As much as I really love to travel, I really hate to travel.  The planning, the rushing, the crowds, the flying.  Akemi spent most of this morning running around, doing laundry and generally cleaning the apartment – to the point where I wondered whether she had rented our place out as an Airbnb during our time away.  I meanwhile, finished my 388th book on the year.  Can I make it to 400 before the New Year?

We got to the airport early, breezed through security, and our flight departed only fifteen minutes late.  Suji is a fantastic flyer but it looks like Lulu’s flying days may be over.  Although she calmed down once the engines’ soothing thrum kicked in, she was VERY vocal about her dislike of the carrier’s cramped confines.  I’m thinking this may be her last trip to Montreal unless we drive – or take the train.  Any of you do a lot of train traveling?  Thoughts?

The airport freak-out!

Dinner!  Not pictured: mom’s seasonal friendship cake.

Mom and sis.

Settling into the new digs.  Suji is…uncertain.

Big day tomorrow.  We’re going to hit a coffee shop in the morning, check out a pet shop in the afternoon, and then have pasta for dinner.  I have my doubts we’ll be able to squeeze it all in.

And you?

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Margaret Clayton

That is a lot to squeeze in, both food and activity ~wise. Have fun!

A train trip is all day, but I took a look and that seems quite nice.

And me? Well, my elderly tortie lost use of her hind legs mid-morning. Punkin curled up with me at first, but she wanted to go out to the kitchen, so we went, and I gave her a pouch of her wet treats. I had to steady her so she could eat. Somehow she made it down the hall and onto the bed, so we got a few more cuddles. My friend Desi came and took me to the emergency vet. Punkin is over the Rainbow Bridge now. One of my friends says she has gone to cuddle MyLarry. She had been my dad’s cat, and preferred Larry to me. She was a good little companion.

Chad B.
Chad B.

When my buddies and I come in June, we’re planning on flying into Montreal and then taking the train to Toronto, so I’ll let you know

Quantum Mechanic®👽🌊 (@JamesEFinch)

I recommend you take the train next time. I rode the train from Long Island to Manhattan and back back in ’08 when I worked on THE INVADERS DVD and it is relaxing and relatively quick. I’m sure the Canadians have their train system worked out even smoother. I always enjoy your posts because of their authenticity, humor, and colorful prose.

JeffW
JeffW

Poor Lulu. I can sympathize…airline travel is just no fun anymore.

Would Doggie-Dramamine help? Although I would hate to depend on a chemical solution.

As for train-travel, I have traveled the Toronto to Montreal leg via rail (Via Rail…Ha! That works both ways!) and found it stress-free, but I have no idea how the railway would actual treat our pups. The policy seems to be very similar to the airlines (pet carrier and all), with just a little more convenience allowing for the pet carrier to be at your feet instead of under the seat in front of you. See:

https://www.viarail.ca/en/travel-info/travelling-with-pets-onbaord-in-passenger-car

I’d have no hope with my Huskies, as they have no chance of fitting in the specified carrier.

JeffW
JeffW

As for Christmas at the Wilson household, we’re having a few out-of-town house-guests, and so we’re swinging into full-on hospitality mode. Tomorrow (Sunday) I’m making eggs, bacon, sausage, and scratch made pancakes for breakfast. Then it’s on to a cheesecake, a pecan pie, and a mince-meat pie for the Christmas festivities. Barb’s already supplied the molasses, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies.

For Christmas Eve supper it’s honey baked ham, and then on Christmas day it’s roast goose. I’ve even had a request for southern-style collard greens, so I’m off to find some collards tomorrow for the Christmas day meal.

All of that and I still need to wrap presents, hang a closet door, and setup the Christmas train under the tree tomorrow. Who’s up for a food and exhaustion related coma on boxing day?

Karen
Karen

For your tomorrow, 23rd December, I will be celebrating my birthday. My mate got me a Dark Matter mug, a fantastic present. The best present of course, would be more Dark Matter & everything else you come up with. Merry Christmas 🎄🎊🎉🎁

gforce
gforce

Dinner looks amazing! It’s been quite a while since I’ve done the train trip between MTL and TO, but if I remember it’s not actually that long a trip and goes quite smoothly. I’ve always rather disliked that part of the drive on the 401 though. It just seems to go on forever, with little to see.

I have just a few presents to deliver locally to family, and then it will be a quiet evening here tonight. Though, recent rains have washed all our snow away and I’m tempted to go for a hike somewhere today! For Christmas Eve, I still go and meet up with folks from my old work section at the office for lunch. Then, again, a quiet evening at home. Or at least that’s the plan anyway.

Drea

Awwww. Poor sweet Lulu. Gettin’ old sucks. She was probably having difficulty trying to get comfortable in the carrier, then add to it the stress of all the noise and busy activity in the airport.
I’d recommend driving next time so she can simply get comfy in the back seat and take a nap and you can pull over at rest stops along the way if she feels a need to get up and stretch her legs.
Aside, you should begin getting re-acquainted and comfortable with driving back n forth between TO & Montreal now, anyway – so it wont feel it too much of a chore next year if you should find yourself having to make the trip back and forth for work. (Yes, I am that confident you will find a condo you like there, this time around. Overall, I have a very good feeling about the productivity of this little trip home for the holidays! xo).

@Maggiemayday: Sending warmest hugs. Sorry to hear about Punkin.
Yep. Lots of Christmas Day rum sure sounds like the perfect prescription this year.

