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Monday, March 15, 2010

I'll have the français fries

I don't parlez-vous
But hubby and the children do
And they pulled me through

We had a family getaway to Montreal this past weekend to kick off March Break. It was a relief to escape the home front even for only 48 hours.

The girls were so excited. We've never been tourists before. We usually visit relatives or stay home. Getting out of town where you know no one is very liberating, provided you set your expectations sufficiently low when traveling with children.

And what's a hotel stay without...

A thorough mattress examination.

Wear your glasses and use a flashlight. In an earlier post, I wrote about dealing with bed bugs. The goal here is to avoid, avoid avoid. If you see any evidence, then quietly ask for another room. But the Holiday Inn in Longeuil passed the test. However, we stored our luggage under the sink in the bathroom, just in case.

The girls were thrilled with the pool, but when the manager mentioned the pool opened at 5:30 a.m., I could've decked him.

As it turned out, it wasn't thoughts of the pool that awakened my little 7-year-old, it was the coffeemaker that got her heart racing at 5 a.m.

Lying there in that twilight between sleeping and waking, I felt I was being watched. I opened my eyes and it was a blue-eyed cyclopse staring at me.

"Mommy, do you want coffee? I could make you a coffee," she asked, hopeful of a yes.

"It's too early."

And that was it. Every 10 minutes the question was repeated. I know when to throw in the towel, or at least when to throw it into a bag.

At 6:30 a.m., the swimsuit-clad girls and I headed to the pool. At least it wasn't 5:30 a.m.

Yes, the hot tub can be relaxing at ANY hour.

After the buffet breakfast of français toast and Fruit Loops, it was off to the Biodome.

I loved this outing; next time though I'll sign us up for the insectarium and the botanical gardens too.

We saw:

A nice porcupine.

Although, when I look at the above picture all I can think about is how I need to get my roots touched up.

A duck with a facial tumour.

It's not a tumour! Actually, this bony deposit on its head is how the duck stays in constant communication with the mothership.

Penguins! Loved the penguins.

If you squint very carefully and touch your nose to the screen, you'll see the penguins behind Elder Daughter (back) Younger Daughter.

Although, after watching that terrible new Robin Williams and John Travolta movie, Old Dogs, in the hotel room that night, we realized how fierce and dangerous penguins can be.

After that we were off to...

Mont Royal for the lookout shot.

On the short jaunt to the lookout, there was an owner with a Great Dane in front of us. It was a male (the dog, I mean). It was hard to miss, with those furry balls bouncing and jiggling in front of us.

I had a Kelly Oxford moment, remembering her Tweet about this, I said to my husband, "Put some underwear on that dog."

We were giggling through our noses quite a bit.

"Ew! What's that onion-shaped thing hanging from the dog's butt?" asked Younger.

"Why, those are the dog's testicles," replied Oli, channeling his inner science teacher.

"Yuuuuck," said Elder.

It was a learning moment.

I think my husband's going to patent jocks for dogs and then we can retire early and travel the world, knowing we've saved future pedestrians from views of unfettered dog balls.


  1. Oh my god, Patti, this is sheer genius. I'm sick as a dog and I swear the giggling has momentarily cleared my sinuses. I'm so glad you guys had fun - you so needed it. Dog jocks! Do you want coffee! Mattress checks! Actually, that one's a little sad...

  2. I'm glad I helped, in my own small way, to clear your sinuses. Just returning the favour. Your posts elicit chortles from me.

    And yeah, I hear you on the pathetic-ness of mattress checks, but once you get bed bugs, you're never normal again. Every hotel is viewed as a potential for infestation. The exterminator I spoke to says that bed bugs are epidemic in the hotel industry. We just don't know it because they use unmarked vehicles when treating places. And thank god for that, I say. Ignorance is bliss, until you get bitten in the night and then carry some evil bloodsucking hitchhikers home in your suitcase. Clearly, this is a stubborn neurosis I have. Shudder, shudder, shudder.

  3. Dog jocks...I think your husband has an ingenius plan! Glad you guys had a fun get-a-way! You deserved it...and so glad there were not any bed bugs!

  4. Love the pics Patti! Glad you had some fun family time. What's a family vacation without big bouncing hairy balls and a lesson in male anatomy?

  5. Oh my, I never thought of examining hotel beds. Yuck. Should I bring a blue light or something. We kind of thought we were evil enough because my husband brings a wrench and we sabotage the shower so we can get water flow each time!

  6. Great idea with the water flow.

    Yeah, about the bed bugs, always check.

    Throw in a magnifying glass and flashlight with your husband's wrench. A little prevention goes a looooooooong way.