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My 2013 Staycation
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My 2013 Staycation

Here's some odd baby boomer travel behavior. Staying put this summer for vacation; or staycation if you prefer. What do I mean by a staycation? Well it's basically staying at home and enjoying what your city or town has to offer for activities. The term staycation according to my research originated either in 2002 in Connecticut or in 2005 on the Canadian TV comedy Corner Gas.

My wife and I are fortunate to live in Montreal, a large cosmopolitan city of over 3 million people. The city is quite beautiful in summer and offers a cornucopia of activities, attractions; and many festivals.

Starting off in early June we went to the time qualifications of the Canadian Grand Prix which is held on an island in the harbour. It's quite a dramatic setting with the city's skyline in the background and watching high tech racing cars speed around at over 300 kph. And it's always a pleasure to meet people from all the world who follow the F1 racing circuit. The nightlife during the event is quite lively to say the least with many high rollers out on the town having a great time.

Following this is the famous French music and arts festival called Francofolies. Set in Montreal's outstanding Quartier des Spectacles, many outdoor shows are presented free of charge; some attracting upwards of 200,000 people. Many well known and lesser known entertainers from all over the French speaking world perform at this festival.

Next up is the world famous Montreal International Jazz Festival reputed to be the largest of its kind in the world. Again centered in Quartier des Spectacles; this festival not only has a large array of free outdoor performances; but a large number of performances are held in the various concert halls,theatres,and clubs nearby the outdoor venue. It is not uncommon to have several hundred thousand attend the keystone outdoor shows at the beginning and at the closing of the festival.

If you enjoy African culture and music there is the popular Nuits d'Afrique festival highlighting African music. Acts from all over Africa and even a few from Europe and Latin America perform. It is a very lively festival indeed.

I am going to end off with the last big festival of this summer which just wrapped up. It's of course the Just For Laughs festival devoted entirely to comedy. The festival is split between a French language and English language schedule highlighting the world's best acts. Some even cross over the language barrier and perform in their second language. You've got to be really talented to pull that off! While the big shows are held indoors, the festival grounds are a large carnival with music, food, acrobats, mimes, and so on.

So as you can see I just spent an entirely enjoyable staycation right here in my city for the past 2 months. Not to say that the fun has ended since there are many other festivals in Montreal all year round including Nuit Blanche in February in the dead of winter.

I encourage my fellow boomer travellers to try this type of vacation if they can. It's not only fun but also a very frugal way to holiday.


Street Talk

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