Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 3 - Montreal to New Hampshire

Day 3 was an excellent day. We started the day with breakfast at Tim Horton's. Yes, we are gluttons for punishment. The guy behind the counter spoke English and processed our order well. I ordered a breakfast sandwich with bacon and no cheese. He keyed it in that way and naturally the lady who prepared the sandwich gave it to me with cheese on it. Mon dieu!

We decided to visit the Parc Olympique to close out the Montreal portion of our trip. Two of the attractions there are the Biodome de Montreal and the Olympic Tower. The Biodome was an indoor nature museum featuring habitats from different parts of the Americas. There was the tropical rain forest, the Laurentian (Quebec mountain range) forest, the St. Lawrence marine ecosystem, and the piece de resistance, the polar world. Z and B loved the polar world because it had a ton of penguins in it. The highlight for me was when we gave our tickets to the attendant to enter the Biodome. As she was reviewing our tickets, she proceeded to explain to me in rapid French, the rules of the Biodome. At the end of her statement, she looked at me waiting for a response. I had success earlier in the trip ordering Metro tickets (deux billets, s'il vous plait) but there was no way in the world that I could figure out what she was saying. I meekly said "Parlez vous anglais?" which is "Do you speak English?" and she told me that there was no flash photography inside. So many French words to say that there was no flash photography.

After the Biodome, we went across the parc to the Olympic tower which is a funiculaire (cable car) that ran up the side of Olympic Stadium to an observation deck that gave us breathtaking views of the city. I love looking at cities from high above. It was truly fascinating that Montreal could have such a neat exhibit on top of such a dump of a stadium. Perhaps, Richmond should try to put a cable car ride up the Diamond so people could see breathtaking views of our fine city.

Then, we drove across eastern Quebec down through Vermont to our next stop, Littleton in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. It was a beautiful 3 hour drive. I am happy to report that our room in the Hampton Inn here in Littleton has a nice TV. It feels like HD compared to the Montreal hotel piece of garbage.

Now onto to the what did we learn today portion of the blog.

1. Arctic penguins and Antarctic penguins are totally different. The Antarctic penguins were much bigger.

2. Best response to my "Parlez vous anglais?" was the girl at Dunkin Donuts who replied "Oui" which is yes in French. She also said "see you soon" after she gave us our donuts. A nice comment for sure, but it probably will never happen.

3. If you are in Quebec and you order fries "avec poutine" like I did at a Burger King east of Montreal as we were driving to New Hampshire, not only does it come with gravy but also with mozzarella cheese.

4. We drove past a point in Northern Vermont that said that it was the midpoint between the North Pole and the equator. That was fascinating.

5. Oddest purchase of the trip thus far - H went to a scrapbooking store in Montreal and the first thing she saw was scrapbooking paper of a city map. Which city you ask? Richmond, Virginia, of course.

One final note. I know that everyone is on pins and needles waiting for my road sign mania. Believe me, this year's crop of signs thus far is tremendous and I will be ecstatic to share them with everyone if we can ever figure out how to get these pictures off of the camera and onto the computer. Please be patient. It will be worth the wait.

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