Recently we had a wonderful visit with my dear blogger-friend Marja-Leena and her husband Fred. They were in Montreal for five days, loosely arranged around a business trip for Fred, and we were able to spend quite a bit of time together. Although Marja-Leena and I have been online friends for a long time now, we'd never met in person. For the two of us, it was a chance to continue and enlarge the conversations we've had in writing - oh, so much easier in person! - about our lives, about art, travel, qarrtsiluni, mutual friends, gardening -- even rocks! An extra joy and surprise of our meeting was that our husbands also got along like old friends, and the four of us ended up feeling extremely compatible in whatever combinations we found ourselves. Like us, Fred is an avid bike-commuter and rider, so it was fun to compare notes with him about the differences and similarities of cycling in Montreal and Vancouver.
Dodging rainstorms, we managed to show them a lot of our city and life, and they were the best sort of visitors: enthusiastic, considerate, generous, curious, and good sports to boot. After a final dim sum lunch in Chinatown, we reluctantly said goodbye, and J. and I are now looking forward to a return visit on the west coast sometime. (It's probably good not to do this too often, though, because I'm afraid we piled on the calories!)
Marja-Leena and Fred took more photos than we did, and it's also really nice to see Montreal through their eyes, so I'm going to recommend that you go over to her blog to take a look. But here's a photo of the four of us from the Jean-Talon market, graciously taken by a fellow from the adjacent stall. Inside the white wrapper of the package Marja-Leena is holding was a beautiful white-and-purple orchid plant she gave me as a present.
As you can see, the weather was cool and wet -- nothing unusual for these Vancouverites -- but today is beautiful and I'm heading outside to my own garden and tomatoes pretty soon.