Here in Québec, where winter is nearly seven months long, you have to savor the fleeting sweet of summer. And Québecers certainly do.
On that first occasion when the temperature hits 65°F – usually a day in mid-April – they emerge by the thousands for a drink in a sidewalk cafe. The snow is not entirely gone, but the sun is high and warm in the sky, reason enough to greet the season with an amber ale or a savory rosé. Deprived of natural warmth since the previous fall, they soak in the sun and revel in the free heat.
When the swelter of mid-summer sets in, Québecers head toward the water. Maybe they have a sailboat at the Bassin Louise. With an incomparable view of Old Québec, they while away the afternoon hours as the boat rocks gently in the breeze. Others go to lakeside chalets with family and friends. Fishing, campfires, hot dogs and guimauves are on the menu, as they distance themselves from the hustle and bustle of their urban lives. Or they simply sit beside their backyard pool, feet in the water, eyes intent on a long-procrastinated book. Yes, Québecers have pools, more of them per capita than the Sunshine State itself. This fact alone speaks to the abandon with which Québecers devote themselves to summer.
On this last day of August, the leaves are already starting to change…