Day 9- The day before the penultimate day

Km 6412- 10:02 am St. Viateur bagels in hand after coffee with Emily, we are leaving the city with fond memories and delicious treats.
Km 6496- 11:27 am As we pass the exit for St. Eugene and St. Gaullime, I thought I’d take some time to write about the Montreal part of the trip. From when we arrived at 2pm to when I went to bed at 2am, this part of the trip was like the greatest hits of la belle ville…
We had lunch with Emily (another friend from Pearson College) and hung out with her family. Tim dropped us off to visit Emily’s sister Caitlyn and was going to come pick me up in the morning.
It was so wonderful to spend time with Caitie and her boyfriend Tom. Caitie is an evil genius and older sister extraordinaire, which automatically makes her a kindred spirit. She also had a list of places we needed to visit.
So we set off into the beautiful Saturday afternoon to browse used books, eat Soviet doughnuts, have microbrews and stroll down St.Laurent in search of dinner. Montreal was like I remembered it, albeit with more hipsters and some new cool places. I got a vacuum packed piece of brisket from Schwartz’s (you’re welcome, family) and dinner at this new place called Big in Japan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Montreal is one of the best places in the world to be a foodie.
While Caitlyn and Tom biked up to their house from dinner, Emily and I decided to walk up the Plateau to Mile End, before we went to an underground hipster bar (ooh la!) in “Mile Ex” (basically south end of Parc Ex cashing in on the trendy Mile End wave). We had already randomly run into our second year Madavine in the bar were at in the afternoon and were talking about all the Pearsonites in the city when we suddenly ran into our fellow year, Swelen (from Venezeula). I haven’t seen her since we graduated six years ago, but in true Pearson fashion, conversation is easy with these fellow UWCers because there is just something in the intensity of the two years that we are there that bleeds into an incredible connection for the rest of our lives.
After catching up and teasing a cat named R2, we finally made it out to the elusive Alexandraplatz, which was a refurbished garage with long tables set up inside. And my my was it ever trendy. We had a beer under fairy lights and then finally made our way home.
Ever since I moved to Montreal, the Keys-Myles household has been my second home. It was wonderful to be back and have everything feel so unbelievably comfortable. A small glimpse into the love this family shows me is by getting lava cakes.
Let me explain- It’s been a tradition of Emily and mine to watch the West Wing and eat lava cakes since McGill days. So when we got back, we watched ‘Celestial Navigation’, in honour of the road trip (mainly to see Josh defend the President’s secret plan to fight inflation). I hope we keep doing this for a long time to come!
Well, due to my late bedtime, it’s now time for a car nap!
Km 6553- 11:59 am too much construction… Now it’s nap time!
Km 6779- 3:34 pm Just had lunch at the nicest little cafe at a town right off the highway (La Pocatière). One more thing was checked off my Quebec list- Having a Boreal on a patio. Yes, I know there are better local bieres in the province. But when I was a student, McGill had a huge contract with Boreal and so it was the only beer available at campus events. So, for me, Boreal harkens back to a simpler time where your only choices were Rousse or Blonde.
Km 6853- 4:20 pm One of the big differences you notice when you drive from Canada to the US is the number of American flags you see everywhere. In the rest of Canada, you hardly ever see a flag and if you do, it’s usually just the maple leaf. It’s even rarer to see a provincial flag. However, in Quebec, you will see tons of fleur de lis.
Km 6877- 4:33 pm Other random observation about les Quebecois: they love their motorcycles.
Km 6953- 6:34 pm Crossed into New Brunswick with yet another time change. Only another half an hour change to get used to.
Km 7001- 7:08 pm Having gone through most of the country at this point, it’s really interesting to see the different pictorial representation of moose. The most accurate (at least in terms of relative scale and glory) has been New Brunswick, versus the scrawny BC version.
Km 7188- 8:54 pm We’re at King’s Landing 🙂 Apt for me to be reading A Feast for Crows.
Km 7294- 10:22 pm Tim and I’ve developed a habit of calling the last 160km the Junction-Whitehorse stretch. It really helps to break up such a long journey into more manageable parts by invoking a piece of home.
Km 7428- 11:42 pm Raining heavily after 3 days of nice weather. We have music going on the iPod as I read. All of a sudden, Tim turns the volume way up as Freddie Mercury cries “Thunderbolts and lightning, very very frightening”… Everything is funnier when you’ve been driving for over 12 hours.
Km 7451- 12:00 am At Tim’s place. No electricity yet. Good night!

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