Over the years, I have read about our Canadian neighbor’s concern about global warming..It is a thang…Mr. Twitter... overuse of natural resources, free health care, food markets not food deserts, people first…Vive la difference!
The pictures that follow depict a society where All Lives truly Do Matter. It is evident in the laser focused Street Cleaners who keep Downtown Montreal spotless, the recycling receptacles on every corner,( including one for your old electronic devices), the familiar BELL telephone sign above the strategically placed Clean telephone booths…No, Virginia everyone does not have a iPhone… The 10 cents charge for a bag in a store, the no straws policy, the no smoking in front of a building , the Clean, Clean air and Happy, Friendly People (more on them in the Next Post).
The Free cell phone charger machines are a godsend for those who have cell phones…. like my trusty iPhone that suffered a relapse and needed a constant battery charge upon crossing the Border, and even had the audacity to die en route to the Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith set ( I had drank the kool aid and not printed out my $50 ticket, trusting my phone would do what it was supposed to do). This resulted in a good old fashioned American begging session with a young clerk in a nearby Bookstore who graciously offered his personal charger to solve my problem…Mais oui, Madame..(spell check keeps changing my French words!(
These free chargers (various space age designs) can be found at many public places, colleges, and of course the Jazz Festival tent- manned by a smiling, vivacious newly arrived Brussels native and her co-worker from Eritrea who upon finding that the “charger”machine was full, offered her Own personal charger (another Personne sympathique) to give my iPhone a boost. Thus ensuring that I could communicate with Someone, Anyone that night while at the Venue.
I could go on and on…but I will let the photos do the talking. Bon Soir!
PS…have you booked your ticket yet? I understand the foliage in the Fall is breathtakingly awesome!
As Always, thanks for Reading! Comments/Shares/Follows Welcomed.
The ten day Festival International De Jazz De Montreal held the last week of June and first week of July is one of the oldest and certainly finest of all International Jazz concerts. This year’s 39th Jazz festival featured over 150 indoor concerts and 100 free outdoor concerts including Jazz greats and promising next generation artists.
Yes, you read it right…FREE. The indoor concerts were ticketed but prices were reasonable allowing the jazz lover to attend a number of free and ticketed events.
Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith (with sax great Chris Potter), Seal, Herbie Hancock, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Chris Botti, Al Di Meola, Renee Lee Octet, Dominique Fils-Aime, Jethro Tull, Bela Fleck, Boz Scaggs, Terence Blanchard, Leslie Odom, were just some of the 150 jazz illuminaries jamming in venues that ranged from concert halls to intimate clubs.
The outdoor venue was a centralized location a few blocks from downtown Montreal which could be reached easily by walking, Metro, cab, bike or bus. Many of the outdoor concerts boasted large stages with seating either in the adjacent area or nearby cafés that had been erected for the event.
Food was available from established Montreal eateries, vendors, and specially built Bistros. Every palate could be satiated by the sights, smells and taste of food choices from around the globe… from Fettucini with pesto to bison burgers to homemade frites with fresh guacamole and salsa.
Wine/beer/liquor vendors were plentiful and served generous pours and refills. Additionally, the main Outdoor venue was staffed with friendly folk ready to answer any question a non French speaker might have.. where is the charging station for my dead cell phone …. I have a map but where did you say Club Jazz Casino was?
Most impressive was the accommodations for families with play areas including water spouts…many adults took advantage of that as well… game tents, animation zones, and areas of grass/seats that kept even the youngest concert goer happy.
The concerts were scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to the wee hours of the morning. Warm balmy weather with clear blue skies made the event picture perfect. On a scale of 1-10, the Montreal Jazz festival is easily a 100! Check out some of the sights and I guarantee you will be making plans to attend next year…I know I am!
Comments Welcome. A Special Thanks to the Always Friendly Helpful Canadians pictured here!
Bonjour Mes Ami! (French spell check app not working)
As some of you astute, eagle eyed Readers discovered, my July adventure found me in none other than the Exquisite Jewel of a Neighbor north of us Montreal, Canada!
My raison d’etre or reason for traveling in the heat wave of 2018 to this glorious, heaven on earth, 6 hours from NY, respite from twitterization of the US government ( did I say that…please don’t detain me at the Border …. City can be summed up in one word :JAZZ!
However, Little did this starry eyed music seeking, Foodie searching, Adventurer know that she would discover some of the world’s finest jazz and so, so much more!
