Late April, we were at our second last stop – Montreal. Back to the East coast – We felt the difference right away. It was COLD. The wind was chilling at night. We arrived at the Montreal airport in the evening – couldn’t find a shuttle bus. So we took a cab to our hotel (fixed price $35 + tips). It was a pretty cozy hotel located in a good location – not too far from old Montreal, and not too far from the Rue Sainte-Catherine shopping area. Since I’ve been there several times before, I had a vague sense of where things were… Didn’t do much planning – just grabbed some free maps at the airport. The first night, we asked the concierge where we could grab some food. He recommended walking towards Rue Saint-Denis. First dinner: burgers and poutine ordered from a French menu.
The next day, we walked around the city – first stop Old Montreal. Had lunch @ Place Jacques-Cartier. It’s definitely a popular gathering place. I’ve never been there in the summer but I could imagine how relaxing it would be to walk around in the summer – not too humid… summer breeze. Last time I was here – it was around Christmas time. Since it’s a tourist spot – you still hear a lot of English.
Then, we walked passed a lot of banks and old buildings. I guess that was the financial center of the city. I went into a CIBC – old-fashion but grand. The service was good – teller was speaking with French accent. At that time, I felt that I hadn’t been to a Canadian bank for so long… been living on US cash for over half a month already.
Then we walked along Rue Saint-Catherine. A lot of people on the street. Of course, it’s the shopping core of Montreal. Walked by this flower stall. I thought… I have never bought a bouquet just because I feel like it. (But I’ve bought some likely bamboos out of the blue.) Ｉ will do that next time – one day before I go to office or head home, I’ll buy myself one – coz I don’t expect that I’d get any. :p A romantic Pisces. After wandering around the area, we saw some artists on the street. I got myself a souvenir from one of them – a burned copper ring. Forgot to take a picture of it. Because it’s burned copper – every piece is different. The color is similar to this. Wasn’t expensive – just $20. I love it.
That evening, we met up with Uncle T again since they were having a “fam trip” at Montreal and Quebec city – for an upcoming Catholic event in early June. We had dinner @ a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown! OMG. The taste of Chinese soup came back after almost a month. It was good :p Before the dinner, we walked around the small Chinatown and took some snapshots.
After dinner, we went to Casino de Montreal and played “horse-racing” a bit! Lots of fun w/o paying a lot. I wish we had that in Las Vegas – just for fun. But other than that, of course the casinos in Vegas were much more attractive.
Uncle T invited us to go to Quebec city with them. We looked at each other… why not? The only thing was that we’d have to wake up early like 8-9am. But… we’ve had 4am morning call. 8-9am wouldn’t be a problem.
After over an hour drive and stopping at another hotel – coz they need to check out the venues for the upcoming tours… we finally arrived at Quebec City. This is the landmark – if you’ve been to Quebec City you would recognize this hotel right away. 2008 is Quebec City’s 400 years anniversary.
Walked around… This area was much busier when I was there last few visits. Maybe April was really a low season for tourism. I remember the first time I was there, over 10 years ago, there were the sound of harp music, a lot of artists painting, and a lot of kids – they had face painting and hair braiding.
We had lunch at this restaurant right across from the hotel. The red roof made it very stand-out. The food was good overall. Not sure if it was because the crew knows the managers there and they bring this restaurant a lot of business every year. They have a selection of 3-course set lunch – A lot of people went for the fillet mignon. Looked really good. I liked the dessert as well. But my poor friend had an allergic reaction unfortunately -.-
The last spot in Quebec city was the Sanctuaire Notre-Dame-Du-Cap. It was a very beautiful church. Too bad I don’t know much about Catholic or else I could have appreciated it more. Heard that the event was going to take place at this church. And here’s a snapshot of the shadow of my own underneath a tree.
The Montreal/Quebec city trip was relatively relaxing. Of course… I’ve also went to Simon’s and bought some stuffs from there. On our 2nd last day, we had lunch @ our hotel – again, thank to Uncle T, we had really good stuffs – HEAVY but tasty Italian food – Tiramisu and Expresso as finale. They said there were some really good breweries nearby. But we didn’t have a chance to check those out.