Monday, June 30, 2008

Montreal trip

Just to say we were in Montreal this weekend, a much quicker trip than from Brooklyn. Still, it was still about five hours. We broke it up with a visit to some other recent Brooklyn ex-pats who moved to Montpelier just before we moved to the Pioneer Valley. They fed us lunch on Friday and showed us their lovely, lovely house, and lovely, lovely gardens. Really nice.

We were visiting our friends Glenn and Su in Montreal, where we visited in 2005. Their move to Canada really inspired me to move out of the city, and I thought long and hard about moving to Montreal or Toronto. Not sure I could ever get Dave to do that, though, and my mother would have balked too.

Su and Glenn have a great house too in a really nice neighbordhood, Notre Dame de Gras. But I realized driving in, with the lights and the structures and the steel and concrete -- and the traffic! -- that I really don't miss the city. I am thrilled to live in the country. We made the right choice.

It was a short visit and we were all pretty tired, and the weather was gray and rainy on Saturday. So mostly we hung around the house. It was great to talk politics and the state of the world and what it's like to move out of the city -- that was a big topic of discussion. They moved in June or July 2004, we moved in November 2006, so they have a longer perspective on the transition process, naturally. Moving throws everything up in the air: friends, family, work, play, leisure time, food, shopping, noise, weather, doctors, service providers (had to find a new dentist and eye doc after nearly 20 years of happy service), school, etc., etc. Change is good, though, right? Keeps you young.

The four of us walked into the city in the evening, a very nice walk but long, eight kilometers, Glenn thought, along the canal, and by the end I started feel really sick to my stomach. It was hot and humid and we had had a big dinner topped with ice cream and it all felt like to much for me. We got to the jazz festival around 9pm and I got a call from Lily, who was home with their son. She was homesick. Lonely for us. So I turned around and came home. Su kindly escorted me and I took a hot shower and went to bed.

Lily was thrilled to see me and went right to sleep while I showered. She woke up on Sunday morning -- we all slept late; great sleeping there in their basement guest room, dark and cool -- with a crummy cold. She gets cranky when she's that sick and tired, so the rest of the day wasn't great. We had a lovely brunch the five of us and then we drove home.

So, a short but fun visit. Montreal is just a lovely city and all that French made me feel like I was in Europe at the very least, if not France (what do I know, I've never been to France). The houses in their neighborhood were all different and interesting in ways that NYC can be similar and boring. A lot of what we saw reminded me of parts of Queens, but nicer.

Still, we made the right choice. Glad to live in the country. Also glad we have such thoughtful, interesting, and loving friends like Glenn and Su and their kids. Really helps me keep my faith in things knowing they are in the world.

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