Montreal is crazy

Becca and I drove our little girl to Montreal this past week. I’m not normally one to do vacation posts, but I had a lot of fun and got to be in a few photos with Anna (normally I’m behind the camera) so I decided I’d share a few pictures.

We went to the Montreal Biodome. It was pretty cool. Anna was amazed by the little monkeys in the trees and, of course, she loved looking at the fishes. We wanted to go to the Botanical Gardens and Insectarium, too, but they were too far away for Anna to walk to on her own. So Anna hopped on my shoulders and off we went!

We recently bought her a new hat and coat and I think she is incredibly adorable in them. We’ve been trying to get her to keep things on her head (like bows, ribbons, and other hats) ever since she was born but she always pulls them off. This hat must be magical or something because she loves wearing it.

Unfortunately the hat and coat makes her just an ounce or two too heavy to carry for long distances on my shoulders. Or maybe we’ve been letting her eat too many animal crackers. Either way, I made her hop off after we got to the botanical gardens…

…which I thought were great but Anna wasn’t super thrilled with them. We were only there for a few minutes before she started sticking her tongue out at us and begging for raisins. So we acquiesced and let her dig into a little toddler sized box of raisins.

There was a little playground, so we spent some time going down the slide and spinning on some odd spinning chair things. Not sure how to describe them exactly.. Sort of like if you put a globe on a stick, stuck in the ground, and cut it in half along the equator. It was just big enough to sit in and the tilt made it possible to get it spinning pretty fast. We all gave it a try. Anna wasn’t a huge fan though.

After the raisins were all gone we headed to the Insectarium to warm up. Becca was grossed out by the giant dead bugs and Anna was exhausted, so we didn’t get to stay long. Probably for the best to avoid nightmares of huge beetles and giant moths.

We bought McDonald’s on the way back to the hotel. Disaster. Our French speaking neighbors to the north kept confusing “coke” with “coffee”, which is very odd considering the French word for coffee is pronounced nearly the same as the English. There was also some confusion over our request for a Happy Meal (perhaps the meals aren’t happy in Canada), but eventually we got it all sorted out and headed to the hotel room.

The burgers were… well… odd. We haven’t traveled out of the country much but we are quickly learning that even if food has the same name, it may be completely different. Same thing happened when we went out to a highly rated Indian restaurant for dinner later in the trip. Their chicken tikka masala was not the chicken tikka masala I have come to know and love.

Anna wasn’t really interested in the food anyway but spent hours playing with the toys that came with her Happy Meal (a large paper placemat, a crayon, a Halloween bucket, and stickers).

Our hotel was just a few kilometers from the Montreal temple. They don’t do many endowment sessions, but I was able to get to one Tuesday night. It was quite a different experience attending the temple in an area where English isn’t the dominant language. All the signs in (and on and around) the temple are in French. Many are also in English, but not all, so it sometimes takes some guessing to figure out what something says.

Once they were ready to start the session, they took a vote to see who wanted French and who wanted English. French won so I ended up wearing headphones that played the English version of the endowment session. Some of the temple workers spoke English which made things easier, but I have no idea how it would work if I went to a temple in a far away land where nobody speaks English.

Anyways, on Wednesday we all visited the temple and Becca taught Anna why we build temples and what we do in them. Anna is of course too young to understand what she is being taught, but we hope she will at least understand that it is important to us.

Eventually it was time to go home. We packed our bags, loaded the bag cart that, as always, was barely functional, and headed to the car. My little helper saw that I was having some trouble with it so she started to push the cart along for me. She would’ve helped me load the car, too, if I had let her (and if she was a foot taller).

The ride home was long, but had some good moments. Anna loves to yell “YAY!” and loves it even more when we yell it back. We had a good 5-10 minute “YAY!” fest on the way out of Canada, with Anna giggling her little head off in the back seat.

She also loves to dance. We burned a mix CD before starting our trip so we wouldn’t have to worry about finding music. Anna has a few favorite songs on it that she just goes crazy over. The CD player is silent for a few seconds in between tracks. Anna is always afraid that the music has stopped and so she promptly shouts “more!” as soon as a song ends.

We eventually made it home and are looking forward to resting after a long vacation.

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