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Quebec City 2005
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
This album involves the luggage, lives, and pets of a diverse group of human beings.
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Ok, our pets couldn't actually come, but we fed Ryan (the lab pet) before we left.

This is a photographic memoir, story kinda thing. Like all stories it has
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thomas 1
and triumph.
But mainly, it details the lives of normal people
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doing normal vacation stuff, over a long president's day weekend.
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We were a group of apprx 100 people (primarily undergrads eager for a country where they could legally drink), spending over 24hrs together crammed on two buses over our four day weekend.

The nite before, Ilaria organized a get together at the Avenue (a bar with dollar beers)
Jason and I partied a little too hard and spent the 10hr ride up hangover with confused stomachs. (thanks for the TUMS Joe!)
We left Boston University at 5PM (see Jose our kickass bus driver at the bottom of the pic)
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We began eager (perhaps I'm too eager here, because I look a little psycho).
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But 10hrs on a bus is enough to dampen the spirits of any traveler.
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Except maybe that of the Belgians who I quickly learned are traveling, drinking, skiing, high-spirited partying machines.
But around 2 or 3AM, we rolled into the abandoned Quebec City streets.
And stopped at the Hilton, our home for the next three days.
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It wasn't NYC, but still not a bad view from the 12th floor.
hilton 3
Early the next morning it was time to
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hit the slopes
group Slopes
Let's take this time to introduce the main group of people in the photos (L to R).
They are: Steve (ECE), Jeff (BME: brain and vision), Ilaria (U.Rome: Systems Eng), Julien* (BME: gene networks), Thomas (CNS: networks and neuro-stuff), Sohil (BU Med School)
joe Mel
Joe (Bioinfo: protein networks?) and Mel (Bioinfo: chemistry stuff?); Note: somehow Melissa rarely has her face in pictures, but this is her blue jacket.
Jason* (Bioinfo: disease linkage)
and me* (Bioinfo: network inference) [note: people with a * allowed me to use their photos for this album]
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at -20C it is hard to recognize most of us
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and we carried so much in our pockets and had so much clothing that we all look big (even scrawny little me :)
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We returned on our now filthy bus.

While on a beer run, Joe made the keen observation that, despite the cold, Quebec City did a very good job of removing the ice from their sidewalks.
But that turned out to be the only de-iced area in the entire city and we were slipping and sliding everywhere (most memorably was Julien's classic entrance into the nite-club)
Lacking a fridge, we utilized all of our resources and advanced degrees to create a queue system that kept the important things cold, resulting in a wonderful beer shrine.
Meanwhile, Jason prepared himself for the nitelife.
We were people on a mission, entering the gates protecting the old city from 17th century invaders.
We adventurers were facing extreme snow,
language difficulties,
and organizational problems; all to combat one bodily urge:
(the food was mediocre)
At first, to me it appeared that the guys next door had a prostitute coming to their room (they're all so eager looking and Julien might be taking his pants off). Since the girl is my gal, I'm gonna assume that's not the case :)
slopes 5
The next day at our ski resort, Le Massif, was sunny :)
slopes 6
And the view of the St Lawrence seaway from the mountain was so beautiful, you were almost happy to rest in the frigid temperatures to have a look at something so naturally striking.
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But if this beautiful mountain were to play the antagonist in a Shakespearian tragedy, the protagonist would undoubtedly be
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who strayed a little of course.
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Much to the humor of his friends.
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But he was saved by a GI Joe (Sohil)
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Worse still, have a look at this camera, cause this is the last time we have a record of its whereabouts :( If any of you are skiing in Canada and find a beautiful Canon 4MP Powershot send it to Steve.
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But there were good moments too.
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Were you guys trying to make it up this ramp?
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guess that didn't work out :)
Thankfully, we made it through two days of skiing/boarding/le pub with no major injuries
Though, with all of my friends bowing at the same time in the same direction I wondered if they'd all read the Koran on the chairlifts?
city 1
Spending all day on the slopes left us little time to see the city, so five of us took a pre-dinner 1hr whirlwind tour of the city (for those of you that didn't come, check out the next 8 or so pics and you know all you need to know about Quebec City)
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In Quebec City, kids play hockey late at nite with no lights, no pads, and no helmets.
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At Quebec City intersections, you don't always get road names, but you get lot's of other info
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This castle is the most beautiful building behind the walls
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you need a second look.
Though parliament is pretty nice too.
In Quebec City, they wrap up the trees in winter.
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They wrap up their McDonald's too, but I'm sure it still tastes like greasy cardboard.
group Photo 1
In Quebec City, the tourists breathe so forcefully in the cold air that when they take a group photo for you, you appear to be in a misty swamp.
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But they are nice (particularly if you have a native French speaker [thanks Julien!]) and insist on trying again until they get it right.
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Sohil got reservations at a local North African restaurant. (you can see Melissa now!)
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I gotta admit, I thought it'd be expensive and bad.
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But it was cheap, authentic, and
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they let you bring your own wine (right Joe?)
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nice choice Sohil (the GI Joe/knife murderer)...
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The restaurant wouldn't let us hit their hookah though :(
We went to a psycho-coat club/disco, where Ilaria couldn't get in because she didn't have money to check her coat [this is mostly my fault :( ]. Then Julien lost his coat ticket and had to wait until 4:30AM after everyone left the club to get his jacket.
Finally it was time to leave our walled city.
And drift by the land of snowmen.
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This photo is here to stir the memories of the people on the trip
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We're driving along with all the hungover/still drunk/loud undergrads and suddenly the bus gets silent
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everyone was looking out the window to watch the way the ice and the water were dancing and fighting their way to the sea. These pictures don't do it justice.
We made it through the snowy slushy nite, back to Boston.
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And the lab frog was happy someone was back to get him some new crickets.