Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Montreal Day 7 - An Ending and a Beginning

[Composed 8/19/2019]

Today was your typical last-day-of-a-trip. We spent the morning cleaning and packing, had a somewhat hurried lunch of Pizza and then made it to the airport to catch our flight to Boston. The airport experience was especially nice, as we cleared US Customs while still in Montreal. That meant that when we'd land in Boston we could forgo waiting in a massive Customs line there.

The timing of our trip turned out to be quite fortuitous. We landed in Boston and met my Sister and Brother-in-Law there. Only, they didn't swoop in and drive the kids home. Instead, the family was meeting up at Logan Airport to fly down to Florida and begin a new life in Tampa. We'd effectively ended up taking the kids during the last week my Sister and Brother-in-Law lived in Boston, and had spared the kids a week of packing up. C, T, G--you're welcome.

On top of this, my Mother-in-Law was also in town and at the airport. It was surreal catching up in the Jet Blue ticketing area and taking family pics. Our little adventure was coming to a close, but the kids were starting a brand new, much larger one. I was so excited for them.

Looking at my Brother and Sister-in-Law, with their 4 children and 2 cats in tow, I couldn't help but offer to leverage our TSA Precheck status to get the kids through security minus the long wait in line. We did this and as we were walking away my Sister-in-Law asked if we'd take one of the cats through security, too. As it was just carrying an extra duffle bag, we figured, why not.

When we hit the security checkpoint, Shira, who was holding the cat was asked her preference: take out the cat and scan the bag here, or go into a room and let the cat out in a more contained space. Uh, this suddenly became more than either of us had bargained for. She smartly opted to go into a private space. The cat was apparently let out of the carrier, the carrier scanned and the real challenge began: how to get the cat back in the carrier?

Neither Shira nor I are cat people, and I'm allergic to the critters. Fortunately, T quickly stepped up and gingerly coaxed the cat back into the carrier. Crisis averted; well done T!

After getting all souls through security and meeting up with the parents on the other side, it was finally time to say goodbye to the kids. Lots of hugs and selfies were shared. Then we had a quick airport meal with my Mother-in-Law and then it was our turn to get on a flight and head home.

Montreal was truly a fantastic destination. Growing up close to Canada I'd had my share of trips to Niagara Falls and Toronto. But Montreal was like stepping into another country altogether. French isn't just some shiny accessory, like say the monarchy is to the UK; it's their preferred language. I wanted to show the kids a new culture, and Montreal delivered. The fact that it was a stone's throw from Boston was a nice bonus. Especially considering the kids are now down in Florida, where a trip to Montreal is no longer around the corner.

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