Saturday, August 18, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

The Musician and I went to Montreal. It's about an eight-hour drive from Buffalo. In my trusty Honda Civic, Iris, we motored north and stopped overnight in Alexandria Bay, NY, part of the Thousand Islands region. Although Pirate Days was just kicking off, the high light for us was a thunderstorm at sunset.


I know, we look like cousins.

The next morning, after a lackluster breakfast at Chez Paris, we crossed the border and made our way to Montreal. I had visited Montreal for a few days in 1997 in deep winter. This was totally different. Perfect weather, lovely accommodations, superb food.

Our hotel was the small but gracious l'Auberge du Carre St. Louis. Lovely breakfast of bagels, yogurt, fresh fruit and delicious coffee each day. A hot tub, which I didn't visit because the tub in the room was luxuriously deep. I bought a few things at Lush, just blocks away, specifically to enjoy there.

The hotel, on rue St. Denis, was adjacent to a sweet little park, St. Louis.

DSC02786 DSC02787

I immediately discovered a made-for-me shop, Kamikaze, which sold wooden barrettes and exotic socks. Bliss. I returned twice. Dinner was tamales and fajitas on rue Prince Arthur.

The following day, we enjoyed a stroll around the Old Town and Downtown. We stopped in to see the pipe organ at Christ Church Cathedral. We then headed to the glorious Atwater Market to pick up cheese (Oka!) and crackers and wine and produce for a picnic lunch.

Atwater Marche

Delightful as this was, our best meal of the trip took place a block from the hotel, at Cafe Cherrier. I had quiche and frites, and The Musician had a salad with chicken livers, which neither of us had ever had before but which knocked our newly-purchased socks right off. (I don't know how Frommer's manages to call the food unexceptional.)

Cafe Cherrier Crumbs and Wine

We also took a lot of naps.

Our final day, we enjoyed a drive up Mount Royal, and a walk up to the Chalet at the top. This was a definite highlight of the trip. My only regret was not being able to enter the Notre Dame des Neiges Cemetery, which was under "lock-out." I still don't know the whole story there.

Celia on Mont Royal DSC02782

These were the obvious highlights, but mostly I'm left absorbing the vibe and culture of the city, a grand place I hope to visit again soon. More photos here.