That final morning in Gatineau, Canada.
Celine’s husband: “Okay the car is purring like a kitten craving your love. Time for you guys to go on your road trip together.”
Me: “Err…I don’t see the truck…?”
Celine: “We’re not taking the truck. We’re taking my car.”
Me: “Your car?”
Me: “WE ARE TAKING THE MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE ON OUR ROAD TRIP???”
Celine: “Well, don’t get too excited. One ice patch and we’ll be flying. The car weighs practically nothing.”
Me: “Well we all got to go one day…”
(Enter narrator’s voice)
And that’s how the two girls commenced their road trip in an inappropriate vehicle. Just like Harry and Lloyd in Dumb & Dumber.
You: “Wait a second. Do you guys have like a mission or something?”
Me: “A mission?”
You: “Yeah, Harry and Lloyd took the car to Aspen to return that Samsonite briefcase to Mary. What’s your quest?”
Me: “Ok ahm…. Let me see… (whispering to Celine)…Uhu….Uhu…Oh yeah that’s great!”
“Ok, our mission is…
To find our Canadian Brad Pitt!”
We’re mixing up a little ‘Dumb and Dumber’ with a little ‘Thelma and Louise’. To give the story that extra crunch.
So off we go to our first destination on the itinerary:
A little history on Quebec City:
- It is approximately 400 years old;
- The city’s famous landmarks include the Château Frontenac, a hotel which dominates the skyline, and La Citadelle, an intact fortress that forms the centerpiece of the ramparts surrounding the old city;
- Quebec has played a special role in French history; the modern province occupies much of the land where French settlers founded the colony of Canada (New France) in the 17th and 18th centuries.
- The population is predominantly French-speaking and Roman Catholic, with a large Anglophone minority, augmented in recent years by immigrants from Asia;
- It is NOT the capital of Canada;
- They serve Russian president as a national dish =>
The convertible offered just enough space to fit our luggage and a bag with food and drinks in the backseat. Since we had such a long drive ahead of us. We figured we might be up for some snacking.
(Only 15 minutes on the road)
Celine: “Can I have some hot tea please, the thermos is under your seat.”
Me: “Quite certainly, young padawan.”
Celine: “Ok whatever that is, stop doing that.”
Me: “It’s Yoda. You know those personal development tapes you listen to? He’s all about mental growth and inner strength too. You’d love him.”
Celine: “Just pour me my tea, already.”
Me: “Well it’s kinda hard with you going 80 miles an hour.”
Celine: “Watch the seats. Watch the seats!”
Me: “Alright, alright, I got it.”
We continued down the super highway of glistening awesomeness. We slid through the icy landscapes like a knife through creamy butter. Like two smooth criminals heading towards heavenly freedom.
Sometimes a little too smooth, when the car would start sliding from left to right.
Celine: “Okay I gotta stop for gas. There’s a Tim Horton’s, we’ll drive through for coffee.”
Me: “Jolly, a Tim Horton’s! A large French Vanilla coffee, please.”
This drive is a beaut! And I am enjoying every single minute of it. Every single minute of the 270 minutes total.
Celine: “I’m hungry, can you get out the leftover roast and the mustard? The knife should be in my purse somewhere.”
In case you missed it, me taking place in the passenger’s seat of Celine’s car automatically degraded me to her co-pilot, personal assistant, snack assembler and in-flight entertainment.
It didn’t take long or we started bickering over every little thing.
Celine: “Okay, let’s just stop at this truck stop for a minute. I need to use the wash room.”
Me: “Yeah, I could go for a quick pee too.”
“And maybe another French Vanilla.”
Celine: “You’re really liking that French Vanilla hey?”
Celine: “Every time we pass a Tim Horton’s you get all excited.”
Me: “Well it’s about the most excitement I’ll have this weekend. I have a cold sore on my lip and I’m on my period. This joy ride is out of business!”
(There’s a small chance I might have used a slightly more vulgar vocabulary)
Celine: “Gee, you kiss your mother with that mouth?”
