Friday, July 3, 2015

Sunflowers and Lavender In Provence

Sunflowers and Lavender In Provence, 2015
acrylic on canvas board
5" x 7" (12.7 cm x 17.8 cm)
© copyright Mike Kraus

10% OFF with coupon code JOINTHEFUN

Our bikes race up and down the gentle hills of Provence.  Everything has a distinct texture, the colors are vibrant, and the perfume in the air is intoxicating.  And every twisting road we turn down has countless rows of purple lavender and yellow sunflowers.  The heat of the Mediterranean sun presses against our backs as we pedal back to the village of Sault.  I'll never forget the fields of France.

This painting would look best in a space that is yellow, orange, blue, white, or beige.  NOTE: Free stand available upon request.

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

Belle ville de Québec

In the year of our Lord, 2015 Monsieur Mike Kraus and Mademoiselle Megan Bell celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary with a portrait in front of their fireplace.


HELLO QUEBEC CITY!  Here's our hotel Manoir sur Le Cap (https://www.manoir-sur-le-cap.com/hotel-en.html) within the fortification walls of  Vieux-Québec

Our little room.  There is a little balcony too.

The promenade leading to the main plaza

Samuel de Champlain Monument (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_de_Samuel_de_Champlain).  He founded Quebec City and brought along a few of my relatives for the ride.

A little bit of Europe in North America.

We walked around at first just to get our bearings straight.  Went from one end to the other and found these barracks.  A quiet place away from the crush of tourists.

The Comedi Ha! (http://comediha.com/en) Festival just outside the gates.

Looking east on Rue Saint Jean.  With all the tourist and outdoor seating for restaurants, it was another street closed to cars.  It is amazing how pedestrian friendly Quebec is.

Tower of the fortification.

Parc du Bastion-de-la-Reine from La Citadelle de Québec looking toward the city. 



Not a bad looking place, eh?


I guess when you found a city, they consider you important enough for multiple statues...



Back on the promenade looking toward Chateau Frontenac (http://www.fairmont.com/frontenac-quebec/)

Here's a monument dedicated to my 9th great grandfather, Abraham Martin.  There's a huge park named after him where there were large military battles fought.  Nice farm Grandpa Abe!


They have lots of statues in Quebec.


Louis Hébert (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_H%C3%A9bert) isn't quite a direct relative.  I guess he would be something like my 8th grandfather-in-law.  He has a statue.  So, it counts...

Guillaume Coulillard is just a little more distant.





Marie Rollet (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Rollet) would be my 8th grandmother-in-law



George-Étienne Cartier (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George-%C3%89tienne_Cartier).  A fine statesment, but not a relative...

The côte de la Montagne heading toward Vieux-Port (Old Port)

côte de la Montagne from the pedestrian bridge above


If you read my Montreal blog post, you may know that one of my great something grandpa's built the steps to Notre Dame.  Problem is there were several in Montreal.  And here's another in Quebec City.  So, I have to photograph them all and figure it out later.  (http://notredamedequebec.org/)

Inside Notre Dame

Looking over Rue du Petit Champlain



Looking up Rue Sous le Fort toward Chateau Frontenac


Looks like a good place for dinner.


Le Lapin Sauté (http://www.lapinsaute.com/francais/accueil/).  Sorry little bunny rabbit.  That means "the stewed rabbit."

RABBIT POUTINE!  So delicious.  But, I have to admit that I've disappointed my father-in-law and was unable to fulfill the commitments of the Clean Plate Club.  It's rare for me to lose to a dish.  You were an excellent challenger.

So many rabbits...

With a name like Fuck la Mode (http://www.fucklamode.com/), I wouldn't have expected pretty pink dresses and baby blue jackets.  But, what do I know about fashion?  Although, from what I understand, "fuck" isn't really considered a bad word in Canada.  But, don't say "tabernacle" in polite company.

Chateau Frontenac at night.

Coffee and crepes.  Good way to start the day at Baguette Et Chocolat.

Welcome to the Île d'Orléans (Island of Orleans) (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%8Ele_d'Orl%C3%A9ans) just a 10-15 minute drive from the center of Quebec City.

The island is divided into six village/parishes.  This is the village of St. Pierre with Saint Pierre Church (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint-Pierre-de-l'%C3%8Ele-d'Orl%C3%A9ans)

Roughly translates to "In tribute to score families. Ferland, Gagnon, Maranda, Paquet, Roberge and Vezina who recalled the memory of their ancestors established on ile d'Orleans with the canonical erection of the Parish of St. Peter in the year one thousand six hundred and seventy to nine.

That Roberge was Pierre Roberge dit LaCroix and his wife Francoise (Loignon), my 7th great grandparents along with their 15 kids.  Could have filled the church by themselves.  

Some of these graves may be family.  But they have fallen, worn out, or no longer exist.  Guess that's what happens over 240+ years...  And, some are buried at other cemeteries as well.  

Inside St. Pierre Church.  

The alter.

Nice rows of penalty boxes...

The Second St. Pierre Cemetery.  I'm not going to bore you with the photos, but I only took photos of  possible relatives.  In other words, every single stone front and back with names...

Roughly translates to: Tribute to Pierre Paradis cutler & laborer from Monrtagne, France in 1605 and dies at The ile d'Orleans 29 January 1675 ancestor of all Paradis of North America's 

Families Paradis 1960

Pierre Paradis monument, my 8th great grandfather.  

Almost cost a car crash, but worth it.  Cidereie Domaine Steinbach  (http://www.domainesteinbach.com/)

Best $4 (that's Canadian bucks) tasting ever.  There was mustard (in photo), jams, vinegar, oils, and really strong wine.  One was called "bye bye" because it was 20% alcohol and puts you to sleep.  


