My vacation is living in its last few hours so I figured it was about time I sent out an update. Put a pot of coffee on, this is going to be a long one.
I’m sure one day I’ll look back and laugh at the string of dubious events that happened on the trip but right now I feel like rolling around in some covers with Ben and Jerry’s, my dogs and a lot of wine, a whole lot of wine.
I left off on my story last week when I let you guys know we were all leaving early to avoid the snow. It’s really a good thing we did because this trip may not have happened, or I might not be writing this post.
We arrived in Fredericton, New Brunswick around ten or eleven on the 8th and settled in for the night. When we woke up Nemo was just blowing through so we decided to grab some breakfast and head out on our journey. We all were excited and the roads didn’t seem that bad and guessed about 3 hours to the boarder and hopefully we could get some shopping in Bangor done, possibly hit up a wine shop before settling in for the night. About an hour into the trip the roads started to get really bad, and we passed an accident on the highway and slowed down, a few kilometers down the road we spun 360 and ended up in a ditch. Luckily Leo’s driving skills are amazing and no one was hurt, the snow padded our impact. None of us made a sound while life seemed to slow down to the milliseconds and the car whipped around in one big circle. We called CAA, and because of the horrible weather it took a while to get a tow truck there to pull us out, but the police, RCMP and the tow truck driver (who came out on his day off to rescue us all) were lovely and we were soon on our way.
When we got to Bangor, the city was pretty much shut down, they received way more snow that originally forecasted. We parked, shuffled our stuff into our rooms and talked about dinner. One of the only places that was open was an Olive Garden, we had the best server, great food and finally relaxed a bit after an unexpected day. Wine was in order and after picking some up we arrived back at the hotel, the lounge area full of people. If I learned anything from this trip it is that people from Maine are ridiculously courteous. A few families in the area had lost power and the hotel was letting them hang out to be warm and watch some television. They even brought in soup, snacks and sweets for all the guests and residents. Saying I was feeling welcome after a long day would be an understatement.
In the morning we headed out to Montreal, super excited for the concert on Monday. Leo picked an amazing route through one of Maine national parks and even though there was a lot of snow the roads were well looked after so we could enjoy the scenery.
We passed Mexico, Maine, looped into New Hampshire and made a quick stop at a local Irving where there was more snowmobiles than vehicles filling up on gas. We entered Vermont just long enough to access a boarder crossing and were finally in Quebec. The scenery quickly changed from snow covered mountains to snow covered wheat fields, it wasn’t long before we were in the city.
We lucked out and got to stay at a beautiful hotel close to the Bell Centre where the concert was at but shortly after arriving we were told our reservation was not correct. We had booked three nights but for some reason only two nights were available, which meant we needed to plan out another night somewhere else in the city which was an inconvenience but an easy fix. Famished, we headed out for supper and I had my first experience at Les 3 Brasseurs. The food was great, as was the service, but the beer was awesome. We shared a pitcher of their red brew and called it a night.
Monday was the day of the concert and we had plans to go to the Biodome but we wanted to visit a mutual friend of ours and it was better we met up with him on Monday so we decided to go shopping instead. I love to shop, and I especially love shopping in big cities but this girl couldn’t’ find a thing. I had my heart set on some pleather vest for the concert and at the end of the journey I finally found a super cute mint-coloured knit sweater for $15 and called an end to shopping.
We met up with our friend Andrew, and went to a Montreal dining staple called Reuben’s Deli. As the name suggests there really wasn’t much for me to eat there but for a deli they churned me out a great pizza. Their food was plentiful and good from what all my friends were saying, but the waiter was a real jerk to one of my friends, so he kind of ruined the cozy experience.
We headed back to get ready for Gaga. I went through two outfits, not feeling comfortable in either because of all the roadside eating I had been doing. I tried to style myself like Lady Gaga in her ‘Judas’ video. Exhibit A.
I can’t say enough about the concert. Madeon, the 18 year old French DJ who opened, rocked the house. Gagas set was almost 3 hours long and she didn’t stop, slow down or take an intermission during the whole thing. Her outfits were incredible, her set was enchanting. She talked to the audience about acceptance, love and addressed mental illness followed by a tribute to Alexander McQueen. She touched on the objectification of women by wearing a fake meat dress and dumping herself into larger than life meat grinder (this article touches on that performance). She preformed one of my favorite songs, Americano and really did a good job of bringing up gay rights that she later discussed with the audience. I was blown away, it touched me on so many levels, and I was so impressed by her vigor, and pure talent.
