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The Birthday Jubilee Doth Commence With Minor Tribulations

Montréal from the air

Thank you to one and all friends for the attendant and hearty Facebook congratulations in celebration of VanRamblings' august 61st birthday. Such warmly expressed salutations are appreciated, as anyone who is familiar with the inimitable and gregarious Mr. Know-It-All has long realized.

Although we've truncated our stay in Montréal — due to pesky real-life, if you will, considerations — this is, after all, our most anticipated celebratory birthday (today!), and despite those 'real-life' considerations we have every intention of enjoying ourselves during our 8-day stay in la belle province.

We will set about to explore Montréal, duly recording our experiences on photo and video (the photos due for a Flickr slideshow presentation mid-week next week). As we have not had our morning coffee, after the jump we will briefly — the term 'briefly' constituting a relative term when it comes to describing VanRamblings' perambulations, he of 'long of wind' and an adherent to the philosophy, "Why employ 100 words when 1000 deliciously exploratory observations will satisfy just nicely, thank you." — relate the events of yesterday, and today's early morning hours.

Steady yourself. Up next, we'll explore our August 10th Montréal flight.

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As is our wont, and more is the pity, VanRamblings did not manage any sleep the evening prior to our departure. Thus, we all but dragged ourself to the Broadway bus at 5:22 a.m., as we headed towards the Canada Line at Cambie and Broadway, and on to YVR, where we arrived at 6:03 a.m. Securing our boarding pass, we set about to enjoy a morning coffee at the YVR White Spot, after which we boarded our WestJet Boeing 737-800, window seat 6F, for a four hour and twenty minute flight to Toronto.

So far, so good. The flight was uneventful. VanRamblings dutifully recorded the take-off and landing (which we may, or may not, post tomorrow), and the flight time just slipped by. We watched the perfectly dreadful soap opera Water for Elephants — during which time the viewer is left to wonder how it is that Christoph Waltz ever managed a Best Actor Oscar, and why the producers cast Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson as the co-leads, when the two have absolutely no relatable onscreen chemistry.

WestJet Flight 366 landed in Toronto at 3:20 p.m., and at 4 p.m. VanRamblings was once again in the air, secured in another window seat, 5F this time just in front of the wing, onboard Flight 716, on the somewhat smaller Boeing 737-600, headed for la belle province, and Montréal.

WestJet Flight 716's scheduled Montréal landing time was 5:10 p.m. Alas, dear and constant reader, it was not to be. Oh woe is me, oh woe is me.

Although the environs surrounding Montréal were sunny and welcoming, as witness the photo atop this posting, the weather at the airport was monsoon-like, blustery, with a spot thunder and lightning storm and torrential downpour of rain preventing a landing. After circling for half an hour, Montréal's Pierre Eliot Trudeau airport sent us back to Toronto.

WestJet Flight 716 arrived back in Toronto shortly after 7 p.m. WestJet then set about to book passengers on a 10:30 p.m. flight, WestJet Flight 482 (on a larger Boeing 737-800 this time). In fact, the flight didn't leave until 10:45 p.m., arriving in Montréal just before midnight. VanRamblings sang ourselves a whispery and doleful "Happy Birthday" as we de-planed.

VanRamblings had our luggage in hand by 12:30 a.m. (on our birthday !!!), and set about to wait for the 747 Express Bus to take us to downtown Montréal, where we were left at the corner of Boulevard René-Lévesque et Rue Mansfield, after which we hailed a cab to take us to McGill's Royal Victoria College Residence, arriving at our final destination at 2 a.m.

VanRamblings unpacked, and collapsed into our bed shortly after 3 a.m., arising this morning to a spectacularly sunny Montréal morning, at 10:30 a.m. a knock on the door to our dorm room facing Rue University providing us with a receipt for our stay. We then set about to enjoy an invigorating shower, and set up our wifi connection, allowing us our first Montréal post.

Now, off we go for our birthday, and an exploration of old Montréal!

Posted by Raymond Tomlin at August 11, 2011 11:46 AM in Montréal 2011


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