June 30, 2004
I have attended several movies at the AMC Forum in Montreal while on vacation. The Forum is where the Canadians hockey team played for many years. The hockey team has moved to new quarters and the Forum is now a 22 screen AMC theater, a Future Shop (similar to Best Buy), several small boutique shops, several restaurants, and a comedy club. In my opinion, the redevelopment of the Forum is one of the best reuses of a building I have experienced.
A nice touch is that one section of the seats from the old Forum is still there with statues of a fan sitting in the stands and a hockey player sitting on the bench. In addition, the seats for resting throughout the mall are seats from the old Forum.
I attended my first Bruins / Canadians hockey game at the Forum in 1970 when I was 22 years old. During the seventies, we attended additional games at the Forum and always enjoyed the hockey games and Montreal. Thirty-four years later at the Forum, I am attending a movie, shopping at Future Shop, having dinner at one of the restaurants, and have retired twice.
While sitting on one of the old hockey seats in the Forum atrium, I reflected on the hockey games I attended during the seventies, how young I was, and what great times we always had during our Montreal visits. In addition, I reflected a lot on the facts that 2 of the 3 friends I attended the hockey games with are deceased and, of course, in the 70's, my mother and father were still alive. I was very melancholic while thinking of my deceased parents and friends, but thinking of my parents and old hockey friends brought a sense of warmth which was very comforting.
The vacation has been going well. I really enjoy Québec City, it is very scenic and quaint. Last night, Friday, August 6, 2004, I went "clubbing" for the first time in a long time. I didn't have "clubbing" in mind until I was on the Grande Allée near my hotel. I had stopped at a nice hotel lounge and then went to the Sunset Club which I ended up closing at 3:00 a.m. It was me, a retired 57 year old, and a couple of hundred 20 something years old clubbers with the latest music blaring on the sound system. I chatted with one Québeçois who was 26 and a sports fanatic. He knew all about the big, bad Bruins of the 70's and Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, et al, even though he was not alive when Orr scored the "flying through the air" winning goal against St. Louis to win the Stanley Cup. He also knew most of the players on all the other Boston sports teams and the star players in all American sports. He was a very polite, courteous guy whose girlfriend was tending the bar at the club (she was also very polite and courteous).
Several times during my stay at the Sunset Club, I thought about the fact that the other customers were young enough to be my sons / daughters, and in some cases, grandsons / granddaughters. I may be 57, but sometimes I still think I am under 30, at least mentally. I have the usual aches and pains of a 57 year old, but I still have the spirt of a late 20 / early 30 year old. I didn't particularly like the music selections, but overall it was nice to interact with a much younger crowd for a change.
I will not be clubbing with the 20 something years old clubbers on a regular basis, a few Exports in a nice lounge is my normal style now. Maybe one night in Montreal I will repeat my club closing. Since most people my age are fast asleep by 3:00 a.m., I am sure the club's customers will be another group of 20 somethings and I can remember fondly when I used to close clubs on a regular basis when I was in my 20's, 30's, and early 40's.
This afternoon I spent a very relaxing couple of hours in the beautiful Jardin Jeanne-d'Arc, which is in the massive Battlefield Park about a block from my hotel. I try to hit the gardens at least once each day, usually after breakfast, and just relax for a couple of hours. The gardens are a great place to relax and just let the world go by.
I did spend most of yesterday packing and got to bed around 1:00 a.m. this morning. I set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. and got up around 4:30 a.m. I was on the road at 7:00 a.m., my goal. I like to leave before the morning rush hour starts and traffic is still moving, although heavy.
In the past, I always went to Quebec City the way I went to Montreal, Interstate 89 through Vermont to the Canadian border. This year I tried Interstate 91 to the Canadian border. The trip from Boston to Quebec City was 45 miles shorter using Interstate 91 and the drive was much easier since you avoided the heavy traffic on the outskirts of Montreal. I would still use Interstate 89 if going from Boston to Montreal; however, I will use Interstate 91 in the future whenever going from Boston to Quebec City.
The Interstate 89 route through Vermont is more scenic than Interstate 91 through Vermont; however, the route from the Interstate 91 terminus at the Canadian border to Drummondville, Quebec is more scenic that the route from the Interstate 89 terminus at the Canadian border to Drummondville, Quebec. Drummondville is where the trip starts to use the same roads, regardless of whether you use Interstate 89 or 91 through Vermont.
As always, I stopped for lunch at the km284 exit on the 20. I ate at the Salvatore Pizza in Laurier-Station. I always stop here for lunch on the way to Quebec City; the pizza is some of the best I have ever had. It is so good, I usually stop on the way from Quebec City to Montreal as well.
After unpacking, I walked down to the Chateau Frontenac for my first stroll along the Dufferin Terrace. As I was walking along the Dufferin Terrace, I remembered that I was retired and not just on an extended vacation. This was the first time in several weeks that I thought about the fact I am retired and not just on an extended vacation. I didn't dwell on the subject, I just thought about it for a minute or two.
I stopped for a nice dinner in old Quebec and then had a few Molson Exports in a lounge near my hotel. I don't drink very often, but I do enjoy a Molson Export.
Overall, an excellent day.
I had a busy day today. I dropped my hold mail notice at the Post Office, went to the dentist for a filling, went to a movie, visited friends at their home, had dinner, and then met another friend at the Prudential B&N Cafe in the evening. I got home around midnight. I will put in some laundry when I get home and will get to bed about 4 a.m. Tomorrow will be devoted to packing and preparing for my 34 day vacation. I extended my vacation length this year because I am retired and don't need any vacation time approved. The extended vacation is also a celebration of my retirement.
I probably should start packing for my vacation, but instead, I visited a friend, went to dinner, and saw a good movie. I will probably do all my packing on Tuesday. I have already cancelled newspaper / bottled water deliveries and bought all my toiletries etc. at CVS.