My boss was right: You should go to Brazil in the winter and Canada in the summer. I thought I could endure. I’ve been to survival training, I’ve frozen my butt off in Dahlonega, Georgia in Mountain Phase of Ranger School. Nothing prepares you for the cold of Quebec. As the cabbie told me as I drove to my hotel, “It’s warming up to -10.” Thanks pal.
After arriving at my hotel, I decided I wanted to see the town. I wanted to check out the Old City. It was just my luck that the Winter Carnival was going on (of course it was….they could have it for 7 months if they wanted). I got to see some amazing ice sculptures….
and caught the locals playing a little pickup pond hockey….
…even saw a cool castle made of ice:
The next day I stood in front of several Quebec government IT folks, and several members of the local ISSA chapter and delivered my Identifying Computer Attacks session and another on Exchange Server 2007. French is the primary language of Quebec, and I would have been in trouble past “Bonjour!” if it hadn’t been for Jean-Paul Edmond, a local Technical Account Manager from the Microsoft Quebec office. He did a great intro (in French) and also helped me field questions. Merci! Merci!, Jean-Paul!!!
I also found out from Jean-Paul that I could have stayed at the very cool, Ice Hotel Canada, which you may have seen on the Discovery Channel or similar travel shows. Maybe next year I’ll risk it. Here’s a photo for those who’ve no idea what I’m talking about.
I forgot to mention: I almost experienced a fatal error in Montreal. I left my gloves at my hotel by mistake when checking in. Gloves and scarf are simply a fashion accessory in Dallas. Forget them in Quebec….and you could die. I got them back, but will not make that mistake again. Brrrrrr. Off to Ottawa!!!