Canada and Vermont Vacation, July 2005

Northbound NH/VT | Montebello, QC | Montreal | Southbound VT

Wednesday, July 20: City Walks and “Just for Laughs” Festival (Montreal)

Montreal is a city of festivals. Walking to dinner, we fell into the "Just for Laughs" festival where I posed with a monster, he tried to abduct me, and I fled. I'm drinking a maple-lemonade from a street vendor.

Still walking around, we bought chocolates from a wonderful shop with green tea flavors and other exotic flavors. We also spotted the store that Bob mentioned to us by saying, "Howard and I saw a store that, if Robert and Jef and I wanted to dress up as our characters for Halloween, would be perfect for us." Here it is--it's the one with the One Ring, Frodo, and Gandalf on the top of it.

Dinner at Au Pied de Cochon (Montreal)

Dinner was amazing at this little contemporary bistro-type place in the plateau. We ate:

Thursday, July 21: DinoFossil: Montreal (Old Port)

A never-before-seen in North America exhibit of Chinese dinosaur skeletons. The text was China-centric, as you might expect, with oddly translated tenses and words: “carnasaurs,” “giant dragons of the ocean,” etc. There was also an obsession with dragons, with constant reassurances that dinosaurs are not dragons. You can't see it in the picture, sadly, but there were also typos: Humans appeared 600 million years ago. Really?

Walking around Old Town, we saw this great Japanese creperie (which was closed because it was too early in the morning) with very high-quality fake food in the window. You can get whole brownies in your crepes, according to the models. We rested in a park before walking the rest of the way to the Victoria Square subway station.

We watched boats pass through the locks ("A lock is basically an elevator for boats," the sign told us), and we tried to make the Silophone work--these abandoned grain silos are supposed to have great echoing properties, but the speaker/microphone that Robert tried out on shore wasn't fully functional.

Lunch at Jean-Talon Market and Dessert

Along with many, many different day cares (apparently Thursday is trip day), we took the subway to the Jean-Talon Market for lunch. We almost swooned at the wonderful fresh, local fruit, nearly all of which had samples. Boston has no vaguely comparable market, none at all. We lunched on a basket of Quebec native strawberries, a slice of pate, a slab of raw milk goat cheese, a loaf of sundried tomato fougasse, and a lemonade.

After lunch we walked through Little Italy, stopping at spice stores along the way, and then we walked all the way (too far, in the heat especially) to Les Petits Plasirs d’Andrea: we bought small unusual food gift items (rose jelly, chocolate mustard, custard tea) and we ate wonderful small-batch-made sorbets: a mango-Szechuan peppercorn sorbet, and a strawberry-basil-vodka sorbet. Both were intense, gem-colored, and beautiful.

Smoked meat dinner

Montreal smoke meat is different than New York pastrami, brisket, or corned beef--we went to Schwartz's, which had a huge line, but for two to sit at the counter, we were called in only five minutes. Cash only, crowded, and lots of cherry sodas: the sandwiches were great (we had one each) and the pickles quite good. We wandered around and found a Breton Ice Cream and Crepe place for dessert, with a little sidewalk seating area. Ah, raspberry and nutella crepes. . . .

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Created: 7/25/05. Last Modified: 8/7/05.