A Travellerspoint blog

Stanley, R.I.P.


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So, if you've taken a look at any of the pictures on this blog, you've probably noticed the presence of a certain moose in many of the pictures. Stanley, to be exact. We found Stanley about a month ago when we were in Quebec City and he became something of a Canadian group mascot for us. We brought him to NYC as well as many of our other group outings. And we had hoped to spend the remainder of our time here with him and to bring him up to the top of Mont Royal in December before we all leave; however, tragedy has struck and Stanley the moose has been lost -- something about leaping out of Ander's pocket after a stunning moosette (according to Anders..)

So a toast: To our friend, Stanley. Our Canadian mascot, and the life of the party. You will be missed!

So a toast: To our friend, Stanley. Our Canadian mascot, and the life of the party. You will be missed!

Posted by LauraC2011 31.10.2010 22:57 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

N.Y.C.

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This past weekend I went to NYC, the "Big Apple", on a trip organized by McGill's international student society. In terms of my friends from here, it was me, Karla, Carlotta, Sofia, Anders, and Aris.

SO. NYC was incredible! It wasn't exactly what I expected to be honest.. it's been so romanticized in movies/tv shows that I kind of expected something a little more perfect/glamorous..which was kind of silly because NYC is really just a HUGE city. That being said, it's really lively, interesting, and unique city and there is SO much to see..but, in my opinion, the only part that was really "perfect"-ish was Times Square, which was probably my favorite place!

I'll just go through the weekend in order:

We left Montreal last Thursday night at 1am on a bus with about 50 other international students from McGill (we were supposed to leave at midnight, but ah well). We got to the border around 1:45am and were there for 2 HOURS! That part wasn't so great...and we didn't really fall asleep til 4am when we were on the road again. It was pretty rough sleeping on the bus, but I did manage to get a few hours of restless sleep.. Anyway, we got to the big apple at about 10am, dropped our bags off at our hostel (Hostelling International - SUPER nice hostel..practically a hotel!), then we went out on the town!

First, Karla, Sofia, Carlotta and I went to get breakfast/lunch at the diner that was in the TV show Seinfeld..it wasn't anything special really, just a diner, but it's kinda cool to be able to say that we were there! Then we took the subway over to Greenwich Village and Soho, which we walked around pretty much all afternoon looking at shops and kind of taking in the city. Greenwich Village and Soho weren't really the stereotypical NYC that you imagine when you think of the city..it's a lot of residences and restaurants...not really any skyscrapers.

Then we headed back to our hostel around 5pm to meet up with the rest of the group. From there the whole group, ~50 people, went to see the Empire State Building...we went to the observation deck on the 86th floor and were able to see the most AMAZING views of NYC..literally amazing..there are really no words to describe how ENORMOUS the city is. It just goes on and on (and on)!! Everybody kind of stayed at the top for about 30-45 mins taking in the view...a couple of us had a nice chat with one of the security guards about New Years Eve in NYC. He was a really friendly old guy who was telling us how he avoids going out anywhere in the city during New Years because it's so crazy!

After the empire state building, Karla, Carlotta, Sofia, Anders, Aris and I went off to see Times Square - AMAZING. Totally lit up..it was like daytime at 10pm!! I absolutely loved this part! We went to get a stereotypical "American" dinner at TGIF (this was a big deal for everyone but me seeing as they're from all over - Denmark, Mexico, and France to be exact! ..but i went with it!) Did i mention that this TGIF looked out right over Times Square?! Incroyable!

After a very delicious, and wayyy overpriced meal, we went back to our hostel and got ready to head out to the meatpacking district - a hoppin place to go out apparently..around midnight we got on the subway near our hostel and took it toward the Meatpacking District. We got off and basically just started wandering the streets...there were people everywhere!...it was what I imagine 1st Ave. in Minneapolis would look like on New Years Eve, but bigger, and more crowded! But for as great as New York's nightlife is, it's both ridiculously expensive and insanely exclusive...You literally cannot get into any of the best places unless you know someone (or you're a celebrity!)..That being said, even the less exclusive places (where we ended up haha) had a dress code beyond anything anywhere else I've ever been. Overall, it was a great time though.

