I Have Arrived! . . . In Montreal That Is!
So here I sit at an outdoor cafe eating foie gras and drinking wine on my first day in Montreal - or should I say Heaven! This is literally my dream day. Let's back up.
Last night at 10:00 pm I headed out for the airport for the first "red eye" flight that I have agreed to take in years. I don't sleep on planes so travelling at night is just torture for me. I got to the airport early because Nikko was working and now that we are down to a one vehicle family for awhile, Phil had to get back in time to pick him up from work. No problem I thought - I can have a glass of wine at the airport! So I had two!!
I historically have no luck on airplanes and inevitably get stuck next to people that you just don't want to be trapped in a small space with for hours on end. That, and the fact that I never sleep, were not boding well for a good night for me. Well, then along came the Ativan that my doctor recently prescribed and VOILA I was in heaven before even reaching Montreal. I slept! I slept like a baby! It was a miracle!
The flight went by so fast it was great. I didn't even get to watch Paul Blart Mall Cop II. Oh well, maybe on the flight home. I had a quick layover in Toronto long enough to get a delicious French Vanilla Cappuccino at Timmy's (for my American friends you know about our famous Tim Horton's right?) Then a quick jump over to Montreal and I was here. My bag came off third - when does that happen and I was off. Oddly enough I didn't do my usual research for this trip like I usually do but I had figured out the night before last that if I want to take an airport shuttle I need to have $10 in coins and look for the 747 bus. I got on and asked the driver to let me off at the Holiday Inn. He didn't know where it was! Despite having never been to Montreal before I said "No problem, I'll find it!" without ever stopping to think "how was I going to find it?" But right in step with how great the rest of my day was going I found a map on the bus that outlined the bus stop numbers and what stop you get off at for each hotel. I knew I was getting off at stop number 7 - another lucky sign perhaps?!
So I get off the bus, happy with my ability so far to get to my destination, but with the realization that I really have no idea where to go to find the hotel. I knew it was about a three block walk from the bus stop but I didn't know in what direction. I'm technologically challenged and don't know a tenth of the things that my phone can do (I'm from the generation where we use the phone to call people!) but I somehow instinctively entered the name of the hotel a box came up that said directions and my phone lead me to the Holiday Inn! What an amazing thing modern technology is.
Because I flew the red eye I knew I would arrive at the hotel way before check in and would just have to drop my bags off and go explore. I had a good little cat nap on the plane so figured I could muster through the day by walking around Old Montreal and then come back for a nap after check in time. Well, wouldn't you know it, at 9:00 am they had my room ready! So I plugged in all my devices making sure that I had enough battery power for a day of blogging and picture taking (I have to do double duty without Philly here to take all the pics!) and then lied down on the bed thinking there was no way I would fall asleep but I had a lovely little nap for a few hours and then headed out on my big adventure in Montreal!
I headed out not knowing where I was headed or which was to go to get there and that brings us to now. As mentioned earlier, I didn't do the same level of research for this trip that I normally do (did you know there are over 4500 restaurants in Montreal??!!) It seemed to overwhelming and the truth was I was likely going to find great restaurants near my hotel so I only had a few "must do" restaurants on my list. So as I hit my second corner I see a little outdoor cafe and thought I'd just check out the menu. Well, wouldn't you know it it was la maison du magret - one of the restaurants on my list. They have an amazing menu based primarily on duck - and you got it - Foie Gras! There are so many things that I want to try that I will definitely have to come back but the Foie Gras Degustation was calling my name. Foie Gras prepared three different ways. If I aim to be a Foie Gras connisseur I'm going to have to learn about the different preparation types - so my learning begins today. As we speak (or I guess as I type) I am enjoying Foie Gras Torchon, a pan seared Foie Gras and a Foie Gras with cranberry and pepper. They are all good but my early predictions are that I'm going to like torchon preparations better than pan fried Foie Gras - but, alas, I will have to try a few more just to be sure!
So, as I started out, here I sit at an outdoor cafe eating Foie Gras and drinking wine. I sat down turned on my computer and miraculously wi-fi just automatically worked right away! I really have to buy a lottery ticket - this has been the luckiest day ever! The weather is beautiful, the sun is shining and I'm eating like true French people do - lunch has taken me almost two hours!
Phil was right (again!) This Microsoft Surface Pro 3 that he bought me for my birthday is just perfect. It's light and compact and thanks to just one of the amazing birthday gifts that my dear friend Leslie bought for me, I have a stylish bag from New Orleans to put it in. It is compact and easy to carry and I can blog from anywhere! He would be mortified though if he saw the keyboard - Foie Gras and typing don't necessarily go hand in hand. But I'll make sure to wipe the grease spots off the keyboard long before I head home!
All in all it has been a great first day. Now I must finish my glass of wine and go explore. I hope to have more fun details to share soon but in the meantime I do have to tell you about the funniest part of my day so far: I keep saying "Gracias" and "Si" and then catch myself and get all befuddled. I'm long by myself before I have figured out that the right word was "Merci"!
And now for a bit of "Laura blogging by herself wizardry" - let's see if I can add some pictures!
at August 28, 2015
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