It seems that there is a demand out there for tales of collecting the beer bottles. Here is one where I really had to work to get my beer.
I was in Montréal for a conference and had the day before the conference to truly explore the city. I walked from the hotel to the Olympic Stadium and Botanical Gardens. On the way back to the hotel the mission was to seek out a place that was supposed to have outstanding poutine and to find the beer store I had located on Google Maps. By the time I got to the beer store, I had walked 10 miles and had 4 more miles to walk to get back to the hotel. The plan was to stock up on an even number of beers and distribute the weight between two bags. Some in-store testing led me to believe I could get away with 8 beers on either side for a total of 16 beers. Admitted, in the best possible scenario this was way too much. But, my eyes were bigger than my stomach so to speak. I was trying to focus on Canadian beer. For some reason I was also trying to get a broad range of bottles within each brewery. Here are some of the bottles I got there from Dieu du Ciel and Brasseurs Illimités.
Well, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. And this plan (as is often the case with me) wasn’t exactly best-laid to begin with. For starters, the owners of the store spoke only French and did not seem much impressed with my attempts at explaining in English that I wanted to evenly distribute the load across two bags. They insisted (probably rightly so) that eight bottles in a bag would clack together something fierce and they would likely break. So, they very nicely packed 12 bottles into an empty 12 pack box and left their other 4 bottles loose in a bag. So much for my evenly distributed load.
Next up was the 4 mile hike back to the hotel. It doesn’t seem like it should be that big of a deal considering I walk almost 2 miles every morning with my dogs. However, keep in mind that I had already walked 10 miles that day. The extra mileage combined with a full 12 pack proved to be quite the trial. I tried carying the box on my shoulder. I tried shifting from shoulder to shoulder. In the long run I found that my right arm was better able to handle the load and I mostly carried the 12 pack with the right arm and the bag of 4 bottles with my left.
By the time I got back to the hotel I was thirsty and tired. I set the beer down in front of the door, dug out my room key and opened the door. I then shoved the box through the door with my foot and headed to the bathroom to get some water. This is where I really discovered just how tired my right arm really was. I grabbed the glass filled it with water and went to lift it to my mouth. Unfortunately, my arm had had enough at that point and would not budge towards my mouth. It just sat there with the glass of water as I stared at it desperately trying to will it towards my mouth. Ultimately I just moved my head down to the glass. Then I laid down for a while.
The Canadian bottles in my collection may not seem to special at first glance. But I really did pay for those bottles with my blood, sweat, and tears.