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Monday, March 3, 2014

March Madness #2: Travel

And I'm already posting late!!

Yesterday was a whirl-wind of travel to the airport to change a flight, back to the hotel to pack, off to the Kennedy Center to meet up with Becky Henry and catch up with her post-McGill life (doing really well!), then backstage to wish the cast TOI TOI TOI, then to my seat to watch the concert, then off IMMEDIATELY afterwards with Othalie to DCA to try to catch our respective planes since SuperStorm Titan was barrelling down upon Washington, DC, and finally a bit before midnight -- boarding my plane to Montreal.

I got in around 1am and was asleep around 2am.

That was my day. Moving about, except the 2 hours in the seat at the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center for the "Essential Verdi" concert given by Maestro Wachner, his wonderful Washington Chorus, and the National Symphony Orchestra.  Hearing Rigoletto, Nabucco, Trovatore, Traviata, and Aida (plus some Requiem excerpts) was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon in DC.

DC is a great city. I think, if I had millions, I'd want to live there. My hotel - the Hotel Rouge, about 8 blocks from the White House -- was perfectly situated near the Logan and Dupont neighborhoods. Great places for brunching, walking around, shopping (bought a great pair of Italian dress shoes in honor of Verdi and two pairs of pants at Brooks Brothers), and people watching.

Loved the people as well. Great people!  Nobody ran into me (like happens here everyday in Montreal), everyone was SUPER polite (I mean, like they were being filmed or something) and that certainly doesn't happen here in Montreal, either; but mostly, I didn't smell any cigarette smoke for the five days I was walking around DC.

It's one of my pet peeves about downtown Montreal. It stinks of cigarette smoke. I wonder what the rate of smoking here is, but it seems extraordinarily high. When I think about other downtown cities I frequent (Chicago and NYC), it strikes me that I don't have to walk through blocks of 2nd hand smoke like I do from the Metro stop to my studio at McGill.  And the weather was lovely in DC, you'd think everyone would've been out smoking. But I just don't think that's what is happening much down in certain parts of the U.S.

Travelling back to my homeland of America also reminded me about what an amazing country the U.S. is, and what a fantastic place DC is for tourism. I took Saturday afternoon to stroll through the National Gallery of Art and just kept smiling at every room: Rembrandts, Rubens, Monets, Manets, etc., etc.

Just. Wow.

I also picked up a cool book. Once read, I'll blog about it. I also bought home tons of Hershey's Chocolate bars for the boys cause the Hershey bars up here suck.

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