Yesterday we took the train to Montreux.
No Jazz Festival at the moment, but we spent a good part of the day exploring Château de Chillon.
This is an amazing castle dating back to the 11th century. We walked all through the 47 tour stations, taking in bedrooms, dining halls, dungeons, latrines, etc. The views were spectacular, looking over Lac Leman and the surrounding countryside.
We had lunch at a restaurant back in Montreux, where we tried Raclette and the kind of fondue where you cook thin meat in broth. Again, we stopped at the grocery store at the train station near home and got some dinner supplies. After a simple dinner, Emma took Tyler and Clara out to a movie, and we went out to a hip whiskey bar in the Bohemian section of town, successfully negotiating the tram on our own, and ordering drinks. Thankfully, the bartender spoke English.
A couple of years ago, MEDITECH purchased a new building along rt 128 (aka I-95). On my commute to work, no matter whether I was heading into my usual office in Framingham, or other offices in Westwood or Canton (we have others, but I rarely have occasion to go to them), I’d drive right past the Waltham building on my way. I’ve been in the Framingham building since December of 1995, though I’ve had to make a couple of intra-building moves in those years due to renovations. Around the time the Waltham building was purchased, there was a push to consolidate groups into the same building, which limited my chances of getting moved. But there was apparently enough internal resistance that it didn’t really pan out. So recently, my request, along with one other co-worker in my group, was approved! On Tuesday, I packed up my stuff from Framingham, loaded it into the car:
and on my way home, I stopped at the Waltham building and unpacked. I did leave behind one thing in Framingham that I don’t know what to do with — two paper boxes filled with hundreds (at least) of CD’s and DVD’s. If anyone has an interesting art project in mind that could make use of these, let me know…
I used to bike into Framingham on occasion. Generally about once a week in good weather, but not always. Riding out to Framingham is not for the faint of heart — there really aren’t good ways of getting there that follow nice quiet country roads. You’re generally biking along pretty fast highways with a fair amount of traffic, and some of them are rather narrow. So when riding in to work, I would always try to leave early, like around 5:30 to avoid the worst of the traffic. Once we adopted our dog, Sadie, and I had to walk her in the morning, this became essentially impossible. But working in Waltham makes biking to work a viable option again. It’s half the distance, and the roads are not as bad. So on Wednesday, my first full day in the new building, I was able to bike in and bike home! Thursday, I drove, but that was because I had a meeting in Canton. Thus far, I am 1/1 for commuting by bike on days that I am in Waltham for the entire day.
Today was largely a travel day, but we did start the day with fresh from the boulangerie croissants, etc. On our way out of town, we stopped at one final attraction, St. Joseph’s Oratory on Mount Royal. It really is an amazing shrine, and many people were passing through at the same time as us. Many healings there have been attributed to Frère André, who has since been canonized.
Our visit to Montreal would have been incomplete without having eaten crepes, so we went to La Bulle au Carré for lunch, and had some savory crepes as well as some chocolate crepes for dessert. In addition to the food, they had a foosball table, books, and other time passers. With that accomplished, we did get back on the road to NY. One thing we were pleased to have accomplished was not using the car during our stay in Montreal. We walked (a lot), and took the Metro (some), and even biked once (well, some of us). Our lodging was ideal for this, located within walking distance of a number of Metro stops, and much of what we wanted to see.
The drive to Keene, NY, was about as uneventful as possible, and included another delightfully easy border crossing, though as per usual, the U.S. border agent was more stern than his Canadian counterpart.
We made one sightseeing stop on the way into Keene, at AuSable Chasm. It is mostly a tourist trap, and you have to pay to walk near it. But you can at least see what spectacle there is from the nearby bridge, so we did that.