Friday, September 29, 2006

Do you recognize...

This city??

It's Montreal!!! Now why would I have pictures of Montreal? Because I just went there this last week. Last Wednesday my boss came into my office and asked if I wanted to go to Montreal for a conference, she apologized because it was really last minute, but there was an opening they needed to fill and they wanted to know if I would go - on the company of course. So without even thinking about it I said "YES, of course I'll go, need you even ask?" My boss then went on to tell me that it wasn't as much of a business trip but more of a retreat, and to top it all off we were staying here (Fairmont Queen Elizabeth) and I was allowed to bring a Guest. So of course my first thought was Ben. Of course I'd bring my husband, who would be crazy enough not to bring their husband to Montreal? So I called him and invited him on this all expenses paid holiday, obviously I wasn't convincing enough because he said he couldn't go. I should understand though: he runs his own business, it's really new and he's really (really -really) busy right now. He just can't leave his clients without heat and water when he promised it a week ago. I really understood. So I then tried to think of who would really enjoy a city like Montreal and I quickly thought of this person:

My Mom of course!! She's just the type of person you would want to take to Montreal. She speaks French, she appreciates the architectural beauty of old cities and she can shop for hours (cause really, that's what Montreal's all about). So she agreed and we flew out together bright and early Sunday Morning prepared for a fun week. The conference started out with a welcoming reception at Le Parquet, which was a very modern building built around some very old traditional Montreal buildings. There was so much good food there that I was sick by the end of the night. The next day, we spent the morning in classes. Now this might sound boring to some of you, but it was really sooooo interesting. Then with the Afternoon free, Mom and I went shopping. Let me tell you, shopping in Montreal is quite an experience. We shopped all up and down Sainte Catherine Street, which is basically the central shopping district, a place where all the stores want to be. So we definitely saw the best of the best. Then on Monday night we went to a Caban a Sucre party up on Mount Royal. The view of Montreal was breathtaking from the top of this "Mountain", just stunning (check out my pic at the top of this post). The party was fun too, especially the lumberjack competition:

Tuesday was activity day and we could choose from tons of amazing things to do (golfing, spa, race car driving, white water rafting etc.) but of course I chose the shopping tour. Our tour guide took us all through downtown Montreal and we shopped our little hearts out. Montreal has this amazing underground shopping centre. There are at least 2 levels of shopping completely underground, hence the name "the underground city". It was so fascinating because just when you thought you were done shopping, there would be another whole underground level that needed to be explored. We also checked out the traditional Montreal stores like Simons, and Ogilvy which were very fun!

Then Tuesday afternoon we went on a bus tour of Montreal and saw lots of neat things like the Biodome, the Botanical gardens, the site of the 1976 Olympics etc. Oh and we stopped and took pictures of the St. Josephs Oratory, which is supposedly really famous (I'm not that cultured though so I have not idea how famous)

We saw lots of really neat stuff. But the best part was when the tour was done and we went for dinner at Reuben's for their famous smoked meat sandwich. Can you say delicious??? It was heavenly.

So Wednesday was another day of classes which we skipped for a good cause: Shopping! I just NEEDED to make it to H&M which is much more important that networking and making business contacts, right? Anyway, us poor Western Canadians are seriously so deprived because this store Rocks!! Then after our shopping spree we went back to the Hotel to get ready for our Masquerade ball at Windsor station. We got all dolled out. Here's a picture of the night. Although we all had our masks, there was a lady there that thought we needed hats too (hence the crazy hats on our heads).

Anyway, I'm sure this is just super long and boring for all of you so I'll wrap it up. Our last day (Thursday) was spent in Old Montreal where we got to see all the old (really old) buildings from when Montreal was originally built hundreds of years ago. It was seriously so beautiful.

The best part of it all was when we were walking back to our hotel and you could see this great mix of old traditional structures right next to new modern buildings. This was neat, especially since it's now a rule that any renovations of old buildings must maintain the orignal exterior so as not to lose any more history. We won't be seeing many more "new" buildings in Montreal and it will maintain it's current charm.

Anyway, that was the trip. I hope you enjoyed my novel!! I know it was long, but I'm just so excited that I got to go to Montreal on my company and even more excited that I got to bring my mom. It was really neat to see one of the first areas in Canada that was settled and all the great Canadian history that Montreal holds. Canada's a pretty cool country, eh?


J B & N Rawlins said...

OK Meagan are you a photographer? You take beautiful pics - especially the one of your mom! But really you must have a great camera - I love those pics. It sounds like a really fun trip! I would love to go there and that shopping sounds GREAT! I dont know ANY of those stores but I am sure I would get to know them!! Nice company retreat!

Mom said...

I loved the trip, I love your blog and all the great pictures, and I love the final picture of the red maple leaf -- you can sure see how we got our flag. What a wonderful trip -- I am so lucky to be able to share it with you. Thank you and thank you.

rebecca said...

Meagan your pictures are amazing!!!!!!

rebecca said...

meagan, your pictures are amazing!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Meagan, that looked like such a fun trip, and even better that it was on the company! how fun, looks like you got to see and do lots of exciting things, shot till you drop eh?

Anyway I really wanted to come onto your blog to wish you a happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope the day was great!!!!!!!