This past weekend I spent driving to Montréal to move Zach out of Molson Hall at McGill into his new apartment. Deciding to leave early on Saturday morning I had set my alarm for 4:30 am so I could be on the road for 5:00, but alas that wasn’t to be. Nope!
After waking at 5:15 am with a start and then realizing that something was amiss, I jumped out of bed, showered and was out the door by 5:35, not too shabby considering…that I had screwed up setting the alarm!
After stopping for some breakfast, coffee and fuel near Kingston, it was only another 2.5 hours. The only constant, other than my audiobook was the pelting, cold rain that fell almost the entire journey. Don’t you just love Spring in Canada?
Zach called as I was approaching the city, but with so much construction and detours in the final stretch it took close to 30 minutes longer than expected. This actually worked out well as he was still finishing his packing. Given that he was in residence he didn’t have any furniture to speak of so a relatively easy move. Fortunately the boys had secured an apartment about five minutes from their current residence, and so after navigating a bunch of one way streets dropped all of his books and clothes at the new place – super easy!
Next up we measured Zach’s room, and then drove out to IKEA for an afternoon shop at quite possibly the busiest and most packed IKEA on the planet! 🙂
Now after buying his new double bed, mattress, dresser and side table, linens plus kitchen items it should have been an absolute breeze getting back and putting it all together…well, yes normally that would be the case.
Just one small hitch! The box for the bed frame was an inch too long for the back of my SUV…and no matter how much pushing, shoving, or moving stuff around we couldn’t squeeze it in. So we did what most of us would do in that situation – we just piled everything on top and semi closed the back hoping that nothing would fall out on the 25 minute journey back along the Autoroute Décarie, fortunately there was so much traffic we didn’t go too fast.
Actually I wasn’t too worried, except that the roads were abysmal (just like Toronto) after a winter with tons of deep pot holes (can you say Grand Canyon of pot holes!) littering every road that we drove on. Lol!!!
Interestingly when we got back to the apartment and lifted the tail gate, there were a few kitchen items perilously close to slipping out of the back and onto the roadway. Still all’s well that end’s well! 🙂
Zach’s new room mate Owen was at the apartment to help us carry all of the goodies in and then graciously helped put it all together. For the first time I wasn’t the owner of the IKEA guides – nope, the boys shared the responsibility and so therefore I was just the guy with the power tools.
Between the three of us we put all of the items together in about 3.5 hours which was awesome. I then dropped them back at residence before retiring to the hotel (my usual spot – the Courtyard Marriott is the best, as the rooms are huge and very central to downtown (corner of Rue de Bleury and René-Lévesque Blvd West). If you’re in Montréal its an awesome hotel and well worth the stay.
After showering and changing it was off to pick up Zach who had arranged dinner with my ex-in-laws who I have a wonderful relationship with at a bustling little spot in Westmount called Brasserie Lucille’s Ville-Marie (4124 Saint-Catherine St W). An incredible meal – try the Lobster rolls and frites…OMG my stomach had died and gone to heaven! If you go, you’ll need to get a reservation as its a busy little spot, but you’ll be so happy you did.
Sunday I was greeted with cold and overcast morning and with a couple of hours to spare (cos’ I’m an early riser even on weekends…more’s the pity!), and after a quick brekkie at the hotel I took my camera down to the Old Port of Montréal for a walkabout.
Architecturally I found it to be very similar and somewhat reminiscent of New Orleans but without the people or the sticky humidity that is omnipresent in NO. 🙂 It was awesome to get in a walk and some cool photos before picking up Zach to do a final sweep of his residence before handing back the key. He’d done a very good job at cleaning the room.
Then it was back on the road for the 5.5 hour drive home. As you can imagine the traffic was little crazy given that it was Sunday afternoon, and for the last hour or so out of Toronto it was little more than a 20 km per hour pace.
It was fabulous to spend time chatting to Zach about all of his experiences at Uni, the friends he’s made the courses and the profs he’d enjoyed. I would have been just as happy to keep on driving! I’ve only seen him a total of five days since I dropped him in September so it was a lovely catch up and note how he’s matured over the course of the year.
With the changes in technology and our level of electronic connectedness a part of me wishes for a simpler time for Zach and Sam as they make their way in the world. When I was at this juncture I was heading to a summer job working on a wheat farm harvesting crops whereas he’s heading to the center of the financial district to work at one of the big banks in downtown Toronto as a project coordinator…
I realize that its more than a generational gap between Zach and my experience at this point in our lives, strangely our University dorms weren’t any different, but I guess that’s where the comparison ends. To be fair, I was a naive country boy with little life experience beyond the boundaries of the small town I grew up in, and certainly not the worldliness or confidence that he has today. It was definitely a different era…simpler if nothing more.
I’m so proud of him and I guess deep down I’ve done something right in preparing him for the world that he now inhabits as an adult. He’s going to have an incredible summer!
Until next week…ciao!