Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hanging with the Frenchies

We recently got back from our first summer vacation in five years. Hubby and I decided that we should take the time and drive up to see his grandparents who are ailing, but by the grace of God are still around to enjoy Iris.

The grand parents are living in Port Cartier Quebec which is about 18 hours by car. Beautiful country side but a hell of a long journey with the Baby girl. The first night we drove as far as Trois -Rivieres and grabbed a hotel room for some much needed rest. I might mention that we arrived at the hotel around 12:30 am and baby girl was still awake.

On our journey between Burlington and Trois-Rivieres we encountered several funny events and odd sightings. One in particular that sticks out is Rosie's Family Restaurant in Colburg. We once again were placing our trust in Anna (GPS locater with a crack habit) and discovered that the only place to eat in Colburg was a funky (in the bad sense) Chinese restaurant or Rosie's. In my efforts to ward off food poisoning I choose Rosie's. We walked in and were greeted with old and tired early 1980's decor with all original silk flowers. This woman, we'll call her Rosie sloths her way over to us and asks;

Rosie: How many?

Hubby: two and a highchair please

Rosie: drags her 40 yr old virgin body to the back of the restaurant and sits us at a table directly on top of another couple.

Me: I am looking around at a vacant restaurant with approximately 20 other tables and give Mark the eye.

Hubby: can we sit here actually as he points to two tables over with a larger table and comfy bench seat on one side

Rosie: ummm ahhhh ohhhh well no because what if a party of six comes in...and she puts our menus down on the table for two.

Mark: looking around, says to me; yeah that's happening

Me: not likely and start pissing myself laughing

Rosie: leaves to the kitchen.

It took Rosie another 15 minutes before she brought drinks and took our meal order and another 30 minutes to whip up a two dollar grill cheese and a chicken club. In the mean time I used the facilities and I report that the toilets recline for your comfort.
I would not recommend stopping at Rosie's Family Restaurant...thanks Anna.

We decided to fill up our gas as we left Colburg and good thing. As soon as we crossed the boarder into Quebec the price of gas shot up from 96.1 to 109.5...and remained there for the rest of our road trip.

In Montreal we hit some serious construction which is pretty much on every road though out Quebec. They don't seem to have a construction schedule...more like they just release crews into the night and yell dig. By the time we hit Montreal they had closed the 40 (main highway) and we had to take a service road...losing an hour but confirming the myth that Frenchies love to yell. The culture on the service road that night was rich....Honking of horns, people darting out in traffic yelling and the man beside us that I like to call Mr. Tabornac. This guy had his fists up shouting Tabornac...honk AHHHH For those whom are not French Tabornac is a french curse, would be equivalent to our Fuck.

On the second day we passed through a small town called Donna Cona. They had the most beautiful little seaside homes with stone pretty. As we drove by I thought about how amazing it would be to live directly on the ocean like that. To be able to whale watch from your breakfast table, truly fantastic. Another point of interest was every ones obsession with the mail. We witnessed many folks waiting at the end of their driveways in anticipation for the mailman. Some we saw running from their home to gather the mail. One man in particular took his time as he waltzed down his driveway in only his bikini image that we never leave me. I don't understand the excitement surrounding mail, but they certainly look forward to Christmas everyday! We actually were lucky enough to see two whales on our ferry ride at Tadoussac...amazing.

We frequently stopped at many Tim Hortons along the way and we're exposed to an odd occurrence. Hubby would order the coffees and then the lady would ask, " do you want a straw"? as she hovered a plunging tool over the coffees.

Hubby: What? No

Lady: No Straw....starring at hubby like his face was on inside out.

Hubby: No Thanks

As he was walking out, he looked around he saw a sea of people with coffee cups with a straw in it. I finally asked a lady at the Provigo as she stated that they do it because the coffee is too hot. This made no sense to me as the straw has no cooling affects. You are now literally sucking the hot coffee from the bottom of the cup. I could not accept this as a valid answer...she was clearly just on the bandwagon and not aware of why. I later found out it is because they don't want to actually open the coffee when they are driving so they use the spillage. Yeah, no....I'll take the risk of 3rd degree tit burns...suck my Tims from a straw, sacrilege!

The actually stay with the g-parents was great. They were so thrilled to see us and Iris. She put years on their lives for sure. They got a kick out of her being able to speak French and all her little antics. It was sheer joy and bliss for them.

The g-parents have a guest bed up stair and downstairs both super twin which equals super tiny when you are use to a King. I therefore took the upstairs and Hubby the downstairs. I slept well except for the trip to the can every 45 minutes. Not me, Pepere. He got up every 40-45 minutes to piss. It would not have been that bad if it weren't for the fact that he requires a walker to get around. I would wake to him getting up with a collection of small noises old people make and shuffling out of his room and down the hall to the bathroom, but not before he takes out every door frame along the way. He would get to his bedroom door and hook a wheel on the frame and instead of backing up for a second attempt, he would just continue to plow and push through until he was clear. Good God man....crash, shake, crash, bang, rattle, crash...shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, turn....crash, shake, crash, bang, rattle, crash....shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Oh lord he is finally in the bathroom, but not out of the woods yet....KABOOM. My heart would stop every time....what the fuck....the old man must be in the tub. Nope when he gets to his 3 foot elevated toilet seat he throws the walker out of his way and it hits the tub. Son of a mother, I was there for four nights and every night I was convinced he had fallen. His piss was also filled with muffled commentary and farts...then the procedure back to the bed starts all over again....whole process 18 minutes. Not much sleep on this vacation that's for sure. Side note, I am not expert on geriatric navigation, but turning on a light may have helped him.

Over all we had a great time and so lucky to have grandparents in our Thirties. We left with an emotional goodbye and were on our way back home. I think for me it was hard to say goodbye to Memere, because I really bonded with her and since I lost my Nana whom I was so close to, it felt so nice to share that kind of relationship with someone else. If felt as thought I was having to say goodbye to my Nana all over again....kinda sad but would not have traded the experience for the world.


MP said...

WOW that looks like a great trip! You Canadians are so alike and yet so different. I think it would be wild to live in a coutry where there is such a strong foreign presences like the French..Oh wait, we have Texas :-)
Countryside looks beautiful!
Is that still your TomTom unit that is giving you such a hard time?
Gramps has an enlarged prostate. I think he needs some can get it cheap in Canada..I get emails every day. My dad takes it but still goes a couple times a night. He has a hospital pea cup in his room and just sits up on the side of the bed then empty and cleans it every night. He's almost 87, he can do whatever the hell he wants to. Less chance of falling that way.
Hubby is 39 and his grandma is the same age as my parents..gotta love that.
Great trip, love the pictures...that baby...can I just skuush her face and blow raspberries??? you could eat her up!

Heather said...

Ah yes, the trip to the wilds of Quebec is never without hilarity and strange occurances! I've never been so far as Port Cartier but have experienced the wonders of travelling through Quebec on our way to PEI a few times! And yes, we too have experienced the construction around Montreal..I actually made the mistake of falling asleep during night driving in contstruction hell outside of Montreal, only to wake up to what looked to me like a literal sea of pylons! It was like a bad horror

But it looks like your trip was a great one and the pictures are too cute! I give you credit for undertaking such a massive trip with Iris at her age..I'm thinking that after the baby is born, we won't be going anywhere for the next 16 years! LOL

Anonymous said...

talking about your Memere, makes me cry about mine! I miss my Memere!
Thanks for the great story and I agree with you straws in coffee!