I am utterly exhausted and totally exhilarated. My ankles have turned to cankles from the heat and the non-stop walking.

Bonjour- I am in Montreal!

I flew in on Tuesday with one mission- to set up my daughter in her new apartment ready for her third year at University. If we had known how physically draining the task would actually be, I think we would have both slept for the whole previous week to ready ourselves.

I adore the city of Montreal- the magnificent ABUNDANCE of shopping, the diversity of fantastic food, and the fact that you completely believe you are in France until you see a Tim Horton’s!


But our first few days were allocated to “apartment stuff”. Thankfully, the place was relatively clean, and we didn’t need to call the fumigators or pest control people. The landlord blessed us with “good surprises” which consisted of three pieces of furniture- all broken of course! But the bones of the place were great, and I am so thrilled for my girl.

Our first day we took the Metro, then walked 4 kilometers to our destination of “all things home for the student”- Ikea. We actually spent a full FIVE hours shopping in there (and a scary amount of money- which was offset by the even scarier, unbelievably cheap lunch!) before piling our gleanings into a minivan taxi. As constructing stuff isn’t exactly my thing (I actually had issues putting together the saucepans!), my daughter’s boyfriend did an outstanding job while we unpacked and tried to work out where on earth everything was going to fit.

Walmart was the order of the following day- a mere THREE hours spent in there! My favorite moment was when the cashier declared ours was the biggest order she had EVER put through her cash register. Awesome. You know it’s been a rough day when you agree to nourish yourself with a MacDonalds.

Anyway, now it’s Saturday morning and we are just about finished. The youngsters took the Metro to locate a replacement freestanding clothing rack for the end of her bed. The original was one of the landlord’s “good surprises” which in fact collapsed on us in the middle of the night, fully loaded with all her clothes. A rude awakening to say the least. So I stayed behind today to clean the frightful little stove… note to self, probably not a good idea to use heavy duty oven-cleaning spray in a tiny apartment with little ventilation on a hot, humid day…

Good news- the oven is usable. Bad news- I think I’m a little high. So I took the opportunity to set myself up with laptop, caramel macchiato, and chocolate croissant outside a lovely little café to finally WRITE. I was starting to have withdrawal symptoms- it’s been 5 days since I’ve come up for air!

So excuse these ramblings today… nothing terribly poignant, just a mother watching her daughter embark on the next phase of her journey, and readying herself for more goodbyes. I shall enjoy the couple of days left- we’ll do Old Montreal, church, museum, restaurants, non-Ikea shopping… and then brace myself to bid farewell until her Christmas visit.

The bustling, crazy city of Montreal is her home for now, and I shall leave a little piece of me here with her.

But I’ll take some priceless memories with me, and I’ll look forward to making many more. If you have kids, be sure to make the most of every moment… as exasperating as it can sometimes be! Then encourage them and be their support as they move forward. Pray for them, and leave them in the hands of the Almighty… it’s the safest place they will ever be.

From a little café somewhere in Montreal… au revoir!