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Published: September 12th 2010
Basillica Notre Dame
As we approached, the bells began pealing the noon hour
Oh dear friends,
I do so hope that you all have wonderful days like this in your future. Why, I ask myself, are we so lucky? What a wonderful day....
We slept in--heaven---and decided to stay in Montreal for the afternoon. First, I must mention that we had been upgraded to a Suite at the Residence Inn so we had two rooms and a balcony, along with a small kitchen, which we did not touch. So, after a normal hotel breakfast, we packed up, re-parked the car, and headed out to learn the intricacies of the subway, "le tube", en francais. We actually managed to arrive at the Bastille de Notre Dame just as the bells were ringing for noon. It is a beatiful cathedral and we wandered around, slipping the tour, until we had our fill of soaring ceilings, private confessionals, and statues of the various pious important people of Montreal. It is a masterpiece and provided a great flashback for John to his altar boy days.
So we spent the late morning and early afterrnoon in Old Montreal marvelling over the cobblestreets and the tourist traps ( we escaped unscathed but I really wanted to buy
Inside the Basillica
One of many, many stained glass windows
some teddy bears...,) and then ended up in a sidewalk cafe for lunch and wonderful people watching. I must say that Americans provide the most interesting people watching; ie: two guys with small heads, large bellies, and bad t-shirts, barging through the cafe barriers, and sat themselves, all the while talking (loudly) about their propects for finding "hot chicks" in the evening. I wonder if they meant that "hotchicks" were females suffering from delirium tremors caused by fever. And then there was the table of fat-bellied males drinking beer and talking about how they were"disabled" by their wives.....icckkkk Of course, other groups may have been just as terrible, but they were speaking in French, German, Japanese....So, who knows? the other fun was that the couples from civil marriages, just around the corner, kept coming out to the street with friends, families, and wedding photographers for portraits. The entertainment factor was fabuous and we lingered for hours.
But then. alas, it was time to leave Montreal with it's great easy international vibe, and jump back onto Canada's hateful highways. No surpise here on a Saturday afternoon....ROAD WORK! At least stopping for 10 to 15 minutes at a time gives you
We ate lunch at this cafe. The reataurant was established in 1812 and the interrior is huge, with rock walls and beautiful wrought iron.
time to take picturers.....
We easily made our way across the border into Vermont and checked into a fairly crappy hotel...so easy to get used to being upraded to a suite last night: thank you Marriott! THEN, we found two treasures.
1, John found a wine shop with over 4000 selections in WINOOSKI Maine! After we talked the owner into taking us into his climate controlled cellar for the "special bottles" and buying a couple of wine glasses we were content with prosepcts for lovely evenings ahead as we travel on.
2 The Bluebird tavern. OMG--Diane and Caitlin especially, this is for you! This dinner tops any we may have ever had. ever. anywhere...dedicated to fresh, local produce,meat, fish, and cheese, the Bluebird Cafe serves both small and large plates. We solved the dilemma of not visiting the VT cheese poducers by starting with a local cheese plate and homemade crackers with plum mustard. To follow we had small plates of heirloom tomatoes with Grilled Waterrmelon (my new favorite food group), fresh corn pudding with foraged mushrooms and a fresh farrm egg, local mussles with local apple wood smoked bacon and frites with malt vinegar aioli, and a
Great pictures made possible by a 20 minute stop in traffic while someone threw tar on the road....Love/Hate Canada
side dish of barbecued chard and white anchovy dressing.....I am in food dilerium....
Okay, once we figure out how to make all of these delicious dishes we will have a great big family, cousins (kissing and otherwise) and friends dinner party, because all of you must have this wonderful feeling of abundance that we are feeling tonight. All of you are part of this feeling of our circle of contentment.
Max and John
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