Thursday, 28 June, 2012
Before I forget, Nici insists on it being mentioned that - up to now - she has only got food once on her clothes! Yeah
Thursday morning, Antoine woke us up and we got ready to leave the day! Due to bad weather being predicted, we decided not to go all the way the Charlevoix and spend the night there, instead - Jouvence! A holiday place in the middle of the woods, the place Antoine had gone to for years with his family.
I slept in the car, we drove through a postcard landscape and arrived at Jouvence. Antoine gave us a tour of the place - very chouette!!! - and then it already was time for the lunch buffet (great food btw).
After a big lunch we went into the forest. This place is like paradise for kids and for grown up kids as well! There are games hidden all over the place in the forest. Antoine had stated to know the place like his jacketpocket and ended up not knowing where to find the Tarzan Swing haha but we did find it in the end. Oh my gosh, that thing is soo much fun - I think I would have liked to play in the movie Tarzan haha. We took turn swinging about and almost swinging into trees. We then passed the swing to some little kids and went back to the gigantic lake, got changed and got into a Kayak. Everybody who is at Jouvence can take a Kayak, a Kanoo or a Sailboat at any time! Of course life vests are provided and obligatory.
Since there were only Kayaks for two people (or single ones), I sat on the back and tadaaaa it was a Kayak for three! Eventhough the sky was full of clouds and it was windy, the sun was beginning to heat things up and the water was not as cold as expected. Yes, the first time Antoine pushed me in, it was cold but then it was very comfortable. We paddled far out to a little cottage out in the woods, very vey very nice interior, where groups can stay. There is not heating, no toilet, the water is from the lake etc. Antoine and I have thought of going there with a big gang from JFP (need at least 15 people).
Nici had stayed on the peer, when Antoine and I went to look at the house and when we got back, she had taken our boat out to a little platform and was lying in the sun. We refused to swim out to her and we finally got the Kayak back - without the oars - and I managed to fall extremely elegant while getting into the stupid thing. AUA - my poor foot! Earlier Nici had told Antoine that she was quite a bit more clumsy than me, after my fall quote Nici: "Maybe it really is you, the clumsy one!" (thank you...)
Obviously, when we all were on the platform, we just had to try to push Antoine into the water - the temptation was to large! The thing is, he is just too strong! We do not stand a chance, how fair is that??
Back at the beach we lay in the sun, got changes, played cards and then had dinner. After dinner we played frisbee and kept throwig it either in the sand or in the water! Somebody kept messing up until we said, that after the next frisbee is not caught, we will leave. Ohooo, then we all got so good! We added, that the person, who dropped the frisbee was to give a massage at one of the other two. I ended up losing (Nici threw an uncatchable one!!!) and then Antoine and Nici played again, Nici won, so I am going to give her a massage Maybe she will forget?? Somehow, I doubt that a lot! Haha
On the way back home we watched a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful sunset!!! The variety of the colours, the clouds, the full, round sun - simply perfect.
Upon arrival, we met Viviane by chance and said good-bye to her and then went almost straight to bed.
What a wonderful day! I really enjoyed myself and Nici did too!What a nice idea it was to go there
Wednesday, 27 June, 2012
How nice and how well deserved - un jour tranquille! By the time I had had breakfast, Nici was still rolling out of bead. The weather was not the best so we could not do our half plannes bike trip, instead we played some Mario Cart and then went shopping after lunch, since Nice and I had offered to make dinner. Menu (Nici's idea of course): filled aubergines with rise.