Five days was hardly enough time to capture the richness and beautifulness (not a word) of this gentle, world class, forward thinking/acting home to champions of all men/women!
Lest, I start sounding like a commercial, I will let the pictures and a few words that follow tell this Tale.
Set your pilot on automatic ( Flyboy, Welcome Home And Thank You for Your Service!) and Readers enjoy the ride.
As always, feel free to comment/share/ click follow/ send cash…hell iola, I’m broke now!
(Note: This post will continue over a few weeks of the summer until I have posted all the 💯 reasons. My use of The French language is gratuitous and in no way reflects on the years of study at Jacox Jr High; Maury High, Los Angeles City College and Big Blue ODU.
Dang, all that and she still can’t hold a conversation beyond bonjour, merci, Bien, Bon! Mais oui, Voulez vous…What Patti LaBelle sang…
Reader, I know you are probably growing weary of these teasers. Here are some visuals that hopefully will keep you entertained until I am back at my Computer.
Day 3….Hmm is that a French pastry and espresso….from a foreign land or right down the street? And what does that dress say…au revoir…translation app, please… Lawdy,What is she up to this time?
Stay tuned Summer Adventure Blog is a mere 5 days away. In the meantime enjoy your illegal fireworks!
Liberal Lin is on the move seeking yet another Adventure…a girlfriends’ trip to a foreign land? Backpacking through the mountains? Frolicking on a white sandy beach? Cruising on an Italian yacht? Stay tuned…and as always thanks for the Journey! Happy born day Cancers!
It’s 4 a.m. and I am making my way down the strip in LV searching for a cvs that the casino security guard assured me was in walking distance. The unnamed one needs some more Benadryl and none of the 5 or 6 convenience stores in the grand has nary a pill. There must have been a run on them. I admit, I was a little hesitant to take this stroll at such an hour but I had memories of a recent early morning run in search of pastrami in NY Greenwich Village that did not result in maiming or robbery so perhaps I would be safe here in sister city.
I made my way past the sleeping homeless sprawled on the sidewalk like discarded newspaper, the groups of runaway teens talking/ dancing /fighting away their methadone induced high, the hoochie mama dressed ladies of the night pacing in a small circle looking bored and tired, the sign carriers asking for handouts, jobs, prayers. I had stepped into an altered universe. I quickened my steps as I saw the nearby red lights of the cvs about 3 blocks away. I walked with that I’m a bad sistah and don’t you mess with me cause I might cut you look. It worked, no one said a word to me.
I purchased the precious Benadryl and returned to the room. By 8 a.m the welts on the unnamed one were starting to disappear. But I was growing irritated… with the room, the lack of ventilation, the loud partiers, the shower with 2 speeds, cold and scalding hot, the no-service-will-be-given-during-your-stay and you must flag down housekeeping if you want a towel. Enough is Enough. I broached the subject of speaking to the front desk with the unnamed one. I’m not sure he heard anything I said because Tiger was playing. However, I persisted in my best Virgo/Libra I used to be a Paralegal diplomatic voice.
You know this is Not right. We should be in a better room. You paid for a better room. Are you just going to let them take your money? And then my Angry Black Woman tone. Why don’t you just man up and go down there and fix this problem! I’ve already had to deal with Expedia, Delta and the changed seat screwup. Not to mention playing nursemaid to you and your Ialmostdiedfromthis unidentified welt problem.
Sorry Maam, nothing we can do about the seat change. But You could pay an additional $59 each for seats in the front. May I speak to a supervisor. Excuse me Sir,this is your fault not mine. Well, maybe we could put you in the emergency seats. If you agree you are able bodied and can assist the other passengers in case of an emergency. Just sign this form. You mean like the plane going down and I have to play flight attendant? My Xanax supply was getting low.
The unnamed one was unmoved… literally. I donned my new paisley printed two piece and headed to the grand pool. It was a beautifully designed area complete with cabanas, fake palm trees and a sea of deck chairs. I found a nice pale blue chair that complemented the pink paisleys in my suit and donned some suntan lotion. Yes, Virginia good black does crack in 100+degree heat, and settled in for an afternoon of fun in the sun. After about 15 minutes, I realized that this sun was not the same sun I sat under back home. This sun was a fireball radiating spears of heat that obviously were on loan from Hell.
I headed to the nearest pool peopled by folks of various ages, sipping iced drinks and talking in a cornucopia of languages. Oddly, I noticed that of all the people in the pool, there was only one other dark hued person, a brother with a group of blonde tanned guys.
