My family is full of traditions and surprises. One of my favorite traditions takes place in “another world.”

For the past nine years, my family has taken a special trip during our Mardi Gras break. For those of you that don’t know Mardi Gras, it is a holiday that celebrates the last day before the Lenten season begins. It’s a French word meaning, “Fat Tuesday” and is mostly celebrated in Louisiana. It is full of parades, floats and family traditions. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, can get wild very fast. It is a time where there is so much going on that it can be too much at times. Many people love this time of year, but my family looks for a way to escape it. Our destination is beautiful and cold, and where we live the temperature can be hot for this time of year. We have made so many friends in our travels that we just can’t seem to pull away. Our amazing place is Canada.

Our trip first began when my parents enrolled my sister and I in the French Immersion Program at one of our local public schools. They soon realized we would only practice the language at school.

They wanted to take us somewhere where we could speak French, learn to be independent and learn other cultures. One place immediately popped in their heads: Canada.

My parents have been to Canada more times than we can all count. They realized we would love it there. So when the decision was final, we were
on the next flight out–in the middle of February.

At that time of year in Canada it is so cold! We have to bundle up so much that we look like snowmen! Even though by the end of each day we are numb from head to toe, it is still our favorite experience.


The first part of our excursion is Montréal. Montréal is one of the biggest cities in Canada.

It has many beautiful parks, colleges and tasty foods like poutines (french fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy). Montréal always has an open festival or party we can attend, and it is always fun to participate. Montréal’s busy streets will never be empty.

The second, last and my favorite part of our journey is Québec City. The hotel we always stay at is called Le Château Frontenac. It is an elaborate castle that sits in the middle of the older part of the city. It has many cute shops and delicious restaurants in walking distance. The city hosts many activities that are open for anyone, such as art galleries, toboggan rides, and a trip down to the lower city using the Funiculaire, which is kind of like an enclosed escalator.

Exploring the magnificent city of Quebec is like walking through a winter wonderland. Snow litters the open grounds and the breath out of your mouth and nose is crisp and pure. Quebec is more rural than Montréal, leaving piles and piles of snow you can hear crunching under your snow boots.

But eventually, there is a time to leave.

It is sad, but I always pray that I will be back the next year. Au revoir Canada. J’espère que je vais te voir l’année prochaine.


Á quoi sert la vie si on ne sait pas l’apprécier comme elle nous ai donnée.

“Á quoi sert la vie si on ne sait pas l’apprécier comme elle nous ai donnée.”

Isabella Anderson is eleven years old and loves the following: Italian sausage, traveling, the months of November and December and guinea pigs. She lives in Scott, LA with her parents, Timmy and Kristi, younger sister, Harper, a cool cat, Oliver, and her guinea pig, Nibbi. Bella is fluent in French and moved to middle school last August.


Mr. Mardi by Harper E. Anderson

In the spirit of living in South Louisiana, I have painted Mr. Mardi dressed as a voodoo man. The colors in the painting are dull, yet vibrant and they reflect the Mardi Gras time celebrated with all the masks and costumes creeping through the streets.

Harper is 9 years old, fluent in French and loves to draw and paint.