Obviouly we needed Aubergines but for some strange reason all of the stoors near by (2) decided to tease us and did not have any anymore! Did you know that Baiser is not known here?? Strange... Anyway, we (Lucy) ended up calling a different store still and asking, before we drove down there and got the last 3 aubergines! I bet everyone decided to buy and eat aubergines, just because we wanted some
Well, back in our room with all the grocery's in the kitchen and put away, I fell asleep on Antoine's bed and Nici chilled. Dinner was cooked soon after, I made chocolate chip cookies and the salad, whereas Nici did magic with the Aubergines, filling and chutey! Lucy was soooo happy!! Apparently the guys never cook for her. He really enjoyed having somebody else cook and she liked the food as well. The others did to and so did I haha
After dinner Antoine left for Sophie to talk with Vivane, the two of them had had a little dispute. Nici and I got Renee to help us get to bikes ready, drew Antoine a little map with a note so he could join us later and left for a little trip to the riverbank. We played cards and talked, Antoine had come to join us but was incapable of finding us - dommage! It still was a very nice outing and we talked to some people as well.
It felt good just having a quiet day - alarm set for the day outing to jouvence the next day!
Tuesday, 26 June, 2012
I had set my alarm, because we were maybe going to meet with Danys for breakfast. Unfortunatly that did not work out but I hope and am sure that we will be able to meet up again before I leave, even if he is gone at the moment... I let Nici sleep and I don't think she minded because she slept for a long time In the end, we had to hurry to be on time for our timed entrance to the Star Wars exhibition. Antoine was so kind as to take us to the metro and everything worked out well!
We were able to walk right passt the long line of people wanting to buy tickets, since we already had ours - glee haha and finally, after standing in line with everybody else for the 12am entrance, were admitted to the show. Our equipment: a bracelet, a necklace and an earpiece. Okay, the bracelet was electronic and saved information, the necklace was a receiver and the earpiece enabled us to hear things.
The exhibition itself is really really well done!! There are sketches from the filmmaker, there are costums, masks, figures - all original. And there were many interactive stations. With the reciever around our neck we could stand infront of certain things and then hear information. There were videos that worked the same way. The idea of the bracelet was to create our own star wars identity. I won't tell you too much, because maybe this exhibition will travel check out the link to read my story: http://www.starwarsidentities.com/hero/en-ca/4fe9f97dae4d5
After spending at least 1 1/2 hours there we left and started our search for a place to eat lunch. We finally found a place that looked nice (too nice) from the outside, had a good menu and good prices. At first both of us were too chicken to enter, because nobody was there. When we did enter, we did not regret the choice! It was not really like a restaurant, more like a home. It was decorated in a comfy way, ingredients were standing around and the chef was extremely friendly! I have started to let everybody who I meet write a little word in my notebook - he wrote something as well! The food was delicious, I had Massaka and we shared the (quote Nicole) "best mousse au chocolate ever"! We left the restaurant full and happy.
We returned to the science center to check out the other exhibitions and learned quite a bit in an exhibition about future developments in technology. We also played a multi player game that we did not really understand and in which we saved the world
Well, we did not spend too much time there because we were expected back in time for dinner. Nici cooked a delicious curry, beans, vegetables something again!! After dinner we spent a little bit of time with Fred and then got ready to leave for the evening.
Nici and I left shortly after Fred and his friend to meet some friends at Berri. We both did not know who was going to show up, because I had just written a group mail! I knew that Antoine F. was going to be there and was very happy to see Fred and Matthieu! Justine with some friends and Phil joined us at St. Sulpice. We enjoyed good music, good conversations, some drinks and a nice evening together. We were laughed at by the Metro employees while running to catch the last metro and ended up actually still waiting in the metro for it to leave! (Tabarnak!) But a nice guy left us his seat, I guess we looked like we deserved a seat?
Lucy had left me a little note on the door explaining the alarm system - BTW Nici and I have started a bag with all kinds of memories and things, somehow I have the feeling it is going to fill up quickly!
