Adventures in Montreal…

Well, we’re finally here, and I’m finally settled enough to sit down and write a blog…for the first time in a couple weeks! Preparing for a trip is a nightmare for me, so most things get put on hold while I contemplate things like packing and travel arrangements.

But now I’m here! And it’s wonderful! The baby is with Grandma and Grandpa, so I’m free to live in my own little (Regency) world for a few days.

Since it was cold and rainy yesterday, I spent most of the day in my hotel room, staring out at the rain while reading Regency Christmas stories for the upcoming Danby Christmas Summons anthologies. To say these stories are putting me in the mood (and by mood I mean Regency mood…get your mind out of the gutter!!) would be an understatement. I’ve felt so whimsical and romantic these last couple days – a feeling I don’t get to feel very often with a 20-month-old underfoot at home.

Last night, I donned my new empire waisted top, (all flowy and chiffon-y, but cut to make “the girls” look like a million bucks) and I couldn’t help but think of myself as a Regency heroine, mingling at the ball, dining with handsome lords, but having eyes for only one, of course 😉 I ate too much and drank just enough to make me say something scandalous. Okay, fine…almost everything out of my mouth was scandalous. I know, I’m such a rebel.

I woke up this morning after a great night’s sleep and decided, since it was a beautiful sunny day, to venture out into Montreal. Now, I’ve been here twice before, but we always stayed in Old Montreal, which I know pretty well. This year, we’re downtown. And I know nothing about downtown. Still, I was pretty confident in my navigational abilities as I set out on my walk.

I crossed the street toward the restaurant we went to last night and kept going, reading menus and window shopping along the way. I came to a cafe, but I wasn’t ready to sit and have another coffee, so I turned right toward what looked like a park. It was! I found the fountain in the middle and nestled onto a bench in the sunshine, opened my iPad and began to read the next story on my list. And that’s when the fun began…

The smoke of a particular herb wafted my way and enveloped me in its skunky goodness. I looked to my left and saw the culprits – two middle-aged men, totally strung out, toting that joint like there was no tomorrow. The older of the two departed for another bench where another middle aged man and a middle aged woman joined in the fun, while the younger man stayed near me. He walked around the fountain, stared into it as if it held all the answers to the meaning of life, took his shirt off, put it back on, took it off again…you get the picture.

And then, just as a gaggle of nursery school children came through the courtyard, tethered to their teachers, the police arrived. They left my weird-o guy alone, but the other three were thoroughly searched, cuffed and carted off. With the police gone and the strung-out guy still hanging around, I decided it was time for me to go.

So I exited the other side of the park and started walking…and walking…and walking…

Until I was certain I had no idea where I was. I didn’t have the convenience of 3G, either, since it would cost me $15/minute on data roaming, so I just had to keep walking.

I passed by some exciting things, like this cupcakery, which NYCupcakeGuide will certainly return to for tasting purposes. And some not-so-exciting things, like construction and slums.

But then, at last, like a shining beacon in the darkness (except it was broad daylight), I saw a map! Just a random map on the edge of the sidewalk with a large red arrow that said “Vous etes ici.” Okay, it didn’t really say that, but I figured that’s what it meant.

After carefully studying it for a few minutes, heading off confidently and then turning back once more to make sure I should be confident in my confidence, I turned left at the next street, walked a block or two and VOILA! Behold, the cafe I had passed more than an hour earlier, right near the hotel. Not only did they have coffee, but they had a bathroom, which I needed desperately.

Finally, I was able to return to the Regency Christmas story I was reading. *sigh*

I hope to have more adventures to report tomorrow!


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