Sunday, August 28, 2005

Day Off in Montreal

Wake up at 8:15, just as the driver is stopping the bus at the border. Time to do the old song & dance routine to get into Canada (not that any of us wants to…).

Once we get through, it's about another hour or so to downtown Montreal. We're staying at the Marriott Chateau Champlain. I get everyone into their rooms within an hour of our arrival – not bad for a Sunday morning around 11am.

After dropping my stuff in my room, I ask about a Starbucks location and head out. Should known it would be up on Saint Catherine's, which is 3 blocks north of us, in the mega-shopping area. There's actually 2 'Bucks – I go to the one inside a bookstore called "Chapters" because I need a new book today.

A drink and a scone for lunch, buy a book and a magazine, and head back out to rediscover the neighborhood. It's been a couple of years since I wandered around up here. There's a helluva lot of people shopping today, the sidewalks are all jammed. Pass the occasional crew guy, and a few ask questions – "Seen any pubs?", "Radio Shack?", etc. They know I always like to wander around to see where everything is.

Back to the hotel, finish the old book, take a nap, grab a shower. The audio guys have invited me to go to the strip club around the corner tonight. I appreciate it guys, but I have a sudden bout of anal glaucoma – I can't see my ass doing that. I'll probably crack the new book and I wanna watch the MTV Video Awards. Might see whoever I'll be working for next year or the year after.

Oh, yeah, here's a shot of the crazy sculpture a block away from the hotel. It makes me think of the SouthPark Anal Space Probe or something. Very phallic, indeed…

Take another walk, gotta find some chow to bring back for dinner. Walk for about 45-50 minutes before deciding to just grab a Subway back by the hotel. Forty feet before I reach the Subway, I come across 4 of our guys (Steve, Andy, Shawn and Jesse) sitting in the open air section of McLean's Pub and they invite me to join them. I get a great people-watching seat by the sidewalk and order a Boddington's and a sandwich. Get some jalapeno poppers, too, which for reasons known only to French-Canadians, are served with strawberry jam.


I try it. Not too bad. A little strange, but not bad.

While sitting in the window seat, I spot Joe & Geddy, and give them a shout out. They join us. Two minutes later, here comes Janet, Mark and Robb. Suddenly we've got a gang of 10. Drinking, eating and storytelling ensues. Several people inform me that I won't be able to see the MTV VMA's because the hotel only has Much Music, the Canadian equivalent to MTV, not the real deal.

Fuckin' Canucks!

Joe and I walk back to the hotel around 10:30 or so. I want to crack the new book and check to see what's going on with the hurricane that's about to trash New Orleans. Never make it to the book. Looks like the hurricane's gonna be BAD. I fall asleep watching pre-strike coverage…

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