Quebec and New Brunswick, here we come! (or, mon français est très mal . . .)

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Mon July 15, 2013

10:00 am – left early with the best intentions of getting to Quebec City by approx. 7 pm, but we all know about best intentions . . .

Loading the car was tricky, as I had a full PA, keyboard, stand, laptop, cooler, luggage, cables galore, and of course everything had to be double and triple-checked.  Almost left without my chargers!!  No room for a chair or bench, so I will hopefully be able to use something on the road.

I realized I needed posters and some promotion for my shows and I hadn’t had time to print any up.  So I left early to stop and print some of them.  Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long, and I was able to get back on the road fairly quickly.

3:00 pm – got to Kingston – and then I realized I was going to hit Montreal in rush hour.  No way around it, crossed my fingers, and . . . sat in glacially slow traffic for an hour.  Geez, Montreal, why do your highways have to be so hard to follow? Thank God for Google.  Although, it would help if you had the correct names for the highways.  Some of them have changed, you know.  Just sayin’.

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Loving the new ON ROUTE stops – last time I took the highway they were all closed, under construction.  Really good job, though.  Reduced waste from water, electricity, all environmentally friendly-like.  And WI-FI!  But . . . couldn’t you have something besides Tim Hortons and Pizza Pizza?  Really?

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There is 10 km of construction for every 1 km of clear highway from Montreal to Quebec City.  I’m not kidding.  Half the time you are driving in one lane, *on the shoulder of the highway*!!  Do you guys really need to repair the *whole damn thing* at once???

7:00 pm – stopped for dinner at a McDonalds between Montreal and QC.  My painful French is met with their painful English.  Hilariousness results.  Got to dig out those Grade 9 French texts again . . .

9:00 pm – FINALLY arrived in Quebec City.  Then . . . . got lost for about half an hour.  WHY DOES EVERY TURN END UP ON A HIGHWAY???  THAT YOU CAN’T GET OFF FROM???

9:30 pm – checked in at the hotel . . . and crashed.  Nice warm bath to relax my aching back from 8 hours plus of driving, and then bedtime.

NEWS ALERT: Guess what? Nova Scotia is an hour ahead of Toronto.  Good thing I realized this THE NIGHT BEFORE MY GIG IN MONCTON.  Clocks ahead one hour before bed.  Going to be leaving EARLY – 8 more driving hours on the road and I have to be there by 8 pm.

Tues July 16, 2013

8:00 am – had a truly awful continental breakfast at the hotel before heading out at 8 am (really 9 am Nova Scotia time!) – how the hell do you mangle “un café, s’il vous plait, merci”??  I guess I needed the café before ordering.

Checked Google Maps to make sure I could find my way out of the hotel without a half hour detour, and I was off to Moncton.

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CONSTRUCTION AGAIN!!!  Geez, guys, is this a Quebec make-work project or something?  Basically on and off every 5 km to the New Brunswick border.

Yes, New Brunswick has crappy, bumpy highways.  But at least there is no construction!!!

Interesting New Brunswick notes:  everyone speaks French here first!  Bit of a shock.  Big French community here, everyone is bilingual.

The speed on the highway here is 110.  110!!!  Ontario, do you hear that??

1:00 pm – stopped in Edmunston, NB for lunch, and back on the road to Moncton!

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Slight detour to try out the Iron Throne.  😛

6:00 pm – arrived in Moncton ahead of time (yay!  No construction!!).

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6:05 pm – got lost again trying to find the club (thanks crappy Google Maps) and honestly didn’t know where the hell I was.  Ended up getting back on the highway, retracing my steps about 50 km and starting all over again.

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7:00 pm – Finally found PLAN B!  Lucky for me, as I was supposed to be starting at 9 pm (I had 10 pm on my schedule!!).  No problem. Quick stage setup and sound check, and then . . . BASHED MY HEAD ON A SPEAKER.  Really hard.

I was already dizzy from a long day of driving.  Smashing your skull doesn’t help that very much.  I actually have a welt there, even after icing it.  Apparently this is just an initiation ritual at Plan B.  It is hanging at perfect head height at the corner of the stage just as you walk off.  Some advice guys:  POST A SIGN.  PLEASE.

9:30 pm – it was a slow night, but the people who drifted in and out were very supportive and appreciative.  Took some requests (Elton John, Supertramp), but people seemed genuinely interested in hearing original material.  That’s a nice change!  Had a nice chat with a couple of guys from Moncton.  One of them bought me a beer, the other joined my mailing list and promised to bring down more people if I came back again.

Plan B provided accommodations upstairs from the club, which was a nice touch.  No A/C though, on one of the hottest days of the summer, in a room with no circulation or windows.  In an apartment shared with four other sweaty musicians!  Everyone was friendly, though, and I made some new fans, some new friends, and came away with a great impression of East Coast generosity.  Thanks, guys, and I hope to see you again!

Next up:  Nova Scotia!

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