Who would have thought that in mixing business and pleasure, I would spend a morning with the Montreal CFL football team; enjoy Montreal bagels; experience traffic jams; spend a day in cottage country in the Laurentians and feed ducklings; walk along the St. John's River in Fredericton; eat fresh mussels, scallops, and lobster; and do a bit of shopping all within a space of a week.
First let me explain the football team. I was on the same flight with the CFL team from Montreal and spent a few extra hours due to the previous night's thunderstorm and plane delay by the gates at a smaller airport and in a plane seated amongst the players. Most of the plane was occupied by the football team and I got the chance to study the dynamics of a professional team. I also got to hold a grey cup ring which is quite heavy and loaded with diamonds. I didn't talk to them about their loss their previous night but found other small talk conversations to focus on. I did learn that their gear and equipment is not flown to the city where they are playing but driven instead. They must have several sets of gear which gets trucked around the country. Some of the players dress quite sharply, wear big diamond stud earrings and favour tattoos. Throughout the trip, the coaches studied their laptop computers which had film from the previous night's game. If you ever want to feel tiny and petite, sit amongst football players.
Montreal is a great cosmopolitan city. I was selective about what I did due to time limitations. I did learn that Quebec ducks like to be fed bread and are no different than ducks from home.
Mom duck made sure her four ducklings got fed plus she was able to enjoy some of the fresh hamburger buns. There were actually two sets of moms and ducklings and you had to be careful to give each group some separate space as the moms were protective of their brood.
The St. John's River in Fredericton is very pretty. I didn't get a chance to explore the city of Fredericton because of business commitments but had a chance to do some walking and also watch the river from the hotel where I was staying. Fredericton reminded me of the prairies. People were very friendly and polite. Fredericton is a university town and also is the provincial capital so it has a number of government departments. It is not an industrial town.
Diary, the best part of being away is coming home.