Sunday, 24 june 2012
June 24, the fete nationale du quebec! Everybody had been looking forward to this day and almost everybody has something special planned. Now, this was Nicole's and mine day:
We spent the morning relaxing and then met up with Patrick and Sanjai. Antoine came with us as well (yeah, was not easy!) and after walking through Vieux Montreal and along the port a little bit, giving Nici an insight to the beautiful city she is staying in, we walked to place where you could rent little boats or bikes for 6 people. Justine had told us that she worked there and that we could come and rent the "toys" for free. We passed the place with the cars and went down to the boats (a little parc seperated the places). We learned, that with 5 people we would not be able to take one boat (they were made for 2 adults plus 2 children under 12). We could not find Justine and just stoo around talking and waiting for her to answer for a while until Sanjai and I went to ask the girls working at the boats. As it turn out, Justine was working that day but tadaaaaa back with the cars/bikes - we just had failed to see her!
We walked back, found her and were happy to get a bike for all of us. The receipt we got, shows that we payed - to be shocked - 0 Dollars instead of something aroung 50 ! I had the honor to steer the bike and of course the guys kept joking about how I was unable to steer straight - guys ... But they did not want to steer and plus, I did a good job and never endangered anybody or anything. We even stoppen at every stop-sign EXACTLY on the line. And if not, then we moved forward a few cm and stopped again. It was fun and we laughed alot!
Anyway, after driving around for a while Danys and Liliana joined us and we walked around and then to Tim Hortons for a little lunch. We had planned to meet again in the evening so we went home for dinner and met the same people again, adding Vivane, Valerie, Mimi and Sophie. Our next stop: The big concert for the fete nationale!
We got off at Pie-Neuf and were greeted by celebrating people and a group of Hare Krishna dancers. I was carrying a large Quebec flag as we walked to the open air concert area. A large stage was set up and stand were selling souvenirs and other things. Large screen enabled us to see the stage AND to read the lyrics and sing along with the different singers! Eventhough it was raining, the atmosphere was fantastic and people were dancing, singing, smoking, drinking, talking, standing ... I enjoyed the show, eventhough I did not know any one of the singers haha
We left before the show had fnished to be able to profit a little from our night in the tent - we were 7 in a tent for 10 and I must admit - I have absolutly no idea how the hell 10 people should fit in there! Okay, we had blow up matresses ... but one needs some comfort
When everybody had gotten ready we wanted (well, the others not me!) to watch a horrormovie. I think it was my lucky day, because the wrong DVD was in the cover and it ended up not being a horrorfilm after all - yeahhh! We played some little games and were scared by Antoine's brother who crept up to the tent. We all - except for Nici, who can sleep anywhere!!!! - did not get much sleep, because Valerie got sick and had to vomit. Instead of letting her sleep, Viviane was quite upset and worried. She and Mimi took Valerie into the house but she retourned every (felt) 5 minutes to ask something...
It still was fun - especially the concert! If you come to Montreal, come for the fete nationale du Quebec - it is worth it!
Saturday, 23 June 2012
In the morning we were due for breakfast with Aude in the city. I had turned on my alarm the night before, I had checked the volume, the time - everything! Except for the day ... It was set on weekdays, and luckily in a certai sense saturday does not count as a work day but as a result the alarm did not ring!!
Now, we should have left latest by 9.30 am but when I woke up and glanced at the clock it was already 9.38 am! Obviously, there was no way we would make it on time so we contacted Aude (who luckily has facebook on her cell since we do not have a phone) and postponed our meeting to a little later. Antoine had thought about joining us but ended up being to sleepy - we left him in bed
When we finally arrived at Mont-Royal, Aude was waiting for us - really good to see her! - and she took us to a wonderful little cafe for breakfast. Eventhough the waiters liked to forget us in our corner, the food was great, the weather was great and the atmosphere as well. I enjoyed myself and afterwards was quite full. Plus, I managed to get a sunburg on my right shoulder, since this one was in the sun while eating outside and the other was in the shade... Nice pattern on my back now!
Almost anything and almost everywhere, on can pay with a credit card (as long as it is not American Express haha) but still Nicole needed to get some cash. We met Sanjai in the city and then started our "Bank of Scotia Safari". The first two banks we found were closed and of course we do not know all locations of this bank by heart. Sanjai's Iphone saved us - even though I am not the biggest fan of Apple, it did lead us to the next bank which then actually did have an open door (Yeahhhhh!). Nicole's first time to Tim Hortons followed our visit to the Bank and she enjoyed the Timbits!