Saturday..we got up at 10am (2 hours later than we meant to..whoops!) We headed out to see the Statue of Liberty (from afar) and the Brooklyn Bridge in the a.m. Then around 2:30-3pm we had to be back toward Times Square to buy discount tickets for Broadway that night...on our way back we took the subway to Grand Central Station, which was totally gorgeous, and then we went to wait in line for our Broadway tickets (we got 50% off tickets to Chicago! and we only had to wait about 1 hour, so pretty good deal!) After that we (the girls) window shopped the beautiful designer stores on 5th Ave. We also walked around Rockefeller Center (which we all thought was 1 building, but apparently it's a collection of buildings that we happened to be standing in the middle of when we asked someone where it was..embarrassing!) Then, we grabbed a quick slice of pizza and some red bull, and at 8pm we headed to see Chicago! It was SOOOO GOOD! I absolutely loved it! It was just like the movie Chicago, with the same plot and whatnot, but it was actually a little more humorous, and each actor put their own twist on the characters, which I really liked! Totally worth seeing!!

After our Broadway show, we walked through Times Square one last time and really tried to take it in. Then we took the subway back to our hostel - drank another red bull and got ready to go out again. Along with a majority of the McGill group, we headed out to this club called Pacha (apparently they're really popular clubs that are all over Europe)..but when we got there, cover was $50!!!! We kind of had a group debate about whether we should just pay or go somewhere else...we ended up going to another club nearby that had a $30 cover plus mandatory $4 coat check, so with the cab ride, we probably didn't save that much - but this 2nd place had like 4 floors with different music styles playing on each floor. We found a floor playing some fun European house/techno music that had fire eaters on a stage and a gymnast/acrobat person that descended on a rope from the ceiling. It was unreal!

Sunday morning we got up at 9:15am, went to breakfast at a cute little cafe in the area of Manhatten where our hostel was. Then around noon, we took the subway to the financial district to see wall street and ground zero. After that we went shopping at century 21 - a HUGE discount designer store (I could've spent days shoping there! but, alas, we didn't have time..) I did manage to find a really cute purse though! And after than, we had to be back to the hostel by 3:30 to head home on the bus.

And that was my weekend! Approximately 54 hours to take in all that NYC had to offer! I'm actually amazed at how much we got through, but I will admit, I think I've only just recovered from all of the walking and sleep deprivation! Overall, it was amazing and I'm really glad I went. I don't think I could ever live anywhere as big as NYC, but I can definitely see myself going back on a regular basis to explore more of the hidden gems of the city, AND to see more Broadway shows, of course!!

I'll post pictures as soon as I can!

A bientot!

Posted by LauraC2011 21.10.2010 10:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Life, As We Know It

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Bonjour!

I am so sorry for being MIA (missing in action) for the past couple of weeks. Like anywhere you go the novelty wears off a bit and the day-to-day monotony (aka school) sets in. So, for the past few weeks I've been quite busy keeping up with classes and studying. For all those that know my study habits, I'm a MAJOR coffee shop studier, it's my absolute favorite, and most productive, setting to be in and the easy access to coffee certainly doesn't hurt! Anywho, I've been kind of rotating around different shops around Montreal, some close to my apartment and some nearer to McGill's campus. As of right now, my favorite coffee shop is called Second Cup - it's a chain, similar to Starbucks or Caribou in MN (similar, nothing can beat Caribou!) It's about 5 blocks away, or about a 7-8 minute walk, and the ambiance is just perfect! It plays music of the John Mayer/Matt Nathanson genre (my fav!), and is well-lit and quite spacious! I've discovered a couple of other coffee shops that are a little more unique, and while I love going to them for coffee-dates with friends or for an in-between-class cup of java, they tend to be a little more dimly-lit (not helpful when I'm trying to study!) and the music is more exciting/eclectic (which distracts me!). One such place is called π - yes, that is the symbol for pi - and is very reminiscent of Blue Mondays (for you Oles out there!)

