Twenty-Four Thousand Four Hundred And Fifty-Five

This is not a random number, it is a big one, but not random. I woke up on the morning of September 2nd, 2016 full of energy and excited as hell. I was about to embark on the most epic trip to date. I thought to myself this is one trip that I will never forget. I remember it was a sunny day. I got up early and walked to McAllister Place and caught the bus uptown to start the day off by doing the same thing I have done for almost 3 years of Saturdays, I went to Billy’s Seafood for breakfast. I remember that I had my favourite menu item the Smoked Salmon Omelette and lots of coffee. Billy’s I always tell people is like dinner theatre the staff especially Billy the owner are a hoot.

For most people, they would have already done the packing rather than go out for breakfast, but that is not my style. After breakfast, I went home and had 90 minutes to get ready for 28 days of travelling. So at this point, you would think I would pack right? Nope! I shaved and took a shower (for 60 minutes.) After 20 minutes of running around to not forget anything, I have my bag packed! Then to weigh it 33kg. Repack 28kg. Repack 27kg. Repack 25kg. Repack 24kg. Repack 26kg!!!! Repack 23kg (cue fireworks!)

I then called a Simonds Taxi and to the airport, I was off! I arrived an hour early for my flight checked in and relaxed there was no turning back. As the plane arrived, I took lots of close photos and emailed them to myself. You never know when and air accident investigator will need them. This was part of the feeling of impending doom that was in the back of my mind from my mother begging me not to go.

I got on the plane and it was a rather unremarkable journey to Montreal. Once at Montreal’s Trudeau International, I went to find my gate, and then to find Starbucks for coffee.

I then got on my flight to London’s Heathrow airport. On the flight, I ordered the beef meal. That was a mistake, the bean salad is to die for, as in your will die. I spent the whole night with the worst gas since the last time I had the bean salad in 2013 on the same flight. It was the overnight flight but I got very little sleep.

We land in London and the first experience with “British Unholy Queueing” happened at the customs halls. This is where people use the seatbelt ropes, and keep changing them so you have no clue how long it is going to take and as you get close… nope, the line has changed again.

After I cleared the UK Border control, I went to the main lobby and picked up my Lebara SIM card so I didn’t pay the ridiculous rates Canadian cell phone companies charge. One of the perks of an unlocked phone.

Since I didn’t want to pay for luggage on my plane to Copenhagen, I decided to drop off my main suitcase at the Contiki basement. So I bought an Oyster Card and hopped on the tube.

“Please stand clear of the doors. Let customers off the train first please.”

“This is a Piccadilly Line service to Cockfosters” (giggle)

“The next stop is Russel Square. Alight Here for the British Museum, please mind the gap between the station and the platform.”

I got to the Contiki Basement and dropped my bag off and then wandered Camden, headed to St. Pancreas train station for lunch and then walked to Russel Square, Then to Green Park where I was a bit tired and had some time to kill so I slept for two hours and then walked by Buckingham Palace to Victoria Station and got on my “National Express” bus to London Luton airport. (That is nowhere near London) It is literally like calling the Fredericton Airport the (Saint John-Fredericton Airport) and assuming it was anywhere close to Saint John.

After a two-hour bus journey, I make it to Luton and the bus stops at the front door. The airport is smaller than a lot of big city airports and was very under construction everywhere. However, in typical British fashion, there was no problem everything was fine. I was really early and hungry and the airport check-in for my flight wasn’t open yet. I asked the RyanAir agent where the food places were and they ended up being on the other side of security. I looked really disappointed. However, the agent early checked me in and I was off to get food.

It seemed like forever that we waited in line and the line was long and was mixed with another flight going to a place I never heard of. I kind of thought I wanted to go there instead for a while. I turned out to be some place in Romania.

As I got on the plane, I once again took photos of the plane and emailed them to myself. This plane was like nothing I have ever flown in. The seats were very basic, no seat pockets, advertising on the bins, no leg room at all, and very friendly flight attendants. (Flight Attendants are always nice.) As we flew we had very bad turbulence and I was scared to death that this was where my mother was right and this was going to be the end, but we landed safely.

