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View of Quebec: 2 Vanity & Other Reflections

“vanity, vanity, all is vanity.”

Travel tip number one: wear good shoes. Make sure they are durable, comfortable and well broken in because today’s blister is tomorrow’s skinless heel. If you break rule number one at least stop at the first sign of trouble and change your shoes. Otherwise you’ll end up in a restaurant bathroom trying to apply band aids and likely break a nail on your own tights. I know this. I brought the right shoes. They got me through the steep sidewalks in perfect comfort yesterday but today was sunny and I wanted to wear a skirt and couldn’t bring myself to wear athletic shoes that are the wrong color and style.

Cute Shoe Fail!

Cute Shoe Fail!

I chose to wear leopard print canvas sneakers that are too small and that I knew I shouldn’t even bring with me. Further having realized my mistake I continued to push myself for a mile or two and around a museum and to the bus to dinner and up the final hill to the hotel.

But let’s just not focus on that at all because it doesn’t really matter except to illustrate that I can have all the judgment in the world and if I don’t follow it, I’m just screwing myself. Another example of that is I haven’t had plain milk without enzymes in a decade or more and the cafe au laite may be having an adverse affect on my digestion but I’m going to continue to drink it anyway because it is the best thing to happen to coffee since the grinder. So there! Watch me rebel in ways that only hurt myself. Oh yeah!

Last night we wandered down to the old city partially through the park. It was great in the cold wind and drizzle and I got my first look at the Plains of Abraham. A lot of people would probably rather be here in the warmth of summer or for winter festival but I love fall and wind and rain. So I was ecstatic over the rain drops in my face as I stood at the rail in front of the Chateau Frontenac looking down on the harbor.

Dinner at Lapin Saute was fantastic. Jeff carefully researched our food options beforehand so that we wouldn’t be struggling with language and dietary restrictions at the same time. He gave me a list of three nice restaurants to choose from and I recognized the word for rabbit and jumped on it. I’ve had rabbit before but couldn’t remember the taste and was eager to build a lasting memory. Turns out cute animals taste as great as they look! The rillete was great and came with sweet shredded carrot because serving rabbit with carrot is humorous as well as delicious. The gluten-free options were great and the crème brulee was to DIE for not mention enormous. Forget that little shot glass sized thing you’ve had before, just forget all about it.

Today we did crepes again at Le Billig because if it’s that good. We also went to the Museum Civilization but didn’t allow enough time, which was no doubt exacerbated by my limping. Go me! We lingered in the first nations exhibit because it was just so packed with artifacts, videos, listening stations

There was an entire exhibit of carriages and sleighs that was empty when we went through so we could be as animated as we liked. Yes I get that excited about antique conveyances. I found the sleighs very inspiring for my glass airships not to mention the full on stage-coach!

The Magic of Egypt had some really cool items and great tongue in cheek notations but I’m always freaked out by things that have been stolen from graves and mummies in particular. I don’t think we should disturb the dead. I think it’s rude not to mention just asking for trouble but it doesn’t seem to be an issue for an entire field of science so maybe I’m too superstitious. I took full advantage of the seating and maintained what I hope was proper reverence for the two statues of Sekhmet because ummm she’s Re’s personal smiter. So one, it’s due her and two, cover your ass whether you believe or not. There were a couple really great representations of Bes and the sons of Horus which made me happy. In the end we missed out on the history of the city we’re in but thems the breaks eh? There’s always Monday.

Dinner tonight was at Poutineville. Hells yes, a chain based around poutine. Their main gravies are just gluten-free end of story. I can have anything on the menu with regular, pepper or 911 gravy. Never mind the fact that I rarely go anywhere with so much of the menu open to me, I have not had good gravy since my diagnosis and never had proper poutine. Likewise I’ve never had the Montreal delicacy smoked meat. Tonight I had all three in the same dish. This was a food photo worthy moment.20151023_175106[1]

I love anything smoked so the meat was a big hit. Also I don’t know why you would have any other gravy when you can have pepper. It’s a little spicy and has a lot of flavor.

The waitress was very accommodating with our lack of French. There were music videos projected on the brick wall and Mystique cider, which beats any cider I’ve had anywhere. I’m no connoisseur but I’ve had a bunch between being GF and traveling in Ireland and the balance of fruit, fermentation and fizz was the best so far.

Now, here’s a very important observation about this city. It’s hilly. I know you’re reading this and if you haven’t been here, you’re going “sure hilly no big deal”. Yeah. You’re funny. There are streets so steep I can’t imagine driving up them in winter and sidewalks that practically require a Sherpa even when perfectly dry but there are handrails everywhere. Stairs are a great blessing and located at strategic points. Also there are benches aplenty. So for my chubby brethren, we can do this city. Walk until you need to sit, find a cozy bench for a while and then continue. Don’t rush. You don’t need to and no one expects it. You’re a tourist. Wander at your own pace.

On a personal note I’ve gotten so self-conscious at home that I don’t spend much time in public. Weirdly this is taking place at the same time as my body positivity is at an all time high. I don’t hang out on the beach or take to walking trails. I don’t go anywhere without a distinct purpose. Even my shopping trips are short and to the point. The very idea of sitting in a park for fun is beyond comprehension. I can say I need to be in the office writing all I want, I know deep down that I’ve gotten practically agoraphobic and I need to do something about it. I assumed I would feel the same here. Not so. I think it’s the abundance of trees. No. I know it is. What can I say? I’m a tree at heart. It also has a lot to do with the fact that I am north of the border and that few miles is all it takes. So tomorrow while Jeff is playing in the MTG Grand Prix I will limp to the park with my notebook and the music of “La Tuque Bleue” and be as happy as a clam. Its going to be a whopping 6C!

I will also bravely endeavor not to buy every piece of Nordiques merch I come across but I make no promises. The shoes will be Rika though, cause I’m not going to be that dumb twice. I hope.

PS Apologies for the lack of correct accents without shortcuts to add special characters it is a real pain in the butt.

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