joy magnetism: In the neighborhood

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In the neighborhood

Magnet #971 - Montreal

How is it remotely possible that I haven't magnetblogged our five hours in Montreal?

This Saturday, I'm taking my cousin for a daytrip up to Boston to look at colleges. She should be careful because my last daytrip to Boston with a roadtripper friend of mine, we ended up in Montreal - mostly because "we were in the neighborhood."

Actually, that's how I end up in most places on this Earth, because if there's one thing my parents taught us, it's to make sure to see what's in the neighborhood. Especially since you're already there. Sounds reasonable, right?

Um, yeah. My dad's definition of "in the neighborhood" is generally anything within a five-hour drive.

Mind you, Montreal was totally not in the neighborhood of a daytrip between Boston and New York, but hey, when you have a car, you better use it. So, about halfway home from Boston, I gave a heads up to my dad - from a payphone at a Connecticut rest area, natch (it was 1998 or 2001 - the weekend that either From the Earth to the Moon or Band of Brothers debuted. What?) - and told him we were Montreal-bound. He said laughed his ass off, but said, Sure! You have the car anyway.

Off we went, traipsing through the Adirondacks in the dead of night - all alone on the dark highways. We got to some hotel just at the Canadian border at like 3 or 4, got up at like 6 or 7 and drove into Montreal. Honestly, I don't even know why we bothered to get a hotel, but I guess with two girls in their early 20s, safety's key. (Though, don't tell that to my old college roomie who got us kicked out of her boyfriend's UNC-Wilmington dorm room in the middle of the night, forcing us to sleep in the car at the beach.)

Anyway, Montreal. Dudes. On a Sunday morning? Nothing's open. And, of course, we hadn't done our homework, so we had to rely on the information center to give us ideas. Of course, we had to wait til it opened...which meant we had a couple of hours to kill til about 9. Oops.

We drove around and read all the signs - aloud, in French, allowing me to practice my three years of HS French. We visited Old Montreal, and some mall, and then went up to the observation point at Mont Royal Park (that I just learned was landscaped by Frederick Law Olmstead) to get the views of town, which was gorgeous. I suppose in four hours, there's really only so much you can do, but we had to leave by early afternoon, so that we could get home at a decent hour for work the next day.

Sigh. We should have ditched work the next day in favor of a Quebec sidetrip to the Montreal sidetrip to Boston, n'est pas?
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