Here we are in the far reaches of North America. When we lived out west people would ask me: What is the best thing to do in Seattle? Easy, I’d say: Go to Vancouver. Now that we are east coasters I thought we ought to have a look at what this side of Canadia (as the kids like to call it) looks like. (Plus, nothing makes M happier than using his Nexus passes.)
First: IT IS FAR. Seattle to Vancouver is three hours. NYC to Montreal is about six hours. Some of that is out of cell phone range, prompting a certain twelve year old to shout, in shock and frustration, HOW DO THESE PEOPLE LIVE LIKE THIS…?
(Included in this cell free zone is part of Lake Placid, the site of the Winter Olympics in the 1980’s. The same twelve year old shouted once again: YOU MEAN THEY COULDN’T USE CELL PHONES AT THE OLYMPICS?)
Second: Because so much French is spoken here, it’s really like being in another country. Speaking French makes me happy. But speaking French outside of Montreal, deeper into Quebec, is a challenge. I think I understand now how people who speak High German feel when they hear Yiddish: Really? You did THAT to the language? I’m not really sure what anyone is saying here in Mont Tremblant, but they are all lovely.
Three: Canadians on this coast are just as lovely. As far as I am concerned this is proof that high tax rates and socialized medicine is good for the soul.
Four: Canada Day! I’ve lost count of how many times I have been in Canada for Canada Day, but this year we even got to see a parade in downtown Montreal. (M cannot resist a parade. We are all slowly warming.) What isn’t adorable about men in skirts?
Five: Jazz! We timed our trip with the Montreal Jazz Fest. Because all the music we heard was free, we were not annoyed when kids pissed and moaned and wanted to leave, which frankly, didn’t happen too often. It gave us an evening activity and there were enough scantily dressed buskers to keep everyone amused. A certain twelve year old even babysat while we snuck out to hear Diana Krall with a billion other polite people.
Six: The boys caught le hockey fever in NY and being in Canada is like going on a hockey bender for them, especially because it seems as though the hockey draft is happening now. They have also immersed themselves in CFL minutiae (who knew?) as well as World Cup drama. Apparently sports never takes a holiday.
Stay tuned to more news from Canadia.