With the help of a Groupon deal gifted to us from my parents, we spent Saturday, Sunday and Monday in
on Monday night!
It was a great little getaway, but I think it's safe to say that when it was time to go home, we were more than ready. It's so astounding to only drive five hours north and experience such a huge culture shock. Everything was in French - every sign, every conversation overheard, every word directed at us - talk about stressful.
The extent of my French is basically, "Bonjour! Excusez-moi, parlez-vous anglais?" Oh yeah, and "pamplemousse" which means grapefruit. So as you can imagine, that got me a long way.
It was such a struggle to wrestle with balancing respect for this new culture with feeling like an enormous idiot. As soon as someone approaches you, there's this gut feeling of knowing that they're about to say a bunch of stuff that you don't understand. Then you take a moment and ponder how great your deer-in-headlights look will be for your I-swear-I'm-not-a-tourist image. It's just bundles of humbling fun, really.
Let's just say that Will's playful little nickname for me of "Panic Pants" rang true much of this weekend.
Aside from being afraid to speak to any human other than my husband, it was a pretty good time. We stayed right in downtown so everything was within walking distance. We did tons of exploring walking all the way to Old Port, and having some yummy meals along the way. If you're visiting anytime soon, I recommend going to Le Gourmet Burger on Rue Bishop and Fu Shi on Rue Sherbrooke. We also experienced some well-humored street performers, some less-than-ideal-accomodations, lots and lots of teenage PDA, saw enormous ships at the port, and met a few kind Canooks who were willing to help us out linguistically.
Something we did learn (or re-learn) is that we're really not city people. Three days in a city is definitely more than us woodsy folk would ever need, so I'm not sure why we went that route. Maybe why we spent close to four hours in the Arc'Teryx store (a really high-quality outdoor brand that doesn't have any retail stores of their own in the US)? Just a thought.
But the Ingrid show on Monday was fun! This was Will's birthday gift to me, and we didn't even plan it to be in Canada! Her show in Boston had been sold out for weeks, but when he went to see where the next closest show was, he noticed she was scheduled to play in Montreal for the weekend we were going! Small world, Ingrid. Small world.
She was definitely great, but I was a little bummed with how few of her older songs she played. She played 10 out of 15 songs from her new album (I know, that's what the tour was for, I get it) and only five older songs - and three of those were in the encore! So her actual show set list only had two songs from other albums. Lame. But as a person, she is absolutely hysterical and I could tell that we would be grand friends, so that made up for it.
Those are some tales from our adventures, and I hope you all had a good long weekend too!
* Credit to Google Translate for helping me title this post. Bah, as if you thought it was me. Yeah right.