After 2 nights in Montreal (well, one was only half a night, since I got there really late, after a couple of mishaps at the airport delayed the flight, and then the cab driver got lost in Montreal), a train ride to Toronto, and then a few hours in Toronto, I am home.

– The meeting in Montreal was good. People were gracious and kind. They even laughed at my attempt to be funny, and they lapped up the free prizes and even applauded me. There was simultaneous translation for the workshop, so I spoke in English and some of the people heard “me” in French. And vice versa for the questions. I am in awe of anyone who can hear one language and speak in another language at essentially the same speed as the person delivering the message.

– The train ride was lovely. I wrote a bit, slept a bit, listened to music a bit, and stared out the window a lot. Purely delightful.

– I am really not very good at shopping. I know that sounds lame – shopping shouldn’t take any particular skills – just go into a store and buy something. But I wandered around downtown Toronto for a few hours, thinking I’d get a good start on Christmas shopping, and I came home with nothing. I just kept finding myself back in the bookstore or coffee shop, seeking solace from the craziness of Christmas shoppers.

– I got home late last night, long after Maddie was sleeping. This morning, she was pleasantly surprised to find me in bed. She crawled under the covers with me and said “the country where you went on your trip must be a warm country, because you’re nice and warm.” Smile.

– Fortunately I had better luck today when I went shopping. I managed to complete almost all my Christmas shopping with one trip to Ten Thousand Villages. Yay for fair trade.

– There is a lot of snow in Montreal. Downtown, with its sparkly Christmas lights and mountains of snow looks like a winter wonderland. (Maybe I’ll get some pictures downloaded tomorrow.)

– I’ve had enough business trips for awhile. Fortunately, the next one will be to a much more exotic place than the last ones have been.

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