After watching the third and final game on this trip in Toronto, it was time to get back home. On Saturday morning, we walked around downtown Toronto for a little while and then got on the road again. About five hours later, we pulled into Montreal. We checked into a hotel there and walked down to the Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal) and Vieux Port (Old Port) areas. The architecture of the buildings there were amazing. As it turned out, there was a festival going on celebrating Arabic heritage, and several stalls were set up selling goods from various countries in North Africa and the Middle East. We bought a Moroccan tagine and an inlaid box made in Syria. There were also stalls featuring Arabic food, and people were dancing both on and off stage to beautiful Arabic music. It was an incredible experience and the event reminded us of the Ananda Mela festival in Seattle. Afterward, on our way back to the hotel, we walked by the Montreal Science Centre that was right next to the festival in Vieux-Port. The next day, we checked out of our hotel and drove to Mont-Royal. We walked up through the park to the chalet there and then back down to Lac des Castors (Beaver Lake) that was also part of the park. The view of the city from Mont Royal was simply spectacular. It was a beautiful day and we saw many people out and about having a good time. The sculpture garden was especially impressive. We then had lunch at a really nice Greek café and drove by the Olympic Stadium to the world famous Montreal Botanical Garden. The garden featured the Montreal International Mosaicultures 2013 exhibition, a stunning display of 48 horticultural art exhibits. The colorful topiaries that covered a variety of themes have to be seen to be believed. We also visited the Japanese bonsai garden and viewed their amazing collection. Some of the specimens there were over a hundred years old and still living! This was by far the most extraordinary botanical garden that we have been to yet. Finally, just after 5 PM, we got back in the car and headed toward Maine. This was a memorable trip on many counts but we would not be getting home without checking off one more item on our bucket list. Despite living in Maine all these years, we had never seen a live moose before. But within minutes after crossing the border into the US, and as we were coming around a bend in the woods at night with our high beams on, we saw a giant mama moose leisurely crossing the paved road followed by a baby moose. We were really thrilled to see these wonderful creatures in the wild. We were also glad that we able to slow down in time and not drive into them. Guess all those warning signs are posted for a reason. Whew!
We got home just before midnight on Sunday, still excited about our moose sightings. Of course, for two of us (Luca and Das), this trip also meant that we were done with 28 games in 28 different ballparks since April. That means only two are left. We hope to get to those over the Labor Day weekend.
We’ll be back with you then. Bye now, and take care!