Personal, Reviews

Life Lately (according to my iPhone): Montpelier, Montreal, Maine

Subtitle: Life Lately (according to my iPhone): Montpelier, Montreal, Maine, AND New Hampshire and Massachusetts. However, I did not share any photos from the latter two (and I liked the alliteration).

I am back from vacation. Insert whatever appropriate emotion here (I’m vacillating between exhausted and content). Anyway, this particular trip was part business, part pleasure, all very autumnal. Autumn is in full swing in New England (and Canada) right now. However, the trip did not start off well. I landed late in Boston. I go to pick up my rental car and the rental company was all out of cars. Instead, I was “upgraded” to a minivan. A minivan. I’m sure if you have 5 kids a minivan is where it’s at, but I like small cars*, I like the ability to confidently parallel park. In fact, I like everything about not driving a minivan. 1am. I leave the airport in my upgraded vehicle, there is, of course, traffic and a detour (because it’s Boston). As I’m merging onto the highway, a spider drops down from the roof of the van. I’ll spare you the hysterical details and leave it at this: the spider’s dead, I’m alive, and the rental car was returned in one piece (regarding that last bit…barely).

The trip contained the usual: eating, drinking, sightseeing. This trip had the added benefit of bringing me back to my hometown – I was able to visit with a lot of my family. I won’t get into the boring details; I’ll just advise you to visit the area in early October.

So what did I learn on this trip? My French language skills are now truly atrocious. I once harbored dreams of being a linguist. For a longtime, my Latin, Spanish, and Italian language skills were outstanding and my French language skills were at least passable. I now have to admit that dream has died.

Books seen on plane:
Ready to Die by Lisa Jackson
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James (This one is still being read. Amazing.)
Without Fail by Lee Child
Ulysses by James Joyce
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

Photos, in the order they occurred (just click on the first one to cycle through – if you’re interested):



1. I decided to include the night before the trip. I went to see the Colorado Rockies play the Boston Red Sox with my longtime sports rival and best friend (It seemed like the proper way to prep for my trip to Boston). He once admitted to loving the Yankees (and hating the Red Sox). Come the think of it, I’m not sure how we’re still friends…
2. Montpelier, Vermont. A little trivia for you: Montpelier is the smallest capital city in the United States.
3. I’m including only one food picture, that’s probably some sort of record. The best thing I ate the entire trip was a fresh basil with sunflower seed pesto and mozzarella crepe. Visit The Skinny Pancake if you find yourself in the very green state of Vermont.
4. Marché Bonsecours. Located in Vieux Montreal**.
5. Vieux Port, Montreal. A little bit of the autumn color in the old port section of the St. Lawrence River.
6. Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal. It’s beautiful.
7. The view from Parc du Mont-Royal.
8. A beach in Maine. It’s everything found on a New England postcard – sailboats, a lighthouse, tide pools, and blue sky.
9. Honestly, it was the perfect day. Sadly, no sangria though. (A little Lou Reed reference for you.)
10. The great thing about traveling to see family is you generally get an assortment of embarrassing photos of yourself. This one is me running on the beach – very classy in a fully dressed Baywatch way. I was not supposed to be in the picture.
11. In addition to the one above, there’s this one. Chipmunk cheeks and beach hair. Form an orderly queue, gents***.
12. Those men were in the ocean, in Maine, in late September. That’s brave, dedicated, and at least partly deranged.

The end.

Anyone traveled anywhere fun lately?

*Small car, big car, doesn’t matter – I still hate driving.
**I can’t imagine anyone needs one, but I stayed in a great hotel in the old section of Montreal. It’s great only if you like to be left alone when you travel, which I do. There isn’t even a front desk.
***In honor of Maine native Anna Kendrick, I am quoting her. I heard her song ‘Cups” I don’t know how many times while there. I do know that I can now sing the song, for better or for worse, in its entirety.

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  • http://booksaremyfavouriteandbest.wordpress.com booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Stop everything. For a moment there I thought you were reading FSoG on the plane.

    *recovers*

    Okay, a lovely collection of pics. I particularly liked that you used the proper term (Autumn), not Fall 😉

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I thought that classic deserved a reread. I did read it to find out what the fuss was about, I think I found (like most readers I know) more humor in it than intended.

      And thank you. Fall and autumn are interchangeable here. I believe in school I was taught to call it Autumn, but I went to elementary school in northern New England and words like mum instead of mom are common there. So my education is likely skewed…

  • http://btweenthecovers.com/ Heather

    Great photos! I’m glad you had a good time.

