Montreal, 1999

This was supposed to be another huge trip to Montreal, but Elixxir and co had to cancel and so did most of the rest. It ended up being Ray and Liz and myself, but I still went over to their house on the Thursday before we were to leave in order to do some planning. They were holding a dinner party, and I met Olimpia there. It turned out that we had exchanged email before this, and she ended up getting invited to come along with us.

Jul 30

I finished packing and fiddled around until it was time to head out at 3pm to get gas for the trip. I ended up getting stuck in traffic just heading to the 7-11 gas bar, but managed to reach Ray's workplace just ahead of Liz and Olimpia. We had to stop in at Ray and Liz's to get the keys for Liz's parents house in Montreal where we would be staying, and Ray also picked up the role playing notes that he wanted to work on for next week. I decided to try driving up Kingston Road instead of going up the Don Valley to the 401, since it was a long weekend and traffic had the possibility of being horrendous. Hardly any traffic slowed us down until we hit the 401, but we were through it fairly quickly. I stopped outside of Kingston for food and more gas at around 8:30pm. We took the smaller highway into Montreal, and Liz directed me to the house, arriving at around 11:30pm.

We went over to Mad Hatters, and I looked around for Lee, Alain, and Casper, but we all somehow managed to miss each other. They all ended up going to the Sphinx but we stuck around Hatters all night. Olimpia and I went for a couple of walks to get away from the loud music and we met some Argentinian girls at a jewelery stand. I bought a pinky ring and we continued on. As we were turning back towards the bar, we ran into some guys from Mexico who knew Olimpia's ex boyfriend's brother. We got back to the bar and I had another grapefruit juice, avoiding alcohol due to the antibiotics I was on for my ear infection. We left at around 3am, teasing and laughing our way up the hill back to the house. Olimpia and I traded backrubs, and she managed to get some of the knots out of my back from driving. My room was kind of odd since there were no closets and I was sharing a bathroom with Olimpia.

Jul 31

The house keeper, Cynthia, woke me at 7:30am, trying to find Liz to ask her about the alarm that we'd set off by mistake coming in last night. They'd assumed it was one and in disarming it, armed it by mistake. They'd found the code to give the alarm service when they called and we assumed everything was taken care of. I pointed her at the master bedroom and went back to sleep until noon. I grabbed a shower, struggling to keep the shower door closed and not get water everywhere, and mostly enjoyed the fact that it was cold water raining down on me. The water warmed up just as I was finishing up. Liz told me about having to take a cold shower on her wedding day since she didn't have time to wait for it to warm up. I'd attended the wedding and reception that had been held in the house, but this was the first time I came upstairs. We all eventually got up and clean, and headed out to do some wandering. Ray went grocery shopping for us and then spent the day inside working on his notes. Liz, Olimpia and I wandered along Ste. Catherine, above and below ground. I picked up a FantAsia program so that we could take in a movie while the festival was still on. We tried on hats and browsed the neat tights in a swank department store. We stopped at Sirens where Olimpia bought a top, and I made a note of the store to visit one in Toronto. We stopped at a cafe and had lunch/dinner, then headed to Rockaberry and was defeated by a huge slice of truffle cake. We hit Rio, but the ruffly shirt that I had wanted to get wasn't as impressive when I tried it on. I drooled over a window with a rose covered purse box in it. We ended up catching a cab home since we were so tired from walking around all day. I called Alain and left a message, actually caught Lee at home and invited him to the party.

At this point we began setting up for the party that evening. Olimpia and I helped Liz label and load the huge CD changer and barred off the private areas and put up a few signs. People started arriving and I spent most of the time avoiding the smokers and chatting with Alain and Lee. I went up to bed at 3am and then came back down again to turn down the stereo which had stayed up far too high after someone's favourite song. I managed to shut out the people talking in the hall outside my room and finally fell asleep at around 4am.

Aug 1

I woke up after Ray and Liz did, and had a shower while they were eating breakfast. I helped clean up a bit and Ray called Etienne to remind him about the movie that we were going to see. His brother had to wake him up and none of us were really surprised when he never showed up. We took a cab to the Imperial for the movie and were able to get tickets just before show time for the Jackie Chan Young Dragon/Master show. It was quite funny, and there was a very impressive 20 minute long fight scene at the end. Liz, Olimpia and I walked up the hill to see the tam-tams, a regular Sunday event that just grew up over the last 10 years. Tons of people bring their drums and sit in a few groups and jam. Others dance in the cleared spaces in front of the drummers. We wandered around the mini bazaar set up on mats around the main statue in the park, listening to the sound and the beats change as we went in and out of range of the different drumming groups. As we were heading back home, before we left the park, we lay down on a hill and watched the clouds go by. Liz tried taking a picture of the three of us with our heads together on the grass, no idea if it turned out okay or not. We made plans to go to a park in Toronto on a more regular basis (but it's not materialised so far *sigh* that was a nice break though). We watched a man roll down the hill like I remembered doing when I was young, though I didn't have the guts to get down and roll myself. :)

We walked to Hatters and Ray joined us just as the waiter was taking our order. We all felt pretty partied out after the last two nights, so we decided to just rent movies and stay in this evening. We checked out another cafe to see if anyone they knew was there, but there wasn't, so we headed over to the rental place and picked up Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and a couple of others that we ended up not being able to stay awake to watch. I left a vague message with Alain's dad and he ended up waiting for us to show up at Studio.

Aug 2

We stuffed everyone and everything back into the car in the morning. Stopped just past Kingston again for a gas and smoke break. Traffic was horrid around Coburg, despite no one working on the construction. Once we hit Toronto, it was clear sailing. I dropped Ray and Liz off, then Olimpia and then made it home safely myself.
Back to my diary page.