Flashes of 1960s movies and innocent little black children dipping their toe in the community pool and suddenly running for their lives as the pool was drained played in my mind. It must be the heat…this was 50 years later…nothing like that could here. Could it? Nevertheless, I found an unoccupied corner of the pool and carefully looked around before lowering myself into the heavily chlorinated water. Minutes passed and nothing happened. People continued drinking, talking, frolicking. I was safe.
Within minutes, I found myself in the center of a group of young men from England who were on holiday in LV. They offered me drinks and conversation noting that they liked me because I was like the women they knew at home. They had been warned to stay awake from the LV women who would steal their money and credit cards. Ah, Mother England. We chatted for awhile. One of them even snapped pictures of me. I began to feel waterlogged and a little high from the icy, sweet drink so I bid them adieu.
I reluctantly returned to the room. Several hours had passed and surely Tiger had won or lost by now. Tiger had indeed lost and the unnamed one was not in a good mood. I politely inquired if he had given more thought to the room situation and he said he was going to take care of it after lunch. He abruptly left the room and I proceeded to take a cold shower almost scalding myself when I accidently jiggled the knob in the wrong direction.
Lunch was a buffet. I am not fond of food that has been handled by strangers with grimy hands. So I settled for a glass of water.After lunch, the unnamed one quietly walked to the front desk of the grand. I followed at a polite within in hearing/video taking distance. Unnamed one picked out a young, friendly Hispanic clerk and began to explain the room situation in that I am a veteran and used to be a mailman friendly voice.
There was a lot of gestures and hmphs and uh huhs exchanged. Finally friendly desk clerk said he was going to grant our wish and give us the room we had reserved…a grand king in the tower part of the hotel far from the dank, dark world of the west wing. We were given shiny new keys and instructed to move our things immediately.
In a flash, we were out of the old rom and stepped off the elevator into a well lighted section of the grand where the walls were painted in soft hues and adorned with pictures of Frank and the rat pack. The carpet glowed with freshly vacuumed cleanliness and the quiet was palpable. This was the grand I had seen online. An older part of the hotel but clean and well kept with lots of character in the room furnishings. And there was a tub, a desk, a chair, an expansive view of the strip, mountains, airport and even the iconic grand sign high in the air. I could feel my breathing lighten and I put the Xanax deeper in my purse.
(Oh, Reader, you thought this was when you found out if the Unnamed One made it on the plane back home? Dang! Well, it’s called a plot twist…you know to derail the reader’s expectation. But I promise, the last and final installment of this TRUE story is coming to you. Stay tuned and thanks for Reading. Comments are welcomed…and Appreciated!)
Reader, I’m headed out of town on another Adventure. Thought I would wrap up this tale before I depart. Enjoy!
I awakened to the quiet hum of the room air conditioner. I look out the huge window marveling at the expanse before me. It is Saturday and the sound of young children pattering down the hall laughing softly greets my ears…Wait a minute, back up this is not a Romance novel. This is the exciting, adventurous, etc. LV trip. Let’s get to the Horrible part.
With no agenda to follow, we decide to walk down the strip and take pics of the hotels especially the Bellagio fountain and the monte carlo volcano. The coolness of the casino has made us forget the 100+degree temp. A worker told me they actually pump pure oxygen into the casino…ostensibly for the cigarette smoke, but probably to add to the lightheaded, giddiness of the gambler. We are assaulted by the heat and decide to duck in and catch a nearby movie. Rock of Ages is about to begin and even though the unnamed one hates Rom-com, I convince him that it is a musical with lots of classic rock and roll tunes.
The theatre is almost empty. We find seats with sufficient legroom and within minutes, unnamed one is snoring. Two hours later, I am dancing in my seat having totally enjoyed the movie. I wake up the unnamed one and we head to the Hard Rock café for a classic burger and fries to cap off our classic filled day. A stop at the liquor store and the unnamed one settles in front of the tube to watch a game. I busy myself reading the latest edition of O magazine.
Just as I am about to doze off, I hear a loud Oh, hell no coming from across the room. I turn to see the unnamed one holding out both of his arms which are now covered with the most horrible looking angry red welts. Within minutes, he is also scratching at his legs and the welts magically envelope his body. My super mom training kicks in and I quickly hand him 2 benadryls and a Xanax.
After about an hour, the welts are still spreading and I can see he is in a great deal of distress. I call the front desk and ask about medical service. They inform me that the nearest clinic is a few miles away. We discuss the feasibility of going to a clinic and I decide he needs immediate medical attention, so the paramedics are called.