I got off the plane and got my passport stamped for country 24, Denmark. This was big as it was a while since I added Turks and Caicos on my quest for 40 countries by 40.

The Copenhagen airport was massive and it was late at night (10:30 pm) I walked to the subway station and then got on the train to my hostel, The Generator. On the train, there was a very drunk man that got on with his big bottle of hard liquor and was rambling in what I assume was Danish. It was heavy raining that night, and I was wet and tired, so after check-in, I went straight to bed.

The step-count on my fitness tracker … 24,455.

Ah! Montreal

After twelve and a half long hours on a bus I have arrived in Montreal for WordCamp Montreal. This is my 5th WordCamp which I will do a post about sometime later.

I took a walk earlier today and walked through the historic McGill University campus. One sweet sign that the orientation for the new students coming to university this year will have a better orientation than the three I’ve go to is the size of the beer tent. There must have been thousands of bottles of Boreale Beer and lots of kegs too. Anyone who has been to Montreal knows that is good beer.

Lack of Comments

I have been trying to post a lot more lately. But one thing that greatly concerns me us the lack of good comments lately.

Practically everything on this site is open to commenting even the photos and the albums. What’s better is that if you see someone in a photo that you recognize you can even tag them, and they get a custom album automatically about them.

I’m working on integrating twitter feeds at the moment with these custom albums. Also I have run into a big hiccup with a problem in WordPress 3 that breaks the paging of an album. It is almost as if they did something that taxonomy pages only work for a post type rather than an attachment.

I have also decided that I will be going to WordCamp Montreal again this year. I was thinking that I could show off how I was able to pull of my photo album in an advanced theming tutorial.

That is one thing that I found dry about technical lectures at past WordCamps where they show off code but not put it together, to demonstrate something new. I think I would call it “Media and your Theme… Where can you take it!”

WordCamp Montreal and Other Things Montréal

Subway Graffiti
Subway Graffiti

Getting here to Montreal, I had decided to get the bus. (Orleans Express/Acadian Lines) Thus it presents this opportunity to write this long detailed encounter as I have the remainder of the 13 hour bus trip to finish.

After arriving here in Montreal I took a nice stroll down Ste-Catherine to the train station. It was on this trip through the eerily quite streets of the jazz festival site that I ran across the first image. Although to is common to think of those in the financial services industry as “wanks” someone thought it would be a great idea to draw one on the two sided of the corner of the building.

After the fist day of sessions at word camp there was this crazy man that started yelling at me in french, I think he though I took a picture or something. The funny part that is so not like me is the fact that I started yelling back at him in English and he did not seem to understand me at all. That make id kind of funny then he ran off and I went off to catch the subway to the hotel.

The subway in Montreal seemed to be quite different than Toronto. Especially the automated stalls after paying the guy handed me a little card, and I did not get originally how the doors opened, then he started yelling the what I think are the instruction in French. After looking further at the stalls I give the yelling guy the “I have no clue what you are saying look. Then he explains the put the card in the slot in English. I then proceeded to the hotel.

On the way in one of the Subway stations there was a sign in French only that part of the platform was closed for constriction bit it was graffitied with “Montreal is supposed to be Bilingual” to which some one wrote; “We wish!”

Me at the after party. Eva Blue Photo.
Me at the after party. Eva Blue Photo.

I thought it was amusing. One can tell mush about a society by the appearance of the graffiti. Especially, considering the prior instance of “art.”

One great thing about my iPhone is the fact that it really saved me from the being lost. Well kind of. The Google walking and transit directions are really good for Montreal. It was still a difficult city to find things in. I missed the first subway stop without realizing, thankfully my GPS on the iPhone found me the next one just in time.

The last tale before I finish is the tale of the pigeon. After the final sessions of WordCamp we went to an outdoor patio bar that had some of the most amazing natural and architectural design of any patio bar. While standing outside talking to some some interesting people like KimValee.com this word pigeon was doing a very weird dance on the windowsill across the street and everyone mentioned the crazy pidgin was about to top itself as the guy pass is the bird flies into bar right behind them and everyone starts chasing after the bird. Classic comedy movie scene.