The Adventures of Aurelius

Chapters 1 – 4 :  Aurelius Travels the North Atlantic to Iceland
Chapters 5 – 10 :  Aurelius Experiences the Culture of Montreal
Chapter 11 :  Aurelius’ Best Mate, Noel, Spends Christmas across the Pond
Chapter 12 :  Aurelius’ Best Mate, Noel, Stays Up All Night
Chapter 13 – 14 :  The Joy of Surprise and Noel Travels in Style
Chapter 15 :  Noel Arrives in London
Chapter 16 :  Noel Explores London


Coming soon :  Aurelius is heading to Brussels, Dublin, Montreal and Wales


Chapter 1.  Randomly choosing Reykjavik as his new adventure, Aurelius waits for his boarding pass after presenting his well-stamped passport.

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© David-Kevin Bryant

Having sailed through security, he proceeds to the British Airways Club where he will relax after a grueling day of sleeping late and a spa treatment.

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Aurelius is now happily settled on the newly polished floors in his apartment in Hlemmur Square in Iceland.

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Chapter 2.  Out on the town, Aurelius stops for cafe au lait and a pastry at a deli.

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After walking the north harbor during brutally cold winds, he rests near the balcony back in the apartment :

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Chapter 3. Aurelius is looking at the very cool, very sleek, uber-designs of EPAL Design.  He is impressed with glassware, jewelry, and votive holders, all of which are perfect gifts for friends back home.

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Chapter 4.  After an exhausting late morning shopping spree, he stops for some chilled Gull.  Alas, he has left his ID back at the apartment at Hlemmur Square and cannot be served by the bartender.

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Never one to see the glass as half-empty, he asks for a hot dog with spicy brown mustard instead.

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Chapter 5.  Aurelius and his Uncle Nick have decided to travel to Montreal during Autumn.  The well-traveled pup is feeling a little proud of himself as he is able to pack for the trip in under 20 minutes.

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It would not be proper to rendezvous with Uncle Nick without being perfectly presentable.  Aurelius decides a nice bath would do the trick.

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Chapter 6. While waiting for Nick at Aunt Norma’s house, Aurelius enjoys the Autumn and Halloween decorations during a commercial break from “Jeopardy.”

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It was unusually cold and bitter so Aunt Norma makes Aurelius a hot beverage to warm up.  The pup loves the fact she made pumpkin spice coffee, a perfect beverage for the Autumn season.

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Chapter 7.  Uncle Nick is not aware of the destination as the trip is intended to be a surprise.  Aurelius keeps him distracted to ensure he does not see the Air Canada plane parked near the jet way.

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Having traveled many times before, Aurelius always ensures his carry-ons, and that of Uncle Nick’s, comply with the airline’s requirements.  He wishes others would do the same as, more often than not, there is always someone trying to load a bag the size of a car into the overhead bins.  And he is trying to forget the now-infamous dropping of a suitcase, narrowly missing him, during the jaunt to London debacle last year.

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Chapter 8.  Uncle Nick was completely surprised as to the destination of Montreal.  As the city is a home-away-from-home for Aurelius, the pup cannot wait to pick up their bags and head to the hotel.  After checking in to the Le Meridien on Sherbrooke, Aurelius jumps on the bed.  The hotel is well-know for its luxurious bed linens and never disappoints.

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Although the day is overcast and brisk, Aurelius can’t wait to show Uncle Nick the city, particularly one of his favorite patisseries in the world which is just a couple of blocks away.

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Aurelius has yet to experience a cafe au lait or pastry that comes close to those served at Ô Plaisirs Gourmands.

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And Uncle Nick can’t wait to sample a sandwich.  Or, perhaps a warm pastry.  Why not both ?

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Chapter 9.  Aurelius patiently waits for the hotel to deliver an important document to the room.