To: @Gilder & @Karen & My beautiful daughter Eva marie
May all the world and your every wish be at your command
on this extra special day!
XOXO*****~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY!~*****XOXO

@Tam : Now that you’ve survived the stress of the obligatory trip to moms,
hope your Christmas proves delightfully warm and mellow.
Sending much love and happy thoughts your way today and always. xo

@QuantumMechanic: Glad you are still with us and hope you begin to feel better soon. xo

And last, but not at all least: To our beautiful Hilda @PBMom.
I love you to the moon and back! And I believe in you. You will get through this.
May your Christmas be filled with love and joy (and relatively stress free).
Hope the lasagna turns out good this year! XO

Ponytail
Ponytail

Oh my goodness! So much going on in this blog family today.
Mama!! Good to see you again Mrs Mallozzi.
Andria are you feeling ok? You’re looking a little . . . downtrotten.
@maggiemayday – so sorry about your little Punkin. YourLarry is probably very happy for the company.
@jeffW – i was just thinking about your infamous cheesecakes the other day. Glad to hear you are still making them. It would be your ticket to my house for dinner.
Is Suji bossing all the other dogs around now? The food looks awesome as usual. Have a great visit!

Tammy Dixon
Tammy Dixon

I’m glad your family is healthy/happy. The food looks great! Sorry about Lulu and her traveling issues. The train sounds like a good plan. However, if decided to drive, they would get breaks.

Maggiemayday: I’m sorry about Punkin. I have a soft spot for torties. They can be cantankerous but so loving. I do believe your Larry was waiting for her.

Drea: Thanks! What are your Christmas plans this year?

Quantum Mechanic: Are you going home soon? I hope you’re feeling better.

HIlda: How are you feeling?

Ponytail
Ponytail

ALSO . . . happy birthday to San Antonio’s Gilder, Karen, and Drea’s Daughter.
Thank you Tam!!

Ponytail
Ponytail

I wasn’t done, I just keep getting interrupted. I’m just going to “like” other commenters who know how to leave a message. My mom is constantly calling me to do something for her. She is preparing Christmas gifts. . .

FargateOne
FargateOne

Tomorrow we will be at my oldes daughter’s house with our 4 others chidren and our 9 grand’chidren.. Mousse d crecvette, smoked salmon, ragoût de pattes de cochon, fruit cakes in brandy (3 months of age!) Château Cailleton Beergeron 2016, Brooker’s Kentucky bourbon et tout le tra-la-la

Drea

@ TamI I was considering going skating tomorrow for Christmas Eve as I’ve done in previous years, but meh – just not really feeling it, these days.
Thus, Tomorrow I’ll simply be loading up the music playlist with all the best Christmas sing along songs,
(Grandma got run over by a reindeer. .. definitely one of my all time favs!), printing up copies of lyrics and sheet music for a couple new holiday songs I recently composed, then setting up a buffet table with lots n lots of yummy finger foods & deserts for the neighbors who drop by to munch on while we enjoy several gallons of super spiked eggnog and sing our silly songs till we are all tuckered out and our voices become too hoarse to soldier on. (Which, at our age, will likely happen by 7:15 pm, with a 0.001% chance of stretching it to the limit and finally calling it a night at the exhaustingly late hour of 8:30!).
Christmas day – it’s a dinner celebration downtown at a greek restaurant with my best friend.
There will be belly dancing on the tables at this one and I might even be among them
if I consume enough libation to allow me to forget how tired I’ve been feeling of late. lol grin

In a nut shell — I’ll be spending the holiday making everyone around me belt out weird songs at the top of their lungs and, as Maggiemayday recently appropriately phrased it, getting drunk as F**CK! XO

Kala Kristougenna
OPA!
Enjoy, Everyone!

Kat Karena

That book list you provided a few days back? I bought a number of them, I’ve wrapped them in plain Christmas wrapping, stuck a number on each and a book description and put them in a open box.

On Christmas eve, we call out a name and the person finds one present under a tree and opens it. What I’m having them do is pick out a surprise (no name no title) book when their name is called. So a lucky dip book box. smile smile I hope people like the idea.

But today it’s cleaning, mowing, washing the dog toys and putting the house in order.
And then writing thank you and appreciation notes to all the people who helped me this year. All the kids I trained are in jobs and doing well – and I feel incredibly grateful for the amazing people around me and my life.

Sandy
Sandy

I take it you are a speed reader. How does that work? Do you read every word, or just get the gist? Or are you able to take in sentences/pages at a glance?

Nicolas Bannister

Train is the best. Downtown to downtown, no security check, you can stand up, go to the restroom, walk the aisles, it’s not noisy. The windows are BIG.
Then again, our country’s smaller so we’re used to trains rather than planes. They’re pretty great, less on time and practical than japan ones but way more comfy.

shinyhula
shinyhula

Wha–is your tennis elbow kicking in? I think you need a service pet for those Montreal trips, preferably a sassy lady who loves sunny spots on the carpet. if you have high speed trains it’s worth it. I love meeting people in the dining car and curling up in my own cabin with a good book as the world rolls by, it’s good old timey fun. You gotta splurge for your own train cabin with the beds, big comfy chair and your own tiny bathroom to travel in comfort like an oil baron. And you gotta get the cars that have full dining service. Would Lulu prefer a carrier she can see through or would that make her even more active? Just show the pups Bird Box, Sandra Bullock has great travel tips on it, blindfold not included.