ciroccoj: (family)
Kind of peaceful around here today. We bopped around quite a bit yesterday, pretty good time had by all. First shopping for clothes and Oscar de la Renta perfume (which we found! huzzah!!), then a picnic in the Gatineaus. Got somewhat lost (I loathe driving in Quebec!) before finding a random spot for a quick empanada picnic. A tree nearby offered some entertainment as Paula climbed almost all the way to the top, Justin sat "like a pear" (said my aunt) on the lowest branch, and Daniel made a few half-hearted limb ascents before coming back down.

Then we went for a walk in the woods, and damn but I wish we'd brought a camera, because it was lovely. We ended up going over a wooden bridge over a brook and then scrambling over a bunch of steep rocks to the site where the brook emerged from some kind of tunnel before tumbling to lower ground. Chris and the kids were way ahead of us, my aunt and I following more slowly, and when we got within sight of them Chris signaled to us that there was an easier path - or rather, an actual path, as what he and the kids were climbing involved no paths whatsoever - to the spot they were aiming for.

"What, does he think we're old ladies or something? What do we need a path for?" says my aunt, and proceeds to scramble up the rocks right behind the others.

If I can do that at age 68, I will be most pleased.

Went for a little hike after that, and ended up in a graveyard. We looked around at the old stones (like, really old: the oldest was for Thomas Wright, 1759-1801) and then I wandered out the graveyard gate and found myself with an eerie sense of deja vu... and then realized we were in Chelsea, just down the street from the community centre where the kids have gone to HBLN home schooling classes since Justin was three. I'd had no idea we were anywhere near!

Justin, who is in no way related to me, walked out of the graveyard and said, "Oh WOW! We're in Chelsea!" without reading a single sign. Observant child.

Had some ice cream, and looked around the cemetery some more. Found out it's no longer in use, but is kept as an historical site by the municipality. It was used as the Protestant cemetery for 170 years by the founders of Chelsea, most of whom came from Britain or the US. Lots of names on the stones that have become place names in the region, like Meech, Sheffield, Wright, etc. And it explains why the shopkeepers in Chelsea always have such accentless English: the town was founded by Anglos, on the French side of the border. Learn something new every day :)

Oh and re. the empanada picnic, I nearly killed my family the day before because of it. I was cooking and at one point realized I'd answered the same question over and over again, so I paused and gathered the family in the dining room, and proceeded to say the following in English and Spanish:

"OK, I've been making a couple of batches of empanadas today, and they are for our picnic tomorrow. I have told you (Justin) twice, I have told you (Daniel) twice, I have told you (Chris) at least twice, I have told you (Aunt Mary) twice, the only person I have not told twice is you (Paula), except now I have told you twice too because I'm saying this in English and Spanish. So. Everyone clear on that? I'm making empanadas for a picnic tomorrow. Not for today. We are not eating them today. Don't ask me any more. Got it?"

"What are they for, again?" says my aunt, and they all laugh at me, and then Justin reaches out a hand for them and I run away shrieking, to general amusement.

Don't know what you have to do to get some respect around here ;)

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Sep. 1st, 2009 01:17 am
ciroccoj: (journey)
Tired. Great trip. Glad to be home. Must. Eat. Real. Food.

November 2012

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