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The pup played tour guide to Uncle Nick, experiencing his favorite pastry shop, Montreal’s Museum of Fine Arts, McGill University and Rue St. Catherine all on the first day.  They ended it with a great dinner at Angela’s Pizza where Uncle Nick enjoyed the city’s famous poutine.  Afterwards, the two headed back to their room.  Aurelius has concluded they make great traveling companions–as evidenced by the fact the pup likes sleeping at the foot of the bed.  And Uncle Nick’s feet are always clean.

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Chapter 10.  The adventures in the famous Canadian city are well documented in the page devoted to Montreal.  Suffice it so say, Uncle Nick and the globe-trotting pup had a wonderful time and have decided to return in the coming months.  Although packing to return home is bittersweet, Aurelius always looks forward to the next adventure.

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Aurelius is returning home with cookies from Jean Coutu (notice the bag on the chair,) Nutella, which is far superior in Canada than that sold in America, and stylish clothing and books in French.  The pup is becoming annoyed with the person sitting a few seats away as her bags are over-sized and he is concerned the cookies he is returning home with may be crushed in the plane’s overhead bins.  Nick reminds him, however, they can always change seats and any hint at the pup nipping at the other passenger’s ankles should quietly be dispelled.

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Chapter 11.  Aurelius’ best mate, Noel, really enjoys the Holidays, especially because his trusted teddy bear, Covington, is always with him.

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Aurelius can be a little stubborn and this year he has paid a tremendous price for it.   He had been told by Aunt Norma to obtain his flu shot.  He did not and now, unfortunately, is so under the weather, he cannot join her on a surprise trip across the Atlantic to London for Christmas.  He has asked Noel to go in his stead and his best mate did not waste any time in saying “yes !”

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Aurelius offers good packing tips to Noel.
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Chapter 12.  Noel cannot contain his excitement about the trip to London, so much so he decides to sleep on top of Aunt Norma’s luggage.  He remains there all night until the car shows up the next morning for the trip to Washington’s Dulles airport.

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Chapter 13.  Aurelius never informed Aunt Norma about the destination as it was to be a total surprise.  He has sworn Noel to secrecy.  He and Aunt Norma wait at a cafe at the airport until it’s time to board the flight.  He has also hidden her eye glasses down at the bottom of her purse so she cannot see the signage at the gate.

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There is a pre-board announcement so Noel ensures he has his boarding card and passport ready.

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Chapter 14.  Now that the boarding announcement has been made, Aunt Norma has been completely surprised with this trip to London.  She and Noel board the plane and are settling into their seats.

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There has been a seat mix-up, however !  British Airways saves the day and bumps the bear and Aunt Norma up to the Club World cabin.  Aunt Norma reminds the excited Noel to keep his enthusiasm down a bit and to stop jumping up and down on the tray table.  We don’t want the flight attendants to store him in the overhead bins–contents may indeed shift during the flight.

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Chapter 15 :  Noel Arrives in London.  Equipped with guidebooks and maps, Noel starts planning his day.

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First, he decides to cleanup in the oh-so-cool shower in his room at the Thistle Kensington Garden hotel.  He quickly falls in the love with the thick cotton towels.

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Chapter 16.  Noel explores London.  Rising early on Boxing Day, he heads to The British Museum only to discover its closed on this national holiday.  Undeterred, he decides to return the next day.

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Noel has a great chuckle. He heads to the British Museum early to avoid the crowds. But it’s closed for Boxing Day !
© David-Kevin Bryant
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The British Museum. © David-Kevin Bryant

As the morning slips into afternoon, it becomes colder so Noel heads back to the hotel to relax in the lounge and enjoy hot chocolate and a pastry.

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Noel defines happiness as his trusted companion, Coddington, and hot chocolate.
© David-Kevin Bryant

Though really, really far from home–remember, the adventurous little bear stands at 21cm high–Noel enjoys the holidays in London, celebrating with new-found friends and grateful he has received wonderful gifts.  Among them are chocolate treats, his new motorcycle, and noise makers.

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