Saturday, August 04, 2012
First Day in Montreal
BUT, in my tin can, I have always wanted to visit Canada. I don't know when it started but it started at a young age. I couldn't care less where in Canada because I didn't really _study_ Canada and I didn't know that Quebec wasn't a city but a province until much later in life, so I had no clue where Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or Calgary were in relation to where I was. Nonetheless, I'm here now.
My friend Rebecca, who is from Ottawa, gave me a quick course in the area and her mom's # (who is still in Ottawa) in case we got into any trouble. I have some really good friends. :)
You can see what a beautiful day it was too. We arrived about 4:30ish and the entire drive to get here was beautiful. I will document that later.
The city is beautiful. I LOVE cities. I love the country too. I love everything. But city-life is what I love most. I was in seventh-heaven in NYC; London was a brief but wondrous stay that I hope to go back to one day soon and Amsterdam was a dream too surreal to even believe it truly happened. Montreal is a close second to that stay in Amsterdam and the great thing is that it's much closer. I can see us coming back sooner than that second trip to Amsterdam.
It's a great, beautiful, goth-looking building called The Black Watch - Royal Highland Regiment of Canada. I found them on wikipedia and I love their history.
We stopped at this open window cafe to grab a drink. Rebecca warned me that Quebec is French and for the most part, everyone around us was entirely speaking in French. My other friend Sherry mentioned that she felt like her trip to this part of Canada felt very European and I'd have to agree and the French-speaking helps.
And let me just say, on an ugly-American stance, why the fuck we are so obnoxious about our language? Again, the whole redneck-Repfublican-stereotype: learn our language if you come to our country. That attitude just sickens me, especially when I go to countries like THIS (Amsterdam was another one). People greet in their native language and as soon as they realize we are not French-speaking, accommodate, in English, NICELY. There's no rolling-of-the-eyes, exasperated sighs, or any air of 'jeezus-fucking-christ. can't you learn our fucking language?' ESPECIALLY because we are obviously Americans, one of the most arrogantly-reputed nationalities in the world. And may I say FOR GOOD REASON???
Just for added bonus: our national language SHOULD have been some American Indian dialect. But it's not. And I think we should have dual-language. WE SHOULD KNOW SPANISH, mother-fuckers. And it should be _required_ language learning schools. In ALL of the United States. Even the racist ones.
This cafe was sooooo charming but it was also soooo fucking hot. I was so GD hot! It was a beautiful day but I was HOT.
I try to dress appropriately for a car ride because Tim keeps it freezing cold and I don't want to be freezing cold. So I had a light - like see-through - long-sleeved shirt and jeans in the car. But the fricking sun was on my side of the car ride and just beat down on me so I was slightly in an uncomfortable temperature zone.
Everyone around me, including my own family, appeared to deal with the heat just fine.
At one point, a homeless man came to the people that sat at the table in the picture next to the "window". The owner/worker came right out and angrily shooed him away. He just proceeded to the next table and again, was shooed away. That, of course, led to another bleeding heart Cindy discussion about feeling bad for the homeless guy and how I would have given him some of my food.
I also had a very small glass so together, it made for a lot of pours. And after all, was unable to finish it as hard as I tried. But the family refused to let me throw down the wine quickly.
Oh. The wine is chilled because it was hot as hell. The guy apologized, poured me the first glass and said "the first will be very, very hot but I will chill the rest for you". And yes, the first was very, very hot but he knew that one cannot wait for the wine to chill when one is ready to drink.
Afterward, CJ wanted to find a 'high-low' dress, so we stopped at a few shops on the walk back to the hotel. She found a great one and it just made me so happy to see her in it. She just looks so grown. But she's glowing and having fun and is excited about the Osheaga concert, which thrills me to bone.
The Pillars of the Earth is also one of my favorite books ever and it is about building cathedrals. This building reminds me of that...as well as where we went to eat later in the evening.
romenades Cathedrale, which is an underground mall. How cool is that?
The girls and Tim head over to the hotel swimming pool while I sit back and finish my book (while sipping on more wine - hey, I'm on vacation!). When they get back, we head back out for dinner.
The weather is much nicer now and I'm dressed with less clothing: shorts and my Fun. shirt. It's so beautiful. It's still light out but the traffic, both auto and pedestrian, is much lighter so we can enjoy the scenery at a slightly less hasty mode.
We end up eating at a place we drove by while we were stuck in traffic upon arrival. It was another beautiful, gothic-looking building, with yellow umbrella'd tables peppered around it. I loved the clash of old with new of that look. Plus, it was very European.
So all in all, first day and night in Montreal is wonderful. Just a sneak peek into the second day: we get the olympics LIVE. NBC: you suck. We watched Dong Dong of China win his Gold on the trampoline as it happened.