Let's see, I had a minor check card snafu a while back; long story short, my U.S. check card expired before my new one arrived in the mail, and my Canadian account wasn't fully functional yet, sooo that was a somewhat hellish and stressful week that I don't need to bore you with. But it was certainly an experience! At one point, I went into Royal Bank Canada to figure out when my account would be functioning. I was practically in tears I was so stressed - keep in mind I had to buy textbooks this week - and the lady who was helping me felt so bad she gave me her private business card in case I had any other problems. Don't worry though, everything got worked out, I bought my books, the world didn't end and everything is perfectly fine now!

Another fun story, I bought a Bixi pass, which is basically the system of public bikes here - you know, where you pay money or swipe your pass to get a bike out of the bike rack, and then you can ride it anywhere in the city and just drop it off at anyone of the other millions of bike racks throughout Montreal. This system is GREAT! It's super convenient. Although, I do have to say that after my first Bixi experience, I did not feel this way at all. All of my roommates bought the same Bixi pass and had been raving about how it was the nicest way to get to campus (there's a bixi bike rack about 1 minute from our apartment, which is ultimately why I ended up buying the pass..So, my first time using one of the bixi bikes, I go over to the bike rack, swipe my pass, and attempt to get the bike out of the rack - I'm pulling and lifting and trying all kinds of combinations of these movements to get the bike out - no luck. People are walking by all around me, by the way. So, stressed and embarrassed, I swipe my pass again, repeat all of the movements and somehow managed to get the bike out of the rack (I learned later, after using this unreliable method to release bikes probably about 3-4 times, that all you have to do is squeeze the handle brake as you gently roll the bike backward out of the rack in order to realease it...) Anyway, I finally get this stupid bike out, adjust the seat (basically to it's lowest setting) and hop on the bike. Now, Montreal drivers are a tad crazy and terrifying and I am SO glad I don't have my car here; that said, bikers are expected to drive ON THE ROADS alongside these people...to be fair, bikers do have their own little lane, but really you need to keep your head on a constant swivel (watching for speeding cars, turning cars, car doors opening, pedestrians crossing the street, etc.) So anyway, I'm riding my bike down the road in the little bike path and all of the other people on bikes are pretty much zooming past me. I then realize that these bikes have gears - "ohhh, I'm on 3, no wonder this is so difficult, I'll switch to gear 2...nope, that didn't help. Gear 1? Nada. crap.." So, I keep biking (and I'm biking hard) just to attempt to keep up with these other Montreal-biking-savants and I'm feeling like a complete idiot, because now my speed has picked up by maybe an extra inch/minute, the other people on bikes are still zooming past me (with what looks like relative ease), and I'm totally out of breath (and I've only been biking for about 5 minutes!) By the time I got to my class about 10 minutes later, I was huffing and puffing like nobody's business. I had to go the bathroom to try to minimize the whole just-worked-out-in-jeans look that I was sporting. I remember saying to my roommates that night that they must've been crazy for thinking biking was so convenient, but as they reassured me, and as I later discovered, my first bixi bike was clearly a dud. They are actually incredibly easy to use, and while it's still a little nerve-wracking to bike through the city, it's one of the most common modes of transportation here, and one of the cheapest - which is a huge plus - and it turns out there's a fast learning curve to it, so now I'm the biking-savant I was once so envious of!

Well those were just some miscellaneous happenings of my last couple of weeks! I just went to Quebec City this past weekend with a big group of exchange students, so as soon as I get those pictures I'll add them to the gallery on this blog and write a nice, long blog post about the trip! :)

Until next time, à Bientôt !