We returned in time to spend the afternoon with Philip, since he had to leave early the next morning for a week and it was probably going to be the last time we saw him. After a quick trip to a store called Rona l'entrepot we jumped into the pool and enjoyed ourselves. The tent had been bought in the morning in already set and we decided to sleep in it.
Sporadically we decided to join Vivian to her vacation camping site! The 24 june is the national holiday of Quebec and it was celebrated at this camping site a day before with a large fire, fireworks and music. I especially enjoyed being able to sing after the firework show! Vivian's father had brought along the lyrics and it was a lovely atmosphere, sitting next to the fire, a guitar playing and us singing. Nici fell asleep in the car on the way home and when we arrived, Antoine and Sophie already were half way asleep. We all were "in bed" fairly quickly even though it was not that late, we were exhausted! Somebody really has to invent a tent that blocks out all light from outside - I mean, how annoying to always be awakened by the rising sun ?! Nici slept well and I slep okay and I'd say that the most exciting part of that night, was a sudden "miauuuuuuu" basically right next to me - Boris, the car, had figured that there were people sleeping in that big thing in the garden und wanted attention. The obvious solution for this was to miauuuuuu in front of the tent and then continue for another hour or so (I am exaggerating a little) after we had chased him further away.
All in all, it was a wonderful day! Full of impressions, nice people and memorable moments - I have the feeling basically every day will be like that!
Friday, June 22, 2012
Now, the 22nd of every month has been a special occasion here in Montreal for a while. Why? Because the students and most of the society is on a large strike! Nobody has been going to college and constant demonstrations pursue the goal of getting rid of the current government. For more information: google it Anyway, this Friday Antoine had originally planned on doing a bike tour with us, but he ended up having to work (they call a day before). Nicole and I heard of the monthly large demonstration and decided that we wanted to participate! So what did we do? We went next door to ask Philip to join us (and were incapable of finding the door bell! It was really hidden ... we knocked on the door in the end an Philip enjoyed teasing us with that ), Viviane came as well and we were off downtown.
Tip for anybody planning on visiting Montreal: Bring a Visa Card! I can pick up money anywhere, quite convenient haha especially when you have to pay the Metro tickets with cash
I had looked up the location of the demonstration, but my quebecoise friends did not believe me so we ended up going to the wrong place at first. Now, the quebecoise are clever - I am serious, not kidding - and have a thought of a great way of recognizing people who support the same thing as they do: People are carrying little square pieces of material in different colours! The most popular is called "cadre rouge" and obviously is red Other colours are black, yellow, white ... In general you can say that people wearing the little piece of material are against the rise of the "frais de scolaire" , against the law 78 and for a change of government. So, after leaving the metro with a hundred people, singing slogans, we asked other pedestrians wearing the cadre rouge where the demonstration was going to take place (I had been right!) and we went there, meeting up with Justine on the way.
The atmosphere at the demonstration is indescribable! Everybody was like celebrating, music was played, people sung and we walked the streets. 100.000 people participated! I really extremly enjoyed this experience. I will try to upload a video to give you an idea. BTW - weather could not be better, blue sky and sun and a light wind.
At some point Philip, Viviane, Justine and us two Germans left the demo in order to meet Antoine for lunch. Nici is fascinated by the fact that there are halls with different restaurants and that you can pay with a credit card anywhere.
The evening was spent at an excellent bar called "la distillerie"! Cocktails are served in preserving jars and they taste really good as well (but do not drink Hansel and Gretel!!). Justine had postet on Facebook that people could join us there so in the end I got to see more people than I had expected - Justine, Samie, Marilou, Antoine F, P.-O., Fred ... It was a wonderful evening which ended with a visit to McDo and a drive home.
A very full day, with many impressions and experiences made with old friends