Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The SarcasticKlicker's Adventure to Montreal

My boyfriend was in stitches once I told him all that happened while going on training in Montreal. In his words he said I always seem to get into these funny situations... like Mr. BEAN! I hope he didn't mean I looked like him.

My story will be told in point form or else it will be waaaaay too long. It will be long in point form as well.

Monday, March 23

  • 3:30pm - Park the car and figure out parking fee of $14 ($7 maximum daily rate) and walk in Via Rail station.
  • 3:35pm - Teller tells me I paid too much parking and to keep that in mind for next time, gives me my train ticket and informs me that VIA1 passengers can wait in the "lounge".
  • 3:37pm - Walk in the "lounge", get a paper, a coffee and seat myself on a comfy leather couch. Too fidgety around "important VIP people" to knit. Try to look important and read paper.
  • 3:50pm - Nice VIA staff take my luggage to the train.
  • 4:00pm - Go to washroom before train leaves at 4:25pm.
  • 30 seconds past 4pm - pull down pants to pee and startled by loud speaker "Attention please. Train #36 departing for Montreal is now boarding VIA1 passengers at Platform #2".
  • 4pm and 35 seconds - struggle with my pants, run water in sink while trying to grab luggage and put on my long heavy winter coat, run out of washroom without drying hands.
  • 4:01pm - chase down other people that were in VIP lounge with me, run down the escalator, relieved at seeing other VIPs rounding a corner, follow them up another escalator, fast-walk the whole length of the train to get to VIA1 car.
  • 4:03pm - Settle in my seat on the train, take my coat off and wipe sweat away from forehead.
  • 4:05pm - Fidget around and look for small pull out tables to put my pattern on. Press button on right arm rest and go flying back and surprise passenger behind me. Apologize profusely and give up on finding pull out tables. Take knitting out and relax.
  • 4:20pm - Drop my knitting as the VIA Hostess asks me for my tickets. Pick up my knitting.
  • 4:22pm - Drop my knitting again as VIA Hostess offers me chips. Pick up my knitting.
  • 4:25pm - Train departs station.
  • 4:26pm - Drop my knitting as I am offered drink by VIA Hostess. Hostess flips out little table which is under the armrest and puts my diet soda on it. Oooooooh... so that's where it's hidden! Put my pattern on the table beside the soda and pick up my knitting.
  • 4:30pm - Notice guy across the aisle (well, his legs) trying to stretch out his feet on the seat across from him. He is too short and manages to get his toes on the edge of the seat while trying to look all cool and relaxed. I snicker to myself after his feet slide off the seat a fourth time.
  • 4:32pm - Drop knitting... VIA Hostess deposits a strange looking wrapped sandwhich in a clear plastic pouch on my table. Tear the wrapping open and almost drop the steamy hot washcloth on my lap. Wonder what the heck I'm supposed to do with it. Peek at other passengers, do as they do and wipe my hands. Drop washcloth on table and pick up knitting (ok so other passengers didn't pick up knitting).
  • 4:35pm - Loud speaker announces the dinner menu. Smoked salmon entrée, choice of pasta or beef for dinner and carrot cake for dessert. I am not a fish/seafood fan.
  • 4:45pm - Realize that rows 5-14 are the pattern repeats in my scarf. NOT ROWS 1-14!!!! Grumble and start unknitting as it is a lacy cable pattern.
  • 4:46pm - VIA Hostess literally says: "Now it's time to stop counting (referring to my knitting) because we're going to have dinner. Okay?" She promptly flips out the other table from the empty seat beside me and sets down a tray. My face must have said it all as she quickly lost her smile and turned back to her food cart.
  • 4:46pm - Second VIA Hostess asks me if I want red or white wine. I gladly go for the white.
  • 4:47pm - Stuff knitting in bag and eat salmon while trying to hide the taste and texture with wine and stuffing lots of bread with it. Mom taught me to not say a word and eat what was served.
  • 5:00pm - VIA Hostess inquires politely what will be my choice for dinner. Pasta is the choice... I already have white wine.
  • 5:20pm - Offered more wine by VIA Hostess. Why not! My knitting is abandonned in bag.
  • 5:45pm - Finish dinner and dessert and am offered coffee. Good idea to sober up before I get off the train.