View of the Saint Lawrence River

The Roberge monument for Denis and his two brothers named Pierre.  I guess their parents weren't too creative with names...  

Roberge, ancestral land since 1669 St. Pierrre I'le d'Orleans 1 July 1979

I wonder if there really are still Roberge's in the old farm house.

St. Famille (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Famille,_Quebec).  It seems this is where my family when to pick up their wives...

Hey, there's my wife looking inside the church.

I really like the God sculpture in the clouds.  

Parc des Ancêtres de l'île d'Orléans (Ancestor Park) (http://www.fondationfrancoislamy.org/en/le_parc_attrait_touristique_ile_orleans.php?val=3&sval=1)  All around the base are names of the original names for the families who settled the island.




The Le Fromage de l'isle d'Orleans (http://www.fromagesdeliledorleans.com/).  Apparently, the first place to make cheese in North America.  Still making cheese too.

Maison Drouin (http://tourisme.iledorleans.com/en/membre/maison-drouin/) the oldest house on the island not to be modernized.  Amazingly, people lived in this house up until 1984.


Saint-François-de-Sales.  A nice woman was talking about the church.  Between my French and her English, we made absolutely no sense.  

New interior of Saint-François-de-Sales.  Unfortunately, sometime in 1988 some flew off the road and drove through the church that started a major fire.  Nothing but the exterior remained and even that was in rough condition.  

Roberge Path.  

Looks like a good piece of land.  And the house was for sale.


La Boulange (http://laboulange.ca/) in St. Jean.  A good place for a bite to eat.  

A very, very delicious three cheese pizza with olives.  And don't forget a cinnamon roll!  So much flavor.  

St. Jean's church. 

Colorful rocky shore behind St. Jean's Church

St. Jean's cemetery.  Hello cousins!

Colorful houses of St. Laurent.  Lots of art shops, boutiques, and cafes.  I guess I know where I get my use of bright, bold colors from.

St. Laurent Church

Interior of St. Laurent Church


Talk about a dream house.  A nice place overlooking the St. Lawrence river, Quebec City off to the right, and an art gallery in the basement.  Nice work Louise Lasnier (http://www.galeriepetronille.com/)

Sainte-Pétronille Church (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-P%C3%A9tronille,_Quebec).  Another family church.  I guess quite a few are buried here.  Didn't see the cemetery though.  It was hidden in the back behind trees.  We came from the wrong direction.  A good excuse to return, right?

Talking about a good excuse to return, the Chocolaterie de L'ile d'Orleans   (http://www.chocolaterieorleans.com/en/).  Such good chocolate.  Just walking in you get high on the strong chocolate aroma.  

Back to the city.  This time, we went to the St. Roch neighborhood.  Looking west on Rue St. Joseph E.  

And in St. Roch, you'll find St. Roch Church.  It's so large it didn't fit in my camera.  There's a good sized plaza for people to gather at in front too.  They even had a piano for people to play on.  Fun little neighborhood.  


L'affaire du Ketchup restaurant.  "hmmm...  Sounds like something Rachel (our niece) would like."  It had great reviews and lots of people suggested it.  Looks and sounds like a diner, but it's no diner...

You are looking at the best meal we had in on our whole trip.  I had a lamb dish and Megan had the baby goat.  I have no idea what they did to the potatoes, but I want to eat them every day.  We sat at the bar, which is directly in front of the two cooking stoves.  We watched the whole process, were treated like family by the staff, and ate like kings.  This place could not be more highly recommended.  And we ate really, really good food the whole trip.

If within 100 km of this door, you must stop to eat.  

Back in Old Quebec overlooking the pedestrian bridge 

Glace du Verger (Iced Apple Wine) in the park to celebrate our Anniversary!


Nice view from the park too.

 Musée de la civilisation à Québec (https://www.mcq.org/en) is an interesting place to learn about the areas history.  When they started construction of this facility, I guess they found that boat there.  Poor architect had to redesign the whole building...


Funny little mural of Quebec City with a bunch of people of note.  

Back at Place Royale for the other part of the museum.  

Centre d'interprétation de Place-Royale (https://www.mcq.org/en/informations/mpr) has a really fun basement.  Doesn't Megan look foxy in a bonnet?  I'm like Sargeant Pepper's purposely orphaned kid... 

CHURN THAT BUTTER!!!

I do like cheese...

Père Pierre Roberge - a long lost relative?

Megan's too stressed out from simple living...

Or she's too stressed out from her husband getting stuck in a barrel

Inside ÉGLISE NOTRE-DAME-DES-VICTOIRES (http://notredamedequebec.org/fetes-du-350e/horaire/eglise-notre-dame-des-victoires).  I'm not sure if this is another Notre Dame.  So many Notre Dames...

I like the boat sailing to the alter.  

The Parliament Building just outside the fortification wall.

  Great middle eastern food on Grande Allée E.  Great gyro and swarma.  And more really good potatoes.  Forgot the name of the restaurant.  But, it's in the basement.

Louis Hebert gets an apple orchard in my grandpa Abe's park too.  Lucky fella.


Cornelius Krieghoff (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_Krieghoff) is a handsome artist.

Lady posing in front of Joan of Arc.

More colorful homes

More hills and stairs.  Why do Megan and I always go on vacations to places that are so hilly.  I'd like to announce our next vacation will be to the Bonneville Salt Flats...

One last look at the St. Lawrence on our way home.  I'le d'Orlean slightly right of center.

Final shot leaving the underground parking garage.  

WHAT A GREAT 5TH ANNIVERSARY!
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