I’m going to ignore my splitting headache long enough to tell you about our last ~18 hours.
After we arrived last night the staff recommended a place just around the corner where we could find something to eat. It was a great recommendation, too: a resto-bar (a concept that Toronto really needs more of) called Holder. We had some good food, a nice cold bottle of pinot gris (Nellie’s first wine in almost a month) and some crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e, all in a pretty cool setting…great architecture, lots of energy, and so many young gorgeous women that it was like we’d strolled into a set piece for The O.C.. Ony downside: you can still smoke everywhere in Quebec, so we get a bit smoky. But that’s to be expected.
By the time we got back to the hotel it was after midnight; a few minutes into one of the DVDs we brought with us we both zonked in the king bed.
This morning we got up around 9:00 for some simple breakfast downstairs before heading out to explore Vieux Montreal. It’s beautiful down here, something we could tell last night in the dark but confirmed today in the light, and we walked down rue Notre-Dame for a bit…past Place D’Armes, down to the park along the river, back up, along St. Paul and then turned north. Since we were now comprehending the scale of the city (small, compared to Toronto and New York) we realized we could walk around a lot more before lunch. He wandered north up St. Denis toward the Quartier Latin, stopped at a cafe to warm up a bit (it was freezing!), and checked an email from Nellie’s friend JR. JR had lived in Montreal for some time and recommended a place for the best poutine in the world, a greasy little diner called Chez Claudette. It was quite a bit north, near the north end of the Plateau Mont-Royal, but Nellie claims it was worth it.
Along the way we also stopped at this beautiful little chocolate lounge (seriously) called Suite88…and ohmygod. First of all, I would like to live there. Second, they had just about every kind of interesting flavoured chocolate you could imagine, in a ton of forms (like cone-shaped chocolate shooters with different liquor/liqueurs in them). We bought a dozen small bars of chocolate, some for us and some for friends and family.
Finally, after all this decadent eating, we walked back down St. Denis and cut across St. Catherine toward the hotel. We got back here around 2:00 to relax for a bit, and get rid of this headache (possibly by consuming some chocolate), before the hockey game ce soir. And trust me, relaxing in this room is like a vacation all by itself.