Saturday, August 8, 2009

Wanna Take a Road Trip to Montreal?

We have both been known to do flaky things at times.

Last weekend, we travelled to Montreal so that Eddy could give a talk at a nerd workshop. Packing for the trip seemed suspiciously easy--that is, until we realized at midnight the night before we were set to leave at 6:15 am the next morning that we failed to retrieve our passports from the safe deposit box. Needless to say, we were embarassed and flustered. After calling and calling and calling US Airways, we decided the best thing to do would be to just miss our early flight and present at the airport the next morning with passports in hand.

This strategy saved us $1000 in rebooking fees. We did have to wait from 9:30 am to 1:30pm for our flight to leave, but at this point, we thought we had won. Then our flight was delayed and delayed and delayed. We were finally airborn at 5:00pm. We got into Philly just in time to dash across the airport and learn that there was only one seat available on the last flight to Montreal that night. We declined and dashed to customer service to try to beat the other sorry souls who weren't able to get on that last Montreal flight. When we got there, we were informed that the airline would not be covering our hotel in Philly and that they couldn't get us into Montreal until early Sunday afternoon. It was Friday. So, we thanked them very much for their (lack of) help.

It was 11:00 pm when I turned to Eddy and asked, "Wanna take a road trip to Montral?" An hour later, we were outfitted with a Nissan Versa, Mapquest directions from Pittsburgh (not Philly) courtesy of my parents, and a tiny rental car map that would get us from the airport to NYC.

That first night we made great time and were out of control road trip style. We even saw the Empire State building from very far away! We finally stopped in Hartford, CT around 5:45am. You would be surprised how baffled hotel personnel are when you ask for a room from 6:00am to 12:00pm the next day. Anyway, we got a reduced rate from a very nice woman. The curtains did not close, but at this point we were not to be stopped. I jimmy'd them shut with a rubber band and we completly crashed.

5 hours later, we woke and hit the road. We decided to sightsee a little now that it was light outside. We stopped in the gorgeous little town of Montpelier, Vermont. A woman on the safety committee was kind enough to take our picture in front of the capital building. We visited a yarn store, took in the rustic small-town goodness and bought a giant coffee drink.

What is the reason for all of this rush to get to Montreal, you might ask? We were booked to stay at the Fairmont Queen Victoria! We hit the hotel around 7 that night and waited in a horendous line to check in and another horendous line only to find out that we had missed the opportunity to return our rental car a block from the hotel by mere minutes. So we drove out to the airport and deposited the Versa.

Once we were in Montreal, we had an amazing mini-vacation! We ate lots of good French food, got to practice our francais and experienced the most astoundingly delicous donuts of our lives. Nicci was lucky enough to visit the Jean-Talon market, Old Montreal and the Plateau. Our hotel and the city itself was totally worth an impromptu road trip to Montreal.


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