Posted by LauraC2011 03.10.2010 20:01 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Tam Tams and Mont Royal

Reason #167 Why I love Montreal

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So a couple of nights ago, while at McGill's Open Air Pub (affectionately known as OAP), Karla and I met a bunch of other students on exchange from ALL OVER the world! It was a gorgeous night, so we invited them to come back to our apartment and sit outside on our patio. Somehow, our gathering grew from about 10 to 30 people - ALL of whom were international exchange students! The life stories of some (read: most) of these students are incroyable! (incredibile). Let me try to give you an idea, there were students from France, Switzerland, Germany, Denmark (many were from Denmark!), Argentina, Norway, Spain (i.e. my roommates), Mexico, andddd I think that's about it. Suffice to say, I was the ONLY American, and the ONLY person whose first language was English - although everyone was so fluent you'd hardly be able to tell, aside from the accents maybe!

Anyway, this group of people has spent a lot of time together over the past couple days, and we're all becoming good friends. Yesterday, for example, there was this event called "Tam Tams" in a park less than 10 minutes from my apartment. Basically, people just kept showing up with African drums and jammed out all day long! There were people everywhere! There was a crowd surrounding the drum circle, there was a group of people dancing (kind of strangely) near the drum circle, and then there were hundreds of people spread out across the lawn just sitting, talking, and enjoying the atmosphere. Karla and I were among the first to arrive so we stood and watched the drum circle for a while, then some of our group started showing up and we all went to sit on the lawn. Over time, more and more people kept showing up, and eventually our group had grown from 6 to about 25 again. It was so nice, we all just sat around and talked for a good couple of hours. The nice thing about this group is that we're all kind of in the same boat. Most of the group is only here for 1 semester, and no one really has a set group of friends yet. Anyway, after a couple hours of mingling and relaxing in the park, we decided to hike up Mont Royal, Montreal's "mountain" (but really it's just a big hill).

We started our hike up THE most beautiful trail, surrounded by trees and greenery of all sorts, and what is one of the first, breathtaking attractions that we see? LARPers. Apparently they're everywhere... :/ haha For those of you who don't know, LARPing is short for Live Action Role Playing. Basically, it's a bunch of guys (and some girls) dressed up in medieval garb, battling each other with fake swords and fake shields...certainly a sight to be seen...some of our group stopped to watch for a bit; I, however, had to keep hiking to stop myself from laughing (and potentially getting stabbed with a plastic sword..haha). Anyway, that experience aside, the rest of our hike was amazingly beautiful! It took us about 20 minutes to hike to the 1st lookout spot, where we stopped to take pictures of the city's skyline and to feed some really friendly (and hungry) raccoons! I, personally, didn't feed them for fear of getting rabies (I've always heard raccoons were mean..and even though those little fuzzy guys with their adorable faces seemed really gentle, they didn't have me fooled!) Anyway, after about a 15 minute stop at this look-out, we continued our hike to the top, which was only about 15 more minutes. The top wasn't actually that exciting.. We did see the cross that stands illuminated at the top of Mont Royal, but there were trees surrounding it, so we couldn't see the city. We actually had to walk about 10 minutes back down to another look-out area, where we were able to see an even MORE incredible view of the city! Yesterday was one of those days where there were some blue skies, but for the most part it was a bit overcast, and every once in a while we'd have to endure about a 10 minute sprinkling of rain. This weather, however, made the view the second time SO much more amazing because we got to see the Montreal skyline plus, not one, but TWO rainbows! Breathtaking.

Eventually, we walked back down and ended our hike. I must say it was one of my favorite days in Montreal so far! And don't worry, there are a few guys in the group who've been taking pictures of all of this with their professional-level cameras, so once they post the pictures, I'll add them to this blog's photo gallery!

Alright, that's it for now!
Au revior!

Posted by LauraC2011 06.09.2010 09:47 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

First Day(s) of School!

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Bonjour! Ca va bien? Moi aussi, merci! haha..

Well I have officially started class at McGill! And to give you an idea of how my days are going to be spent here, this is what my schedule looks like:

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:

1130 am - Physiology 311: Channels, Synapses, and Hormones
This class is basically a neurophysiology and endocrinology class (yay!) It's taught in 3 sections by 3 different professors, so we'll see how that goes. The class is about 300 students and the textbook is the size of an encyclopedia!!! But at least I don't have to lug it to and from class every day!

