Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not a traditional Thanksgiving post

Many of you may know that Thanksgiving is not my favorite holiday--I like the sentiment of focusing on the good since it is a nice antidote to my normal pessimism, but I'd rather do that over a plate of something more tasty than dessicated turkey and bloppy mashed potatoes.

This year Brian and I decided to feel really grateful--for each other! It was our 10 year anniversary in September and we knocked around a bunch of ideas for how to celebrate. We decided a trip somewhere together without the critters was the way to go and since we have two sets of local grandparents to abuse the generosity of, we picked Thanksgiving week to abandon our spawn.

We contemplated trips to Italy/Spain/Southern France but the budget (and the US Dollar) did not support such a plan.  Finally we decided to go somewhere that feels a bit like Europe but is easier and faster to get to, friendlier and a hell of a lot cheaper since it isn't exactly a major tourist destination in November: Montreal!

We took the train from Windsor, stopped for a night in Toronto and saw a really excellent experimental production of Hamlet and then spent four days in Montreal.

We probably got really lucky--the weather was beautiful, in the 50s, for most of our time there and we only had only one brief period of rain and even that fell on the evening that the Musee d'art Contemporain is open late (and free!)  I complained at one point when we were walking into the sun that it was too bright and Brian, that sainted man who has put up with my moody self for 10 years and deserves a big medal, resisted the urge to whack me upside the head for kvetching about too much light!

Hotel rooms are cheap cheap cheap in November. Even the schwoopy boutique Hotel Gault was less than $150 per night. We decided on the Auberge du Vieux Porte and it was way nicer than we could have afforded at a different time of year. There was a terrific breakfast included in our pretty room with a view of the port and every afternoon at 5 pm they poured big, free glasses of a decent shiraz and laid out a plate of tasty cheese and grapes and baguette for the guests to consume before heading out for the evening.

The food in Montreal is lovely and the people even lovelier (and that is saying something since the food is really damn good).  I think it may be my favorite North American city, definitely one that I would happily move to if life made such demands on me (not likely, but a girl can dream.)

We returned home at 1 am on Friday morning and that evening we consumed the dessicated turkey and bland side dishes with the slightly frazzled grandparents and felt very, very thankful for our good life together.

Stay tuned for some photos/highlights of our Montreal interlude.

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