Within minutes, the hotel security is knocking at the door. They are accompanied by two grand staff members. They all try to act matter of factly but register shock when they see his swollen arms and legs. One asks if he is having difficulty breathing. The paramedics arrive and immediately hook up an IV to administer Benadryl. They monitor his blood pressure, breathing and heart. He tells them he does NOT want to go to the hospital. After some discussion, the decision is made to go anyway.
The hotel security leads us down a back, secret passage of the grand to the waiting ambulance. Amazingly , we Never saw any guests…guess that wouldn’t be good for business. I sat in the front and the driver kept up a friendly banter all the way to the hospital.
At the hospital, we were greeted by a team who quickly went to work assessing his condition. He wasn’t able to provide much history, but I retraced all the possible things that may have led up to his condition. The doctors finally acknowledged that he had a bad reaction to something…might have been on the plane, the mosquito bite in ATL, the Mexican food, the change in climate, Stress, heat, Anything really. The good news was they could treat it and he would be back in the hotel in a few hours.
Meanwhile, the doctor said they would give him 2 medications via IV and a prescription. A short time later one of the nursing assistants came in and announced she had another medication for him. Do you like cranberry or apple juice...We both were a little puzzled since the doctor had administered two meds before leaving the room. Cranberry, I guess. She began squeezing the contents of a hypodermic into a glass of juice…this is Dexa..something…a steroid.
As she approached the bed holding the red juice, I stared at her and she glanced down at his hospital wrist band. A worried look came over her face and she backed away…I’ll be right back. A few minutes later I heard Nursing assistant telling the patient in the next cubicle...Sir, I have your medicine…it’s a steroid that will help you. I hope you like cranberry juice. Reader do I need to say more? Deadly cocktail averted. Malpractice suit aborted. Dang!
The next morning, bright and early I was making my way to the 24 hour CVS to fill his prescription. It was indeed open but the pharmacist didn’t start her day until 10 am giving me about 2 hours to wander around the store, trying on different lotions, makeup, even standing on that foot machine to learn what type of ortho support I needed…hmm 240A. I kept the support on while walking around the store. Remembering to take it off and put it back in the package before I walked out lest, I become a residnte of the Nevada state facilities.
The rest of the day was spent tending to unnamed ones’ needs. Stopping at Mickey Ds for plain oatmeal, administering medicine, finding a deli that had chicken soup and unprocessed sandwiches, making small talk when he was awake , going to the liquor store, Dasani for him and mini bottles of Anything for me. And, Oh of course, talking to the grand people about his need to stay in bed despite the impending 11 am checkout
Oh yes, we heard about what happened to him and the ambulance and all…we are so sorry…late checkout? let me see…we can only extend it to 6pm because the room may be booked…Oh he has to stay in bed? And your flight isn’t until 11 tonight. Okay let me check…No, its not booked but if you want to stay until 10, I’m afraid we will have to charge you for another day. I’m sorry,is there anything else I can do for you?
The day wore one and I gathered up our things. This was the first trip that I had Never fully unpacked my suitcase. I suggested to him that rather than stay and pay for another night, we go the the movies…yes, another one. It was 110 degrees when we stepped out of the hotel. I knew he could not walk the 2 blocks to the movies so I went to the valet stand in front of the grand and told the guy our destination.
Well, lady the movie is just around the block. I understand that Sir, but he just got out of the hospital and can’t walk that distance. We will pay the fare plus a generous tip. Please. I don’t remember the name of the movie…something sci fi with a lot of blood and heads being ripped off. I took a Xanax and promptly fell asleep while the unnamed one sat glued to the screen.
At the airport, we managed to find a restaurant that was still open and shared a sandwich. Of course, we both were stopped at Security because of the Dasani bottles in his carryon/my purse. They had been meant to fortify us at the movies and I had forgotten about them. The plane was on time. A quick stop in ATL enough to get coffee and the flight to home was ready to board. But wait ,the unnamed one was… Missing.
I had heard him mumble...I have to go to the bathroom.. and just like that… Gone.. Passengers in zone 2 we are ready for boarding now. I call his cell, search down the corridor, call his cell, call his cell. It’s time to make a decision. The last people have boarded and the flight attendant is looking sternly at me. Can you wait just one minute? Only One. My cell rings. It is him. The plane is going to leave You. I’m boarding. Yes , Reader, this is the Titanic moment...Save yourself sistah.He can take the next one. Besides everyone knows there is a bathroom on the plane.