Me: “It’s probably where I got the cold sore from in the first place.”
A couple of hours and treats later …
… we finally arrive in QUEBEC CITY! Celine had booked us an Airbnb for the night, about 20 minutes away from the old town. We stayed with Sylvain, a middle-aged divorced guy who lived with his cat Fallah.
I called her Miss Glitterbox since I had accidentally spilt a bunch of glitter on her fur.
Sylvain has two spare bedrooms he rents out almost daily to complete strangers. There was a guy from Halifax in one room. And me and Celine shared a bed in the other. But we didn’t feel like staying in all evening.
That night Celine and I hit the old town. We decided to walk around a little bit and maybe stop for a hot coco. We decided not to have alcohol and clean our bodies from all the holiday overindulging. Well, that was a short lived resolution. First stop we made, I ordered an Italian coffee and Celine had herself a bucket of red wine.
I was still feeling telepathic since my strange moment at the supermarket the day before our road trip. I was sitting in the backseat of the big pick up truck while Celine’s husband hopped into the store to get milk. While we were waiting I had this sudden slip of the tongue and spoke the words: “My god, I want cookies!”
Two minutes later, Thomas returned to the car and threw a bag of Gingerbread Boys on the backseat right in my lap.
Thomas: “Look you guys, I got some free cookies from the lady at the counter.”
I was so amazed by my Jedi powers, I decided to try them out on Celine tonight. While I was sitting in front of her, enjoying my Italian coffee, I wondered if my mind could set her on fire.
Eventhough I thought it, it didn’t happen. Maybe because I didn’t really want her to burst into flames. I was just curious if I could force my mind that way…
We finished our drinks, decided to leave the bar and walk a bit further. But the wind was so cold it felt as if Mother Nature was pricking needles into my face.
Me: “Gee, I don’t think I can walk much further. I can’t feel my face!”
Celine: “Ok let’s just go in here.”
We entered a huge echoing hallway with christmas trees lining up all the way to the back of the corridor. I knew this place. It was the chateau Frontenac! I remembered it from my Wikipedia search! It was one of the landmarks!
The place was majestic. This is where the rich and famous hang out alright!
I felt kind of out of place wearing my Kung Fu sweatpants and custom made Blonde/Clueless long sleeve.
Celine: “Where do you wanna sit?”
Me: “Let’s sit by the bar. Put out the vibe.”
Me: “Wow these prices are through the roof. The cheapest thing on here is actually a glass of champagne. A little bit of the bubbly it is.”
Unfamiliar voice: “What accent is that you’re speaking?”
I turned over and saw a dude and another dude installing themselves on the seats next to us.
Me: “It’s english. Du’uh.” (These dumbass quebecians and their poor anglo knowledge (*see history on Quebec City ↑ ))
I thought it was the lamest pick up line I had ever heard. If these bozos think they can sit with us, they got the wrong idea.
Celine in the background: “Hahahahaha”
Err… that was clearly not including Celine. She was getting along nicely with the two gents.
Me hissing: “Don’t invite them, they could be vampires.”
Celine: “Oh shut up, it’s a good thing they still want to sit with us. Your purse is scaring people away!”
I didn’t think of them to be all that interesting. But the other one was quite cute. After an hour of talking to them and a couple of glasses later, the barman was closing up.
Me: “Well it was lovely meeting you. Bye bye now.”
The dudes: “Hey you girls feel like continuing this party at our place? We live just a 10 minute walk away from here.”
Me: “Oh, I don’t think..”
Me: “Wait, what? I’m not going home with these two. I barely know them and I don’t really like them that much. Why do you wanna go with them? Are you in heat or something??”
Wait a hot minute! Maybe I didn’t really set Celine on fire physically. But maybe I had lit some other fire. Some kind of desire inside of her!
Son of a bee sting, I unleashed the beast!
Me: “Okay guys my friend is actually a little tired, she just doesn’t realize it yet. We’re going back to our Airbnb. See ya.”
The dudes: “Are you sure?”
