Oh, Canada! (Day 1, eh?*)

May 4


montreal to boston

[*  I have been to Canada many times, but this would be my first time in the Land Up Over east of Toronto.  In all those times, including this one, I have never heard a Canadian utter “eh.”  Thus, it will be retired from subsequent postings.  This trip would also be my first time, on the ground, in the Atlantic Time Zone, featuring PEI, Sydney, and Halifax.]

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[I’m jumping the gun a bit here as we would not board the Holland America cruise ship Veendam for a couple more days as we intrepid travelers, The Biddies and I, wanted some quality time on our own in this city of first impression.]

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[This is Old Montreal where we would spend two nights in an Airbnb loft.]

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[But first, we had to get there.  Leaving MSP with the City of Minneapolis in the background.  Little did we know at the time this would be our last glimpse of sunshine for a while.]

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[Why this shot?  Because no matter where you go, there you are . . . ]

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[Except when uttered by Spicey.  ]

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[Taxiing by Fort Snelling, Minnesota’s only defense against a hostile world.]

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[And we’re airborne (not to be confused with the dietary supplement of the same name).]

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[In the picture center, just this side of the Mississippi River hard by the Washington Avenue Bridge is the West Bank of the University of Minnesota.  One of the two taller buildings (I can’t remember which any more) is the Social Science Tower, where I spent most of my latter student years obtaining a geography degree so I could ultimately blog about visiting lands beyond the horizon.]

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[There’s where the Golden Gophers play football, TCF Bank Stadium, a/k/a, “The Bank,” and the rest of the East Bank campus.]

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[And here’s where the Vikings play football, U. S. Bank Stadium.  Are you noticing a trend?  There are ominous rumors that naming rights may be sold for venerable U of M facilities, Williams Arena for basketball and Mariucci Arena for hockey – no doubt some BANKS are interested.]

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[This is the city.  Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (To be read in the Jack Webb Dragnet opening monotone.)]

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[And now you know why DeLaSalle high school’s nickname is the Islanders.  That is Nicollet Island.]

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[Flying away from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.]

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[To the really big lakes, so big they’re called Great.]

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[Looks like lakes abound in Quebec Province as well as me thinks we’re approaching Montreal.]

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[Nope, not here.  I’m told Montreal has four airports and our destination is Trudeau.]

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[That has every appearance of being the St. Lawrence River.]

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[And there’s our destination city.  The “hill” on the near right side is Mount Royal, believed to  be the source of the city’s name.]

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[It has an urban population of almost 2 million with a little over 4 million in the greater metropolitan area; second in size to Toronto in Canada.]

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[This was our first view of our “home” street – it was love at first sight!]

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[Just peeking around the corner from our loft is the river.]

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[And looking up the hill away from the river.  Did I mention I love this place?]

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[Across the street from our loft.]

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[Now this could have started the trip on a really sour note.  The rainy weather was predicted for the entire trip . . . and then this is where we were staying.  Reetz looks a tad forlorn as we realize we were on the 4th floor, no elevators, with 57 stairs to climb with all this luggage!  Not good for people with already several years of Medicare coverage under their belts.  Fortunately, our Algerian taxi driver from the airport sensed we had issues and schlepped a couple of bags up for us.  Whatta guy!]

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[We eventually got ourselves and the luggage up to the room, which while in a great location with a nice view, was basically furnished as an early 60’s dorm room.  And The Biddies’ sleuthing soon revealed that while the place looked neat, it wasn’t very clean. Airbnb subsequently received a nasty report.  Oh, and the open window was such on arrival – it was broken and had to be pulled closed by hand.]

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[But this was our view . . . ]

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[As was this, and we loved the neighborhood.]

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[Doing the check list . . . ]

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[No chairs, other than around the table.  The TV was on a table assembled with saw horses.  The a/c didn’t work – lucky we didn’t need it.  And the beds weren’t made and the linens were still in the dryer.]

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[But hey, let’s get out on the street and look for some fine dining.  It looked like we were surrounded by such.]

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[Stroll the cobble stone streets, checking the menus . . . ]

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[And alighted here – it was late so we had the full attention of staff still on duty.]

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[Vino and social media check]

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[The issues of the day were being settled.]

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[Greek salad . . . uh, huh.]

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[Margherita pizza!!]

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[Spaghetti bolognese for Reetz . . . love it, can’t eat it, gives my shirts the measles.]

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[And from the other side of the table.]

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[Where we ate, customers well satisfied . . . I even got a compliment on my French (well, a couple of limited sentences).]

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[On the walk back home, few people realize I was the original model in these ads and still receive trademark royalties . . . ]

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[I tried to get the girls to model with the feminine attire.  They refused.]

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A Canadian is ” someone who could make love in a canoe.”  ~  Pierre Berton

Up Next:  Well, it was a 12-day trip.

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2 Responses to Oh, Canada! (Day 1, eh?*)

  1. ruthao1945 says:

    We had a blast despite the stairs to our loft.

  2. JamiG4 says:

    Wait, no pictures of the grimy bathroom?? That dude seriously needs a housekeeper for his AirBnB.

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