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There's something about spending almost half the year freezing you but off that really makes Montrealers appreciate the summer. Fun outdoor activities abound in the city at this time of year. This year Chipis and I have been trying to enjoy as many of these activities as possible, it's our Summer of Fun©®. In fact, we've been having so much fun lately I haven't had time to blog it all, so here's a summary of the recent activities.

 1. Shakespeare in the Park

The plays are put on each year by the Repercussion Theatre group at various locations in and around the city. This year they are putting on A Midsummer Night's Dream. The version that the Repercussion Theatre puts on is an adaptation with some modern jokes and singing and references to New France and it all works wonderfully. The stage this year is a "theater in the round" concept, where the audience sits all around the stage and the actors enter and exit through one of four corridors which lead to platforms behind the audience. It gives the play a more intimate feeling and allows greater interaction with the audience. It works very well, I encourage anyone to attend and also to sign the petition against the federal government cutbacks on line or in person.

We enjoyed the show so much we're thinking of catching it again this season. The last show is August 15th, so catch it while you can.


2. Montréal International Fireworks Competition

Another annual tradition in Montreal is the Fireworks Competition. Teams from around the world compete with displays every Wednesday and Saturday night. This past Wednesday was the last night, with Canada presenting the closing ceremony. Traffic in the area is crazy and it's best to get there early, find a spot, chat and have something to eat. Alternatively, you can purchase seats at the La Ronde Amusement Park and make it a whole day thing. Amusement park during the day and fireworks at night. I've never done that but I've heard it's worth it. Next year I guess.

Take I: The Saturday night before last I wanted to take Chipis to see the fireworks. We had gone another time but it was down in Old Montreal, which is somewhat far away, and we couldn't see that much. This time I was planning on being further east, down by the Jacques Cartier bridge. So we got there about fourty five minutes ahead of time and ran into a heck of a lot of traffic. When we finally got down to the actual area I wanted to be in, the streets we blocked off and we had to drive around for 20 minutes looking for parking. At 10:00 we were way up on Sherbrooke street (about six blocks away) and the show was starting. We decided to abort this time and come back again for the last show.

Take II: Chipis and I went to Schwartz's for so food to go and then met our friend Mark and took one car down to the fireworks. Finding parking was a bit dicey (again) but we finally got something not too far away. We talked for a while and ate until the show started. It was really fun except for the smoke obscuring things a bit, but besides that the show was great. Definitely something you have to check out at least once, and best of all it's free unless you're at La Ronde and even then you get to enjoy the amusement park.


3. Mont Saint-Sauveur Water Park

I took the day off from work on Friday because it was supposed to be 29 C and sunny. We headed up to Saint-Sauveur, which is about 45 minutes north of Montreal. In the winter the whole area is a big skiing mecca, there are five or six ski hills in the area. The owners of Mont Saint-Sauveur have cleverly re-invented the place for the summer with a water park built into the side of the mountain. They even use some of the chair lifts to bring people up to the top for some of the rides. We had a fun day soaking up the sun, enjoying the rides and just being silly. The water was a bit cold at times which precluded us staying in the wave pool for too long, but it was fun nonetheless. The only problem we had was that Erika hurt her neck a bit on the "Grande Cascade River" ride. It didn't bother her too much right away, but throughout the day it got worse and it got bad when we left and had sat down for dinner. It was hurting for the past few days but it's getting better, it should be ok in a day or two.


4. My Birthday!

The next day July 31rst was my birthday. Yeah! It was really raining out here that day so we didn't feel much like going out, plus Erika's neck was hurting so it was just a hang out day. We watched The Fellowship of the Ring again (great movie!) and hung out. At night we were supposed to go for dinner at La Louisiane but we weren't really in a hurry or anything so we just kind of showed up at the restaurant at 8:45 or so. As we walked up I noticed some people in line and I was thinking, great, there's a lineup. Then a guy turned around and it was our friend Mark and I was thinking, gee, what a co-incidence to bump into Mark here. Then it clicked. Erika had set me up and Mark and his girlfriend Rania were there as well. Unfortunately there were no tables and the wait was at least 40 minutes so we all piled in the car and headed downtown. We ended up eating at Guido & Angelina in the Pepsi Forum center. The food was good and we had a fun time, pictures to come soon. Thanks to my sweetheart Chipis for the surprise and to Mark and Rania for coming out with us.


That's about it for the Summer of Fun©® so far, stay tuned for more updates as the summer progresses.

Currently listening to: Mercury - (03:45)

Counting Crows, Across a Wire: Live in New York (1 of 2)

Posted on Monday, August 2, 2004 4:30 PM Life | Back to top

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