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In 2005 Lord Drollery and I took a cruise from Boston around Nova Scotia and into Quebec City, Canada. (We loved it so much we actually took the same cruise a second time in 2012. I highly recommend it. The shore excursions were fabulous.) I was especially excited because we were to meet some friends from Montreal with whom we’d become well acquainted since 2001.

I had met Serge (and through him his wife Roberta) on the Elvenhome website and we’d become fast friends. Always dressed in black, his character on the site, Damascus, was a Ranger from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. My character, Calensariel, was half-elven, and her color was definitely any shade of green. We had agreed to show up dressed in character. (See Play Date — Writing 101, Don’t Stop the Rockin’) I was a wee bit nervous but excited to meet Serge and Roberta in person at last.

The Chateau Le Frontenac taken from the top deck of our ship.

The Chateau Le Frontenac taken from the top deck of our ship.

The morning we docked in Quebec City, I was NOT prepared for the sight that awaited us as we went up to the top deck for breakfast. Looming over us like the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk was the Chateau Le Frontenac. It was such an impressive sight it left me giddy. It looked like an honest to goodness castle. Originally the residence of the British colonial governors of Lower Canada and Quebec, the Chateau is now a hotel and is generally recognized as the most photographed hotel in the world, largely for its prominence in the skyline of Quebec City.

Roberta, me, and Serge.

Roberta, me, and Serge.

After disembarking, we hurried to a nearby restaurant where we met our friends. We spent the day on a bus tour of Quebec City and the Isle of Orleans, and had dinner at a beautiful restaurant by the water. The next day we walked all over the city. What a beautiful old place it is. Very much like being in Europe, I’m told.

It was hard to say goodbye when the time came, but while we were waiting for our transport to the airport, we happened into a shop where I stumbled chateau-frontenac-quebecacross my favorite picture of all time. It was a reproduction of a painting by Canadian artist Claude Theberge. I was captured by the colors before I actually took in the details of the painting. It is so bright and beautiful that a picture on here doesn’t do it justice. There was the Chateau that had impressed me so much, and in the very foreground of the painting was a woman in green giving a hug to a man in a black hat and cape. The picture itself and the symbolism took my breath away, and there was no way I was going home without that painting…

I have searched all over the internet to find the name of this particular Theberge painting to no avail. But it will forever hold a special place in my heart as a memorial to one of the most magical adventures I’ve ever had.

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In response to The Happy Quitter’s Knock Knock Writing Challenge #3.

Write about your favorite painting. Why do you like it? What’s the story behind it, do you know? And why is it special to you?