Thursday, October 10, 2013

Max's 25th Birthday

Max and I are supposed to be leaving for Brazil this Saturday, but our visas haven't come through so it looks like we will be delayed a week or so. I've had a hard time accepting it because I am ready to be on tour, but I know that there is purpose in our presence in Montreal. Besides, I've waited a pretty long time for this, so what's a week more?

Last Saturday morning, Max and I rode bikes that we rented from Cirque to Jean Talon market. The market is in Little Italy somehow secretly tucked between buildings even though it's large size doesn't implicate being... tuckable. We got our much needed morning coffee and egg & cheese panini's from a small café, and then we browsed through the market buying this weeks produce. Unfortunately, the fruit was so delicious that it didn't last through Wednesday. I'm going to have to go back for some more plums! They were heavenly.

We headed home from the market around noon so Max could get home to watch some college football. I was glad football was the excuse because I used that time to book a hotel in the Old Port for the night so that we could get away and celebrate his 25th birthday. I booked a night at The Westin and asked him to pack an overnight bag. We took the Metro into the Old Port and walked the short distance to our lovely home for the evening! At the Residence, we have full beds, one community television, and internet as slow as dial-up, so room service, a king size down comforter, and personal TV including the Buckeye game felt like pure luxury.

at The Westin when we arrived

After we checked in, we walked around the corner to Notre Dame Basilica and then to the Old Port. It was supposed to rain the entire weekend, but God provided a day full of sunshine on Saturday. It was the perfect little getaway!

Notre Dame Basilica

Euro style architecture at the Old Port

The fall colors have arrived! I would like to state that this picture was taken on my non-fancy Olympus digital camera and there was no editing involved. It was absolutely beautiful.

Views from the St. Lawrence River looking back into the city

After a couple hours of walking around, we took the short walk back to our hotel and got ready for dinner. Normally it's about a half hour to an hour Metro ride in and out of the city, so it was really nice to be living in the action even if it was just for a night. We walked from our hotel to Crescent Street, famous for its bars and restaurants, and went to a place that Max picked out called Burger Bar. I'm still full just thinking about it.

Max ordered a burger called The Hangover, and it included a burger patty, a fried egg, carmelized onions, and poutine (fries, cheese curds, and gravy). I ordered a burger that had crispy macaroni and cheese balls in it. I'm full just thinking about it.

We ate early so that we could make it back to the hotel room to watch the Buckeyes play Northwestern. It might sound lame that we rented a hotel room in the middle of downtown and ended up staying in and watching football, but we have spent a lot of time exploring and adventuring; We needed a football-filled American Saturday to get back to normalcy. It's a strange feeling adapting to this traveling lifestyle where home is wherever city you are next, but at least for that day we had college football (especially because the Buckeyes won!)

The late night of football called for late night room service ice cream and a great nights sleep. We slept in until 10 AM the next morning, which I'm pretty sure is something Max hasn't done since college. When we finally pulled ourselves out of bed, we grabbed some Tim Hortons, explored a bit, and relaxed until it was time for church.

We've been attending a church called The Living Room, which you can read about here. Our church meets in the Student Union at Concordia University in a place called Reggie's Bar. The church made a deal with the bar to clean the bar before church every Sunday in return for use of the space. The congregation, probably around 40 people, take turns cleaning out everything from the bathrooms to the sticky tables after the bar's busy weekends. I think it's an amazing way they get to love on the owners of the bar.

We have really liked having a church home in Montreal, a place where we know we will go routinely every Sunday to be around people outside of Cirque. It has been comforting and spiritually filling for us since we've been here in Montreal. Less than 1% of people in Montreal claim to have a relationship with Jesus, and it brings tears of joy to my eyes to think about the commitment The Living Room has made to this city.

Max's actual 25th birthday was on Tuesday, October 8th (still enough time for a belated happy birthday!), so I had to work. I wish I could have spoiled him all day, but I did my best to love on him. He wanted sushi for his birthday dinner, which my Japanese self was very excited about, so we went to a place a girlfriend of mine recommended called Coba. We ate our body weight in sushi. We watched a movie later and I gave him some Reese's cups because they're his favorite and apparently they're expensive and impossible to find in Brazil. If you come visit us in Brazil, please bring him some peanut butter cups :). 

Birthday Boy <3

We are going to be here for a little longer than expected, but we have faith that God has us here for a reason, so we will be all here. Please pray for us over the next week or two. Pray that both of our visas go through. Pray that I remain safe and healthy. Pray that we have safe travels. Pray that we are fulfilling our purpose.

Sunset from the balcony at the Residence from Monday.
Max said it looked like the sky was on fire. I think his words are perfect.

To our immediate family,
Brandon, Erin, Willa, Tatum, Baby Schmidt, Mama, Pops, Leah, Chad, Bubba, Syssa, Foster, Hadley, Harper, Mom, Daddy,
We miss you guys so much. Everything reminds us of you, and we can't wait to see you guys in November/December. We miss the laughter, cookouts, and family time, and we can't wait to give hugs and kisses to all those babies. We love you!

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