The trip to Montreal and Quebec was the first real vacation that The Lady Friend and I had ever taken together. Prior to that, any visit that she or I made to each other’s home towns were “working vacations”, where one or both of us spent the weekdays at work. As our first real vacation, it was mostly about being together. Still, I wanted to see a couple of friends while in Montreal, and I was lucky enough to catch up with my old Microsoft coworker Frédéric Harper and his fiancée Émilie on our final Saturday afternoon, just before our dinner at Au Pied de Cochon.
We met up at Else’s, one of my favourite watering holes in Montreal. Else’s has a restaurant licence, not a bar licence, so they can’t serve you drinks unless you order at least a little food to go along with it. Luckily, they offer a number of small dishes that allow you to obey the letter of the law without causing you to “waste” your money on something other than alcohol. The crowd at Else’s is a friendly one, the staff are pretty cool, and the music is always great. The Lady Friend absolutely loved the blues selection they had on their sound system that afternoon.
The Lady Friend and I started to make our way to Au Pied de Cochon later that afternoon, so I invited Fred and Émilie to join us on the walk there. Fred had told me that Émilie had always wanted to take up the accordion, so I let her take it out for a spin. Fred took this photo of her, and he also wrote about it on his blog, Out of Comfort Zone:
I then took over and played as we walked the streets of Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. Fred shot a couple of videos, the first of which is below:
I love this video. It’s not the playing or the singing or the fact that it’s me doing what I love — it’s the fact that the lady whom I love is grinning from ear to ear through it all. I live for her smile.
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, and many people were out making the most of the end of August. As we walked and I played, we got an assortment of curious looks, smiles and waves.
Suddenly, we heard a voice that came from above. “Joey? Is that you?”
I looked up and saw this guy sticking his head out of a second-storey window:
“Holy crap, CT! I didn’t know you lived in this neighbourhood!” I’d met CT Moore a couple of years back from doing developer evangelism stuff in Montreal for Microsoft.
“I’m moving in today!” he said. “I was unpacking when I heard an accordion and this guy singing and had to check.”
After a little more conversation and saying goodbye, we pressed on towards Au Pied de Cochon.
“I swear, I didn’t set that up just to impress you,” I told The Lady Friend, who replied with a “Yeah, right.”
Once again, be sure to check out Fred’s blog for his take on the whole thing.