Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vacation, Phase Two: Montreal

Let's see . . . where did I leave off yesterday?

Oh, yes, arriving in Montreal. Well. The first thing I noticed upon crossing the Quebec border -- was:


Yes, Virginia, they DO speak French in Quebec. Huh. Who wudda thunk? AND, they have different money. I admit, I was unreasonably excited to see Canadian money come out of the ATM -- like that was NORMAL or something.

But I think we have managed quite nicely, thank you very much. When we got here last night, we stumbled into a restaurant from our Lonely Planet guide with a beer list longer than the menu. In case you don't know, we refer to such a circumstance as Lewis Family Heaven.

And the food menu? Mussels. A long, long list of different kinds of mussels, all you can eat. They brought our mussels out in something that can really only be described as a stockpot, and we dug in.

And kept digging. Very, very yummy dinner. Very, very full Lewis bellies.

Our little hotel room is, as I mentioned previously, over a jazz club, where the Montrealers partied like rock stars into the wee hours, with some great music floating up to our room. I don't even think of myself as a jazz fan, but I'm liking this. Oh, and our hotel room has a Murphy bed. How cool is that? It also has a teeny little kitchenette with a microwave, coffee maker, toaster oven, stove and refigerator, all tucked into a teeny little closet. I love it, and have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out how I could live in such a small space.

Today, we hauled ourselves all over the city, exploring. We visited the Notre Dame Basilica:

People, I know this picture is crappy, but this is a CHURCH. Made me fervently wish I was Catholic, if only so I could light a candle. If I were Catholic, and I knew you, I'd light a candle for you at the slightest provocation. They're just so glimmery and glowy -- who could resist?

We saw some pretty buildings of important historical stuff:

We saw flame-jugglers and sword-swallowers out in the street and somehow neglected to get a picture.

We saw a punk/goth/strange people festival where a guy was wearing a condom costume, and . . . you guessed it . . . somehow neglected to get a picture.

And we viewed Montreal from their big park-on-a-hill . . .

. . . where we also witnessed the feeding of some little French-speaking raccoons.

As an interesting aside, we also came very close to getting a French language traffic ticket from a French-speaking cop when we illegally turned left in violation of the French sign prohibiting such activity.

My defense was going to be that we actually turned while speaking English, so it didn't count.

Todd didn't have much of a defense, but he did happen to have his driver's license in an ID holder with his badge. The cop asked what it was, and we realized we don't know the word for "prosecutor" in French. The cop finally asked, "You don't DEFEND CRIMINALS, do you?"

Why, HECK no. Who on earth would do such a thing? Not us, certainly. No sirree-bob. We are very anti-criminal in the Lewis household. We eat criminals for breakfast, you know.

So he let us go. Whew. We survived the near-ticket experience, and were able to enjoy our delicious dinner (Peruvian restaurant -- I don't think I've ever eaten that before, but I can say it was excellent), sans French handcuffs.

For tomorrow, we have some definite plans. Goals, even. But I am sore afraid of jinxing those plans, so I won't mention them at all. You'll just have to tune in for an update tomorrow.


supermommysquared said...

I am having so much fun reading about your trip, that I can't even imagine how much fun it must be to experience! Keep it coming, but I am a little pissed about the absence of condom-guy's pic. :)

Jonathan's Mommy said...

Seriously, I agree with Heather. This is a great post and all, but where the hell is the picture of the condom guy?

Can I PLEASE come with you guys on your next vacation?? This just sounds like too much fun!

Bryan said...

It sounds like a call to the AGs in order, perhaps an investigation of the raccoons being fed as well. JBF

sister Kim said...

I'm having a blast hearing of your wonderful vacation, really, how do you send me sunsets and not the condom guy, that would be the most interesting thing in New Castle for sure.