5.14.2013

I went to Canada!

(waiting for the Air Canada desk to open @ BWI)
And made it back! What are the chances??

The last time I was in Canada, I had taken the train up with my family and a group of my dad's high school French students for some cultural immersion.

We caught the train in Syracuse, took it to Montreal, and then took a smaller train to the Old City in Quebec. (On at least one occasion, the conductor let my brother and I press our noses against the windshield to watch the tracks disappear beneath the train and blow the whistle.)

I didn't need a passport.

I wore jeans and a navy blazer over my favorite Smurf t-shirt. My haircut was half Twiggy wanna-be, half little boy. (Mom called it a pixie to make me feel better, but my brother and I rocked the same 'do for several years.) I tried to watch the big kids playing cards on the overnight ride, and wondered why my parents wouldn't let me stay up with them.

We stayed in the Ch√Ęteau Frontenac, on the St. Lawrence. I remember an alleyway where artists sold drawings and jewelry. There was a yellow house that was a restaurant, and we ate on the top floor, even my dad bowing under the short ceilings. I tried escargot and frog legs for the first time, and liked them both.

(the Bellevue Hotel is pretty close to adult candy. lovely)
It was springtime, and we visited a maple farm and ate maple sugar candy. I was happily adventuring with my family, and my dad was in his element, surrounded by kids and a beautiful language.

***
My return to the Great White North was less carefree. I needed a passport this time around. I almost missed my connection in Toronto, but the sunset in Vancouver totally made up for it. I hadn't seen geography like that ever, like giants had heaved huge boulders into the oceans during some crazy game of catch with their gargantuan labradors.  I was part of an exhilarating, busy, bustling conference, and while I made it out of the hotel a handful of times to sightsee, it was all within the city limits.

But, at a small store, there were tiny billets of maple sugar candy...as sweet as the candy I had tried as a 10 year old.  I snagged a handful - for my niece and nephew and a colleague.

And one for me. I may greedily finish it this evening. It conjures such good, good memories.

My five:

  1. Sensory memories.
  2. Travel.
  3. Sunshine.
  4. Occasional overindulgence.
  5. Sugar.
Thanks for the lovely respite from pre-season madness, Vancouver. I'll be back, promise.





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