  • 5:46pm - VIA Hostess ask for the linen napkin which is still on my lap. She says she has laundry to do. Haha!
  • 5:50pm - Realize that my hot flashes are not menopause... it's the wine.
  • 6:00pm - Afraid to pick up knitting as I may just summon another VIA Hostess.
  • 6:02pm - See the Delta Hotel from the train! Wow! It's right in front of the train station. How can I get lost?
  • 6:10pm - Walk off the train and up the stairs into "La Gare Centrale" and run to the washroom.
  • 6:12pm - While peeing, I notice I forgot my folder (holding my return ticket, maps, hotel confirmation) on the train!!! Pull up pants. Grab my luggage. Run hands under water without bothering to dry them and break into a sprint.
  • 6:13pm - Notice that they were closing the gate! WAAAAIIIT!!! They look up, smile, unlock the gate and escort me back to the train. By this time, I am drenched in sweat and my wonderfully curly hair is a frazzled mess.
  • 6:15pm - VIA staff escort me back up the stairs to the "Gare Centrale".
  • 6:16pm - Look for a way out of the "Gare Centrale" that will put me on the street of the Hotel.
  • 6:17pm - Walk up a set of stairs and come up to a large metal door. Open the door. Dark staircase. Close door. Go back down set of stairs.
  • 6:19pm - Follow a crowd through a set of glass doors. Go up an escalator. Go up another escalator. Land in the main reception area of the Royal Bank building.
  • 6:21pm - Walk outside on René-Levesque Blvd. Walk to the corner of the street and see the Delta down the street. Walk down on University Ave.
  • 6:27pm - Enter Delta reception area with relief. Happily give them my name.
  • 6:28pm - They announce that I don't have a reservation there and ask me if I knew that there was another Delta 7 blocks up the street. I put on my best smile and walk out.
  • 6:29pm - Get back out on University Street ready for a nice leisurely walk to calm my nerves. Start walking, then look up.... waaaaaay up. This University Avenue is quite a seven block climb!
  • 6:40pm - Take a breather from walking four blocks uphill and listen to my heart thumping out of my chest.
  • 6:50pm - Reach President Kennedy Street where the other Delta is located and breath a sigh of relief that I had made it before dark.
  • 6:55pm - Enter reception area of the Delta hotel and wait in line to register.
  • 7:05pm - Finally! In my room! I check every corner, open every drawer and find no surprises.
  • 7:10pm - Change into fitness clothes to at least do something healthy and workout in the fitness club. Realize I forgot my running shoes.
  • 7:15pm - Decide that I had enough fitness on that day and think it's a great idea to go out and get me some wine to unwind. Change back into work clothes. Head to lobby and ask reception where nearest "dépanneur" is located.
  • 7:20pm - Arrive at "dépanneur" which is only two blocks from hotel and browse the wines available.
  • 7:23pm - Spot the wine I want and pull open the fridge door. Pull open the fridge door again as it doesn't open. Frown. Give the door handle a good yank. Nothing. Notice people staring at me. Step back from the wine fridge (trying to look really cool here and failing immensely) and notice sign above: "Please see cashier for alcohol beverages". Then notice big padlock on the top of the fridge door.
  • 7:25pm - Walk to cashier's register and tell him what wine I want. He smiles, grabs the padlock key, unlocks the fridge, takes the wine out and punches it in the register. I pay for wine and head out the door.
  • 7:30pm - Back in my room! Run to ice machine in hallway to fill up wine bucket. Chill wine, wash up, put my pj's on, take out my knitting, turn on t.v., grab a glass and the bottle of wine and set it on night table. Get comfortable on the bed.
  • 7:40pm - Pick up glass and bottle of wine and DOH! Realize I have no corkscrew.
  • 7:41pm - Frantically search the contents of my purse and pull out keys. Mangle cork with keys and fail to open bottle.
  • 7:43pm - Pull out dpn (double pointed needle for you non-knitters), shimmy it between cork and side of bottle. Bend the dpn to try and pop the cork and end up with an L-shaped dpn. Hmmmm.
  • 7:45pm - Call house guy to ask for a corkscrew.
  • 7:50pm - Happily receive corkscrew, open the bottle and poor some wine.
  • 8:00pm - Call kids to say good night.
  • 8:15pm - Find the hockey game on t.v. and pour more wine.
  • 8:20pm - Knit.
  • 9:50pm - Fall asleep with t.v. on and knitting in my hands. Just like home.

