I made it home from Montreal last night; landed about 9:30pm in a very heavy fog. All pilots who fly into Halifax must get special training in fog flying as it is so rarely clear here.
It took me a little while to find where I had parked but I didn’t have to resort to using the panic button on the clicker to find it. I could have found it faster if I hadn’t taken the luggage carrier off the roof!
A quick report on the Omnium Gervais-Talbot (Gervais-Talbot Open Charity Golf Outing in St-Hyacinthe, PQ). I arrived Wednesday afternoon in Montreal and picked up my rental car for the drive to St-Hyacinthe. It’s only a short drive and I got there before 3pm and checked into the hotel.
The next morning Sylvain Gervais (yes, Bruno’s dad) took me to the golf club for breakfast and then a tour of St-Hyacinthe. It’s a beautiful town and I should have take photos but I knew he had a lot to do with the golf outing only 24 hours away so I didn’t. We went to the market place downtown and oh my! the smell of the freshly baked bread made my mouth water even though I had just finished breakfast. This marketplace has been there since the 1800′s and still has the water fountain out front with one side for horses and the other for people. There was fresh fruit and vegetables outside and the bakery, fresh fish, meat, and cheeses, Oh the fromage! Sylvain took me back to the hotel where I did some work but I could not get the cable internet to work. I tried 2 cables with no luck so I figured either the connection in the room was not working or my computer was being stubborn. Saturday I discovered it was the connection because I was able to connect with the cable in the business room.
Anyway, got some work done, took a little snooze, ate dinner and did a lot of reading.
Friday morning I was so excited about the outing that I was up and dressed by 7am. I didn’t want to eat at the hotel as we were having a brunch at the golf club so I did some more paperwork and studied a little of my French language DVDs (not that it did me much good). I got to the club at 9:15am and Sylvain asked me if I had seen the boys at the hotel the night before (“the boys” being Bruno and Max). Shoot, I was sound asleep when they must have arrived. Anyway, I met Sylvain’s beautiful wife, HĂ©lĂ¨ne (no way does she look old enough to have a son that age), Max’s parents, Serge and Lucie who are SO very nice (at least they look a little closer to my age so I didn’t feel totally like an old lady), and Max’s brothers, Bill and Frank (Francis) as well as assorted Talbot cousins and 2 of Serge’s brothers. They are a wild and crazy bunch (and I mean that in the nicest of ways- so happy to all be together and so energetic).
When Bruno and Max arrived it was hugs and handshakes all around. I was made to feel like one of the crew and it seemed like everyone there knew about “Teri from Nova Scotia.” We had a lovely brunch; well, some of us did. I don’t think any of the Gervais or Talbot family ever sat down or really ate anything as all them were continually jumping up to make sure things were getting done and the guests were enjoying themselves. This went on ALL DAY.
At about noon we had a shotgun start. I golfed with three wonderful ladies from Montreal, Lyse, Lyne and Marlene who went out of their way to make me feel welcome. Lyne was even kind enough to teach me some French. I won’t say what but it came in handy every time I hit my ball into the water or the trees (there are probably still some angry squirrels and birds cursing my name in French). We finished up just as it was starting to thunder and lightening so we made a dash to the clubhouse to put our stuff in our cars and grab our clothes for the evening soiree.
Once showered and dressed in respectable clothes, I made my way back up to the dining room and front lobby where a band was playing and we were given drinks. The silent auction was set up in a room off the dining room and I went in with one goal in mind- to win the bidding on the large, beautifully framed photograph of Max after he scored what was ultimately the Cup winning goal. It wasn’t until after the auction that I found out that no one would bid after I did because people knew my name and knew how badly I wanted that photo. I felt kind of bad because the photo would have brought more money if people had been willing to bid against me. I hadn’t intended to bid on anything else but, in the live auction, the bidding on Sidney Crosby’s signed and framed jersey was not going nearly as high as I felt it should so I jumped in. Yes, I got it. Later I also got Marc-Andre Fleury’s signed jersey.
I also brought along several photos I had of Max and Marc-Andre and they were both kind enough to sign them for me. Marc-Andre sat right behind me at dinner so we had the opportunity to chat a bit. He is a very sweet and intelligent young man but he really needs to put on a few pounds! A gentleman there was kind enough to take a photo of Marc-Andre and I and then the two of us with Max and, I’m here to tell you, Marc-Andre is nothing but ribs! Guess I will need to send more cookies next year! Of course, Max is hardly a heavy-weight!
I spent quite a bit of time visiting with Frank Talbot (the oldest of Serge and Lucie’s boys). Again, you can sure tell when kids have been brought up right….Frank is so very nice and all those Talbots are so intelligent and well-spoken. No wonder Max interviews and writes so well!
After dinner and the auctions we had live music and dancing….even Serge, Lucie and I joined in. Max and Bruno were constantly checking to make sure I was having a good time and seeing if I needed anything. I wish my sons had come because I know they would have loved it. Hopefully next year.
I got back to the hotel about 2am and slept until about 9:30! I never sleep that late. After packing I checked out and then went into the business room and downloaded all my email. Serge and Lucie spotted me in there and came to say goodbye. I now have even more reason to work diligently on learning French so I can speak with all the wonderful people there without making them speak English.
I can’t say enough good things about my experiences in Montreal, St-Hyacinthe or with the Gervais and Talbot families. If you are a golfer (or, like me, a really bad golfer who just likes to have fun) you should come next year. Even if you don’t golf, the brunch, dinner and after-dinner activities are well worth the trip. I had been told that Montreal was not a very friendly place for non-French speaking but that is simply not true. Everywhere I went the people were friendly and went out of their way to make sure I enjoyed myself but none more so than the Gervais and Talbot families and all the people at the outing.
Oh, and I would be remiss in not mentioning, the girls and women there were so beautiful and the men all handsome. I felt like the ugly duckling but hey, we all need a little comic relief.
I took all of these before the outing with my cell phone. I can’t find the *^*(&^^&%&^* cable for my camera but, when I do, I will post the photos from dinner and the auction.