Now a delicious pre-concert drink is a chocolate martini and so as we began preparing ourselves for the highlight of our trip to Montreal, the Queen and Adam Lambert concert, I pulled out my jigger, shaker, Grey Goose, Creme de Cocoa and cream and began whipping up some drinks for the team. Because I was so busy shake shake shaking, I only got to actually drink one which was good for me but not so great for one member of our party who along with a few martinis, also indulged in a few glasses of wine. As we have traveled together before, I knew that this was not going to bode well so gently suggested she slow down, but she paid about as much attention to me as my husband does when there is hockey on the television.
Anyway, we left our hotel in good spirits (some better than others) and made our way to the Bell Centre for the concert. We, of course, fell prey to the ridiculously expensive souvenir shop dropping a couple of hundred dollars combined on t-shirts ($45), souvenir books ($30) and key chains ($25). They saw us coming and we were ripe for the picking. I read an article last week that claimed woman over fifty should not be wearing t-shirts with logos or quotes on them; I am not sure who writes these things but they surely weren’t talking about a very cute and very cool Queen and Adam Lambert commemorative t-shirt! It was probably fake news anyway, so why even heed the unwanted advice.
With our shopping done and another drink purchased at the concessions stand, we settled into our well-placed seats and proceeded to enjoy what was a stand-out performance by Queen and Adam Lambert. Being a die-hard Queen fan, I was not sure what to expect with Adam Lambert taking on the lead vocals, but he handled the gig really well. He was humble about his role, did not try to emulate Freddie Mercury, did not go over the top in his performance and was extremely hot in his tight leather pants. Brian May and Roger Taylor are also such talented musicians and they brought the music of my youth alive. The concert was phenomenal and we all enjoyed it immensely. I was pretty much riveted to the stage for most of the concert but about midway through when I took a glance at my multiple chocolate martini drinking friend, I noticed that she was wearing one of those frozen smiles that indicates a possible high level of intoxication. She seemed to be enjoying herself though and was relatively well behaved, so I didn’t think to worry about it.
Sadly, the concert had to end at some point and as we made our way out of our seats, it became apparent that our friend was pretty much blitzed. We helped her out of the seat and guided her to the exit and began our trek back to the hotel. She was having a great time practicing her limited French out on a anyone who would listen. A lovely gentleman, who had obviously attended the concert, joined up with us and was talking about how good the concert was. Because I was helping my friend walk, we were a little slow so he continued on and joined up with the rest of our party who were a distance ahead. This is when she really dug deep for those French lessons from school and began yelling “Arrêt monsieur! Allons-ze!” several hundred times (okay, I exaggerated, it was only about 50 times). When we reached our hotel the gentleman continued on his way. We looked like the guys from the movie Weekend at Bernie’s as we made our way up to our room, two of us holding up our friend. The only difference was she was drunk and not dead.
Once we reached the room, it became very obvious that we were going to need Gravol for our friend who was now not feeling very well. I volunteered to see if I could find a store that was open. I called down to the concierge who when I explained what I needed, told me the only place open at that time of night was Dunn’s. Now I have been to Montreal enough times to know that Dunn’s is a smoked meat place so I was a bit confused but thought maybe they had a little store on the side. Cinder volunteered to accompany me since it was late, we were in a big city and it was probably not safe to be out running the roads on my own. When we got down to the lobby, the concierge met us and said he had misunderstood what I was looking for and directed us to a 24-hour Jean Coutu on Sherbrooke Street.
We had to walk about five blocks up a very dark and very deserted street – well, it was almost deserted except for the homeless people sleeping in doorways of businesses along the way. Once we reached Sherbrooke Street, however, there were many people out and about. There is a whole other world that comes alive after 11:00. Who knew? Obviously not Cinder, for she proceeded to ruminate about it at length, over and over again which I think was a result of the chocolate martinis and wine, both of which can make you repeat yourself… a lot! We found the Jean Coutu Pharmacy about four blocks up Sherbrooke Street and went in to get the Gravol.
Now I have not purchased Gravol in some time and did not realize that you can no longer get it off the shelf. It is kept in the pharmacy because apparently it has some interesting uses beyond easing nausea. I approached the pharmacist and asked for a small box and he required my name, my date of birth, my address and my phone number so he could put it in the computer to track if I was going from pharmacy to pharmacy, collecting boxes of Gravol. It is one of those situations where you try to explain why you are buying Gravol so late at night, but then you actually look like you are making up a lame excuse. The pharmacist did not look convinced and shooed me off to pay at the front of the store. There was a long line-up, overseen by a security guard who was watching everyone suspiciously, including me. I was feeling pretty sketchy and ended up having a major hot flash, right then and there but could do nothing about it for fear they would think I was having some kind of drug withdrawal. That guilty Catholic conscience gets me every time, even when I am not guilty! There was a man who was obviously down on his luck who really caught the attention of the security guard. He hovered behind a set of shelves holding candy and really seemed quite out of it. The security guard kept walking over to watch him but he didn’t seem to catch him doing anything illegal. At one point, the man decided that it was as good a time as any to get his photo taken – not sure if it was for a passport photo or some other reason but the line ended up going even slower because one of the cashiers had to take the photo. Needless to say, I was glad to get outside into the cool air.
Cinder and I made our way back to the hotel with no major incidents – well other than Cinder almost knocking herself out by banging head first into a box hanging on one of the poles. It was when she was talking about how she could not believe how there was a whole world that came alive after 11:00 (which really was the gist of the conversation the whole way home) but she avoided a collision at the last minute and we made it back to our hotel in one piece. By the time we got to our room, our friend had fallen asleep but we woke her up and fed her some Gravel, ensuring that she would be able to function the next day. We could hardly wait to wake her up and share with her the story of how we risked life and limb to ensure she was looked after. It was going to be so much fun razing her! After Cinder explained at least five or six times to the other girls about how she could not believe there was a whole other world that came to life after 11:00 I knew it was time for bed. Another day awaited us – we might not be night hawks but in the daylight hours we had shops to hit and money to spend!
(To Be Continued)