After driving all day on Sunday, I finally stopped in Syracuse, NY for the night! I often stop at Comfort Inns when I'm driving somewhere as I know that I'll have free parking, internet and some sort of a breakfast to tide me over till my lunch stop. I was really surprised that this one offered bacon and eggs as well as the usual continental fare, but then again, it has been someting around a year since I've gone on a road trip alone that required an overnighter.
The border crossing was univentful, though I was surprised that the Canadian immigration official asked to see my green card. I guess they were making sure that I could get back home! I decide to exchange a little money at the border crossing and get a rude awakening. One US dollar only gets me $0.91 cents Canadian. For many, many years, that exchange would have gone 35 cents in the other direction.
Another three hours of driving and I can stop at Scrapbook Capitale in Dollard des Ormeaux a suburb to the west of Montreal. The shop is well set up, the choices fantastic by any standard and the prices are more than reasonable. There are items I have not seen before, some make sense like items from Sweden. I notice that the store is full of the new lines shown at CHA , meaning that this store has a preferential status with places like Authentique, Kaiser Craft, Faberscraps, etc.
I am disappointed that they do not have any of the Harmonie collections, especially since Harmonie is a local manufacturer. Maybe in Quebec City? Another surprise, there is nothing in French that I can find, including stamps! I am surprised to find Prima Trinkets that I haven't seen before. I must have missed them; they are trinkets but not Marion Smith, though the do have the same look and feel.
Time to get accross Champlain Bridge and onto the South shore. It takes a little wrestling with snail paced traffic, which would have been avoided had I taken Autoroute 20 all the way in, instead of 40, which was a detour, but certainly necessary if I was to go to the scrapbook store? Now I certainly couldn't miss that could I, especially since I was in a class with one of the store's teacher.
I get to my sister-pal Arlene's during the few minutes that she has rushed to the store! I've never met her fiance, though we've spoken a little on the phone, but within 20 seconds, I feel like I'm home and welcomed. I mean that quite literally, it's a feeling that I don't often have, It's almost like I've lived here and been part of their family always. Arlene and I are so happy to see each other after all this time we can't stop hugging and smilling! It is truly a wonderful, warm hearted, coming home! I now know that I have a home to come to, that I want to come to, whenever I'm in Montreal
Today, after Arlene's beau makes breakfast (John is blind, but you would never know it from the things he does.) I'm off to my brother's in Quebec city. We haven't seen each other since 2003 and I can't wait! I'm also looking forward to spending some time with Carole, who teaches at one of the scrapbook stores there and who I met here on my blog! How sweet is that! Here is a link to John's blog!
Well that's it folks and for those of you trying to win my giftaway, leave a comment and do tell me if you've ever been to Canada and if so where for another chance to win!