Personal, Reviews

Life Lately (according to my iPhone): Montpelier, Montreal, Maine

Subtitle: Life Lately (according to my iPhone): Montpelier, Montreal, Maine, AND New Hampshire and Massachusetts. However, I did not share any photos from the latter two (and I liked the alliteration).

I am back from vacation. Insert whatever appropriate emotion here (I’m vacillating between exhausted and content). Anyway, this particular trip was part business, part pleasure, all very autumnal. Autumn is in full swing in New England (and Canada) right now. However, the trip did not start off well. I landed late in Boston. I go to pick up my rental car and the rental company was all out of cars. Instead, I was “upgraded” to a minivan. A minivan. I’m sure if you have 5 kids a minivan is where it’s at, but I like small cars*, I like the ability to confidently parallel park. In fact, I like everything about not driving a minivan. 1am. I leave the airport in my upgraded vehicle, there is, of course, traffic and a detour (because it’s Boston). As I’m merging onto the highway, a spider drops down from the roof of the van. I’ll spare you the hysterical details and leave it at this: the spider’s dead, I’m alive, and the rental car was returned in one piece (regarding that last bit…barely).

The trip contained the usual: eating, drinking, sightseeing. This trip had the added benefit of bringing me back to my hometown – I was able to visit with a lot of my family. I won’t get into the boring details; I’ll just advise you to visit the area in early October.

So what did I learn on this trip? My French language skills are now truly atrocious. I once harbored dreams of being a linguist. For a longtime, my Latin, Spanish, and Italian language skills were outstanding and my French language skills were at least passable. I now have to admit that dream has died.

Books seen on plane:
Ready to Die by Lisa Jackson
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (This one is still being read. Amazing.)
Without Fail by Lee Child
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Photos, in the order they occurred (just click on the first one to cycle through – if you’re interested):

1. I decided to include the night before the trip. I went to see the Colorado Rockies play the Boston Red Sox with my longtime sports rival and best friend (It seemed like the proper way to prep for my trip to Boston). He once admitted to loving the Yankees (and hating the Red Sox). Come the think of it, I’m not sure how we’re still friends…
2. Montpelier, Vermont. A little trivia for you: Montpelier is the smallest capital city in the United States.
3. I’m including only one food picture, that’s probably some sort of record. The best thing I ate the entire trip was a fresh basil with sunflower seed pesto and mozzarella crepe. Visit The Skinny Pancake if you find yourself in the very green state of Vermont.
4. Marché Bonsecours. Located in Vieux Montreal**.
5. Vieux Port, Montreal. A little bit of the autumn color in the old port section of the St. Lawrence River.
6. Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. It’s beautiful.
7. The view from Parc du Mont-Royal.
8. A beach in Maine. It’s everything found on a New England postcard – sailboats, a lighthouse, tide pools, and blue sky.
9. Honestly, it was the perfect day. Sadly, no sangria though. (A little Lou Reed reference for you.)
10. The great thing about traveling to see family is you generally get an assortment of embarrassing photos of yourself. This one is me running on the beach – very classy in a fully dressed Baywatch way. I was not supposed to be in the picture.
11. In addition to the one above, there’s this one. Chipmunk cheeks and beach hair. Form an orderly queue, gents***.
12. Those men were in the ocean, in Maine, in late September. That’s brave, dedicated, and at least partly deranged.

The end.

Anyone traveled anywhere fun lately?

*Small car, big car, doesn’t matter – I still hate driving.
**I can’t imagine anyone needs one, but I stayed in a great hotel in the old section of Montreal. It’s great only if you like to be left alone when you travel, which I do. There isn’t even a front desk.
***In honor of Maine native Anna Kendrick, I am quoting her. I heard her song ‘Cups” I don’t know how many times while there. I do know that I can now sing the song, for better or for worse, in its entirety.

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