I find it nearly impossible to write while on vacation. I’m too happy. My thoughts meander sideways.

I’m absorbed by the new locale, and I am full of half formed reflections. My brain is busy contrasting my home town against Montreal, trying to imagine what it might be like to live here.

I’m evaluating the beauty of the citizens, the sophistication of the garb, the attitudes on the street, the friendliness of the people, the layout of the city, the general quality of the food, the accessibility of the water front, and probably a million other things I don’t consciously realize I’m assessing.

Today’s forecast was rain, but we’ve had a great sunny (okay humid) day instead.

We’ve managed to see a fair chunk of the city even with our relaxed, goofing off, unfocused approach to tourism. Today was all about parks: we discovered Mont Royal and La Fontaine–both lovely urban oases.

I did not bring proper shoes for a five hour saunter through diverse terrain, so I am now in possession of fancy new walking sandals, purchased on sale at a labor day weekend street fair. I like to bring home accessories (usually earrings) to commemorate trips to new cities. So check that box. Montreal memories have been commemorated via footwear. I did sacrifice one accessory to this city’s gods. I’m minus one silver hoop, likely lost in Old Montreal between a creperie and a maple sugar delicacies house.

I’ve instituted a vacation cocktail hour. Between 5 and 6, I head off to the balcony with a cold glass of white wine. Not a bad pre game option in preparation for the dinner hour. This may be my only fixed agenda item of the day (beside frequent sweet snacks).

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