My love for Canada explained

I am Poppy, Mikey’s long lost sister.  We finally found each other in 2006 through — who else? — Avitable.  I’m not sure how widespread the secret is, but everyone finds everyone else through Avitable.  It’s just a fact.

ANYWAY, yesterday Becky dared not do what I am about to do: Talk about all the times I’ve been to Canada.  Having lived in Vermont for the first 33 years of my life I actually went an obscene number of times.  A day trip to Canada was a frequent thing in my neck of the woods.  So I’ll just mention a few of my most memorable journeys:

1. Shopping in Montreal with my mommy. I needed school clothes.  My mom had the most brilliant idea ever to take me to Montreal to go shopping there.  I’m pretty sure I had been on a school trip recently and had loved it but had no money on me to buy clothes while all my friends around me were buying the clothes I looooooooved.  So, Mom and I piled in the car and did a road trip to a mall in Montreal!  We had a great time choosing severely funky clothes for me to wear.  Then we ate in the mall’s food court, bought lots of gum (my brother and I both have a thing for gum, it’s hereditary but inexplicable), and drove home.  My kinda trip!

2. Visiting one of my first online friends who went to Canada for college. My Best Friend Forever at the Time (BFFatT) was a boy I’d met through an online BBS where geeky kids chatted for hours and hours on the computer.  We also knew a chick named Shira (princess of POWER!) who was a bit older than us.  When she had been in college for a couple years my BFFatT and I randomly decided we wanted to go visit Shira at her Montreal apartment, so we did.  We drove up in BFFatT’s car, and when we arrived we somehow got talked into eating raw garlic cloves on a dare then I accidentally found (and handled without knowing what it was) Shira’s bedtime toy.  That’s all I’ll say about that.  After visiting we went to a local pizza joint and had (what else?) garlic pizza then drove home.

3. Going to Montreal to drink with all my friends who were over 18 but under 21. I can’t quite remember who all went, there were that many of us, but the first bar we went to was an Irish bar.  Yah, we went alllllllll the way to Canada to drink at an Irish bar.  We didn’t know what we were doing, though.  We didn’t tip the bartender at the right time so he stopped serving us and we left.  Then we went to a more Montreal flavored bar on St Catherine Street and I had my first ever Sex on the Beach.  Ah, mon dieu, I was in love at first sip.

4. Going to the gay bar, gay bar, gay bar to dance with my gay boyfriend. In my senior year of college I hung out with a gay guy.  We went to Montreal together so he could pick up boys. We went shopping first and I bought a really cute short dress but I only had my Tevas.  So I went out dancing in my Tevas and short dress.  I somehow got plastered enough so that I would actually dance on the dance floor.  I don’t remember if he picked up anyone or not, I just remember being very comfortably numb. 🙂

5. Visiting  Canadian Parliament. In my second senior year of college (it’s a long story that boils down to: I switched my major my first senior year) I had an actual boyfriend who took Canadian Studies class with me.  For Valentine’s Day weekend there was an optional school trip to Canadian Parliament in Ottawa.  My boyfriend and I both decided to go and I don’t know about him, but I had a fantastic time.  We watched the pre-Parliament procession, actually sat in on that session of Parliament, had a drinks party with members of Parliament after (free boooooooze), had a formal dinner in the Parliament restaurant (beef tenderloin medallions in a deliciously rich brown sauce), then we went for a walk to look at the ice sculptures on display nearby.  And this was all for class credit!  Is that not insane?!

6. A random visit to my employer’s head office au Canada with my boss who I hated. I worked for an international clothing company at the time, in the US head office’s IT department.  When I first started working there I loooooooved my boss, but she didn’t get along with the owners so she quit and a guy that she and the IT director used to work with at another place of employment was brought in as her replacement.  He and I got along like oil and water on a very bad day.  But for some reason that now escapes me we had to drive to Montreal together to go visit our Canadian head office so we did.  The president of the company happened to be visiting that day and I remember going outside to a canal and just watching the water go by.  The president and I discussed how wonderful Canada is… and then it was back to work.  And, of course my boss chose to drive us home during rush hour so it took 3 hours to get home instead of 1.5 hours, and he kept going the wrong way trying to get out of Montreal… And this is why GPS exists today!

