Bittersweet Au Revoir

June 30
We were ready to leave, our bags were packed. I had my usual early breakfast, took a roundabout walk to enjoy the quiet morning before the streets, sidewalks, alleys, restaurants and shops were crowded with people. Of course one of my goals was to get a coffee before cruelly waking my GS. I think I wore him out the day before – he did not want breakfast. I tend to leave early for wherever I am departing from so there was only a little time to stop anywhere on our downhill spiral. That was just up the hill from our hostel. Finally, real coffee! Coffee that I promptly attempted to spill over the table, me and the floor. Before I even tasted it. Fortunately I somehow caught the cup before losing all the contents. Desperation does wonders.
Perhaps I am being a bit dramatic, it just felt like we were walking in a spiral. We arrived at the train station with over an hour to spare before boarding. The spiral continued after the coffee. I wanted to take photos of the train station so put my bags on a nearby chair along with my sunglasses – that fell onto the floor. Picked them up, took my photos, caught up with my GS. I tend to find it difficult to sit still when in a waiting room. So I pace, or I change seats or check out stores. 

Other than the stunning entrance and hall the QC station is pretty small and only one small eatery was open. The great hall is so big, and high, my iPhone simply did not have the scope to take it all in. The stained glass on the ceiling was spectacular. I could not figure out what the shields at the top of the windows represented, then forgot all about it after what happened next. I gathered up my belongings, plopped them beside my GS and declared I was going for a walk. He had his music and games on his phone. Grabbed my small bag, went to pop my sunglasses on my head…no sunglasses. 

The cavernous great hall of the station

Let the light shine!

I searched my bags, the seats, the floor and where my GS was sitting. I retraced my steps. Asked a cleaner if he had picked up a pair and said where they were last seen. The only difference was the two chairs I had put my bags on were turned into the wall – no idea by whom. Asked at the large restaurant that appeared to be under construction. Nothing. I was devastated. These were not expensive, brand name glasses. Just a simple pair of wraparounds that originally had a string attached to them for easy removal when going from sun to less light. Except they were my mother’s, she bought them only a few months before she died and wore them on her walks with me or riding in the car. I kept them because they were so practical, but more for the sentiment. 

Although my mother did not travel out of Canada, besides some trips to the US, (after emigrating from England as a young teen) she and my father did hike and camp a lot, including a year crossing the country and back. She was keen to get her life back on track after my father died and she had been ill; walking was always part of her routine, buying the sunglasses was, for her, a step forward to wellness. I decided, after being sad, to think someone else is wearing the glasses while on an adventure. (I wore them on all my trips starting in November 2013.) We had a phrase in my family if things were not going our way, “It’s an adventure.” (From Charlie Brown of course) to which one of us more recently would invariably reply, “I don’t want an adventure, I want lunch!” (Direct quote from my, now 31 year old, daughter when she was 4). This day was also my father’s birthday – he would have been 82.

Perhaps losing my glasses in Quebec City was alright, my parents did visit there when on their trip. I am becoming a sentimental fool.

The trip back to Kingston was anticlimactic.
10.00 coffees & treat (latter for GS); 22.75 new sunglasses (so sad); 2.00 water on train


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