7 Things: Random Travel Posts #1 – Accidental Culture

When you travel, you expect some cultural exposure. Even within the borders of the US, there are so many variations in customs and language and belief systems. Some subtle. Some not so subtle. It’s a reminder of just how much the history and tradition of different regions influence those same places today.

What’s cool is when you happen upon a cultural marvel by accident. That’s what happened to us in Montreal. We had no plans for our one-day stop in Montreal, so we just explored a little bit of the city that we missed on our last trip. It was too hot to wander aimlessly for long, though. So, after retiring to our room for a bit, we went out for coffee at Tim Hortons and happened upon the Terra Karnival parade just by chance.

We got there right as it was starting – in time to see the first flames and hear the first beats coming down the street – and it was such a wonderful surprise. I’m not sure there was another moment of the trip when I smiled harder. Except for maybe the next morning when I discovered the Tim Hortons off the tourist strip had my raisin tea biscuits. (Get with it Tim Hortons! Bring my tea biscuits to the US, dammit!)

Anyway, it looked like this –

– and I loved every second of it.

Including getting all tangled up in the canon-blown streamers that rained down on the parade and watching the bicycle cop jump off his bike as his legs got doused pretty good by the street-cleaning truck. He came away laughing, so it was all good.

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