Sunday, July 28, 2013

Montreal-Mont Tremblant-Peterborough-Kingston and home...

Perhaps I should provide a map!  I returned to Montreal on July 1st, missing the East Hatley Parade.  It's always a bit of a relief depositing a rental car!  The next couple of days I was in Montreal, staying with my friend, Linda, and spending time with her family.  Linda lives very close to the Montreal Botanical Gardens and they are well worth a visit.  They are huge!  You can also visit the Biodome which is great and if you like insects, the Insectarium.  Currently, there is an amazing display entitled Mosaicultures Internationales 2013.  There are about 50 amazing works by horticulturalist-artists from many countries.  I was impressed by some of the displays at Epcot Centre last year and by the living statute Puppy by Jeff Koons at the Guggenheim in Bilbao but to see this many such exhibits was amazing.

Then Linda and I drove up to Mont Tremblant in the Laurentions where we stayed a couple of nights at  Club Intrawest, a bit more luxurious than the Bishops' residence (but at $50 a night I shouldn't complain).  We had a lovely unit complete with a lake view and use of a nice pool and several hot tubs.  In Quebec, towns seem to keep getting renamed and the nearby lovely town of St. Jovite is now called downtown Mont Tremblant while there is the new village at the base of the mountain built when the resort was redeveloped, and the original village of Tremblant on the lake.   Anyway it was a lovely, relaxing couple of days.

Back to Montreal where I spent a few hours in Old Montreal with my childhood friend, Anne Marie, who I hadn't seen probably for 30 years.  Old Montreal is one of my favorite places and it was fun to wander around with Anne Marie.

More excitement in Montreal was Linda's niece and new nephew-in-law's condo.  In Montreal you can buy a brand new condo with over 1000 square feet for $250 000-unbelievable in Vancouver!

Soon on Sunday, Linda and I were off again, this time on our way to Peterborough, Ontario where our friends Anne and Barrie live.  Anne, Linda, and I did a year at Queen's University in Kingston doing Bachelors in Education while Barrie was there doing engineering.  My first really big trip was with Anne and Linda when after a year of teaching we went off to Europe.  Anne and Barrie had our visit totally planned.

Our first full day, Monday, Anne, Linda, and I visited a local art gallery and had lunch on the canal.  Then we met Barrie at their son's lakeside cottage.  I got to go swimming in another lake and even did a bit of canoeing.  Rain had been a bit of an issue during this holiday.  Never have I seen Quebec and Ontario this lush and green in July.  On Sunday we had  driven into Peterborough with huge black skies.

Tuesday we did a run into downtown Peterborough and my cousin's daughter and her husband and very cute toddler came to visit.  Later we were off to a production of Fourth Line Theatre, The Winslows of Derryvore.  The rain held off and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.  The play began at 7:00 and the audience and the production were outside in this beautiful setting.  I have always loved summer theatre but this experience was totally unique complete with real horses.  I love how this theatre uses real history and turns it into theatre.  Having been in Northern Ireland last summer it was particularly fascinating looking at a piece of its complex history, a history the writer's ancestors were a part of and history that had implications for this part of Ontario as well.

In doing a bit of research into Fourth Line Theatre I discovered that there was a butter tart war on in Ontario.  I had been a bit surprised driving in to see a sign advertising butter tarts but after reading the article I could see what all the excitement was about.  If I had more time no doubt we would have done more direct research but we did manage to do a bit of tasting at DooDoo's Bakery in Bailleboro on our way back to the 401.  We were impressed!  For more information on the the Kawartha Northumberland tour here you go!

After a bad traffic jam we eventually made it into Kingston where we had planned a stop.  After a late lunch and a swim at our hotel, we spent a lovely evening at my friends', Vicki and Gavin's.  An extra bonus was getting to see fireflies (we don't seem to have them in Vancouver).  The next day we had a lakeside breakfast and a quick poke around the shops in downtown Kingston but no time for the market as we were off to visit my cousin, Nancy, for lunch, on our way back to Montreal.  Another fun visit complete with tea served on my grandmother's china!

one of my cousin's gardens
Back in Montreal the Benoits hosted a retirement dinner for me, and we did a bit more light and window covering shopping for the new condo.  So many choices!  The next morning I packed up, and Linda drove me to Pointe Claire where I spent the day with my friend, Janice and her dogs.  We also met my friend, Val (who had kindly fed me a delicious breakfast two weeks earlier on my arrival) for an ice cream.  Pointe Claire Village is always one of my favorite spots.  It's also easy to forget you are in Quebec because you still don't hear much French there.  In this trip I  seemed to bounce back and forth from English to French, French to English depending on even where you are in the city of Montreal.

Eventually I was pack on a plane, this time watching the sun setting across the country, rather than rising.  All in all a great trip, not that I was able to see everyone I would have liked but definitely getting to have some fun times with lots of great people in some beautiful places!  And now I have some pictures that need adding! Done!

Here's one I had to add...
stormy skies coming into Peterborough

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