💯 Things I❤️About Montreal…

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 tell this Tale.

Set your pilot on automatic ( btw 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…

The Adventure Continues…

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!

Epilogue: Vegas-The Exciting, Adventurous No Good Horrible Terrible Trip

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.

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Photo by Fancycrave.com on Pexels.com

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.

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Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

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.

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Photo by Malidate Van on Pexels.com

(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!)

 

 

DOG DAYZ…

…..Yes, its August and the weather is its unpredictable hot, sultry, humid, blazing sun in the morning, skies-open-up-in-the afternoon-torrential- rainstorm mode. These almost daily deluges turn downtown and nearby Ghent into the Mississippi and the resulting humidity and dampness beckon the mosquito population to take refuge in everyone’s backyard.

……A couple of years ago when I resided in  Churchland, the mosquitos were so bad swarms of them would follow people from their front door to their car attacking with such ferocity the citizens eventually demanded that the city not just spray the nearby military base but the streets/backyards so the residents could travel safely to their cars. I regularly armed myself with a spray can of windex which a friend from Florida had told me would keep them at bay so I could make the sojurn to my car parked in front of the building.
…..This summer the mosquito population has been kept at bay in my backyard by a combination of citronella plants, lemon grass and orange mint that I strategically planted around the patio near the back door. While this combination of herbs does not seem to deter the flies which still flit around the screen door (probably with memories of the Bring Your Own Meat/Seafood Cookout), I have deployed a number of natural methods to keep them in check as well.

…..My neighbor told me to hang plastic baggies filled with water around the screen as a way to keep down the flies. And indeed the guru of all knowledge essential and insignificant -the internet-was full of folks testifying to the wonders of this hack.

……Another friend said I needed to put a penny in the bag… something about the flies not being able to stand seeing their reflection in the water and that kept them away. Huh? I don’t know what the science is behind this but I can add my name to the ranks of believers online. This does indeed work. So do the old fashioned fly paper strips still on the racks at Walgreen. And while peta would probably consider them inhumane…they work. I think seeing all those fellow comrades stuck to that long sticky strip give the rest of the flies pause and make them reconsider whether this yard is one they want to invade.
…….Also, I noticed that since the departure of Lucky, the fly population has decreased significantly. Did she say departure of Lucky?  Yes, Reader, it is true. The Luckster has returned to his family… not in the sky…but up in NOVA. It happened the first weekend in August when youngest daughter and the three grands paid a visit, ostensibly to bring the new baby down for his first trip, and to give the older boys a chance to see the family And badger and harass each other in a location away from home.

…..The visit was full of activity save the oldest grand who was BORED out of his mind from the minute he stepped in the door. When he asked for the password to my computer, I quickly said No and presented him with a challenge….get my old HP laptop up and running and he could use it during the three day visit. No 13 year old can resist such a challenge and within a few hours he was oblivious to everyone and everything as he and the old HP bonded.
……The 9 year old needed no such enticement because he was busy renewing acquaintances (human) and finding ways to try my patience.

I’m not hungry. I ate something yesterday. I just want to go down to T’s house and play with his new nerf blaster 5 foot long plastic gun. What do you mean I shouldn’t aim at people. That’s what you do with a toy gun.

…... Young 2 month old was ecstatic as long as he was being fed and changed regularly. He even graced me with a smile when I sang the eensy weensy spider song I had serenaded him with me during his early days at the hospital. And who says babies don’t have memories?
……Throughout the visit, Lucky was in dog delirium. His Family was Back. He followed daughter/Mistress ecstatically from room to room tail wagging non stop. He even allowed the boys to tussle with him…for exactly a minute.  He’s never been big on the dog/kid playing thing. The family cookout on Saturday probably added to his delirium as he followed me from house to grill waiting for the inevitable dropped hot dog, rib bone, or grilled chicken leg. As Sunday approached, I sensed a noticeable change in the atmosphere. Lucky seemed torn between his loyalty to me and daughter/Mistress and spent Saturday night alternating between keeping watch in the bedroom and the livingroom while we slept.
……At breakfast, elder teen grandson who now towers above me and has become a skillful pancake maker, engaged me in a serious conversation between judicious pancake flips.

