Tout le monde en parle is rounding out the weekend – always a list of interesting guests and often a provocative perspective on what is happening in politics, the arts, pop culture and sports. Mé is beside me thoughts roundly fixed on her belly. “I would have liked to have had the baby this weekend,” she says. It was hope beyond hope that it would happen while her maman was here for a five day visit. Lila is all over the place now. You can literally see her stretching. ‘She is way too comfortable in my body. She should be a little more shy,” says Mé.
Noah is in a nocturnal shenanigan vibe, bustin’ his own moves. He’s rearranging a gaggle of buddies on his bed. All the while it’s a constant stream of sound effects – talking, yawning, bouncing around, feet pattering on carpet. He’s playing fast and loose, any which way but sleep. Just before bed, he watches 15 minutes of So You Think You Can Dance. It’s the finals and after each spectacular move on the highlight reels he asks, “Does it hurt?”
Earlier in the evening, Noah is letting loose with some amazing moves of his own. He is a porter extraordinaire taking grand-maman’s suitcase all the way from the parking lot through the airport and to the check in counter. A combination pushing and pulling technique and hearty encouragement from Nicole, myself and passersby help him reach the final destination. All offers of help are met with a smiling yet firm, “I can do it.”
At one point in this epic journey Noah catches sight of a display of plush lobsters. He comes to an abrupt halt beside the display, drops the suitcase on the ground and picks up one of the lobsters for closer inspection. Almost instantaneously he drops it back in the bin, picks up the suitcase and looking at us both in turn says, “Not today, too busy, hard work.” We are just about ready to roll on the ground.
After hugs and kisses, grand-maman steps through the point of no return on her way to the departure level. Noah and I take the glass door elevator to the observation area on the third floor. In 15 minutes, we see seven take-offs and one landing. This doesn’t exactly respond to Noah’s almost constant, deep desire to take a plane to somewhere, anywhere but it does allow for some vicarious thrills.
It’s been a sans enfants weekend for us. This just adults time treat has only happened previously in Sorel when we’ve been able to nip away for a couple of days leaving the kids with Nicole and Raymond. Mé had the brilliant idea of having Nicole come down for a visit here so the two of us could foot loose and fancy free it in Halifax.
We bundle up a couple of bags and grab the 60 for Alderney Gate to catch a ferry across the harbour. It’s a few hours before we can check into our B&B on South Park. We make our way slowly from the waterfront and window shop our way up Spring Garden. By chance we spot a sign for Curry Village. They’ve moved. Mé’s had a craving for Indian and this is our restaurant of choice. We saunter up Dresden Row and seat ourselves in their new digs. It’s Saturday lunch and we have the place practically to ourselves. As always we revel in the butter chicken and naan bread.
Dessert is only five or six doors away at Susie’s Shortbreads. This is a jewel of a sweet treat shop with cakes, cookies and their claim to fame killer cupcakes. I choose the peppermint patty and have no regrets. Mé selects something with a cream cheese topping that she’s going to eat later. We agree to come back the following day to bring home some goodies for the kids. The business is using social media successfully to reach out customers. We’ll certainly be repeats.
Next stop – Clay Café. This is a paint-your-own pottery studio for all ages. On our way we meet a couple of sweet older women on the very crowded bus. One was married to a Scot from Glasgow. The other – an 88-year-old from Wales – was a war bride. It was nice to small talk with them on their way to the mall.
The café is bright and full of activity. We’re here to create a couple of pieces for Nellie and Noah. I choose a plate for Noah and am feeling very deficient in the artistic muse department. Mé is making a pretty cup for Nellie-Belle. Mé’s concept is for us to come here on a regular basis and do pieces for the kids which we’ll give to them when they grow up.
This is not the kind of thing that I would naturally gravitate toward. After a little while I’m feeling more comfortable though no more adept or proficient in applying the paint or coming up with design and decoration ideas. The experience grows on me and I see that Mé has a fine concept on the go here. It will be a great thing for us to do together. It’s a time to focus with no distractions and an opportunity to create a special gift over the years for our babies. When they are a little older, it will be a fun place to bring them too. Friday and Saturday nights there is live music. With our guys we could easily make that live music and dance.
We check in to the B&B, nap and head out on the town. Well we walk about three blocks in smittering, smattering rain. We’re a little chilled when we reach the sports bar. There’s an ultimate fighting spectacle being broadcast later in the evening but there are still a few seats left at tables. We make ourselves comfortable for three plus periods of Canadiens versus NY Rangers action. It’s a good game. We’re particularly happy with the final score 5 to 4 in favour of Montreal. Bravo to Cammalleri for his hat trick.
By the end of the game the place is packed. People are asking for our second table and looking unhappy when we don’t hand it over. The server is with us though and that’s what counts. The ultimate fighting is in the warm up bouts. It’s a nasty looking sport – plenty of blood and pummelling right before our eyes. Both Mé and I are ready to leave. Back at the B&B we’re asleep almost straight away.
It”s like tropical rain throughout the night, a deluge of a downpour. It’s lessened somewhat by daybreak but the sky is still bleak and indistinct wrapping us all in a muffle of grey. We wake to the sounds of new streams gurgling and a gentler wind than the previous evening buffeting the windows. This is a chance to laze about, a delicious dalliance for us these years past.
By noon we check out and track back to Dresden Row. It’s time to get the kids’ cupcakes and other sugary delights. After a late breakfast, we hop the ferry to connect with the bus ride home. Nellie and Noah are thrilled to see us. It’s great to feel them close and warm in our arms. The reunion is every bit as wonderful as I anticipated.
A quick trip to the playground in the summer like weather, some take-out and then grand-maman is off the airport. Bye-bye grand-maman and thanks so much. We miss you.