135 pm - Psychology 337: Abnormal Psychology
Another HUGE class. I'd say there's at least 400 students in this one. We have 3 lectures/week as well as weekly "conferences" with a T.A. where we pretty much discuss various case studies (cool! haha I'm a nerd)

Tuesday, Thursday:

1130 am - Biology 308: Ecological Dynamics
Not exactly my favorite topic. But the class actually doesn't seem too bad. PLUS we only have 4 (yes, 4!!) labs the entire semester! =) That means I only have to get up at 730 am on 4 Fridays all semester long! (Which is an incredible relief since I was expecting to have to do that every Friday..yikes!)

235 pm - French As A Second Language
Oui, oui. Quand je suis ici, j'ai pense qu'il est une bonne idee si j'ai prennais un cours de francais! Yes, yes. While I'm here, I thought it would be a good idea to take a French course. Shocking, I know! haha But I'm actually very excited to re-learn some French and to actually have the opportunity to apply it!

Et, c'est tout! And, that's all for now.

I'll update again soon!
Missing you all! :)

A bientot!

Posted by LauraC2011 03.09.2010 14:30 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Canada, Eh?

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It's happened.

Yesterday, August 27th, at approximately 15h00, I used "eh" (not as a joke) when asking someone a question..note the date and time for future mocking opportunities.

I'd say my transition is well under way, eh? haha oh man..

Posted by LauraC2011 28.08.2010 12:11 Archived in Canada Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Getting my Bearings

Moving In, Montreal, and Orientation

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Hola!! Sorry it's been a while since I've updated, I've been very busy getting settled over the past week. Hmmm, so where to start?? SOOO much has happened in the last week, I'm going to have to give just a brief summary (and it'll probably still be super long!):

Well, my first couple of days here I spent most of my time walking around Montreal with mi padre. We walked my route to and from McGill about a zillion times - it's about a 20-30 min walk (uphill both ways!! seriously. lol) which is both good and bad - good because, without trying, I get at least an hour of walking in every day, and bad because soon I'm going to have to do that in the frigid cold! eek! Not to worry though, there is a bus that will cut about 10 mins off my walk should the need arise!) Aside from practicing that route, which my dad can attest took A LOT of practice (I'm a tad directionally challenged and for about the first 3 days I was here, I would consistently walk out of my apartment and turn in ABSOLUTELY the wrong direction..at which my dad would laugh and then re-direct me) I've got it down now though, don't worry!

We also spent some time exploring downtown Montreal (where McGill's campus is actually located). There's a very popular street just 2 blocks from McGill's campus called Rue Saint Catherine, which is known for its incredible shopping and nightlife. Just last night, myself, my roommate Karla, and some of her friends from Mexico went salsa dancing at a place on St Catherine. I'm not good at all, but it was a lot of fun! AND I just signed up for the salsa dancing club at McGill today (haha), so hopefully I'll get better!! You'll probably also notice that I've been using a little bit of spanish in this post too..go figure, lol..I'm in Montreal, le Paris du Canada, but I guess that's what happens when you spend the majority of your time with your Mexican roommate and her friends...and I only expect it to get worse as my 3 Spanish roommates start moving in this week! Nevertheless, yo estoy aprendiendo (I am learning)!!!

Let's see, dad and I also explored Vieux Montreal (Old Montreal) the last day he was here. It's a darling little area of Montreal full of old buildings and nice places to eat. Very reminiscent of Europe. I will post pictures of that too!

Montreal is an incredible city with an amazingly diverse population! There are people with the most amazing life stories here. There are students from all over the world! Literally. The number of bilingual and multilingual people here is actually making me feel a little bit inadequate! For example, most Montrealers are AT LEAST bi-lingual and can speak both French and English perfectly. But it does not stop there, because it seems that there are even more people who are tri-lingual or more!! The craziest thing, being around all these multi-lingual people, is that they can slip seamlessly back and forth from one language to the next, mid-sentence! It's definitely nice too, because it's not intimidating for me to try to speak french here. Unlike France, people here do not scoff at you for trying to speak french, even if it's horrible (which mine most certainly is!) They are either appreciative for the effort, or they are amused, and respond, smiling, in perfect english.