Still on a concert high we went to bed late and planned to pack up, change hotels and visit the Biodome before meeting up again with our friend for dinner in the morning. We requested early check in but were not able to accommodate it so decided to head to the Biodome, in the car, with all of our stuff. It was cold out but I didn’t want to lug all my stuff through the center so I took out my wallet and camera, packed my purse with my phone and put in the trunk. I even left my jacket in the cab and shivered to the door. We spent about an hour and a half there checking out all the animals and then decided to head to the gift shop before leaving, I picked up a cute magnet, an adorable owl cup, some organic chocolate for AJs Mom and some postcards to send my friends.
We headed out to our car and on the pavement I noticed there was a lotion that we pick up from the hotel room. Leo got to his door and the window was busted open, when we popped the trunk all of my and AJs stuff was stolen, along with Leo bag with his cash. They left my coat, so I can only imagine they were watching us and took pity on me, because it was brand new but I would have been frozen without it. They even stole my bag of half eaten snacks with one of my favorite scarves in it and my grocery bag with two pairs of used boots. We were all devastated. I felt targeted and lost. I felt lucky I didn’t buy a whole bunch of stuff while I was there but upset I now needed to replace a bunch of work clothes, shoes, makeup brushes, a bunch of makeup and toiletries, my passport and id, my phone and my straightener, unfortunately I could go on but I won’t.
We filed a police report, called CAA again and they recommended a garage. After calling the recommended garage they advised it would be two weeks before we could get in. Totally exhausted and upset, we decided to find a place that we could get plastic and tape to at least tape up the window so we could stay warm. We rolled into a garage (I can’t recall the name) and the owner Norman took our car and fixed it in 45 minutes. While we were waiting we wandered into a tiny diner and relaxed and talked to a few Montreal natives before heading back. Norman cheered us up before sending us on our way and we dredged back into the city to find our hotel.
AJ and Mike checked in while Leo and I went to find the parking garage. Just our luck, the parking garage was closed for renovations and we needed to park outside. The guy tending the lot did not speak English and after our trying day, Leo and I could not speak French well. We understood that we paid for an overnight parking privilege but it ended at 6am and when we went back to extend it for a few hours the guy advised he couldn’t change it now and we could come back in the morning. Leo went out at 6 am to see if we could add to our bill and no one was there after waiting 15 minutes he came back inside. Luckily an hour later Mike was looking out the window and they were getting ready to tow our car. We quickly got it corrected but now were all awake so we decided to get ready and get in on our way.
All of us were done with Montreal and our stream of bad luck. Because AJ and I had our passports stolen, we couldn’t go back through the states, so we had to cancel hotels and book new ones and cancel our plans we had made for Maine. We stopped in Edmonston, New Brunswick and had a great stay.
I felt really defeated at this point and just wanted to get home. My mother had planned a road trip to Florida at the same time and I was bummed I couldn’t be in touch with her as my phone was gone. Luckily AJs Mom and mine are friends so they kept each other updated.
The last part of our trip was a long and boring drive but we stopped off in Moncton and ate at the Pump House restaurant and brewery. I tried their scotch ale which was super smoky and paired well with the eggplant dish I ordered. Everyone enjoyed their food and beer and their wait staff was courteous and informed.
We arrived in Halifax extremely happy to be home. The dogs were wagging their whole bodies when we came in. Rogue went through some anxiety in the last day we were gone and chewed off her back nail but other than that, they did well. I collected my grocery bag of stuff, mostly just the gifts I got from the Biodome and left them on the table. After leaving the room for two minutes Rogue ate my magnet. It pretty much summed up our trip.
The one thing we all said during this trip is that everything happens for a reason. Hopefully I’ll figure out that reason sooner than later but I must say I’m super proud of all of us. There wasn’t one freak out, one tear or breakdown. We made it through each incident without quarrel or blame. We acted like adults should. The trip wasn’t completely bust, a few days ago Gaga announced her Montreal tour was the last one for about 6 months due to a hip injury that needed surgery. Despite everything, I did have a ton of fun and just in case you were wondering, I still love road trips. We all learned a lot, found a ton of kindness in strangers and made the best of our time.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be replacing all of my belongings and one thing I need to replace is my charger for my camera’s battery so there may be some interruptions in posting in the coming weeks once I lose the ability to use my camera.
If you made it this far, thanks for your attention! The next post is a food post to get us back on track!
P.S – I was just mentioned on The Crush podcast – check it out!