We slept in this morning with no camper to pack up and no miles to cover. It was a nice break. We headed downstairs and had a lovely breakfast. People seem to be amused by us here, or maybe that's the normal "Montreal way" about people. Very helpful and friendly.
It's amazing how dependent I've become on using our phone for GPS. Since we don't have an international plan, we had to turn off our cellphones at the border and are flying blind. We were going to meet some cookier friends for lunch in downtown so I printed out directions at the hotel and we headed out. With Bailey as my navigator we made it smoothly into Old Montreal... and then proceeded to get completely lost. We were 4 minutes out from the restaurant when one wrong turn released us into a sea of one way streets, streets that changed their names suddenly, and streets completely unmarked.
We knew we were close, but the map that prints out with the directions was too small to have any street detail and we couldn't navigate our way out. I pulled over at a hotel and Bailey sweetly asked them of we could have mapped directions to our address. (We learned this from watching Amazing Race). They were nice enough to accommodate her with a printout of directions and while we made it to our destination late, we were sooo happy when Elizabeth came to greet us with a smile and bring us to our table.
We had a delicious lunch with Elizabeth (of Creations Beaux Delices & Pretty Sweet Designs), Silvia (of Short N Sweet by Sil), and Yam (of Miss Cuit) All incredibly talented women! The garden setting was gorgeous, and it was a beautiful day! The ladies were so sweet (and super patient waiting for us to find our way there) and it was fun getting to know them. Bailey practiced a little French on them. I could have sat there all day, but the kids started getting a little restless when the conversation changed from snakes and spiders to cookies.
It has been so fun being able to meet cookiers along this trip and this lunch was too fun! We said our goodbyes and while the kids wanted to get back to the hotel pool, I wanted to see a bit of Old Montreal. It was quite hot, but we did not drive across the country to swim in a pool!
We walked a bit down the cobblestone street and bought some postcards in a shop. We walked a bit further and we saw a beautiful sunflower painting. Sage asked if we could please go inside there to see more. I'm so glad she did, because we stepped into a gallery full of beautiful paintings! They were so vibrant and the textures were amazing! While I love to expose the kids to art, I am usually a little skeptical about how they will be regarded. Sometimes art galleries give a vibe of unwelcome when they see kids come in.
We were greeted as soon as we stepped into the Peter W Hart gallery. There were two ladies there, Catherine and Francine who were immediately warm and welcoming. They told me about the first piece and Bailey announced that I was an artist too: A cookie artist! They were intrigued so I showed them a picture and we talked about cookies as art and they were so encouraging and sweet. They got little colored pencil sets for the kids and beautiful coloring books with the artist's painting on it.
I was able to peruse all the the stunning art while the kids created their own masterpieces while sitting on a fuzzy rug at a table just for them! The art was so inspiring and vibrant. What an amazing space and wonderful energy. I suggested to the kids it was about time to go, but Sage said she'd rather color here than swim... that was HUGE knowing what water babies they are. I was happy to stay there all day as well and continued soaking in the art and chatting with Catherine who is an aspiring filmmaker. I love those chance meetings when you talk to a stranger you immediately feel like you know! Some of her short films were shown at the Cannes film festival! And won awards!!! Too cool. Catherine St-Arnaud... watch for her!
The kids eventually remembered they wanted to go swimming and we headed back to the car where we were a little nervous about finding our way back. The parking attendant said, "how did you like it California?" We chatted and laughed with him for a bit and he gave us directions that I knew I would forget. He said it was a difficult highway to get to and that made me more nervous, but we decided instead of being nervous, it would be an adventure. Did I mention I'm pretty horrible at directions?
We started our adventurous drive back to the hotel and the kids and I celebrated every correct turn we made and somehow, we ended up on the right freeway, headed the right way towards our hotel! Now that's something to celebrate! The kids changed into swimsuits and they swam for 3 hours straight. There are definite plusses with an indoor pool. You don't have to worry about sunscreen, the water is temperature controlled and no bugs or leaves to scoop out, but the bad thing is that there is never an excuse to get the kids out! They don't get cold, they don't need to reapply sunscreen, the only thing that gets them out is when they get hungry.
We ate, played some games, and now I hear Sage and Denver talking in their sleep. Was that French I just heard?!