The Jasper Chronicles

The Journal of a Cynical Dad

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bonjour du Québec

(Internet availability has been shady during our trip. So these entries, while written a few days ago, I'm only posting them now).

P and I are on our first vacation since our trip to Chile and Easter Island almost two years ago. Travelling was easier back then to be sure, all we had to do was decide where we wanted to go, and go. That particular trip we also had a second objective, to see if we could conceive The Boy (or The Girl) abroad, ideally on Easter Island because really, how cool would that be?

We never really 'tried' to have a baby, P and I decided that she would go off birth control and then if it happens, it happens. Obviously it happened, but according to the doctors, not until we got back from Chile. I've toyed with the idea of telling The Boy he was conceived in Easter Island anyways. Based on the calulations we're only off by five days, and its one of those things not too many people get to actually say: "My parents did it behind a Moai on Easter Island when they had me."

Now when we travel we have to consider The Boy in our plans, and while he travels well, there are some destinations that are better suited to a 13-month old baby than others. For example we decided against visiting New York until he gets older. Not because it's a challenging city for babies, it's because we'd have to be back in our hotel early every evening to put him to bed. While there are tons of things to see and do there during the day, you're only seeing half the city if you can't go out at night. New York is a long way to go to spend your nights in a hotel room watching TV.

So this trip we decided to go to La belle Province, Quebec, visiting a friend in Quebec City, hanging out in Montreal and finally a few days in Ottawa. We figured we'd still have to be back in our hotel early, but it won't be nearly as expensive.

It turns out time zones means nothing to The Boy. 11:00 is 8:00 to him, so he's living the nightlife, and we get to too. The first night in Montreal we went to the Latin Quarter for a late dinner. The Latin Quarter is an entertainment district of sorts, chock-o-block full of movie theaters, bars, clubs and restaurants. It was around 10:30 PM and the young and beautiful were out in force. The Boy was, of course, the only baby there. He turned a lot of heads, and P and I got a lot of confused looks. Qui, nous sommes de mauvais parents (Yes, we are bad parents), keeping our baby out way past his bedtime.

Confused looks aside, The Boy had a great time, stopping in front of every bar, club and restaurant to dance to the music and fully checking everything out. We also realized it was his first real taste of the night. He spent most of last winter as a blob on our floor, pretty much concerned only with the immediate area around him. By the time he started becoming better aware of his surroundings, the days were getting longer. Through attrition he's slowly changing his clock, but if we do manage to keep him on Pacific Standard Time the entire trip, he'll get to see the bright lights of the big cities a few more times before we get home.

He loves the nightlife. He's got to boogie. On the disco 'round, oh yeah.