We are in Montreal–a quick stop between the Bahamas and Beijing. I acknowledge that this may be the first time anyone has typed the previous sentence. When we were booking our flights from the Bahamas one of the most cost effective routes was via Montreal. Once we determined that, we did a little research and discovered that adding a few days in the city, versus four hours in the airport, actually brought the ticket price down.
That resulted in my turning 50 here, instead of in Beijing. I can’t imagine a better birthday. We started the day with a brisk walk (in 22 degree weather) to the nearest metro stop, about 1.5 miles away, followed by a 5 stop metro ride and another walk to the Chinese Consulate where we stood in line for an hour to follow up on some visa issues. Once that was done, it was off to breakfast and then a metro ride across town to buy dust masks from the Canadian equivalent of Home Depot and mosquito repellent and bigger Teva’s for the boys at MEC, the Canadian version of REI.
At one point, as we walked along an industrial street on the outskirts of town, we stopped and took a picture of ourselves reflected in a dark window (above.) We were part way into a two mile walk from the metro station to the MEC store along a multi-lane highway. We were all telling stories as we walked along–no cell phones, no internet, and in no real hurry. I can’t imagine a better hour than that.
We returned to our AirBNB apartment, dropped the boys off and headed back out into the cold to buy gyros from the pizza/greek joint a couple of blocks away. After a couple of hours of working on reservations and language apps (it turns out the roughly 70 percent of the words in Thai and Lao are the same, but pronouns, negatives and a lot of common words are not) I am writing this and going to bed.
Everything that I did today, I did with Aleix by my side. I can think of no better partner with which to explore the world, relive and laugh about the adventures of the past, and dream about the adventures of the future.
It was a great 50th birthday.