Friday, October 11, 2019

Montreal Day 4 - All The Pretty Flowers

[Composed 8/16/2019]

When Shira and I visit a city, we almost always find our way to the local botanic gardens. They tend to be a great mix of beauty, local culture and chill atmosphere. And so when we learned that Montreal had such a garden we were psyched to take the girls.

We accidentally parked on the 'wrong' side of the gardens and ended up touring it essentially backwards. We started with a long walk through the arboretum, which was uninspiring. Then we made it to a play area, which had a variety of paths and structures for the kids to play around, but still didn't include any display of flowers. After an epic game of hide and seek we made our way to the Japanese Garden, where I tried to get the kids excited about a 100+ year old bonsai tree and the rock garden. They were only moderately impressed. And then we moved on to the Chinese Garden, at which point the garden really started to shine as a kid friendly destination. The Chinese Garden has wonderful structures and water features to explore, and finally some really pretty flowers. From there we made it to the Alpine Garden, where the kids loved both the interesting plant life and fun to explore paths. They could have spent hours running around this section of the garden. And finally, as we were leaving, we started to see huge displays of flowers.

In the end, it was a fine experience and the kids enjoyed it. Though, this was definitely one of those times when a little extra planning would have paid dividends.

After the garden we made our way to Jean-Talon Market to pick up fruits and veggies for Shabbat. The kids were skeptical about a trip to the market, but once they saw all the colorful produce and cute stands, they were all in. Each kid was put in charge of picking the vendor for a different item of produce, and they totally got into it.

As had become our habit since the trip started, Shira and the kids looked forward to coming up with some fun hair braids. But before Shira could work her magic, she needed me to comb out tangles. Since the week had started, I'd done a lot of hair brushing! It was G, however, who had deftly turned detangling from a chore to an activity we looked forward to. During our first comb out session she noticed the similarity between the desk chair in one of the kids room and a salon chair. She plopped herself down, draped her hair over the chair and laid back. I asked her if she wanted some spa music, to which she replied absolutely. I then dimmed the lights for effect. And so began spa time! We enjoyed the calm music together, and just like any good hair stylist, I tried to keep the conversation going as we talked about all that was going on in her life. These spa sessions became something I very much looked forward to, and were a highlight of our trip. What a lesson in the power of changing your perspective on a seemingly tedious activity. Thanks G!

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