Sunday, November 6, 2016

What I Did

You were all just desperate to know what I did in Montreal, weren't you? No? Well, I'll tell you anyway.

I got lost.

I mean that in a literal sense, actually, because I have the worst sense of direction ever, and I didn't even have a map of the city. I had a map to get to the city, which was only helpful until I crossed the St. Lawrence River, at which point the detours started and I had to follow signs that looped me hither and yon, around and around, and possibly to Narnia. It was insane.

Eventually, however, the detour ended and I managed to work my way back to the street I actually wanted to be on. After parking, I got out of the car and found myself by the Ritz Carlton Montreal. Which meant I was in the fancy hotel district and, shortly, the fancy shopping district.

I have little interest in Cartier, however, so I just started walking along one of the main thoroughfares, marveling at the quantities of stores and the frenzy of consumption on display.

Obviously, I am not the consumer the business community of Montreal is hoping will visit. I didn't see a single store that sold snow pants or Secrets of Eskimo Skin Sewing, both of which were in my latest Amazon Prime order.

I did see, however, the Barbie Expo, mostly because the building that houses it also has a public bathroom. Let me tell you, nothing prepares you for the sight of all the Twilight characters rendered as Barbie and Ken. There was also a particularly strange Barbie dressed as a lion that I'm pretty sure would give a kid nightmares.

Anyway. Onward!

I walked until I found myself by Christ Church Cathedral, which is certainly worth seeing. Apparently, Mark Twain commented that you couldn't throw a brick in Montreal without breaking a church window. It might not be strictly true in the present day, but there are certainly a plethora of churches. I only went into two this time (I also went inside the Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral), but I passed at least half a dozen.

At one point when I got really lost, I also stumbled upon an imposing stone building whose engraving told me it belonged to the Black Watch, the 5th Highland Regiment. It didn't seem to have any activity around it, and didn't have any informational sign or anything, but I did see a man swipe a pass card to get in the front door, so I figured it was still in use as their headquarters or something and moved on. But now, looking it up, I see that it's actually a museum currently closed for renovation.

I also ate a chocolate-filled croissant, flank steak with shallots and French fries and a glass of wine, and some gelato--not all at the same time--and stopped in two places to finish the book I'd brought along*. Then I managed to find my car again and set back off for a 30-minute tour of random outlying Montreal neighborhoods, a.k.a. the Route 138 detour.

I got home just as the family was finishing dinner. Later when I asked A. how his day was, he said, "Oh, you know. It was kind of boring. We ate some things from the refrigerator, the house got messier and messier . . ."

Yup. My daily life in twenty words or less.

It was a good day, though. Sometimes getting lost is just what you need.

* The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, which is the last in the All Souls trilogy and a REALLY heavy book to be carting around a city all day.


Anonymous said...

So glad that you had a good trip, despite getting lost. I remember that it's quite easy to get lost in Montreal! Mary in MN

mil said...

A person who will go to Montreal without a proper map is a person of great faith (I guess that's what all the churches are for) AND a person of great courage. Maybe it's time for a phone with GPS. Or a map.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

MiL: The city of Montreal kindly provides kiosks with detailed maps at the intersections of all the major streets in the tourist areas. Those, along with the fact that although my sense of direction is abysmal my memory of where I've actually been is detailed, were enough to navigate me back to my car. That was all I really required. Maps and I don't get along, anyway, so I didn't need to be carrying one with me.

tu mere said...

Got to love a Cathedral named Mary, Queen of the World. I love Cathedrals, so I'm jealous. Can't wait to plan a rip to both see y'all and Montreal - hey, that rhymes - may be with one or two kids tagging along for good measure.

So happy you got to spend a full day with just yourself for company. Hope it felt as good as it sounded, although a GPS would have been mighty helpful. Maps are for A.

Anonymous said...

So glad you got a day to yourself to breath, unwind, enjoy being with yourself , food on your own, more than two quiet seconds to read, getting lost..finding your way! Good for you!