Once again I am getting in trouble for not blogging. February was pretty crazy, though - Del came to visit and we went to Montreal for a couple of days, and then I had a conference in Niagara Falls for a couple of days. Montreal was awesome, although the 9ish-hour bus journey was not so great. (Oh, to some day not be a starving student and be able to afford the train!) I had been there once with Grandma, en route to Halifax - we just had a quick change-over, but she was kind enough to watch the bags for a few minutes so I could pop up to street level and have a look at Montreal. And I loved it! I vowed to go back, and poor Del got dragged along for the ride. (He wasn't complaining too much, though - although I did discover roughly 8 bus-hours in that he gets bus-sick).
We stayed in the Latin Quarter, which was funky and interesting. It was walkable to all over the interesting part of the city, so we explored Old Montreal and the Chinese Quarter and McGill area on foot. The weather was cold but clear, but Del was very excited about the Underground City, so we stayed indoors a lot. We just missed a winter festival (boooo!) but did get to see pot-smoking workman building a giant ice slide that extended down a few city blocks, and an ice restaurant outside! Very cool (har har har).
Back from Montreal on Wednesday night at 11, clothes into the wash, fell into bed, up at 8 am and off to Niagara with my entire lab! My supervisor hired a car that fit all of us (including Del, who I couldn't exactly ditch in Guelph by himself) and booked us hotel rooms. The conference was small but enjoyable, and as my labmate Asma isn't from around here either (she's Indian, in fact) we were both excited to go take the obligatory tourist photos of the falls. We went out for dinner that night and GOOD LORD! They said it was tacky, but I was expecting sort of English seaside tacky. But this was a whole other level of incredible tack. The flashing lights, the screaming Pharoahs and Frankensteins, the six or eight 4D RIDES!!!!!... man, it was something else. I was fascinated. Sadly, I was there to be all thoughtful and academic and didn't get to explore much. Lucky Del got to wander around all he wanted, though. (And what did he do? Bought $20 worth of fudge!)
So that was Reading Week, and it was fun. But sadly it's over, I'm much poorer (though very pleased with how it went down) and way behind with work. So this week (month, in fact) it is nose the grindstone and spending down to the bone!