After a delicious “dinner-for-breakfast,” we hit the road. I haven’t bothered to look at a map this whole time (thanks GPS!), so I had no idea where we were in relationship to Montreal, let alone Canada or even the rest of Vermont. We drove through scenic, rural Vermont until we reached the town of Glover, where we checked out the Bread & Puppet Museum. Fedelma had recommended seeing one of their performances, which we didn’t get a chance to do, but the museum was fascinating. We arrived while the residents were eating lunch and spent some time looking at their “cheap art,” which was a series of word prints and stencils with radical messages. We also walked through their massive collection of puppets from past performances. I enjoyed the casual, communal air, and both E and I bought a few prints.
From there, we back-tracked a bit to Hill Farmstead Brewery, where we enjoyed a taste of four different beers (that we hadn’t already tried from them). The brewery is out in the middle of nowhere, and despite this fact, it was packed with patrons. Randomly, it turned out that E knew the brother of one of the employees there (the brother is dating a baker who works with a guy E used to work with and they all met at a party). It’s amazing to me how small the world is and how connected the food community seems to be.
From the brewery we said goodbye to Vermont and made our way into Canada. We arrived in Montreal around 5:30. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about Montreal, one of which is that it is an island. Somehow this fact endeared the city to me, perhaps because my own beloved city is also surrounded by water. We settled into our hotel and took a short walk downtown for dinner, followed by the requisite crepes for dessert. In that brief span of time, I really fell in love with Montreal – Vermont was beautiful and fun and I’d love to visit again, but I didn’t really feel like I could settle down there. Montreal, on the other hand, felt like a place I could call home, or at the very least, adopt for a time.
Side note: Both E and I commented on how uneasy we were about the language barrier – we’re not really sure which language to address people in (French or English). I thought maybe it was because both of us do know some French, but if we started addressing people in French, they might think we spoke or understood more than we do (it’s been 10+ years since either of us has studied French). E suggested that it might be because the last foreign country we were in was Japan, a place where we were members of the community, and were very conscientious of how we acted and spoke, and this was just a carryover from that. Either way, both of us can still read a fair amount of French and almost everyone is bilingual, so aside from it taking us a little longer to figure out what traffic or some shop signs say, we haven’t had much of a problem.