Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Je Reviens a Montreal!

It's similar to the title of the song by Robert Charlebois (his is Je Reviendrai a Montreal, meaning "I WILL return") that Eric always likes to crank up on the stereo whenever he returns home, but quite frankly I'm getting to know it so well now that we both sang along really loud from the privacy of our hire-car as we drove from the Port Vieux (hey, my French IS getting better!) into downtown, and on to Saint. Sauveur where his dad lives.

The home of my favourite treat, Maple syrup (sirop d’erable) is in plentiful supply here. I love these frozen versions, you wait ‘til it begins to thaw, grab your lolly stick embedded in you treat, and chew! Our first trip after picking up the car was to Mont Royal (Mount Royal), with Eric’s mum. It’s a beautiful park on the mountain, where you can walk, jog or collect the falling leaves that are turning gorgeous shades of yellow, orange and red at this time of year. We walked to the terrace with great views over downtown, where between two buildings you can usually see the ship (that’s how used to docking here we are now!)
The squirrels here are seriously tame, if you talk to them they approach you, obviously thinking you’ll feed them. I struggled to convince myself not to feed them however cute they are.
This red squirrel was actually seen in Quebec, but I loved watching him as he checked if the coast was clear, worked out his straight path, then dived back into the trash can, grabbed his prize (a muffin case) and ran like the wind to safety!
Eric’s mum came back to the ship with us, and we went for a girlie chat in the Palm Court, before our run-through of the 50’s show.
Later that night Eric and I drove up North, to Saint-Sauver. I love driving at night, it must remind me of childhood road-trips to visit my grandparents or something. We listened to Michael Brecker on CD (in our CD player no less!) all the way, plus we stopped at a gas station for beef Jerky, chips and sugar-fixes. Ah, the small pleasures in life!
Hey, check out the Paint-your-own Jack O’Lantern pumpkins in grocery stores! I received this parcel from my Mum, she sent it for my Birthday to Canada (yes, I’m a year older, I’m trying to be positive about it!) and I bought this Bear-Cub (Burr Cub!) postcard to send to her as a Thankyou note. This is the TV listing of my Birthday onboard the ship. Thanks, captain.
We were fed a homemade chicken pie which Eric made short work out of, and slept in Eric’s bed at his Dad and Celine’s place, the best sleep I’ve had in ages.
The next morning, Eric cooked me pancakes, sausages and maple-syrup before driving me to Doncaster Park for the walk to see the changing leaves that he promised me.
Here’s our map, we’re being shown a 45-minute walk, a more challenging route that takes us alongside a stream.
Look, even Eric got bitten by a mosquito! But I thought it was a nice touch that he dressed so as to coordinate with his surroundings.
A kissing picture! How did that get in here?
The colours were beautiful. The leaves are turning, as I was promised they would be.
Here’s Eric by water. Look below him, yes, there’s a rock. Here he is again. I should’ve known. I turned my back and about thirty seconds later I heard a plaintive cry
“Becky…..Becky!” he’d tried to get to the rock, and gotten his feet very wet.
Apparently I'm obsessed with red squirrels, this one was just chilling with us in the park.
Back at the ship, Eric’s Dad Jean and Celine came onboard. Here we are, a bit tired but happy.
Eric’s friends, from left to right, Marc, J.P., Martin, Guillome, Julie and Melanie arrived later and they all stayed to watch the Welcome Aboard Show. This is truly embarrassing for me, because in the opening number I walk down through the house to the stage, wearing a practically see-through peche leotard, and a wig we’ve fondly named the “Soccer Mom”. Mmmm.
After both shows, Eric fulfilled another promise, to take me out for the best poutine I’ve ever had. This is his 24-hour, poutine joint of choice. Look at the selection!
Here’s my 3 Amigos Poutine, with 3 different types of Mexican sausage in addition to the fries, gravy and squeaky curd cheese typical of poutines. This is an excellent example. I forget what Eric chose, but he was pretty happy with it as you can see.
After our midnight mega-snack, Eric drove me to the lookout (read: make-out) spot. There was a great surprise awaiting a tourist like me, Racoons!
They really do look like their cartoon versions, I used to watch a show called the Getalong Gang when I was young and the racoon was always my favourite.
They were almost aggressive, Eric tempted them with a piece of paper and they weren’t happy when they realized they’d been tricked. I have a sneaky suspicion the racoons on the hill have become addicted to marijuana. I distinctly heard a woman yell “No, not my joint!” and when I turned around, I saw at least ten raccoons encircling the woman, fighting ferociously for the dropped article. Pot-head raccoons, what is the world coming to?
This is a racoon in a garbage can, I was too scared to try and re-take the picture! Here he is again. They’re big, and they’re living off our junk-food, folks!

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