Friday, July 16, 2010

Je me souviens

Since the beginning of our relationship, music has been key. We are famous for heading off to Boston on a random Tuesday night to see some band no one else has heard of... and then driving back home and teaching the next day. We started taking the kids with us when they were 4 and 6. We were on our way to a family reunion, flying out of NH... so when a triple bill of some favorites were playing 30 min away the night before our trip started, we couldn't refuse. So, when we were trying to figure out what to do for our 15th anniversary, we started with music.

WB found our current favorite family band performing at the summer festival in Quebec City, a city he loves and the rest of us had never seen. Because it was in honor of our anniversary, we splurged on a hotel room. I must say, I do like the summer mode of concerts... being able to walk back to the room and be comfortable and asleep within 15 minutes is much more fun than fighting to stay awake as we drive back home. But I digress...

Arcade Fire ROCKED! They played many of our favorites (WB called 2 of their first 3 numbers) and generally made everyone happy to be alive. One of the band members was born in Canada, butonly because her family escaped Haiti's dictatorship. The band has worked to help with earthquake damage, and launched kanpe that day, a charity dedicated to helping improve life for Haitians. We certainly love us a good band, but it makes it even more endearing when said band has a social agenda and uses their influence to make the world a better place. The Festival is donating .25 per person who attended this show, and Arcade Fire is matching up to 1 million given through a text donation number (sadly, it seems this only works in Canada). It really was the perfect way to honor our lives together as a family.

Tuesday morning we wandered around and checked out the Old City. It's a relaxed sort of place-- there's no rush, few lines... you just wander around and check out what intrigues you. And so we did. The kids found oversized lollipops, I found some postcards, and WB showed us different places of note. My lack of knowledge of the hometown language certainly hindered my ability to read up on the history of things-- many signs are printed in both languages, but not all. I was keenly aware of my language deficit, although all the shop owners and waitstaff were fluent in English. This trip did cement the idea in the kids heads that being bi-lingual is a good thing, be it in French or in Spanish. (The 2 years of Latin that I took most certainly did not help me this week!)

There is a good chance that both kids will return to Quebec City on 8th grade trips and that we will return ourselves. I may, however, need to sit in on a French immersion class first... I don't like feeling like the Ugly American who refuses to try to conform to the native culture.


Amity said...

Ma chere, you DID sit in on a French Immersion class--just keep going back! You are "officially" enrolled in French. I declare it. Find it all around is everywhere when you look and listen :)

Wendy said...

Ah! So, to get my reluctant thirteen year old to agree to learning French, I should really take her to Quebec!

Sounds like an amazing trip - giant lollies and all :).

rach :) said...

Yes, Wendy, I do believe that will do the trick. It was obvious once we crossed the border and could not read the street signs that knowing another language can come in very handy.

Thanks, Am, for the reassurance. You are very good for me :)

Katie said...

QC is one of my favorite cities. Glad you had a great time.