Monday, August 9, 2010

Montreal, baby!

Right now, it's mid-afternoon on Sunday. I'm writing this in my room but will upload it across the street at an Internet cafe, since the wireless at the B&B isn't working.

Yesterday, I got up at 6 a.m. to catch the first of two trains (6:53 a.m.) to the airport. I got to my gate around 9 a.m. With plenty of time to kill, I walked through a few terminals, looking for a can of soda. Couldn't find any, so I got a $2 Liberty Bell root beer in a glass bottle; and even though I had some Triscuit crackers with me, I succumbed to temptation and got a white-cream-filled donut at Dunkin Donuts.

The plane ride up was eventful. It did leave about 15 minutes late (was supposed to take off at 11:15 a.m.), but we touched down in Montreal around 12:50 p.m., so all's forgivable.

During the flight I pored over my Montreal travel book. It said the airport is 15 miles west of the city, so I took a cab. Came to $42 Canadian dollars and change, but I made it an even $50.

I threw my stuff in the B&B room and cruised around the neighborhood, with map in hand thanks to that travel book. It's interesting, since the last time I was here (my first) was a year and half ago -- the weekend after Thanksgiving, where it was snowing and no warmer than 30 degrees. I've noticed there are more homeless and mentally unstable on the street now. Obviously.

Anyway, I got a turkey-lunchmeat sandwich at this cool cafe I hit my last time here. That place is still great, and it's only three blocks away!

Next, I headed to a Metro station to pick up a weekly transpass. It doesn't start till Monday, so I also got an all-day pass for Sunday.

Afterwards, I walked around some more in the neighborhood. Beautiful day out. In the high 70s. Nice blue sky, and not a grey cloud in sight.

For dinner I had a veggie burrito at the bar downstairs, which is affiliated with this B&B. It wasn't as good as the one I had last time I was here, but what are ya gonna do.

I had gotten less than six hours sleep Friday night, so I was really tired Saturday evening. I watched some TV, falling asleep a little after 10 p.m.

This morning, Sunday, I got up at six at walked two blocks down to Tim Horton for a croissant and bottle of OJ. Came back to the B&B, showered and did some dental hygiene action.

At nine, I left to hop on the Metro to the eastern side of the city. It took 10 minutes to walk there, then it was about a 20-minute ride (8 stops or so). The Unitarian service didn't start till 10:30, so I wandered around the neighborhood. I stopped in a Staples to pick up a memory stick since I had to delete the photos on my camera (long boring story); good deal . . . 16 Canadian dollars for 4 gigs. Then I went to a convenience store and got eight tidbits (a.k.a. munchkins) and a can of Pepsi.

I arrived at the Unitarian church around 10:10 a.m. I went inside and chitchatted with some of the members.

The service lasted about an hour. It's an interesting building. The sanctuary it sort of triangle-shaped, with the entrance side curving like the underside of a ship. Iron grid-work supports the high ceiling, with rows of light bulbs hanging in staggered fashion -- very post-modern.

A little before noon I was back on the Metro; kinda cool that it was only two blocks from the church. I got back off and picked up a chicken sandwich at the same cafe I went to lunch for yesterday. The same girl as yesterday served me. She said she liked my accent, so I shifted into flirt mode, saying, "Right back at'cha." I'm shameless.

The plan now is to catch the Metro around 4 p.m., so I can catch an early bite to eat before trying to score soccer tickets. Montreal's home team is playing tonight. I figure if I can't catch Manchester United, might as well do the next best thing.

Park a few blocks from the B&B I'm staying at, which I took Saturday night.

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