Celine: “Well if we don’t go home with them we can still go have drinks with them.”
Before I knew it we were in a taxi on our way to ‘Cuisine’. A funky little bar in downtown Quebec where we could dance to new wave music, play video games and apparently order some shots of Black Russian.
I was very cautious. I didn’t want to end up in a real life ‘Taken’ sequel. What if they were serial killers?
Me to Celine: “What are we doing here? It’s not like either one of these dudes is our Brad Pitt. Heck, we weren’t even supposed to drink alcohol tonight.”
Celine: “Oh just stop being all paranoid and just enjoy the moment.”
I gave it another go but after an hour I got all bored and decided to play video games on the little Super Nintendo in the corner. There I was. The little geek in the corner on a Thursday night. When I was GAME OVER I decided it was time to pull Celine out of there right in time before she could take her sweater off and go loose in her tank top. Gee, what have I done to this woman! I’m never using my Jedi mind tricks again.
We said the dudes goodbye and walked away into the freezing cold. Not really knowing where we were going. It took ages to find a taxi to drive us back. When we finally did, Celine got out at a night shop on the corner of our street to get food. She bagged two bags of Cheetos with onion dip. I was glad she cheated on her diet, rather than on her husband.
The next morning I felt awful. My stomach was all queazy from all the drinks and those two guys had left a bad after taste.
I decided to have a hot shower and freshen up for the final part of our drive: MONTREAL!
And we were back on the road. And back to our old habits.
Celine: “Could you prepare us some lunch, please? I’m hungry.”
Me: “Sure thing, young Padawan!”
I grabbed some tuna and avocado and made some excellent hors d’oeuvres on the whim!
Me: “Too bad this drive doesn’t last as long as the one we did yesterday. I quite enjoy this road trip.”
Little did I know I had wrongly used my Jedi powers again…
(One hour later)
Me: “Gee, I expected Montreal to be a lot less rockier than this.”
Celine: “Yeah me too…. Get the map and find out where we at.”
Me: “Err… I think we’re on our way to Alaska.”
Celine: “Fudge! There’s a road sign that says ‘Saguenay’. We’re going all the way north.”
Wow, my connection with the Universe had become crystal clear these past few days! (see previous post: ‘A Jelly Dilemma’) First the cookies. Then the fire. Now the extended road trip.
Me: “I’m sorry, I wished for the drive to last longer! And now we doubled the length! This is all my fault!”
… at least we had a nice view.”
That’s what I like about Celine. She’s such a positive little life force.
It took us about 4 hours to get to Montreal. Instead of the estimated 2.
Through rough roads and steep hills.
But once we were there. It was all worth it.
When we arrived at our Airbnb, we forgot all the trouble we had been through. It was the coziest place on earth smacked right into the middle of the Gay Village (the actual name of this area). It felt like coming home. Especially since there was a hammock in the living room! How comfy can you be??
That night we kept it cool. We went for a nice Chinese soup and I made some more business cards to hand out to random Gay Village people.
After dinner we met up with our Kung Fu friend Audrey again who was staying at her parents’ place in Montreal.
We went for a good night hike all the way up Mont Royal to see the crucifix.
By the way, some more history on Montreal:
- It is NOT the capital of Canada.
- Go look up the rest on the internet.
All together it was a wonderful night. Me and Celine didn’t get into any trouble. Instead we went to bed by midnight. And dreamt about Brad Pitt handing out blow jobs.
… With his hair dryer.
We had a little over one more day to find our guy. So we didn’t waste any more time the next day. We went looking all over town. We walked all the way down Avenue Cathérine and made our first stop at the Dollar Store. Celine needed some food and I needed some bindis to wear on our final night out.
We couldn’t help but notice there were a lot of sex shops on this street. Since Celine was still not fully recovered from me setting her on fire …
we entered a bunch of XXX shops to have an innocent look around. Celine eventually bought herself a ‘finger puppet’. And I got myself some fishnet long sleeves. I figured it would be a great look with a little tank top underneath! Plus: from a business point of view it was a good move. I left some of my business cards with the lady behind the counter and she absolutely LOVED the name of this blog. She said she would check it out fo shizzle.
