Not To Be Trusted With Knives

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Montreal

I can’t believe my trip to Montreal is over already!

On Saturday, we started the day with breakfast at Cora’s and then did some more shopping. Did I mention how freaking fashionable everyone in Montreal? We looked at lots of stuff, but didn’t buy a tonne – I only bought a few accessories1, as I didn’t have a lot of room in my suitcase and had to leave room for Christmas presents that my family brought for me so they wouldn’t have to ship them, plus a case of spruce beer, which, as far as I can tell, you can only buy in Quebec. Mmmm, spruce beer. But I’m getting ahead of myself. My mom bought some clothes and my sister got a hat at Ogilvy’s and stuff for my niece for her birthday and a few other things at Forever 212.

Sleeping ThomasMy poor nephew – he was so tired out from all the shopping!

After shopping, we headed out to my mom’s cousin’s Susan’s place in LaSalle, where we got to see my Auntie Maureen, Auntie Barbara, Uncle Michael, and my mom’s other cousin, Leanne. It was great to see them – I haven’t seen my aunts and uncle since my last visit in 2005, my mom’s cousin Leanne in many, many more years than that, and we think I might never have met my mom’s cousin Susan before! If I have, I would have been very little. We had a tonne of fun – had a great time catching up, ate a delicious meal from a Greek restaurant, the name of which I must have asked 16 times but I still can’t remember what it was, and had a super delicious birthday cake that my Auntie Barbara made for my mom. I’d love to show you a picture of it, but my camera batteries died, so we were taking photos with my mom’s camera, but it uses some sort of proprietary Sony card instead of an SD card, so I couldn’t get the photos off the camera. My mom said she’ll get my dad to email them to me when she gets home, so I’ll post them once I get them. In the meantime, picture a cake shaped like a book, with little mini books on top, plus two bookworms in the shape of a “6” and a “5.” Adorable! And did I mention delicious?

While in LaSalle, we also picked up some spruce beer at the grocery store. Spruce beer, for the uninitiated, is a type of pop that, as far as I can tell, you can only get in Quebec. I remember my Grandpa Snow making us spruce beer ice cream floats when we were kids3. It tastes like drinking a spruce tree and I’m sure it’s absolutely disgusting to anyone else but I *love* it so much!

Spruce beer!

The next morning, my mom, sister, and nephew were going to leave mid-morning, as they had a long drive back to Toronto ahead of them. But I may have pointed out that we hadn’t yet had a Montreal smoked meat sandwich and that I’d just go get one by myself before I headed to the airport for my 3 pm flight. And my sister may have taken pity on me and so the stuck around a bit longer! We had a lovely coffee at Cafe Java U and then went to Reuben’s for smoked meat. I have “Have a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s” on my list of 101 things to do because I’d mistakenly thought that Schwartz’s was the place we used to go to get smoked meat when I was a kid. As it turns out, we used to go to Adam’s in LaSalle and Gregory’s in Verdun, neither of which exist anymore. And since the sentiment of the “smoked meat” item on my 101 list was to go to the place we used to go for nostalgia reasons, it makes the Schwartz’s part less important and so I’m counting “having smoked meat in Montreal” as “achieved” on my 101 list!

Beth & her smoked meat sandwichMe and my delicious Montreal smoked meat sandwich.

My smoked meat sandwich was exactly as I remembered them to be. Giant and delicious. The fries were a bit of a disappointment – I remember the fries we used to get with the smoked meat sandwiches when I was a kid were chunky and freshly made, whereas these were thin and clearly from a bag in a freezer – but the sandwich itself more than made up for that. And the coleslaw and the pickle totally completed the meal! My sister ordered a slice of cheesecake which was insanely huge and we shared it, plus she had some left over to take home. Also, freaking delicious.

And after that, it was time to hit the road. My family dropped me off a the airport, which was on their way home to Toronto, and I hopped onto my plane, which also happened to be going to Toronto, as I had to catch a connecting flight to Vancouver from there. And I nearly missed my plane in Toronto, because there were so many people with too much carry on luggage4 that the flight attendants took a good 15 minutes to figure out where to put it all and I only had a 45 minute turnaround time at YYZ! I ran from the gate where my Montreal flight landed to the gate where my Vancouver flight was leaving from and, happily, arrived just as the last of the passengers were boarding. We had the same issue of too much carry on luggage on this flight, so we were delayed about 10 minutes while everyone tried to stuff their luggage in to the overhead compartments, so I hope that gave my checked bag enough time to make it’s way on this plane! (Oh yes, I’m writing this on my flight from Toronto to Vancouver and will post it when I get home)

Anyhoo, I’m home now and I’m freaking tired! I’ve been fully adapted to Ontario time (i.e., living in the future) since I got to Ottawa and went to bed super duper early, so it feels like it’s three hours later than it is here in Pacific time (a.k.a., the past). I’m hoping that being on Ontario’s future time will help make it easier for me to get up early in the morning!

Other random stuff:

  • There’s a place in Montreal called “Club Super Sexe.” True story. Here’s a picture to prove it:
    Club Super Sexe, Montreal
  • Did I mention how fashionable everyone is in Montreal?
  • Did I mention how excited I am to drink my spruce beer?
  • I did, in fact, convince my mom to have a Caesar so that I could try it. Verdict: delicious!
  • I really do love Montreal, even in spite of its frigid temperatures. I hope I don’t have to wait another six years before I go back!

Aunt Beth & Thomas Thomas and I came prepared for the cold Montreal weather with our matching hats!

  1. Two pairs of earrings, two bras, and two headbands, to be exact []
  2. Yes, we realize that they have Forever 21 in both Toronto and Vancouver. Minor details []
  3. Both my parents grew up in Montreal and we have relatives from both sides of my family who still live there, so whenever someone would go back to Montreal to visit, they’d bring back spruce beer []
  4. Which ticks me off, because I had to leave behind some of the Christmas presents my sister brought for me because I couldn’t fit them in my bag, what with all the spruce beer and the other Christmas presents. But if I’d known they’d let me walk on with three giant carry on bags despite the rules saying you only get two carry on bags, like I saw another lady do, I’d have done that too! []

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Adventures in Adventuring

Dr. Dan mentioned this on his blog the other day, but I feel compelled to confirm that, in fact, October 19th will mark The Great Drs. Beth & Dan Victoria Adventure of 2011!

You see, Dr. Dan is going to Victoria to give an invited guest lecture on his science-y brain thoughts at a high falutin’ stats conference. And seeing as he is flying all the way to Victoria, I figured the least I could do is take a day off to join him on said Island for adventure-y fun times. In fact, Dr. Dan has a stopover in Vancouver and I am going to hop on his plane for the trip over to the Island, spend the day adventuring, and then hop on a flight back to the mainland first thing in the morning1. Adventures may involve beautiful scenery, great food, tasty beverages, and, with any luck, some hottie sightings. Also, I have it on good authority that sumptuous robes may be involved.

In addition, as the calendar of Nerdidays tells me, October 20th is World Stats Day. I cannot explain in words how excited I am to be able to spend World Stats Day Eve with my favourite statistician!

  1. Thanks to a fortuitous seat sale, it’s about the same price for me to fly to Victoria as it would be to take my car on the ferry! And certainly much, much faster! []