The day always fits the girl. For Elaine, our drama student, the evening was spent doing a scavenger hunt in which she was made to sing and perform embarassing little diddies for signatures. For Faye, all jazz and sophistication, we took her to a jazz bar and ate fancy food as we listened to live music. For Kate, there was no way around it, it had to be about beavers...
Let me explain. For inexplicable reasons, my quirky sister loves the tail-slapping, bark- chewing animal, and has for as long as I can remember. So, as her sister, I felt compelled to make a joke out of this, and exploit it for all it was worth, making it a beaver themed event. One thing I knew for sure is that we were going to Montreal. It is a very beaver friendly city. The list of possible activities for the day included:
- Buying, and forcing Kate to wear a beaver skin hat, (not a real fur hat. That's cruel.)
- Picnicking around Beaver Lake on Mount Royal.
- Stopping for a treat at a Beaver Tail shack.
- Playing spot the most Roots logos
- Dining at the 5 star rstaurant; Beaver Club at Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel.
Two moves, and one pregnancy later this list was whitled down significantly. I just didn't have the energy or mental faculties to make it all happen. Some things were taken out of my hands. The Beaver Club turned out to be for full dining only, making it extremely cost prohibitive at $100 per head! And I could not seem to get my hands on a silly beaver hat. Why ever not? Aren't they the height of fashion nowadays?
The day turned out wonderfully, no matter how much beaver was taken out of it.
We all met at Kate's house on Friday night for a baking party. She is making her own guest favours, and really needed extra hands to help. A few of us decided to stay the night .By 8:30 a.m. eight girls were piled into two cars and heading to Montreal for the day. I had a bag full of fresh, warm Montreal-style bagels and a cooler full of cream cheesess, fruit and cold-cuts waiting in the trunk. We headed straight for Beaver Lake, getting lost in a beautiful cemetery at the top of the Mountain. It was so beautiful infact, that we briefly considered picnicking there, before our consciences began to bug us concerning the propriety of eating and giggling beside the graves of people we didn't know while their relatives were somberly bringing them flowers...Beaver Lake. . . good food, chilly weather, lots of seagulls. Leave it to Meghan to entertain. She spent a good part of the time chasing away the impossible birds with big sticks.
We made our way to an 18th Centruy Festival in Old Montreal. Weavers, potters, soldiers, midwives, cobblers... Each stall exhibited and explained more about the life back in those days, making us most relieved to be living in the present day.
Our final destination; Jardin Nelson. A highly rated creperie which, had we not showed up when we did, would have no longer been an option for us. We made it into the place seconds before a mob of hungry people qeued up behind us, and the line up only grew as we ate until it wrapped around the buiilding.
What a beautiful place. An inner courtyard dripping with trees and hanging baskets. These great canopies were stretched up over our heads creating a really wonderful effect. And a live jazz band played on a platform to the left of us while we ate. And the crepes... Stuffed full of good things. Some of the girls even managed to fit a dessert crepe into them afterwards called Death by Chocolate.
Being reasonable girls, older and wiser, we didn't linger in the city any longer than we should, and made it home for bedtime. It was a day of moderation. No big spending. No over-the-top silliness. No over-scheduling. And yet it was fun. An important thing to learn, as I have been known to hold more to the go big or go home line of thinking. It says a lot about the company Kate and I keep that we enjoyed ourselves as much as we did within such moderate parameters. Them's some mighty fine ladies.