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Nov. 29th, 2008

Montreal is a city that is just the right size...not too big, not too small. At its heart are two of my favorite things: food and music.
After celebrating Thanksgiving in style at the Maison du Jazz, we needed MORE music! Here we are getting ready to go out last night:
The day was ours...no set plans until evening. We slept in and had our croissants and bagels delivered, as usual, via the cart. It was delicious and relaxing. The weather was not optimum, bits of snow and sleet mixed with the rain, but that doesn't deter us from walking around the city! My curly hair just gets curlier! haha We enjoyed "shopping" in the underground mall...when we shop we just look & rarely buy. I've come home from a few days in Montreal with no purchases. (Well, none for me anyway,  Jim has to support his cheese habit...) We ended up eating lunch at 3 Brasseurs...a company from France that has on site brewing and pizza-type thingys called flamms. This is one of Jim's favorite lunch spots. When he lived up here in Montreal, he and his buddies liked to find the nearest location and watch hockey. If you go, try the beverage sampler. While we are sitting there. I'm checking out the decorations...very well done...floor tiles were awesome...and the wallpaper looks like it is covered with old French magazines from the early 1900's. Ironically right next to our table was a drawing of the Titanic sinking, which spurred another discussion on the well done exhibit we'd visited yesterday.

We spent the day strolling around the city, staying out until dusk and when all the Christmas lights across the city starting twinkling on, so peaceful and pretty. (Thanks to hydroelectricity!),  before returning to our room to drop off CHEESE before heading out again. This time we walked south-east from our hotel....to 1000 La Gauchetiere and the indoor skating rink. Most of the skaters were beginning teens, except for a couple of guys who looked liked high school hockey players were showing off for the girls and each other. : ) Our destination? The Planetarium!

The Montreal Planetarium (formerly Dow Planetarium) has showings in both French and English...we went to the 7:15 showing of the Milky Way Galaxy. There were only about 20 people there. The subsequent show in French was full. Planetariums always make me feel smaller than my 4' 11" (and three-quarters!) frame. I can hardly wrap my mind around the idea of a space continuum...infinity. After the show, the gentleman took time to give us an overview of constellations in the Northern Hemisphere. Of course, due to the light pollution (remember the cheap hydropower I mentioned earlier?) you can't see stars in Montreal he said. The entire time in the planetarium I thought of my lovely friend Lorraine, who inherited her love of the stars from her dad.

Our final stop before heading home? A new Irish pub, which recently opened at 1234 Bishop. (Wow, what a great address you say...so easy to remember. Well, DH could remember the street NUMBER, but argued over the street NAME. haha....it is "fun" getting old, isn't it?) As soon as we walked up the stairs, I knew we'd like The Irish Embassy pub! There were two guys with Irish accents standing on the front steps gabbing away! You enter to dark wood paneling, beveled glass, and hunter green walls. The other great thing about Montreal...DIVERSITY! The bar was filled with people who spoke many languages, people of all ethnicities. The food was fine, but the band was GREAT! We finished up eating just as the band started and moved from our seats in the front room to stools in the back. The Skivvies are a Celtic Rock band whose sense of humor is only surpassed by their talent. We laughed, clapped, sang, whistled, and cheered. We were going to "just stay for one song and then call it a night." We ended up staying for over an hour. They are phenomenal! The lead singer is bursting with joyous energy, the fiddle player was full of fire, and the rest of the band was sharp and talented. Check out some of their songs on the link above. I enjoyed them so much, I would go see them again tonight...that is if I didn't have hockey tickets! : ) (Maybe after the game...)


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Dec. 1st, 2008 01:57 am (UTC)
Making the Most of Things
Montreal surely is a beautiful city, I forget that sometimes. In the cold and bleakness of North Country winters I dismiss the true greatness of that city to the "Nord". I do love a good Irish Pub and for some reason it is hard to recreate in the South.

I have found some good Pubs in Seattle. Maybe it takes poor weather and a bleak outlook! Ahh, the Irish soul in me must long for miserable winters! Hmmm, they also have a good planetarium there.

Our friend/troubadour Paddy Gibney in Fayetteville NC tries to run a good "Public House" and does a fine job, alas no one here in Wilmington does the same. Google him for a taste of his music.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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