Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Loudshoes in Quebec.

This past week was our first bit back at work after two weeks of holidays. I usually sigh and re-enter my life after holidays with a bit of and effort, but this time, it seemed right and true and wholly appropriate to get back to work. Maybe it was because we had a really nice, really relaxing time for the two weeks, or maybe it's that I was ready to get back to my routine, or maybe it was because I like my job and was eager to feel useful and needed and productive. Or maybe it was because I liked the idea of talking to someone I wasn't related to, or that I needed to make some money.
Regardless of the reason, it was nice to like going back to work.

We had a wonderful holiday, and it's not lost on me that, because my daughters are getting older and on the cusp of leading their own lives, and maybe will not want to go on holidays with their parents much longer. (When my mother suggested this to my father when my brother and I were around the same age, he confidently told her "as long as we're paying, they'll come.")

We went to Ottawa and saw the fireworks on Parlaiment Hill, which is something every Canadian should do sooner or later; it's a spectacular setting. There's something very satisfying about watching fireworks on a warm summer night with your family a a couple of thousand other people.

Then we went to Montreal for a few days, which is always a delight.
Iparticularly love Old Montreal. One time, when I was there with some of my cousins from Europe, I wondered out loud why, when they first settled Montreal in the 1700s, why did they build everything so close together? I mean, all they had was room, millions and millions of acres of land all around them, and they cram the buildings in on top of each other....what the hell? And my cousins, after a bit of thought, said that, compared to some of the oldest streets in Paris and Edinborough, these streets ARE wide....that there's streets there you can barely fit two horses going in opposite directions. So, yeah, I guess what is now Old Montreal was spacious and roomy by those standards. Also, I guess you have to remember that those millions of acres of land was filled with understandably hostile natives who would have been happy to slaughter any intruders bent on converting them to Christianity, and also, the winters there are freakishly cold, and maybe living on top of each other wasn't the worst idea in the world. Anyway, Old Montreal is fascinating and beautiful and entirely enchanting.

Later, we went to the Laurentians, where Big Liver Girl and her husband very generously allowed us to use their condo. Our girls had never been there, and were A) happy to finally see what I've been talking about for years, and B) delighted to be somewhere that everyone had their own rooms, and they could hang out and relax instead of having their mother constantly shreiking that she didn't drive all this way to sit in a hotel room and watch "My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding".

The ski hill in Ste-Sauveur becomes a water park in the summer, and it is, hands down, the best water park I've ever been to. How can you not love a water park that requires you to take a chair-lift to the top of the water slide? And water slides that require a helmet?
Here is a shot of the Mister and I coming down a slide that rattled my brain and rearranged my internal organs and left us bloodied and bruised. I don't know if you can zoom in on my face, but I look like I'm either in dire need of medical intervention, or a good, stiff drink. (Maybe they are one in the same, I don't know.) Anyway, Thing 1 took this picture while standing on a little bridge, and she said she could hear me way before she could see me.
On another slide, we had to manoever our way down the mountain on a an inner tube while negotiating a series of slides and little pools that had us crashing into each other (and strangers), and laughing hysterically. I'm not going to lie, I'm pretty sure we all incurred a bit of brain damage on that ride.

After we walked home from the water park, and we compared bruises and battle scars. The Mister's worse complaint was where his knees clonked together so hard he had two egg sized lumps and some impressively livid bruises on the inside of his legs. (He said he had trouble sleeping that night, because it's hard to get comfortable when every position requires your knees be involved somehow.) I had a sore shoulder from slamming into Thing 1 so hard I shot her over the lip of a slide, and Thing 2's elbows looked like she had been sandblasted.

It was a good day. And we weren't even done yet!

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