Discovered the hard way (by waking up abruptly to a wailing siren) that there is a fire station in the Palais which is DIRECTLY across the street from my window
Then went back to sleep but the room is awfully hot (and this particular hotel loves their hard lumpy synthetic pillows which crick my neck instead of making me comfortable - eh. The troubles of travel.)In any event, I was out of here before 8 AM, heading for the program opps to check on some panel additions and then down to the signing at 10 AM. I had a few people turn up with ACTUAL BOOKS - but I was right about Connie Willis, her line was huge. But in any event, signed books, signed bookplates, signed program booklets, half an hour of this and I was done. Then I went up to the Green Room and talked to a bunch of people, setting up various other stuff for later in the con. Then I went out to a very nice lunch with David Williams and Patrick St Denis (of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist), out near the shopping mecca of Rue Ste-Catherine,and we sat out on the sidewalk at a nice little restaurant and happily talked life, publishing, and everything. Back to the Palais, after, and I had a little time to kill before my 5 PM stint at the SFWA table - where I met more people, and talked to a bunch of folks, and signed some more stuff. At ten to six the Voice of God (with a French Canadian accent) emerged from the loudspeakers telling us that the Dealer's Room will be closing shortly and could we all please gather up our bits and bobs and plan on being out of there, like, NOW. So I wandered back to the hotel for an hour or so, and then walked out to the Place des Armes to meet up the rest of my ghost trip peeps.
We got a fabulous guide, who took us through a little bit of history of Vieux Montreal - the ghosts were gravy, as it were. I only had my little camera, not the good SLR, but here's a few pictures
The Notre Dame Cathedral
Our guide (who was REALLY into this...)
Auberge St Gabriel, where a little girl was burned alive and a haunted piano still plays in what used to be her room...
Sunset and scenic Montreal
The Old Town (check out the cobbles) and yet another haunted inn
A bustling square with street musicians and portrait painters and cafes out on the sidewalks - oh GOD I miss Europe...)
I love this city. I hope to have a chance to explore a little bit more of it on Sunday afternoon after my last panel, in daylight as it were, but tonight was pure magic, although my back is killing me (never did like standing around for too long) and I think I have a blister on the sole of my foot from all the foot traffic that went on today. Tomorrow is going to be a pretty busy day but I don't really think I will have much chance to poke my nose out of the Palais much, what with several panels, a Kaffeeklatsch, a lunch meetup with the SFNovelists crowd and a hookup with one or two other people who have been pencilled into the schedule. I will report back after all that is done. Now I think I'll go curl up on the soft mattress and rest my aching back for a couple of hours.
Over and out from Montreal, for the time being. Tomorrow is another day.