Sunday, August 26, 2012

Travel As Equals

One of the great things about living where we do is you can drive a few hours away and literally be in another country. Our trip to Montreal was fun and quick. We did a ton of walking, which was a little rough on my mom. It was good to see my brother and his wife, who flew in from Milwaukee. A few observations from the four day trip:

  • It's a tense time in Quebec, which is gearing up for a big election on Sept. 4. The Parti Quebecois, which in the past has called for Quebec to secede from the rest of Canada, is leading in the polls. There was a big debate Sunday night when we arrived in town, and the signs are everywhere, along with the corresponding graffiti on said signs. It's unclear whether PQ will push for another referendum on secession; it's happened in the past in 1980 and 1995 and was shot down, albeit by a very close margin last time. Doesn't make any sense to me, especially in these economic times. We'll see what happens.
  • We visited the Montreal BioDome (no signs of Pauly Shore anywhere), which replicated the various ecosystems of North America, complete with vegetation and animals. One of the exhibits featured bats in a cave, which was ironic since we got home and two days later (last night) a bat appeared in our living room. I spent a half  hour trying to knock it down with a broom before I finally was able to smack it and knock it silly; we then relocated it to the outdoors. The last time we were blessed with a bat was four years ago; hopefully it'll at least be that long before another one gets in.
  • On Wednesday, we walked a mile from our hotel up to Mount Royal, which is a big hill/national park that you can climb and look out over the entire city. It was pretty cool. We later walked down to Old Montreal for a cruise and then dinner. Deb estimated that we walked about six miles that day. Incidentally, as we were walking back to the hotel after going to Mount Royal, we stumbled upon a demonstration in the park across from the hotel. Apparently, this happens on the 22nd of every month as students protest against various societal ills (tuition hikes, animal abuse, etc.). It actually extended throughout the city, as we discovered in Old Montreal (see photos for some evidence of this).
  • The drive back was uneventful...until we were 20 minutes from home and Lily puked in the back row of the minivan. Poor kid. She gets carsick every so often. Oh well. Good to be home.

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