readsalot: (yachiru dude)
[personal profile] readsalot
Montreal is lovely, at least, the bit of it that I've seen.

The drive here was very nice--a friend of mine had mentioned that there's a ferry over Lake Champlain, so you can drive up through Vermont, then take the ferry to New York, and then go north from there. We decided to go that way, and the lake was beautiful! The ferry ride was also very nice. I was surprised that most people just stayed in their cars during the trip instead of climbing up one short flight of stairs to get to a deck, away from the fumes, and look out at the lake. We may go on a ferry around the lake on our way back, depending on what other touristy things look interesting and the time and weather.

However, the border was annoying--we picked a random lane, and both of the other lanes were moving much faster than ours, and there didn't seem to be a good mechanism for changing lanes, so we just crawled along for an hour until we got to the gate, whereupon the guard asked us a few questions and let us through. No idea why it was so slow. Then there was very heavy traffic all the way into the city. So, by the time we got to the hotel, checked in, got the car parked, and got our stuff into the room, it was 8:30. We walked around a bit, found a decent Italian restaurant, had dinner, and then went back to the hotel and slept.

In the morning, we had a very nice breakfast at the hotel restaurant--crepes and fruit for me, and french toast and fruit for Richard, and I traded my canteloupe slices for his watermelon slices; clearly we belong together:). Then we walked to the Palais de Congres de Montreal, registered, and went our separate ways.

I found some friends to hang out with and talk to. Then I tried to go to a panel called Werewolves of Brigadoon (about how Americans always write about Scotland without really knowing what it's like), but the room was packed full, and I gave up. Then I went to One Genre or Many, where the participants didn't seem to agree with the panel description, (if SF and fantasy are part of the same field, why do critics use different languages to describe them), and I don't remember much about that; and then to a panel on re-reading books, which was great--different types of rereading, and whether a book that you can't reread is any good, and the suck fairy, which is the creature that makes your beloved childhood books unreadable when you try to read them as an adult. I'm also finding that taking notes on the iPod Touch is pretty easy, and helpful for recalling what went on.

Then I met with some friends and we went out to dinner. We tried to go a Chinese restaurant (we're on the edge of Chinatown here) that was recommended in the restaurant guide. It wasn't very full, but the person there ignored us for a while, then came over and said that they had too many reservations and weren't taking any more and should just give up. So we went outside and I looked at the restaurant guide again, and it recommended another place across the street from the first one, so we went there. A little while later more friends came by--apparently they had also been rejected by the first place. They got their own table. We had excellent food and were quite pleased with that place. Then we went to a bakery to get sweets, and then my friends headed back to their hotel, and I went to the Opening Ceremony.

Julie Czerneda, the Toastmaster, was very funny, and I'll be looking for her books. The guy translating everything she said into French seemed a bit staid at first, but at the end of the ceremony, when they had to fill in because the Chair had vanished, he did various funny things around the stage. Then the real fun--I'd gone to the Opening Ceremony because it was to be followed by a dialog between Charles Stross and Paul Krugman (yes, that Paul Krugman), and I wanted to make sure I had a decent seat. Which turned out to not be a problem--lots of people left, and then the dialog started a bit late, and my back was starting to bother me, so I found an empty section of seats and lay down across them for a while. It was nice that there were empty seats for that, but I was a bit surprised that more people hadn't shown up--they had actually moved that item to a later time and a larger room so that it could be better attended.

I think I've written enough for one day. More later.
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