Nana, we want Lucky to come home with us. We miss him. Well, it’s not my decision. It’s up to your mother. I only brought Lucky here because she said you all weren’t helping to take care of him. I know Nana but we miss him. WE Will walk him and help moma. The 9 year old had wandered into the kitchen and joined the discussion. Yeah Nana, He is our dog. How you just gonna take somebody’s dog?

……I ignored him. And returned to the more sensible 13 year old. Here’s the deal, if you had to choose between my laptop (he had been imploring me to let him take it home as well) and Lucky, which would you take? A couple of expert pancake flips and that thoughtful…I’m-going-to-be-a-man-one-day look came over his face. Lucky, Nana. I would take Lucky. I smiled.
……As daughter/Mistress packed the car (she was determined to depart with the same number of passengers she had arrived with), I had a short conversation with Lucky who had retreated to the garden depressed, no doubt, at the family’s imminent departure. Enough already, I did not want to live with a Depressed dog and these grandchildren who might grow up emotionally stunted because I deprived them of THEIR dog…And We thought you were a Good Nana.
……..I carried Lucky to the car and deposited him in the lap of the 9 year old (he had been bawling since he got in the car), A chorus of nearby birds began singing Hallelujah. And the frown on both his and the 13 year old’s face immediately disappeared. Catastrophe averted. Dog scarring childhood memory erased. I waved goodbye to Lucky, the boys and daughter/Mistress.

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Photo by Lum3n.com on Pexels.com

A peaceful Sunday and a mimosa awaited me.

SUMMERTIME…and the livin’ is…

C’mon singalong, you know the rest.

…Easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.  Oh, your daddy’s rich and your ma is good -lookin’. So hush, little baby, don’t you cry. (Ella Fitzgerald)

Well, Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Summer is behind us and although the calendar has not fully reached the ‘official’ start of summer, many of us sun worshippers are in attack mode.

The weather is appropriately hot/humid, mosquitos are abuzzing, flowers are drooping, grass is dying, ice cream trucks are a dingalinging, honeysuckle blossoms perfume the air, long lazy days/ hot, heavy nights, wet swimsuits/towels drying on the porch, lazy afternoons in the hammock/Adirondack, Vacation days circled, car packed with surfboards, jet skis unearthed from garage, crab nets cleaned, sun hat/sunshades and suntan lotion packed (yes, Virginia, people of color burn…just takes longer to get through that God given melanin). free movies/concert on the beach/river/town center lawn, charcoal grills ablaze and starry, whisper filled nights spent out on the patio/front porch.

All over the country, people are making the transition from spring to summer and the memories that I have are probably not to different from yours.

Girl, I dunno…you have some weird stuff going on in your life.

It IS time to slow down. Take a break. Leave the hustle and bustle of our technological, I am not a Robot filled lives.  Time to dress lighter, eat healthier, drink sensibly (except h2o, beer, tequila and wine…got to stay hydrated), and for once, truly marvel at the World around us.

The question Reader is how many of you have taken the summer plunge? And how many of you are still in everyday rush, rush, type A, can’t get it all done mode?  No, I’m not advocating wholesale abandonment of your job.  That would be foolish, reckless and a chance for another country to come in and take over…start producing all our goods, buying up all our real estate, outsourcing all our jobs…oops, Damn, that’s already happening…

What I am advocating is that you devote some time in the next 2 months to an activity ( be it solo/with a partner/family) that conjures up/recreates memories from your own childhood.  Some pleasurable memory/experience that means summer to you.  What is that, you ask?

Well, in my best soothing yoga voice, Relax.  Remember a time when life was simple and uncomplicated. When summer meant playing outside with your best friends for hours stopping only for a quick glass of  ice cold lemonade and a baloney sandwich.  Roaming the neighborhood like an Explorer in a Foreign Land squashing beetles, capturing butterflies/ladybugs and swatting mosquitos along the way. Jumping rope, hopscotch, hide and go seek, Marbles, dodge ball, softball, stickball. Kicking rocks. Begging for money for the ice cream man, and  please can we get wet with the garden hose … staying out until the streetlights came on. All because it was Summertime!

Would love to hear your memories in the Comment section below. Love and Light!