    I’m also glad that you didn’t wreck the van when the spider dropped from the ceiling. OH. MY. GOODNESS. I would have FREAKED.

    I’m also not a fan of driving. I’m not sure why that is, but I’d rather be a passenger.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Thanks, the iPhone has a fairly impressive camera all considering.

      I did freak, without a doubt. There was screeching and arm flapping. I cannot remember the movie at the moment, but there is this horror movie where the person is attacked inside of the car and all that you see is the car bouncing and lights flashing inside. It was exactly like that. You’d think I discovered an ax murderer in the van.

      I’d *like* to think I’m independent in all aspects of my life. If something needs to be handled, I handle it – electrical, plumbing, banking, random assholes, etc. I don’t ask a guy to do it for me. However, when it comes to driving, my sense of independence goes out the window. I should add, just for thoroughness, that I do like the door opened for me.

  • http://cheapthrillsbookblog.wordpress.com Charleen

    I have no problems with minivans, but that might be because I learned to drive in one. (I also can’t parallel park no matter what car I’m driving.) But I do love my tiny Aveo.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I don’t have a problem with minivans, just with driving one. I had never driven one before and had no intention of changing that. I’ve also never driven an SUV (for both ideological and economic reasons). I just have to face that driving with never be one of my top life skills, no matter the vehicle. BUT. Somehow I survived, despite the entire city of Montreal attempting to change that. 😉

  • http://www.bookishlyboisterous.blogspot.com Christine @ BookishlyB

    I’ve been to the East Coast once- NYC in February. It was cold and a little dreary. Now I definitely want to go back!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I think it’s a good idea, of course. Although sincerely, February has got to be the most depressing month to visit. It’s cold, often snowy, and everyone’s grumpy that winter isn’t done yet.

      I recommend Vermont in the first week of October or the NH/ME/MA coast in late July.

  • http://wordsforworms.wordpress.com Words for Worms

    That sounds like a lovely trip! Your photos are beautiful. Sigh. New England in the fall must be delightful!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      Aside from the spider and and the van, it was really nice – not relaxing, but nice. You should visit and if I’ve moved out there – look me up (same goes if I’m still here and you visit Denver).

  • http://sarahsaysread.com Sarah Says Read

    Small cars for the win! Although I do like driving the bf’s Jeep, mainly because it has 4 wheel drive and that’s SO handy in the winter. But I would totally hate driving a minivan. Blah.

    Gorgeous pictures! And sounds like all around a great trip, despite the lousy beginning. SCREW spiders, man. You have my pity there.

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      YES. I have all wheel drive in my car, which I love in the winter, but I felt like I was driving a boat in that stupid minivan. I’m not cut out to be a future soccer mom, obviously.

      Thanks. I can handle snakes, moths, and most anything else that comes my way. But spiders? No. There was screaming, lots of screaming.

  • http://www.acidfreepulp.com Acid Free Pulp

    I might have a mini-meltdown if I was given a minivan. I rarely drive and the idea of driving a suburban tank is horrifying. You have me jonesing for a Montreal trip. What a great city. Love the photos!

    • http://www.fourthstreetreview.com Rory

      I did have a mini-meltdown. It’s a little embarrassing in hindsight, but I really, truly did not want to be driving a minivan for a week. Driving is just not my area of expertise, nor is it something I enjoy. If there had been any other reasonable way to get from Boston to Vermont I would’ve taken it.

      And thank you. Montreal is always a good idea. One of the things I miss most about living in New England is the easy access to great cities. You could be in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Providence, or Montreal within hours. In Denver, 8 hours will get you to Salt Lake City or Wichita, neither of which I’m aiming to go to in the next several years (once was enough on both counts).

      • http://www.acidfreepulp.com Acid Free Pulp

        It’s ok! I envy other countries with their long distance train systems. I, too, am not a fan of driving, but I grew in one of those places where it takes ages to drive anywhere. Sometimes a minimeltdown is better than bottling it up.

  • http://loveatfirstbook.com RebeccaScaglione – Love at First Book

    Love! Thanks for sharing. :)

    BTW I am a travel queen at the moment. Home is Central FL, but since my husband is in a rotation program, in the past year I have lived in Denver, Boston, and a DC suburb! I’d do anything for a Florida beach vacay.

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