Today, I spent ALL day attending McGill's first-year orientation, which I was worried would be all 18-year old freshmen students. But as I said before, Montreal and McGill are incredibly diverse, and Montrealers actually attend 13 years of school (compared to our 12 years) and then attend university for a typical 3 or 4 years, depending on the program. SO, long story short, the first-year orientation included all manner of students ranging from 18 and 19 year-old freshmen, to older visiting (comme moi!), transfer, and exchange students.

The next few days consist of more orientation sessions and even more social events! I signed up for a science student-specific orientation called FROSH, which is apparently supposed to be a blast, and includes 3 days of social events and trips to the beach, etc. So this weekend I'll do my best to write a more exciting blog post about happenings during the next few days!

OH, ALSO, before I forget! I've only really had 2 major culture-shock experiences here. First, is the way Mexicans and Spaniards greet each other..it's not hugs, it's not hand shakes (at least not for girls).. the Mexicans greet by a kiss on 1 cheek and the Spanish greet by a kiss on both cheeks! Very interesting...very European...verrrrry unexpected the first time it happens!! lol The first time I met my roommate Karla, for example, I was totally taken aback. I was like, "Ohhh my goshhh, too close, too close!" But after that 1st time, I've actually acclimated quite quickly. It kind of makes me wish us Americans were a little more cultured in our greetings..Anyway, my second culture-shock experience is that a lot of Montrealers, like Europeans (to make a major generalization) smoke cigarettes...not my favorite aspect of the culture here...but as I'm more of the "to each their own" philosophy, I don't mind, as long as the smoke is not blown directly into my face...Oh, and thirdly McGill is like the POLAR OPPOSITE of St. Olaf so far. It's a wet campus; so not only is drinking allowed, but the campus has its own bar. Plus, at orientation today the student society officers showed a video to the whole undergraduate orientation that used the word F*#& several times. I think I was the only one looking around like, "Oh my gosh, can they say that??"

Anyway, that's more than long enough for now. I'll try to update again soon!

Au revoir!

Posted by LauraC2011 24.08.2010 17:15 Archived in Canada Tagged living_abroad Comments (0)

Travelitis

"It's all part of the experience"

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Oi. Vey. Today has been one long, hectic, exciting, stressful, frustrating, exhilarating day. Running off of three and a half hours of sleep, I woke up to my (3rd) alarm at 4:30 am. I groggily went through my pre-departure checklist: passport? check! phone charger? check! my three 45 lb duffel bags? check, check, check!

5:15 am...I have just successfully carried and loaded my bags into the van. Work-out for the day? check! (haha just kidding! ..kind of)

5:45 am...We get dropped off by Mom at the airport (miss you too, Mom). Dad and I then proceed to walk into the airport, only to find the LONGEST line I've EVER seen to check in our luggage. At 5:45 in the morning! My internal monologue: $h*t. (Keep in mind our flight is scheduled to take off at 6:45 and we still have to go through airport security!!) Needless to say, the tension started building. Now, fun fact: something my dad and I have in common is that when we're stressed, we get quiet. So really, the events of the next hour are best chronicled by our gradual decline in conversation.

5:48 am...Light chit chat about coffee, McGill, my apartment; laughter at the people behind us in line who were asking an airport employee if, in fact, this was the only line (yes, yes it was.)

5:59 am...Quiet punctuated by the occasional, self-reassuring comments such as, "This line isn't moving too bad," or "Oh, we'll be fine. What would we do inside other than wait anyway?"

6:04 am...Fidgety, nervous. Significant increase in the frequency of the types of comments mentioned at 5:59. Now grappling with the fact that our flight technically boards in 11 minutes, we don't yet have our baggage checked in, AND the line has pretty much stopped moving forward. THANKFULLY, an airport employee came around looking for anyone on our flight to bring us to the front of the line to get checked in.

