View blog reactions Waiting for Speedway Fowler: QUEBEC VACATION

Monday, August 21, 2006



Greetings from Lake Memphremagog.

I’m here with the family for our summer vacation.

Boy, it really feels like Fall. I’m looking out on the lake right now from the kitchen table, and the waters are still… there isn’t a sound to be heard. I’ve seen one boat on the water all morning. Granted, it’s a Monday, and this is somewhat of a weekender’s town, given it’s proximity to Montreal.

Here’s the current view from the window:

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Anyways, a couple of quick impressions about this year’s trip:

1. The exchange rate is a sad state of affairs. Most exchange bureaus will give you 10%, but I noticed several giving just 5%. It’s quite a change from the days when you’d get 45% on your American cash and walk away feeling like you were getting the bargain of the year.

2. Fewer Americans. In the past, I’d always run into several other New Englanders while I was here. Not this year. The terrible exchange rate likely has something to do with that.

3. Newport, Vermont. Newport is more or less the last stop before the border. In the past, I’ve always stopped in the town just to gas up and then gotten back on the highway. This year, due to an unusual set of circumstances, I found myself in Newport for an afternoon, including several hours spent down a back alley at a place called Jasper’s Tavern. Jasper’s is a place with a crazy assortment of characters, including the gentleman seen in the photo below. Unlike everyone else at the bar, which appeared to be strictly a “Bud” crowd, he was drinking what he called a “red beard”, which is beer and tomato juice.
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He appeared to have some reason to shield his face from the camera. In that respect, I am guessing he had something in common with the rest of the folks I observed there.

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