2 days 'bout the harbour

Further thoughts on our trip to Halifax this past weekend:

  • Hard to believe now, but on Friday morning the G20 seemed like a non-event. We left super-early for the airport and got there in six minutes. Fortunately, waiting in Porter‘s lounge is a lot better than waiting around at Pearson: free drinks, shortbread cookies, wi-fi, comfy chairs and — for some reason — no screaming kids.
  • Flying Porter, even though it takes an extra hour to Halifax, is worth it. Free drinks, actual lunch, friendly service, tons of leg room and doesn’t actually feel any longer than a direct flight.
  • Taxis from the airport to downtown Halifax are always expensive, but we don’t mind paying just a little more now that we’ve found Crystal Limousines. There’s something extra-sweet about a nice car, lots of leg room and a cold bottle of water waiting for you when you get off a plane. They’re now on our speed dial whenever we fly in.
  • Our hotel was on a lake called Chocolate Lake. So it was called the Chocolate Lake hotel. The lobby smelled of chocolate. A chocolate lab lives there. If they ever build a beer pool I’m moving in.
  • As we tended to enjoy the nice weather having a Garrison on their patio, the bartender became our best friend. Two minutes after we arrived we took a seat in the sun, looked out over the lake, caught up with friends and slid lazily into vacation mode.
  • We made our way downtown, strolled along the waterfront to take in the preparations for the Canadian navy’s 100th birthday and visit by the Queen, and picked up my parents at their hotel. Crazy coincidence though: walking in to the hotel we bumped into a guy who I last saw ten years ago when he was a co-op student at Delano. It was his first trip to Halifax, and we wouldn’t have even seen each other except for the earthquake last week. Anyway, it’s a long story, but it one of those coincidences that makes you shake your head at the cosmos.
  • That night my parents, my brother and his wife joined us for dinner at Bish. I have to say, for all the talk of it being one of the best restaurants in the city I wasn’t very impressed. My steak was overdone and it took 40 minutes to bring us our mains (during which our wine glasses sat empty for 20 minutes). I wasn’t the only one underwhelmed either. It was nice to catch up with my family, though, if only for a few hours.
  • We continued the evening with my brother and sister-in-law though, walking past a great many pubs and bars crammed full of drunk douchebags and scary cougars (it was fleet week, after all) before settling on a familiar standby: the Old Triangle. While we were there a bunch of secret service-looking people showed up; turns out the prime minister of the Netherlands was in there having a drink. We wondered why he needed a security detail…what drunk Nova Scotian is going to recognize the Dutch prime minister?? Anyhoo. We got home around 1:30…which, by Halifax standards isn’t that late, but I’m ooooooooold now.
  • In spite of being an old man past his bedtime, we got up and had brunch at a friend’s house with her husband, kid, baby, dog and mildly retarded sister. We had a tour of their beautiful new house, ate breakfast on their deck and left with some art which now hangs on our fridge.
  • And then, the reason we were in Halifax in the first place: our friend’s wedding. I’ve no room to list all the highlights, but they included fortuitous weather, wheel spinning, a toothbrush & Dan Marino jersey, flowing wine, Thriller choreography, belligerent Dan, road beers and a near-exhibition of “Murphy Girl drunk”. I also managed to catch snippets of Ghana beating the US and news of violence in Toronto.
  • Notes on the DJ’s music selection: whoever made a nu-metal remix of “Barrett’s Privateers” should be horsewhipped. Also: it’s a universal truth that Trooper will come out earlier at an east coast wedding than anywhere else.
  • Since we got even less sleep that night, there was little to do the next morning but meet friends for brunch at the hotel, take a limo back to the airport and fly home. Safe, sound and regretting that we didn’t have more time in Halifax. Soon, my pretty.

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