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Nénuphars and water lilies too

Posted by PlayGroundology on July 13, 2008

We\'re here - my first camping trip

We're here - my first camping trip

24 hours and 800 kilometres can make for very stark changes of scenery. A trademark Toronto streetcar just chugged up to its John and King St. stop rescuing early morning travellers from a steady rain. Rewind to yesterday morning deep in Québec’s Eastern Townships, en famille, en campagne with the Dicaires at Lac Magnétic. There we were in camp and cottage country a 3 hour plus drive east of Montréal and just 20 minutes from the Maine border. Hot dogs, kicky-ball, swimming with the kids and a rescue operation for some stranded minnows. We didn’t save them all but a few of them will stick around a little longer in the food chain.

We had a rocket ride back to Montréal in just over 2 1/2 hours with les oncles, Réal and Rod. I got dropped at Berri and bought a bus ticket for the all night run to TO. Walking to my regular coffee spot at Bleury and Ste. Catherine I stumbled across the Twins’ Parade on Maissonneuve, an annual happening at the Just for Laughs Festival. When I made it down to Ste. Catherine the entire street was blocked off for pedestrian traffic only – undoubtedly the longest sidewalk sale in the city. Il y avait du monde….

I was to meet up with Réal and Rod a bit later for a meal at an Indian resto. Trying to find a functioning public payphone on Ste. Catherine is like searching for free wireless outside of major urban centres, not impossible but a hard act. We finally did connect via Skype and had a delicious meal, a couple of on tap Indian beers and good conversation.

Urban Giraffes

Urban Giraffes

Les oncles dropped me at CC Café – surprise, it was already closed at 21h15. It became another episode of boy with a backpack looking for wireless. Back to Just for Laughs and crazy, huge crowds pushing up St. Denis with divertissements all along the way – giraffes, walking larger-than-life-size puppets, aliens, drunk waiters, dance shows and up on the main stage under at the end of the trail of baby blue lights, one of my favourite Québecois rockers – Stefie Shock. I listened to the show from just over a block away at my choice Québecois coffee chain – Presse Café.

Lakeside - Mégantic

Lakeside - Mégantic

There was still another hour before I could make tracks to the bus station. I could have snoozed right then as our little Nellie-Rose got up a few times during her inaugural night of camping. Lac Mégantic – despite the long drive – was a simple pleasures equals great times kind of equation. It was a Dicaireville tent city with no amenities but excellent company, campfires, marshmallows, beverages and the smallest of the small Nellie-Rose getting passed from arm to arm until the whole family had a snuggle and a squeeze. And then there were the lady of the lake water lilies thrusting their yellow buds to the sunwashed sky. All the kids picked some and made gifts to the ones they love. Sweet, too sweet.

This is an annual pilgrimage organized by Réjean who bought the camp a few years back. I’m glad we had a chance to participate and that Noah-David saw the extended family at work. My family is scattered across the US, Canada and Scotland so it’s just not the same.

Before I turned to Berri busland, I flipped over to Ontario Street to L’Alizé to see if per chance Moussa my long time pal and co-owner of the club was on the premises. I wasn’t sure if he was in the city or in Sénégal but happy happenstance there he was outside the doors on the sidewalk. A nice low key reunion and time to catch up over 1 beer before the 401 nightride. It was a long ride with not much sleep. I’m just about tanking on empty

It’s still raining outside this downtown Tdot Second Cup. Right across the street there’s a big crane juste comme mon petit gars il adore. Makes me think of a few days ago in Québec City when we had a great view of a big construction site with all of his favourite heavy machinery at work – heaven for a nearly 3-year-old.

Mé, Noah-David and Nellie-Rose are back in Sorel. I’m here for a couple of days to see my oldest daughter Makyla. It’s been a year since our last visit when she came to Halifax for my 50th so it’ll be great to see her.

The subway is calling, a hug for my daughter is just a few miles away and a short rest is in order. Ramping off the Don Valley Parkway onto Richmond St. East this morning, a sign outside the Riverside Church exhorted all those who glanced in that direction to, “Prepare to Meet Thy God”. On this Sunday, I’ll opt for – prepare to meet thy pillow.


One Response to “Nénuphars and water lilies too”

  1. […] year but it went missing in our move. Both little ones had a marvellous time with it during our Lac Mégantic camping trip. I pick up a one-person tent as a substitute so the kids will have something to play […]

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