“Where the dips are deeper, the spins are faster and the tandem is closer.” My Sopie.

Dear Future Leslee;

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll recall that my goal for this summer was to have ALL THE ADVENTURES so that in the fall (when I turn into a thrift-obsessed hermit) I’ll have some lovely memories to look back on. I promised myself that I would travel, and specifically I wanted to visit Toronto and Montreal. Well, I went to Toronto at the end of May, and I went to Montreal last weekend.

Now, you might be bemoaning the fact that it has taken me more than a week to write this post (if you’re boring). I’m sorry, but that is just how long it takes to recover from a weekend in Montreal. The number of times I said “This is the best _____ ever” over those glorious three days should make this all pretty clear. Basically: Montreal was awesome.

Or as I like to call it, "Cheap Canadian Paris"

I spent the weekend in Montreal with my Sopie, the Woman and natives Adam and Aimee, neither of whom could come up with clever nicknames for themselves. I got to go up on the train, which I love, if only because I can make-belief that I am much more important and romantic than I really am. No, I’m not going to couch surf with my friends. Obviously, I’m  an Important Business Woman Attending a Prestigious Conference, or at least an International Lady of Intrigue Slipping Out For An Illicit Rendezvous. Okay, so the most exciting thing I do in a day is usually not get my fingers caught in my pants zipper, but on the train, for just a little while, I am Carmen Sandiego. Or something.

The first night in Montreal, my Sopie and Adam and I went swing dancing, which is where the quote above comes from. Let me tell you, swing dancing in Montreal is not at all like swing dancing in Ottawa. In Ottawa, about one-third to one half of the leads at any given social dance will be cute, possibly friendly and sometimes good dancers. On this particular Friday, ninety percent of the leads were cute and friendly and good dancers. It was at this point that my Sopie decided to move to Montreal, which was about an hour after her arrival. Awesome? I think so.

After swing we took a wander through the gay village, which made me realize how much I wish my life had more occasions for rainbow balloon banners. We discussed other places we’d travelled, and I mentioned Newfoundland, where merely breathing the air is a sweet and pleasurable experience.

Wharf speed!

My Sopie was not particularly impressed with my description of Newfoundland. “That must get old eventually. Oooh, look at me, I’m breathing again. Every day. More breathing. Whoop de doo.” Which is both hilarious and probably a really depressing description of how a lot of people in Newfoundland feel on a day-to-day basis.

Back to Montreal, though: there was a wine and cheese (where, it occurs to me, I had neither wine nor cheese. But I did have aggressively delicious chocolate torte). At one point we went into a bar where they lit my drink on fire. We visited the Insectarium and the Botanical Garden, which we eventually broke out of like the badass hooligans we are by jumping a fence. Sure, most people hop a fence to break into someplace, not out of it, but we’d been walking for a long time and we couldn’t find the exit. To once again quote my Sopie: “I like the Botanical Gardens, but I don’t want to die here.”

Importantly, going to Montreal was a great excuse to dress up ALL WEEKEND, not that I really need much encouragement these days. I will pretty much dress up for any reason ever. “What’s this? I’m sorry, I thought the mall food court was black-tie only” OR “Doesn’t everyone wear their wedding dresses to Chuck-E-Cheese?” That’s my life, y’all. I have no shame.

Now, there were a few ‘bad’ moments in Montreal, which can only be called such because they were much more on the ‘weird-awesome’ side of things than the ‘awesome-awesome’ side. For example, at breakfast on Saturday morning Adam ordered orange juice. What he received was the decimated remains of an orange that must have seriously pissed someone off. Did the orange insult someone’s mother? Did it run out on some gambling debts? The pulverized corpse of the orange arrive at our table in a glass, complete with pulp and seeds. Adam had to eat the thing with a goddamn fork. I’m surprised they didn’t send the horribly maimed skin along, just so we’d know how much this brunch place was willing to seriously fuck up an orange for us.

fuck you orange

Not pictured: his widow and fatherless children

The second weird-awesome ‘bad’ moment came when we crashed the gay pride parade after being stuck in traffic for thirty minutes so we could make our train home. I felt kind of guilty, but how many of you can say you were in the Montreal gay pride parade, even for thirty really awkward seconds? That’s what I thought.

Now, if only I can get my grampa to stop calling it “the Homosexual Parade”. It’s…it’s not quite the same thing, grampa. *sigh*

Yours, home at last,

Past Leslee.


About leslei

Listen, I like to use the eff word. If that is going to be a problem you should probably just turn this car around RIGHT NOW.
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