Monthly Archives: June 2013

The beauty of the Saint-Lawrence river: a weekend in Trois-Pistoles, Quebec

Two weeks ago, my family and I traveled to the lovely town of Trois-Pistoles for my grandparent’s sixtieth wedding anniversary celebrations. We all gathered in a charming cottage that my grandparents have been renting twice a year for the last decade.

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My grandparents have developed a longstanding love story with this area, having met in the nearby town of Notre-dame du Portage 66 years ago. They’ve been entranced ever since, and with each visit they fall more and more in love with the scenery, the fascinating history and the friendly population. We’ve all heard about it endlessly, so it went without question that this was the perfect place to hold the party when the location of the anniversary was to be decided.

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Travel top 5: One accomodation: Hostel Mostel, Sofia, Bulgaria

I started the travel top 5 last week by talking about one of my top destinations, Britanny. The next question I’d like to cover is the top accomodation I’ve had the chance to sleep in during my travels. Out of dozens of hotels, B&Bs and youth hostels, Hostel Mostel in Sofia, Bulgaria, came out on top.

Some would say that Sofia is an unusual destination to visit. We probably wouldn’t have been there if it hadn’t been the cheapest way to get home (in France) on our way back from Istanbul.

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After an eight hour ride on a night bus and a confusing 15 minute walk from the bus station to the hostel, we arrived at Hostel Mostel. Dawn had not risen yet when we checked in and our room was only going to be available in the late afternoon. We really needed to nap because our sleeping patterns had been heavily disturbed by numerous stops during the night. The friendly receptionist took our bags and let us crash on the sofas in the common area.

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Travel top 5: One destination: Brittany, France

For this new post I was inspired by the 5 questions that Unique travel guides publish on their Facebook pages when they ask random bloggers and travel writers about their favorite spots. So far in my life, I’ve been to 13 countries, stayed in dozens of accommodations, tasted a multitude of dishes and drinks and lived through a ton of amazing experiences.
These are the questions I will be answering during the next few weeks:
Here is the first of 5 questions:

1. One destination 2. One accomodation 3.One dish 4.One drink 5. One experience

Let’s start with the first one!

One destination: Brittany, France. Situated in the Northwestern part of France, Brittany is a great place to visit if you prefer a calm vacation that focuses on nature and history, rather than partying and shopping.

Brittany coast France_A storytelling home_Lea Plourde-Archer

When I arrived at the Quimper train station, I’d just spent the last two weeks going crazy in Barcelona and Bordeaux, two cities notorious for their thriving party scenes. Right away, I knew that the tranquility of the region was just what I needed to get back on my feet. I was lucky to stay at my friend Sarah’s house for a few days. She and her family were generous hosts who took me around the area, visiting castles, churches, history museums and many bucolic villages.

Brittany village France_A storyelling home_Lea Plourde-Archer
I was there in the middle of the summer but the weather was mild, even cold sometimes. Rain forced us to stay in a few times but who can complain when the air is crisp and the view so beautiful?

Brittany coast France_A storytelling home_Lea

In terms of food, Brittany is a great place to sample many delicacies like seafood, crepes, cheese and kouign amman cake. It’s hard not to go overboard here!

France Brittany church_A storytelling Home_Lea Plourde-Archer

I only stayed there for a few days but I fell in love with what I got to see. Brittany is calm, charming, welcoming and what it lacks in urban life and movement, it compensates with the fascinating historical sites it houses and the wild natural beauty that can be found on its gorgeous coasts.

What is one travel destination you’ve been to that you would recommend to others?

Challenging food: how to use Swiss chard in recipes

Swiss chard is one pretty vegetable, with bright green leaves and stalks that grow in various shades of white, red, pink, orange or yellow.

Colorful stalk Swiss Chard_Lea_A Storytelling Home

Prior to setting sight on one of these multicolored bouquets, I’d never felt compelled to try to cook Swiss Chard because they had never been easily available to me.

Colorful Stalks Swiss Chard_Lea_A Storytelling Home

When we got some at the small market where I work, I immediately bought one bunch and decided to challenge myself in finding a way to use it in a recipe.

Here are two delicious and nutritious recipes that came out of it:

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