The weekend has come and gone but it was certainly a fun one. Maryn arrived Friday morning and we went downtown for a nice walk before having a birthday lunch with my family. Good company, good food, what more can a guy ask for his birthday?

We relaxed for most of the afternoon and then went downtown again to do some shopping and to see one of the cheesiest movies I've seen in a long time. Unfortunately, it was cheesy bad not cheesy good. Maryn and I have both wanted to see "Two Brothers" for quite a while and after seeing it, we were really disapointed. The tigers and animals in the movie were cute and endearing but it was the human element that ruined the movie for me. The dialogue was terrible;the human actors were annoying and cartoonish; there were story plots that went nowhere; and although the film took place in Angkor Wat in Cambodia, there was no mention of where they were or what kind of history the area had (Maryn told me that she overheard a women telling her children that the movie took place in Thailand)! Is that the message the director was trying tell? Anyway, we enjoyed making fun of the movie while it was playing. I recommend seeing the IMAX film "Roar: Lions of the Kalahari" instead, there are no humans in it to ruin the film.

After the film we walked down St. Catherine to reach Berri where we got to see the end of one of the Brazilian acts for "La Festival Nuits D'Afriques". We were getting hungry so we continued walking and we ended up in the Village. It was really refreshing and fun to see a part of Montreal I had never been to before. There were Gay Pride flags on almost all the businesses and stores including Tim Hortons and Desjardins. We were looking for a nice place to eat when we spotted a building which immediately grabbed our attention, "The Oscar Wilde Pub". We had to eat there! I ordered a Stella Artois and a Lyonnaise poutine (which had hamburger meat and onions along with the prerequisite gravy and cheese curds). Mmmmmmmmmm...decadent.

When we were done eating we walked back to Berri and we were able to see an amazing performance from a percussion group from Senegal, complete with dancers in costumes, lights, fog, and everything. It was truly an amazing experience. There's nothing quite like feeling the rhythm of the drums as the beat flows through your body. After a long day we headed back home to get a good night's sleep.

On Saturday we wanted to go see the Dragon Boat races at Parc Jean Drapeau but there were too many people trying to take the free shuttle buses to get there so we decided to explore China Town and Old Montreal. While I was in the area I went to Steve's Music Store to buy a new bongo for my birthday since the one I got in Florence is getting old, cracked, and flat sounding so thanks Tia Cuci and Tio Pierre :)

That evening I had a chill party at my house with my friends and I think we all had a great time. We brought out the Tiki torches, had some home made sangria alla Marisol Santos, went swimming, ate some good food (the portabello mushrooms were a hit) and had a home made cake baked by our friendly neighborhood Ryan (it was deeeeeeeeelicious).

We had lunch on Sunday with Ryan and Josh at a great vegetarian Thai restaurant on St. Denis. I think it was called Chu Chai? Something like that. Anyway, the meal was delicious (who would have known that they could simulate duck meat so well? Almost too well for you Josh, eh?) We then explored the stores on St. Denis for a while before we parted ways with Josh and Ryan and went to Renaud Bray for a little while. After walking for most of the day we decided to come back home to relax and veg out.

Monday was fun too, although Maryn had to go back to Sackville that evening :( We had a good time though and I'm glad we had pretty much a full day to spend together before she left. My mother took us out to "Le Jardin Nelson" for lunch and we had a beautiful meal accompanied by live music. We stayed in Old Montreal for a while, going to the Bonsecours Market and visiting some stores before seeing the IMAX film "Roar: Lions of the Kalahari" which was ten times better than "Two Brothers". Again, pretty much because there were no people to distract the audience.

Maryn's plane left at 7:30pm that evening and it was sad to see her go but I had an amazing time. It may have been a short visit but we did a lot of fun things and most importantly we got to spend some time together. We're not sure when the next visit will be but it will definetely be before she heads out to France in the fall. See you soon Maryn :)

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