|Adieu Montreal! Je t'aime!|
At long last here's the final entry in my jaunt to watch the Habs defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins, and our return trip back to a cold, frosty island. Apologies for the delay, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't get off track and then there were the holidays.
By the way if you missed the first part of the war between my brother and my psychotic British-voiced GPS I've dubbed Jeeves, you might want to check that out first.
We left the Bell Centre and while the car crawled through the traffic Jeeves and my brother started digging their trenches and sending off small volleys.
"Turn right in 300 metres."
"Oh the HELL," said my brother. "We came in across the Pont Champlain and that's the way we're going back."
The bickering about whether to turn right or keep going straight towards the bridge continued as we inched through the post-game traffic. In the back my mother was on edge, leaning forward to grip the back of my seat while offering up occasional sneers at the Montreal drivers or criticism of their driving techniques and apparent obvious lack thereof.
My brother kept going straight towards the Champlain Bridge, and Jeeves lost his mind. "TURN RIGHT NOW!"
We looked to the right where heavy construction had blocked off the street he wanted us to take. Then we hit the bridge and he calmed down, though he claimed to be "Re-routing" in an exceptionally pissy British accent.
Finally we were on the highway out of town, but we needed a pit stop to load up on caffeine and also take a potty break. Jeeves hissed and bitched that we turned from his designated route in order to do this, but we got thru Tim Horton's just fine, and with everything calmed down I dozed off until we neared the Quebec border when the decibel levels suddenly went through the roof.
Past Saint-Louis-du-Ha-Ha (how great is that name for a town - seriously) where the construction begins towards the New Brunswick border Jeeves got confused and mistook the bypasses as sudden manifestations of pasture land.
"Get back on the highway NOW!"
"We ARE on the highway you TWIT! I'm not a field!"
"Turn left 200 meters towards the highway! What the hell are you doing?"
"I'm on the highway!" My brother rounded on me. "This is YOUR fault for not updating the maps on this stupid GPS!"
On the rare occasions that Jeeves conceded that yes, we might actually be on the highway after all, he insisted on having us take the next off ramp. Only, there were no off ramps or they were closed off due to construction.
"I can take this off ramp," said my brother "if you want to try Grand Theft Auto V stunt jumping for real."
"Not in this car, thanks."
Finally at the New Brunswick border we encountered a blizzard. We've never actually made this trip without incurring a blizzard at the border and I'm not sure what the odds are for that but it's moot because I don't know of any bookies that will even take weather bets.
We breakfasted at a cousin's house, eventually made our way to Halifax, and the next day Mom and I headed straight to the Marine Atlantic ferry where I made Jeeves look like a pussy as I lost my mind.
I hate Marine Atlantic.
Yes, I know it's the primary employer in my small town and I should be all politically correct and supportive but I hate it. I need to take drugs and fly on and off this island because the hassle with this ferry is never ending.
We had called repeatedly to make sure the ferry was on time. I had left contact numbers with the ferry and email info so that they could be sure to warn us if it was off schedule.
For security reasons when you are on that parking lot you can't go anywhere. You're stuck there. I don't get that really. If I'm carrying a weapon in my car it's not like they check when they put you through the check in system anyway.
But 2 minutes after we pulled into the lot (after a 45 minute wait to check in because they only had one kiosk open) I finally got an email. The boat had sailed two hours early, and now we were in for a 12 hour wait on a parking lot in the freezing cold.
To say I was livid is a massive understatement.
After a 12 hour wait and as they were boarding us they made us park the car and go into the building to get new passes so they could scan. I'm not sure what the hell was wrong with the others and the point of this was other than to inconvenience everyone and delay the boarding process.
I'd like to say it was just me but over the holidays I had a disabled, wheelchair bound family member get stuck on the same lot for another 12 hours. He'd forgotten a walker and was in discomfort and could not go inside the terminal to get to the bathroom.
The ferry personnel kept saying they would see what they could do and then walk away and ignore him. Status quo.
When you have a monopoly you don't need to actually practice quality service, no matter how much you might preach it.
Frankly the journey home was the worst part of the whole trip.
BTW - remember how we froze our tushes off and got signatures from Price and Boullion and Diaz for his hat? My brother was offered $500 for that hat and refused.
"It's not mine," he told the would-be buyer. "It's my son's."
Seriously though... next time we're all flying. And we're bringing Da Nephew.