sanctuary that measures 15 by 18 feet
We toured pretty much the entire building and the grounds of the Oratory, and it was just so surreal to see. It makes one wonder how long it must have taken to build such a grandiose building, from initial ideas to the final completion. I feel that the pictures can tell better stories...




In all, it was a wonderful experience to go see the Oratory. I am so glad that I got to see it before I left Quebec! It is also so strange to think that my 6 weeks is just about up. I have mixed feelings about this - I am sad to go but I am also excited to go home and see my family and friends again, but  I don't want to leave behind this summer. I've learned so much this summer about myself that I never knew before.

The final week... let's make this count :) I dedicate this song to all the kids in the exchange with me who also dread to see this summer end...I stumbled across it when I was listening to my playlist on Youtube. "Don't Want an Ending" by Sam Tsui.

bonne semaine tout le monde,