Tuesday, March 24

  • 5:45am - Wake up early and enjoy quiet slow morning.
  • 7:45am - Check out of hotel room and head to training which is only a block away.
  • 9:00am to 3:45pm - attend boring training.
  • 3:50pm - Walk to "Gare Centrale" to relax before train departure at 6:15pm.
  • 4:15pm - Grab food and coffee in mall near "Gare Centrale", settle at a table, eat and knit.
  • 5:15pm - Decide to be a tourist and walk around the mall without straying too far from the "Gare Centrale" as this underground shopping is a maze.
  • 5:45pm - Head back to "Gare Centrale", find VIP lounge, sit and wait.
  • 5:55pm - Go to washroom before train arrives.
  • 5:56pm - Pull down pants to pee. Startled again by muffled loudspeaker voice (unlike the Ottawa train station there is no speaker IN the washroom). Pull up pants without tying them, open the door just in time to hear that train #39 heading to Ottawa will be at Gate #20. Close washroom door, flush toilet, tie pants, run hands under water without drying them, grab luggage and run out of the VIP lounge.
  • 5:58pm - Board train, settle in my seat, pull out little table expertly and take out knitting.
  • 6:15pm to 7:15pm - everything goes smoothly and I even know when the VIA hostess will be bugging me and am ready for her with my tickets, when she offers chips, wine, entrée, dinner, more wine. Beginning to think I have the hang of this.
  • 7:20pm - Accept coffee offer from VIA hostess, grab a cream and sugar. Shake sugar packet before ripping it open and it magically flies out of my hands and lands on the head of the guy sitting in front of me. Woman across aisle laughs hysterically at me. I am beat red with embarassment, apologize profusely to the man, try to explain what happened and politely ask for my sugar back. He laughs it off.
  • 7:25pm - Finish dessert and put linen napkin in tray. Napkin knocks off plastic lid which falls at my feet.
  • 7:26pm - Trying to access fallen lid with feet as pull-out table is restricting me from bending to pick it up. Manage to kick lid so that it somehow lands on my knitting bag where I am able to reach it. Notice woman across aisle snickering. Put on my best smile and drop the lid back on the tray.
  • 8:20pm - Train pulls into Ottawa station.
  • 8:25pm - Walk up ramp in main lobby of station and get teary eyed while watching passengers greeted by family with hugs and joy. No one is waiting for me. Figure I must be PMSing.
  • 8:30pm - Load up car and drive to Mom's to pick up kids.
  • 9:10pm - Am greeted by the happiest of kids. Get teary eyed all over again.
  • 9:30pm - Get kids to bed, slump on rocking chair totally exhausted.

Until next post...



knitjo said...

When I am PMS-ing, I get all teary-eyed when I walk out at arrivals. Especially when there are young children who haven't seen their parents. I try to avoid arrivals especially at Christmas.
That's a lot of adventure for one night in Montreal! Why didn't you take the metro to the hotel? I always take the metro.

Rodeogal said...

Knitjo - I am totally lost in Montreal and taking a Metro would have landed me on some foreign land or something. Walking above ground where I can see things is much better for me. :o)