Leading to the celebration… part 1

The celebration was in a few days and there was still a few things to do. What was good is that when we flew in, it was direct from London, Heathrow. No fuss. Yeah! When we got on the plane, we realised that it was brand new. It smelled like it. There was more space for the legs (happy man). The boy spent the whole flight watching movies. I wished I had bought some water before we boarded as I was very thirsty and feeling dehydrated. I had to ask for more water all the time.

Montreal city view from plane

Once arrived, we had a very tired boy.

When he saw the customs and the line of people, his first reaction was: ‘No way!?’. I couldn’t help but laugh. Poor thing, with the 5 hours difference he really was tired. It took us longer to pass through as we went to wrong lines. While waiting my brother was texting from the other side telling me that there was a competition between him and my nephew ie. who will see us first. I thought, our boy would see them before they see us…

Custom was straight forward – although I am Canadian, I am always afraid that they won’t let me in. They are a scary bunch when they ask you: ‘why are you visiting? For how long? Etc. but no fuss this time.

And guess what? Yes the boy saw my brother before them. I knew it! It was great to be reunited. We were tired but excited with our journey ahead.

As soon as we came out of the airport, this big whiff of hot air came on. It was like being in the tropics! It probably was not for people used to it but for us who have been living in tempered countries, it felt like tropical. My first thought was how will we sleep?! We are not use to it. Let’s not forget that the boy refused to bring any summer clothes. It had to be black pants, white shirt and red vest. He was up for a surprise!

The sensible thing would have been to go to bed straight away at our arrival but how could we? I was dying to talk with my brother and sister-in-law. The excitement was getting to me. We ended up drinking and chatting… and drinking and chatting… oh and eating homemade biscuits.

Biscuits at my brothers

It was 3pm by the time someone said that we should go to bed. That meant it was 8am for us, we had not sleep. Even after all that drinking, I was not tired… I had to get up in the morning for my hair and make-up trial. Oh dear…

I went to bed by 4.30am and could only managed to sleep a few hours. 7.30am I was wide-awake and I realised just there and then that my brother had a pool. Excited, I woke up the boy and the man and told them: “let’s go in the water!” We went downstairs and open the backdoor and I hear ‘beep, beep, beep’ Oh no! The house alarm. It will wake everyone up! I stood there cringing waiting for the the big alarm to come on… and it didn’t. Phew… sigh of relief. We jump in the pool and it was so nice.

Morning swim

It was refreshing and I was hoping that would help me stay awake. We had loads to do and I had to remind myself ‘Go with the flow’.

Out of the pool, we started planning with my brother what needed to be done that day. Since I was going to be 3 hours getting hair and makeup done and I had no bridesmaids, I really needed the men to step up. Rest assured that they got their to do list (as a good PM would do) and what needed to be done. Off we went.

They first dropped me off for my hair and makeup trial at the studios. Can I tell you that I was wired. The sweet Katherine (amazing makeup artist!) says: “Ok Annie, enlève tes souliers et mets-toi comfortable, relaxe”. Yes, breathing I can do.

For 2 hours, we chatted about the celebration, the story of how I met the man, how did we manage to organise everything from abroad, etc. Both Katerine and Karine (the hairdresser who was totally tuned in about what I wanted) have done an amazing job. I felt welcome, listened to and it was a snippet of fraicheur on these crazy days ahead. I was super happy with the trials. I looked not too bad for someone that has not slept!

Annie Corriveau Hair & Makeup Katherine Cloutier

Now it was time see how the men got on. Did they manage to do what was on the list… that was the question.


  1. Collect from the printer the ceremony booklets
  2. Buy paper and envelope to put on the guests tables
  3. Find glasses for the flowers
  4. Buy a ribbon to be used during the ceremony
  5. Check-in AirBnB for the in-laws
  6. Be back at my brothers on time for my nephews’ soccer game

I called them and they were in the city centre having a bite to eat in the middle of Just for Laughs Festival. Of course, it had to be poutine!

the men eating poutine at festival just for laughs

Although, the booklets were collected and the paper was bought, phew… Go with the flow!

I was going to join them by taxi. The taxi driver picked me up. I sat back and took a moment to breath. I looked out and was admiring Montreal and how it has changed. There was a lot of roadworks going on. I couldn’t help thinking it must have been a challenge for the residents. The taxi driver started complaining about it and then he realised that I was not from the city but from London. He started talking to me about how London was great, this and that. I asked when was the last time he was in London and he said 1974-1975. Well I am sure London has changed since! Then he tells me that he is a dentist but cannot practice in Québec because doctors have to redo their degree in Canada to practice. Although I think they need to be up to date with how the medicine is practiced in the country, I think it is much to ask them to redo the full degree. Surely they could have specific programs for doctors that have study in other countries. He went on complaining about the cyclists… Little did he know that my transportation in London is a bicycle? Go with the flow!

I arrived in the city centre, here was my brother and the man.

The men middle of the city

They managed to collect the booklets and buy the paper.

Ceremony booklets and paper

The paper… here is the man (a designer), going into the shop to find really nice paper and envelopes. Perfect for colour coding the tables. Half an hour later, he goes to pay and the cashier said: “$180”. What?! They were like 90 cents each. There was no way he was going to go back to pick something else. Oh well… nice and expensive paper will do. Go with the flow!

Next up was to find the ribbon. My brother asked me what kind a ribbon and genuinely didn’t know. I knew that I would know when I see it. Go with flow type of thing. We ended up at the Fabricville, a shop where they sell all kinds of clothing materials. Standing at the large aisle of ribbons, I saw THE ribbon straight away, it was blue and made of satin. I asked the shop assistant to help us and to my surprise, she goes at the counter and prepares a hand written note for me to bring to the cashier to pay $1.50. Really?! Are we back in the 80’s? Even the cash machine was one of those older ones where you push everything in. Nonetheless another thing was done from THE list. Go with the flow!

Next were the glasses/vases to hold the flowers. On that one I knew what I wanted but I was willing to be flexible. I needed small glasses to hold the flowers. I was not willing to spend too much time. Whatever I find, it had to work. It did. Go with the flow!

Last but not least, we needed to check-in the flat the man’s parents were going to stay. We got a nice and comfortable studio right in the city centre. The aim was for his parents to be able to sleep well to get over their jet lag quickly. The views from the flat were fabulous.

Montreal city views

I was delighted for his parents to experience Montreal like this.

Did the men succeed? Yes they did. Everything that needed to be done was completed and we arrived back at my brother’s on time for my nephews’ soccer practice.

And me? I survived another day. Was I able to sleep that night? No. Again got just a few hours but hey, I was really enjoying my time and all the busyness.

Previous: Go with the flow
Next up: Leading to the celebration… part 2

3 thoughts on “Leading to the celebration… part 1

    1. Merci ma belle cousine! C’est une façon pour moi de garder le sentiment de notre voyage vivant et de garder en mémoire ces petits détails qui ont vraiment fait la différence.

  1. A great account of a wonderful time for us too.montreal was beyond our expectations & we will always remember a wonderful time with your family & friends & hope the adventure continues for you /Annie Martin & Leo. XXX

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