7. Fondue in Québec City. My ex and I went to QC with BFFatT and his wife for a weekend getaway.  When we got there we found an incredible Swiss fondue restaurant and gorged ourselves on the magnificent liquid cheese and chocolate.  I tried the meat fondue but didn’t care for it.  I was allllll about the tomato-garlic cheese fondue.  And the beer that went with it.  And the aquarium we went to so I could stare at jellyfish.

8. Road trip to Halifax!!!!!!!!!!!! Same cast of characters on this trip.  We rented a Jeep Grand Cherokee and DROVE from Vermont, through Quebec, New Brunswick, and a bunch of Nova Scotia to arrive to Halifax.  The best part?  We had made NO reservations.  When we got to Halifax there was a big bowling tournament in town so we got the last room available at the third place we stopped at.  We then visited the most beautiful place on Earth: Peggys Cove.  We also went to the Meritime Museum, which was quite spectacular.  There was even an exhibit and a short film about the Titanic there!  I remember we ate at a steak house but I was feeling green in the gills so didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have.  Oh, yup, and we visited the Halifax Citadel.  Now, that’s a must see.

9. The return trip to Québec City for fondue!  And a lot of crêpes. This time I was with the ex, Break Boy, and a very first-timely pregnant Knitting Girl.  It was to be their last hurrrrrahhhhh before entering parenthood.  We walked around the city, ate at the same fondue place, and found a delicious place where I kept eating maple crêpes every time we went.  Delicious.  And I think we visited the street performers on the boardwalk about 5 times that trip.  I was entranced by the fireeating woman.  (I have a thing for fire.  It’s pretty.)  Actually, I’m trying to remember, but I think we had fondue twice on that trip.  That’s how much we all love cheese.

and… (drumroll please)

10. My fantasy trip to chez LeSombre (which technically hasn’t happened yet, but it will). Dawg and I will be invited to Mikey and LovelyWife‘s house and we will drink wine, eat fine cheeses, parler en français (I’ll teach Dawg some key phrases such as: “il faut uriner maintenant!!! … zut alors, où sont mes autres pantalons?” “où. est. la. bibliothèque??!?” “je voudrais manger vôtre poisson, SVP!” “qui a peté?!?!?! oh, c’est moi. 😀 “) and after our bellies are full and our minds are endrenched in sulphorous endorphins we will march over to Mikey’s work and tell off the garcons (bilingually, of course!).  Then we will return home, have a demi café, and ask the kiddos to go with us to the aquarium, museum, movies, a fine French restaurant, then a wonderfully charming pâtisserie.  Mmmmmmmmm, pain au chocolat….



  1. As a child on the Niagara Frontier, I also experienced that casusal border crossing to our neighbor to the north. Mostly due to family members visiting from out of state which necessitated a trip to see rushing water falling off a cliff.

    Does that mean you remember Canadian tv as well? The Trouble with Tracy, The Friendly Giant maybe even Uncle Bobby? Inquiring minds want to know….

    maman recently said 25 Things about me

  2. Another Poppy blog pursuer here…
    Interesting background facts about the Canadian proximity there… I wonder how much I’ll actually remember. (It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I have horrible memory).

    I also hope that Dawg understands at least as much of the french he was taught I do. Which is precious little, but enough to suspect being amused.

  3. @Poppy : just pick a date so that we can fix that technical detail… Our door is always open! (insert obligatory Canadian joke on unlocked door here)

  4. I didn’t find everyone through Avitable either. Just because he is YOUR gateway drug to the interwebs doesn’t mean he gets passed around like a blunt.

    I have no clue what it is that you’ll be teaching me.

    I do know that someone farted. Oh wait… that was me.

    I have to go pee now.


    NYCWD recently said Believe

  5. You know we’ll have to do exactly what you planned on doing when you come visit. I just need to find an aquarium now… 😉

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