October 2nd, 2007
Saturday, September 15
Our day began once again with breakfast in the mall of the hotel concourse. There is a stand with Seattle’s Best coffee down there, have I mentioned that??
I think I have the days mixed up here, because according to my photos and what I was wearing, it was Friday we went to the Bay and tried on hats and I raided the MAC counter. Yes. So what did we do Saturday? Because I wasn’t picked up until about 2:30. So I’ll say… we went to the Bay, tried on silly hats, Gaby bought a really cute one, and I raided the MAC counter, buying mascara, lipstick and lip gloss. MAC rules. But the mascara stings my eyes, just like the Estee Lauder brands, which owns MAC, so there is something in their mascaras that my eyes don’t like. But every other part of my face likes MAC make-up.
Gail and Loren picked me up in the afternoon and Loren dropped Gail and I off on Roncesvalles for the Polish Street Festival while he took off to run other errands. It was great fun, especially the parts where we had to get me in my wheelchair over all the damn streetcar tracks!! Heh. I bought a few things, surprise SURPRISE. Mainly some handmade jewelry, and some $10 sunglasses that are designer rip-offs. I had forgotten my sunglasses at home, and actually looked for a pair in the Bay, but I wasn’t about to pay $100 when I knew I would be able to get some for $10 from a street vendor at some point!
Roncesvalles Village - Polish Street Festival
We also stopped at a wonderful vendor, The Queen of Tarts, where Gail talked me into buying a bag of ginger-encrusted pecans. She says she goes out of her way once in awhile to come buy these… and, I can see why. They were delicious, AND they helped my menstrual cramps!! (Ginger is great for that, and what a tasty way to get it!) I need one bag/month! I should have bought a year’s supply or so.
Another day, another coffee shop
Then we went back to Gail’s place so I could see her condo and meet her cat, Pollyanna.
Pretty girl! Thanks for the Sigg water bottle!
We chatted and drank some yummy chocolate liqueur… I don’t remember the brand, but it was amazing! I also called my mom from Gail’s place… I wasn’t even aware Looney call existed. YAY! You learn something new every day…
Then it was off to meet my cousin Carrie and her boyfriend Matt for dinner at Dr. G’s. It was a great choice. Gail and Loren go there a lot, and when Carrie was trying to think of a restaurant nearby her that was accessible, Dr. Generosity was near the top of her list, too. So that worked great. AND they had my beer on tap, Big Rock’s Grasshopper, which you don’t see very often East of Calgary! (Pictures inFacebook, even of my beer).
It was an early night, and I was back at the hotel and in bed by about 10:00. Gaby and Emma had gone to see a dance performance by Peter’s girlfriend Andrea, and came back later than me.
Sunday was Lazy Day. I needed the rest! I did some packing, puttered on the computer, wheeled myself around the hotel and took pictures while Gaby visited with another friend of hers and Emma did homework. Sort of.
Waterfall in our hotel lobby
Nathan Phillips Square across the street
Just a picture taken outside our hotel
While hanging outside the hotel, I ran into the Scooter Guy I had met outside the bus depot the other day. He told me more about his terminal illness (liver and kidney diseases) and that he has been living in a long-term care facility for the past year. “I used to stay in this hotel a lot - I used to be rich” he told me. Apparently he gave his money to his children when he thought he was going to die, but he ended up living longer than anyone thought he would, and now his kids don’t talk to him and he has nothing. But, he would like to take me on a date, to see a show… “I’m leaving tomorrow,” I told him. He was a little creepy, and who knows if any of his stories are true (I imagine he drank his money and life away, but I believe his kids don’t talk to him!) Also, you don’t have to be rich to stay in the Sheraton, for the record. It was the cheapest hotel downtown I could get through my travel agent (but almost twice as much as my Montreal hotel. Oh well).
Anyway, Sunday evening was a BLAST. First we met up with Emma’s friend Gillian for dinner (at the Java House, of course). I had Pad Thai mmmmmm! Then it was down to the famed Cameron House to see Kevin Quain and the Mad Bastards. Our buddy Adam plays drums with them.
We parked my wheelchair in the back room and got a table up front. The band was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G and Kevin Quain is a crazy ridiculous talent. He played guitar, banjo, piano, accordian, even a SAW. I bought all 3 of his CDs immediately and asked him if he knew my old friend Scott McClelland, because his show made me think of Carnival Diablo and I figured they should be friends. Which they are, and Kevin has even done gigs with him! They are a good fit, I tell ya.
His trumpet player plays with Feist! AND gave me directions to the bathroom. While he was on stage haha The stage is so small that he actually stood on the floor, by the curtain that led to the back room. He walked back there with me and Gaby to show me where the women’s bathroom was, but due to all the stairs I said “you know, I’m just going to use the men’s…” and I did that while Gaby stood outside to make sure no men came in!
After the show, I was standing up, chatting with Adam, and then I turned to say goodnight to Kevin. I felt my right foot not land properly, and knew I was falling… the sort of stumble where if a table or something was beside me I could have stopped myself, but because nothing was there I had to let myself fall. So I landed flat on my ass and scared some people. I played it cool and asked for a chair to help me get up, and I got up okay on my own. The girls had just retrieved my wheelchair out of the back, so I held it to balance me as we walked out. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes, dammit, so I didn’t talk to anyone on my way out except to say a quick goodbye to any band members we passed. Then we got outside, I sat in my chair, and let it rip! Dammit, I hate when that happens. I wasn’t really hurt, but I guess falling in front of a bunch of people is an ego bruiser. Adam was there, giving me big hugs, as I was apologizing for being a big baby. I felt like such an idiot!
Anyway, we said our goodnight’s to Adam and headed back up Queen Street to our hotel. I was still sniffling so I didn’t want to stop in the Horseshoe, as was my original plan, to say hello to an old friend (and former Phantoms guitarist) who works there on Sundays. Emma asked “don’t you want to stop in there and see him?” (It has been, after all, over 15 years). But I knew I wouldn’t be able to do it. I have a hard enough time seeing people I haven’t seen in that long, who have no idea I have MS (it’s the looks of shock and/or pity that I can’t handle!) never mind running into an old friend while in a wheelchair when I’ve just been crying… I’d lose it and start bawling like a baby and not even be able to get out a “hello”! I could have done it if I hadn’t been snivelling. Dammit!
So instead we stopped at a hot dog vendor and bought hot dogs. There is nothing like getting street meat at 2:00 in the morning! (Gaby got a veggie dog. I should point that out in case she is reading!) Apparently, Emma and Gaby don’t have that in Montreal. We have them in Calgary… isn’t everyone hungry when they roll out of the bar after it closes? It’s a necessity.
We were back at the hotel and in bed by about 2:30, I guess. The next day we checked out and caught our bus at about 1:30 pm. Next up, Montreal!!