So we got on a train from Toronto and went to Montréal! I hate airplane travel but love train travel, and this was quite a bit like the Cascadian rail that I take from Seattle to Vancouver all the time, with two minor differences: 1. the foot was much better, but 2. no lounge or separate dining car, which means I was essentially just in a seat for those hours.

For most people, they’d take the better food – and it was fabulous – but I’d rather have the ability to get up and walk to another car. I hate sitting that long.

Taking pictures from the train didn’t work very well because the sunlight was on the wrong side. But we saw this:

hi lake!

And this:

seems familiar

Which reminded me of this:

oooooh rite

And then once we got there we saw this:


…and I went Hel-LO, Montréal! And then we went to dinner with Vicka and Pywaket! And I determined that in fact, rabbit is super tasty, as was the gelato and chocolate at Suite 88 up on the Plateau, which is where we spent most of our time.

Montreal looks a lot like this!

And also has this, which is where Anna and I would buy all the things if we lived there:

home of the bass ukelele, which I desperately want

Next day was up early for Festival Mémoire et Racines in Joliette! And Em picked us up from Hotel Lord Berri and took us to her favourite Quebec poutine-and-steamed-bun-hot-dog place on the way. I realised I’d forgot my phone so most of this are sadly just off my phone. But!

Anna was particularly happy to see these guys:

Les Charbonniers de l’enfer

…because they never travel all the way out to Cascadia! So she got to see them live. In a tent! And sang along like this:

i did not understand the lyrics

The big OMG SQUEE for me was that some of the musicians were having little pickup sessions, and they’d get together and play at this one building outside the green room, and other people could sit in on this ring of tables around them if you wanted, and play along. So of course I did that, briefly playing with the new spoons I’d just bought:

Picture courtesy Em F

…and then with my zouk, which I had of course brought up from Montréal.

And that went over so well that I got called up to the main circle to play.


Honestly, it was one of those, “…me?” and “is this really happening?” moments, because this is one of those bullshit daydream fantasy events that doesn’t ever actually happen in real life, except hi, it was happening right then.

It was epic. I played along for a while and eventually introduced a set that featured my Mystery Tune and got a round of applause from the core group over that. They liked both the tune and the whole set! But didn’t know it either – until now, anyway. 😀

Anyway, once that broke up, we went over to the crafts area and bought dinner and I had a kind of hilarious language fail moment. Apparently there’s a thing in bilingual people where your main language is Language A and the second language you speak is Language B and All Other Languages become Language B.

So if you walk up to a vendor you discover is Francophone-only but you didn’t know they were Francophone-only you might just panic and spew, “chotto matte gozaimasu, atashino tomodachi furansugo hanashima ANNA-CHAN!”

And then they ask if you have any English and you go O.O and “…I have some English” and you ignore the question about your native language like you don’t understand it and run away.

so embarrassing XD

The evening concerts were great! I wish I’d had my proper camera; the iPhone doesn’t do well in low and evening light. But this is what Bernard Simard et compagnie looked like:

only, you know, larger

And this is what … I think these are still they, anyway, I’ll edit this when I’m sure… Belzebuth sounded like, recorded on an iPhone!

you can hear Anna in this next to me 😀

And that’s a whole lot of photos! Next: MOAR TRAINS! Only with better photographs, and a surprise concert ON A TRAIN, and Moncton!