I left New York early on Thursday morning for what was supposed to be a 10 hour train ride up through Upstate New York to Montreal, Quebec, but we were stopped at customs for nearly 2 hours, so I arrived in the Montreal nearly 2 hours late. Fred came to pick me up and whisked me off to his house in the country, about an hour and 15 minutes outside of the city.
Friday, we spent some time out by the lake next to the house, just enjoying the weather. It is quite nice to get out of the city for a little bit. As much as I love NYC, I thought it was really cool to see a real beaver dam and some happy, lazy cows grazing in the countryside. Friday night, we met up with Mark, another friend from Japan who is now living in downtown Montreal. We went to an excellent Vietnamese restaurant for dinner where you can bring your own wine and not have to pay a corkage fee – a fantastic idea we need to implement in restaurants south of the border. Then we walked around a bit, looking for places to get a drink, and we ended up at this rooftop terrace of a bar. The terrace itself was pretty cool, but the sangria we ordered with frighteningly sweet and the crowd was like, tragic or something. Lots of short, short men and some high school kids mixed in. A hilarious parade of oompa-loompas and jailbait. Fun!
This morning, we went to get some brunch and then headed to a suburban shopping mall, more to enjoy the free air-conditioning than anything else. Shopping malls, that cultural nexus that unites us all across this vast continent, from North to South, East to West!
I will upload some picts later when I get a chance. Stay tuned!