6:08 am...Panic. Confusion. Distress. "Enter confirmation number," "Slide passport left to right, photo-side down," "Verify X," "Is Y amount correct?", "Swipe credit card"...AHHHH!!! Look, I am all for kiosks and self-check-out lines at the grocery store, but at 6 in the morning (did I mention I'm not a morning person) when I'm under a SIGNIFICANT time crunch, BELIEVE IT OR NOT, fumbling between print-outs of confirmation numbers, boarding passes, passports, drivers licenses, and credit cards, with the next person in line breathing down my neck and my luggage tipping over and falling on my feet, is NOT my favorite way to start the day. (I prefer coffee..*see 5:45 am)

6:14 am...SILENCE. Not only were the last 6 minutes BEYOND stressful, but our take-off time is now 30 minutes away. And this line IS NOT moving quickly AT ALL. At first, I was quietly trying to calm myself down, "We have 30 minutes, no way this line will take that long...we're fine..." This was only so effective, however, as the lady in front of us, who happened to be trying to make the same flight, was yelling over the winding lines of disgruntled travelers to her husband that he should probably not leave cause she might not make her flight. Greattt...

6:29 am...I am two people away from getting to put my stuff in the little bins that go on the security belt, and some family of 5, pushing a stroller, is using the "Family Line" to cut through line and is approaching the same airport employee as I am. We reached the security guy at the same time. She paused out of courtesy, anddd I went.

6:35 am..."Come on shoes!" Everything has come out of the security belt (laptop, backpack, purse) and is back in my arms..now I'm just waiting for my sandals so I can RUN (Home Alone-style) through the airport to our gate and make sure they don't leave without us. Don't worry, I at least wasn't the only one doing this..another girl showed up to the gate about 1 minute after me, barefoot, and carrying her shoes! (carrying the shoes!! why didn't i think of that?!)

6:40 am...We are seated on the plane to Philadelphia, which is now pulling away from the gate and preparing for take-off. My dad and I looked at each other across the aisle and pounded fists. We also decided to never do that again.

With the chaos of that early morning disaster left behind us, in Minneapolis, we were looking forward to arriving in Philadelphia, calmly walking to our gate, and sitting patiently for our next flight at 11:15 am. Little did we know that we were about to sit through two and a half hours of flight delays...awesome. The best part about this though is that US Airways sends out automated phonecalls to all of its passengers with updates regarding to delays. So literally, while sitting at our gate for our 2nd flight of the day, my phone would start ringing, then my dad's would, and soon you'd look around and see EVERYONE on their phone receiving the EXACT same message. And by the expressions on peoples' faces, you could tell exactly which part of the message they had just heard...For example, the biggest change in facial expression occurred right around the "We're sorry to inform you that your US Airlines flight #xxxx has been delayed" part..

Long story short, we eventually arrived in Montreal at about 3pm. Upon landing I gave my landlord a call (she just happens to be the NICEST lady ever, I later found out) and apologized for my late arrival and agreed to meet her at my new place to receive a key and such.

And that is exactly where I sit now!! (I'll post pictures of my apartment soon)

Briefly, I'm living in a 5-person apartment. Right now, there are a couple of McGill students still living in 2 of the rooms from the summer terms. But they will be moving out in the next week. At which time, a girl from Mexico that I've been kind of keeping in contact with, and 3 girls from Spain will be moving in!! Strangely, I'm not sure if I'm going to learn more Spanish or French while in Montreal!! haha

Anyway, I'm sure that was long and boring for many of you. But that was just a brief run down of my day. Dad and I are going to go to McGill tomorrow to pick up my student ID and explore campus a bit. Also we're going to try to figure out whether I'm going to be walking to using some form of public transport while I'm here...so that should be interesting...

Posted by LauraC2011 19.08.2010 00:45 Archived in Canada Tagged air_travel Comments (0)

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