Doodle Bug (minikin) wrote,
Doodle Bug

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Catching up: another two push pins along the way

Oh my. This is what happens when the vacation is all-engaging. I forget to write about it. When last I put fingertips to keys in a composing vacation, We were settled into a celeb-worthy loft accommodation in the Grande hotel in Toronto.

Sunday, we started our day with the fabulous breakfast buffet included in with the room. The scrambled eggs were moist and custardy - almost as if they had been fresh-prepared seconds before we arrived. There were all manner of pastries and breads and meats and potatoes. There were fruits and juices and a variety of cereals and yogurts. There was french toast and coffee and teas, and I'm sure more that I failed to notice after the sheer effort of not overfilling my own plate.

After breakfast, we set out for the Toronto Science Center. There was an exhibit on the Titanic. They had artifacts on display as well as a timeline detailing the design, creation, launch and then wreck. Since I consider the Titanic itself a memorial to the dead, just as the USS Arizona is, I was pleased to see that this exhibit was tastefully done. Near the end of the exhibit was a list of the survivors and dead, sorted by travel class, and including the crew. Before I went to the exhibit, I hadn't realized how many survived.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in the Science Center. When Flar and I were ready to leave, getting the boys out past all the exhibits was like herding cats. There were lots of fun, informative stations.

Once we returned to the room, Flar napped, and the boys and I read Harry Potter. We ordered in pizza "for a snack" and then, by the time Flar wanted to go out for dinner, none of the rest of us were interested in leaving the room. We told him, if he wanted to spend more time sightseeing, he needed to find less comfortable lodging. ;)

Monday, we packed up our stuff, then took a short sail on Lake Ontario, before setting out for Montreal. We could tell when we crossed in Quebec right away, when the language of choice became French, and English was included as an after-thought, on some official signs. We were still reading Harry Potter 6 on Monday, and when we got to the hotel, the boys wanted to read more before setting off to explore. Flar went down and discussed restaurants with the concierge, and then came up to listen to the book.

We didn't stop when we'd planned, as we'd gotten to the rather dramatic bits, so by the time we got out for dinner, it was quite late. We settled on a French bistro, where the boys had Steak Frite, I had an appetizer, and Flar had something ambitious. Eating only an appetizer gave me room for dessert but a small amount of room, so I ordered the chocolate and caramel mousse. We got back to the room too late for any more reading.

Tuesday was our first full day in Montreal. Since we had been getting up early (in vacation terms) for breakfast at the Grande the last few days, and since the Hotel Cantlie didn't provide breakfast as part of the room rate, Flar let us sleep in. He walked down the street to the Pain D'Ore (he like to call it "the pain shop" and play up his sacrifice) and brought us back pastries. We got to wake up more slowly, while Flar fleshed out details for our day.

We decided to take the Metro to the Contemporary Art Museum. We saw their permanent exhibit, as well as an exhibit on Text in Art, and a exhibit of Bruce Nauman's work, including several large-scale neon installations. Much of the neon was thought provoking; the "green room" was very disturbing to me, but relaxing to Tigger. I love contemporary art, and really enjoyed the opportunity to wander slowly through the exhibits.

There was a Francophone Festival going on during our stay, right next to the museum. Before we headed back to the hotel, we wandered around a little in the square. I really liked the music, but the boys wanted to get back to the hotel.

Once we got back, we relaxed in the room a bit (yes, reading more Harry Potter 6, but not quite finishing it), then went out to eat at a restaurant that Matt had picked out from his travel magazines. The theme of the restaurant was Hunt Club; they served seafood and game.

Flar ate the Lobster and Kobe Beef; Critter had some sort of Pork - possibly Boar; I ate the Bison and Tigger had Duck Two Ways (but he didn't eat the Way that was mashed potatoes with shredded duck mixed in -- I found it delicious). I started referring to the restaurant as the Bison place, and it kind of stuck for Tigger too. Thus, not being able to remember the name of the restaurant. That, and waiting so long to write about it.

After dinner, the boys and I wanted to finish Harry Potter, and Flar wanted to wander about some more. We didn't actually finish book 6 until after Flar had gotten back. Critter insisted on reading the first chapter of the new book before we went to sleep.

Wednesday morning, Flar once again brought back pastries for us. Then we set off in the car for mini-golf. Flar had found one that was part of a golf course near the Isle of the Sisters. I'm not sure if it was on that isle or not, because the directions for getting there were so confusing, that we ended up going through a particular traffic circle some 5 or 6 times, and over the bridge from Montreal some 4 times. There was construction going on, and the car wanted us to use an access road that was blocked off, so we kept getting put on the bridge. Anyway, we finally got the the golf course, and played mini-golf.

The course was not completely up to its normal running condition: the waterways weren't running, possibly due to construction in other parts of the course. The mini-golf course was beautiful, though. Large natural rock structures, waterways that even made up part of the playing field, and every hole included "rough" carpeting and even some "sand" obstacles. Critter beat Flar by 2 points, and we all enjoyed the game.

After mini-golf, we returned to the traffic circle once more, as there was a grocery near it. We picked up drinks, as well as breakfast goodies - so that Flar could sleep in the next day. Before we returned to the hotel, we drove around a bit in old Montreal. For dinner that night, we walked to a nearby Chinese restaurant.

Flar chose to wander by himself again after dinner, and the rest of us stayed in the room for more Harry Potter.

Thursday was another travel day. We got all packed up again, and then Flar found our way to the Crepe and Fondue restaurant that I'd spotted on the way home from dinner Tuesday night. Ted's parking fairy took a small nip up to Canada, and we were able to park in one of the two metered spots, right outside the restaurant. Matt had cheese fondue, Tigger had Oriental Chicken Fondue (cooked in broth, rather than oil), while Critter and I had crepes. I had ham and swiss with bechemal sauce; Critter had ham and mozzarella with maple syrup.

Tigger ordered two (four total crepes) orders of cinnamon crepes for dessert; I ordered the apple-brie-maple syrup crepes for dessert and Critter asked for a banana. We left quite full, and set off for La Fromagerie Au Gré des Champs, a cheese farm on our way out of town. There, we were greeted by a young woman who spoke some English, and kindly explained some of the workings of the cheese farm to us. She gave us samples of their three cheeses, and we bought quantities of the two varieties that all of us liked.

Then we set off back for the US. We drove to White River Junction, VT, where we are staying in a Comfort Suites about 5 minutes away from Dartmouth. After we unloaded the car, Flar napped while I read more Harry Potter.

When the boys got hungry for dinner, we ordered Pizza for them and Chinese for Flar and I. We watched Psy vs Psy while we ate, then I read more Harry Potter before it was time to turn in for the night,

This morning, Flar and Critter left early to go to campus. I got up for the free breakfast, which featured cook-your-own-waffles, then came back to the room to catch up online. Now it's time for me to pack up the room, since the hotel is too full to offer late checkout today. Once Flar and Critter get back, we'll get in the car and head to Ithaca.
Tags: canada, cheese, montreal, road trip, toronto

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