Sunday, August 24, 2014

Visiting Friends au Canada

Part of the issue with Ashley attending Time Travelers camp is what should we do? The camp is located 8-10 hours away. It seems like a lot of driving to drop her off and come home to turn around five days later to pick her up and drive home.

To compound the issue of what to do, we have a very sick dragon who was diagnosed with kidney issues days before leaving. I guess there was a reason why I had not been making plans for this trip. With him being sick we debated about my staying home versus taking him with us. I knew no one would take as good care of him as I would. I could not leave the responsibility of a dying dragon with any of our friends.

Fortunately Don has a very generous co-worker named Chris who lives outside of Montreal and is not afraid of reptiles. Don and I stayed with Chris while Ashley played at UCV.

We used the week to catch up with friends who live in the Montreal area. 

On Monday we spent the day with Marlene. Marlene and I met in 1987 in Liege, Belgium. Marlene is from Ohio, but has lived in Montreal for nearly a decade. Thanks to our frequent trips to Montreal, we have been able to stay in touch in person. Marlene, Don and I celebrated Meatless Monday at Lola-Rosa, one of her favorite vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Then we walked off our delicious lunch by climbing up and over and down Mont Royal (the "mountain" in Montreal). We finished off with some ice cream. Yum! Fortunately the weather was perfect that day.

Tuesday we drove to New York State to visit Gail and Daryl at Home Again Farm. Gail and Daryl moved back "home again" to Theresa, NY after raising
their kids in Hamilton Square, NJ. We got to know them through church. It was a treat catching up with them, and meeting her father and the alpacas they are raising. We had a feast for lunch and a grand tour of all of their renovations. The drive was long, but when you are vacation that doesn't really matter. Next time we will have to bring Ashley so she can meet the "girls." She would love it.

Wednesday we played tourist with Chris and visited the Caves of Lescaux exhibit at the Montreal Science Museum. Unfortunately it POURED that day and we got soaked. The plan to walk around the Old Port area was washed out. We did get some ice cream from Canadian Maple Delights, the maple syrup ice cream place and
tourist destination. All of their ice cream is sweetened with maple syrup. We tried to walk around, but we were the only people out and it was really raining. We headed to Dollard-des-Ormeaux for my first international race. Fortunately it just stopped raining in time for the race, and even more fortunately we could wait indoors for the start of it.

Thursday we caught up with Johanna, another friend from Liege, Belgium, and a friend we have recently refreshed our friendship over cut-throat Scrabble games (feel free to challenge me to games). Johanna is originally from Toronto and is now living in Montreal with her boyfriend. Johanna had a tight work schedule, but we managed to meet up for lunch at a smoked meat restaurant across from the famous Schwartz's Deli, but much better and not a tourist destination. 

Friday we picked up Ashley and toured Upper Canada Village with Chris. I'm really glad we found this opportunity for Ashley.

Saturday we visited the local farmers market to stock up on real maple syrup. Mmm.... we drove home. Not a very exciting vacation in terms of going to new places and having new adventures, but a very restful vacation where we were able to catch up with friends and feel rejuvenated. I guess it is just the type of vacation we really needed after all.

We love visiting friends and family around the globe. Please let us know anytime you are in the New York to Philadelphia to Jersey Shore area and we'll figure out a way to meet. Just prior to our Canadian adventures we did just that when Stephen (a former co-
worker) and Daphne were visiting family near Point Pleasant. It was a treat being able to visit friends near home. The last time we saw Stephen was when we visited him in Michigan.

Call, write, email, send smoke signals -- we'd love to see you!

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