While we continued our way down town, we got a little hungry from all the sex shop hopping and went looking for some grub. After our tasty bowl from last night, we kinda both craved some more soup.
And that’s how we ended up at another Asian place.
For dessert we went for some nice hot street tire.
It’s hot maple syrup on a fresh deck of snow. You place a popsicle stick at the end of one side and start curling it up to the other side. That’s how you eat tire!
The taste is super sweet. As maple syrup tends to be.
We heated ourselves by a little fire and head out. To a more nicer part of town.
Stranger’s voice: “Wow that is a nice coat, young lady.”
Lady: “No that’s a Shearling and it is very, véry nice. ”
Me: “Oh thank you.”
Celine and I had just entered a fur boutique when we got interrupted by the lady who happened to be one of the owners.
Lady: “I gotta call somebody to come look at this, wait right here.”
Soon entered a guy. A very very hot guy. To come look at me and my coat.
Lady: “Isn’t this the nicest Shearling ever?”
The guy nodded and kept his eyes on my coat.
Me: “Well, this is a little awkward. I didn’t know it was this special. I bought it for 50 euros at a second hand store in Belgium.”
The two both started laughing.
Me: “Oh, is that too much?”
Lady: “No dear, these coats usually go for way more.”
Very very hot guy: “You could get up to 1600 Canadian dollars for this coat.”
Great Odin’s raven! I’m rich!
All the hot fur action aside, it was already in the afternoon and we still hadn’t find our Brad Pitt. I was getting a little bit worried. So we put our two brain halfs together over dinner.
We figured he might perform in one of the strip bars around the corner as a male entertainer. When you have a body like that, you got to make some kind of living out of it…
To a live nude bar it is!
We got all ready for our big and final night out.
But ended up going to a live music bar instead.
Half way through our walk through town, we changed our minds and decided to not support the local sex slave industry.
We had some wine. Some nice live blues music. And some poutine with duck on the side! No male entertainers. But it was the best last night in Montreal I could ever wish for.
We were in bed by midnight so we could wake up early the next day and enjoy a nice Sunday together. Also our last day together.
Over breakfast, we got the word that Value Village, a big second hand store, was doing a big sale.
Since we had to check out of the apartment anyway, we got dressed as fast as we could and rushed out of there in no time.
Well… I did have to go to the bathroom first to get my excitement out…
And last night’s dinner.
I don’t know if it was the poutine or the poo-theen but I poo-clogged the toilet big time.
Good advice: go easy on the toilet paper if you’re ever in Canada. They don’t have toilets like ours and it’s not enjoyable having to unclog the toilet when the owner is sleeping in the room next door, overhearing everything you do.
With that out of my system. And in the poor guy’s sewer system. We stuffed the convertible like a Christmas turkey and drove it all the way to Value Village a 15 minute drive away.
Me: “Look at these joggers jogging on these icy curbs. They’re c…”
Me: “Well I was gonna go with courageous. Let’s just call them COU-RAZY!”
“Hé Celine, look at how fast I’m racing to Value Village!”
When we finally arrived we nose dove between the racks of clothes, grabbing everything we had our eye one, trying everything on for size, and dressing up for fun. I eventually found two coats, one sweater and some other things I can’t remember, for less than 30 euros total.
But there was no way I could fit all this into my teeny-tiny backpack. If I wanted to buy all this stuff, I had to buy another suitcase to take on board with me.
The moment I thought it -and put it out there for the universe to hear- there it was….
As if it was sitting there waiting for me.
A beautiful beige brown carry-on suitcase for only 7 Canadian Dollars. I flipped it open and it was in perfectly good shape. The interior was all golden brown retro and as good as new. When I flipped it over to look at the specifications, there it was…..
This can’t be! It was about the briefcase all along!
(Enter narrator’s voice)
And that’s how the girl brought the Samsonite suitcase back to the airport. Filled with valuable bargains. And priceless memories.