Belated, as usual, here is the rendering of our trip to Canada’s metropolis (I think). It was much fun and, as a bonus, a nice break from the everyday life. Xavier’s been great throughout, and everyone we met there was wonderful and nice and warm.
November 17 to 20, 2006
9AM – Leaving from Trois-Rivières, Qc. REAL hot outside for the season (approx. 17 Celcius or so?) Beautiful cloud formations (high and low) with a big sunshine zigzaging through. Xavier deep in sleep in the back.
9:30 – Stop for gas & water, 70 km done.
10:15 – Passing through Mtrl. Smooth traffic.
10:50 – Ontario border!
12:15 – Stopping to eat at Wendy’s; ain’t as tasty as expected. Xavier is eating at Mommy’s.
1PM – Back on the highway.
2:30 – Gas stop. Xavier has a drink, too. Everyone’s filling up! Anecdote: An old man in another car doesn’t appear to know how to work the pump, and doesn’t notice he’s spilling as much gas on the ground as in his tank, not looking at what he’s doing. I don’t like to say this in writting about people, but he’s a stranger so I’ll go ahead anyway: he really makes a fool of himself.
4:30 – 670km, 7h30 and 2 tanks of gas later, we get to Toronto. We find the hotel, settle in and chime in at Deb and Smarty’s room. Alec, Nicola, Miko, Natae and Miriam already there. Went out for dinner with Nic, Nick, Miko and Miriam at the PickleBarrel Grand, which had a nice menu and food, plus a cool decor. Xavier was great throughout dinner. Little crisis when I had to feed him, but otherwise excellent. With replenished stomachs, we come back to the hotel to find almost everyone gathered there, even Ser Kay. Talked some, then we had to make an early departure to attend a very patient baby.
6:30 – Xavier’s awake, so we’re awake. After the morning things (shower, baby care, etc.), Frank goes out to « La maison du croissant » on the corner to get breakfast – I had loved the pastry I got there last year. Turns out the place is closed. We all go down to the hotel’s resto, which totally makes up for it with amazing pastries of its own. I can never find good almond croissants in my own town.
10AM or so – e go out to the Eaton center – I’d be most disapointed to have been in such a big city and NOT have found a way to do some shopping. Plus, the stroll allows Xavier a nap. I get Xavier a cute striped wool jumpsuit from BabyGap (pictures to come for sure) and we bring back some sandwiches for lunch.
PM – Part of the afternoon is spent at the pool: Xavier does NOT enjoy the cold water yet, so we stay in the warm water one. I try the waterslide, even though I’m 26 (who cares? we have a child now, we’re allowed in the family zone). After our dip in the pool, it’s naptime for the guys, while I join some denizens for an « Apples to Apples » game BOB brought. This is a really funny game; Frank tried it too and says we should acquire a copy at some point in the future. Lots of laughter and wit ensues, then the group goes out to a pub for dinner but, out of consideration for the baby, we decide to find food downstairs again. (This is a lot to take in at once for such a small person… and the merry bunch of BrightWeavers, whatever word one might find to describe them, won’t qualify for « quiet » in this decade – oh well, except for when GGK opens his mouth. :o) We go to bed early – you’ll know why in a bit.
Frank, setting a new geekness record on his life, gets up to go wait with François (fv) in the cold in front of the nearest FutureShop for the new Nintendo Wii to come out. I smartly remain in my cosy and warm bed with the sleeping baby. Frank gets back around 10h30 with his new acquisition, considering the run-down hotel TV like a fruitfly smelling scotch (you can ask Paul for the details on that one). I promptly drop Xavier on him while I run downstairs in search of food. We have to wait 15 minutes for them, but the out-of-the-oven chocolate croissants are completely worth it. Frank, at long last, gets to take out his new toy… only to find out the hotel TV can’t change input, so no peek at Zelda for him. It’s a double-defeat when I come back from the still closed bookstore: couldn’t wait for it to open, because of Xavier feeding.
Be it that way: we’ll go drown our sorrows at the Victory Cafe on Ser Kay’s tab! We follow the group heading down to the subway. With much help from the ever-wonderful denizens, we manage the stroller through the various transit gates, and surface near the cafe, where we’re greeted by Ser Kay. The chatting and drinking starts, interrupted first by the unveiling of the DebCon III t-shirt, and later by GGK himself, with a short speech and two readings from Ysabel. Most of the denizens then head out to dinner at last year’s steak place, while we hop in a cab back to the Delta Chelsea, but not before goodbyes hugs and kisses from everybody – and one of Alec’s magic tricks!
We get out dinner at the Delta again (not *just* because we’re lazy, but because the food’s actually nice there, too).
Xavier, who has been terrifically behaved the whole weekend, wakes up every hour of the night, bothered by gas, it seems. So we get up early, get some breakfast – I get to try the Apple strudel I’d seen before but hadn’t managed to get my hands on: delicious! We pack up our things: Frank loads up the car while, as promised, I go knock at the girl’s door one last time for goodbyes (and to make sure they’re awake and packing), where Xavier tries to charm Deb with smilies.
9:10 – We’re on the highway, heading out of the city, surprised to notice light snow through the grass. A Christmas tune pops up on the radio, chasing away the end-of-the-trip melancholy with a promise of further merriment to come within a month.