Monday, August 9, 2010

Cervelles et rognons

We stopped at several places along the way to take pictures to meet Jeannette's nephew who is the executor (or liquidator as he translated it) of the will.  As there was alot of construction and heavy traffic, it was impossible be on time in that dreary suburb containing the warehouse where the possessions were stored. We passed by numerous First Nation (Canadian for Native American) tobacco stands targetingAmericans. Fortunately everything fit in the car. I had fretted about the chair, which wasn't as nice as the picture indicated. After loading up the car, we went on to Longueuil just across the river from Montreal, where Jeannette had lived to have lunch at a bakery that I had often gone to when visiting Jeannette. We went there again on our last day and the owner gave us a tour after she saw us taking pictures of everything. Very nice. the baked goods tasted as good as they looked too.
Marzipan and truffles. Also my favorite fruit gelees which I took home

On the bottom row are French macaroons. Quite a bit different from the Italian variety. We saw the pastry chef in action decorating his elaborate creations

Outside of my favorite patisserie

Longueuil has a mainly French speaking population whereas there are large pockets of English speakers in Montreal. Most under 30s speak English just fine though it is hit or miss with the older generation. I try to speak French though my efforts were rewarded with getting a sandwich with ham on it which my vegetarian friend couldn't eat. They serve cafe au lait in 'bols'...huge bowls of goodness. None of those thimblefuls served to us in France here. We then visited Jeannette's old roommate Gilberte who visited with  us in a panoramic room on the top of her building (12 stories) that we could see for miles from. The room also was nicely air-conditioned. A relief from the oppressive heat that day. We sipped wine. Later, we went to Jeannette's god-daughter and niece's condo across the street to visit and later walked to dinner to have a very good French dinner at Chez Parra ( On the menu, they had cervelle de veau ou rognons de veau ( veal brains or kidneys, non merci!). My friend had sole with a very tasty sauce on it whereas I had shrimp with a lobster sauce. All the side dishes were tasty and interesting. We shared a pear tart and wine. All very nice and we had an interesting conversation. We were in a sheltered patio while it stormed outside bringing in a welcomed cold front making the high of 68 deg for the next 2 days. The niece, Claire also gave us passes to the MBG which would have cost us $33 total.

We stayed in a chain hotel that was nice though boring but convenient with free guarded parking (important as I had so much stuff stored in the car). A subway spur outside the parking lot brought us quickly to Montreal which we made good use of our $7 day pass throughout the day.

We first went to Old Montreal:

Street person with jester cap. Quite a bit of street people in Montreal but usually they didn't wear jester caps

Early in the morning after the rains of the night before. Not many places open before 10. We ended up eating in a hotel

Much more lively after 11

My friend took a picture of me with the 3 fat ladies making it four

We had a so-so breakfast but enjoyed seeing all the public performers, military bands, bag-pipers, interesting old houses, many art shops including those featuring Inuit art which my friend was especially interested in. I bought a beautiful piece of fused glass from an Argentine woman, some necklaces and a unique purse. I hadn't bought anything at the Ann Arbor art fair as I was too distracted due to certain events. In their Tastes of Quebec areas, we both bought really tasty maple cream liquor and ice cidre liquor. They had other really good stuff too but it was hard enough as it was carrying all this stuff all day.
The tourist guide spoke of these interesting Victorian homes all in an area called the Golden Square Mile. we went there and found a information place wanting to find the street that had the prettiest houses as a square mile contains many streets and we had little time. We found out: 1. the houses I showed her on the postcard were nowhere around there and 2. there were no topiaries in the MBG and they were going to close soon so we better get there ASAP if we wanted to see anything.
On to the Botanical Gardens taking a subway from the Westside to the Eastside.

squirrel hidden among the flowers

Penjing This is less than 2 feet tall and 60 years old
Japanese floral arrangement

So serene
Nice woodwork in the pagoda
The only example of bonsai I have here. This is a forest of miniature maple trees.One  has some leaves turning red for the fall. The whole 'forest' is only 24 inches tall.
Japanese gardens
Penjing gardens

The gardens went on for miles. There were besides the Japanese and Chinese (the best) First Nation gardens, Alpine Gardens, Tundra gardens, Perennial gardens, Rose Gardens, Dahlia gardens, begonia gardens, on and on. We did go in the sensory gardens concentrating on scents though there were some things to feel. We couldn't possibly see it all and we were tired. We did have a late lunch on a terrace overlooking the gardens. Very pretty.
Walking to the gardens from the subway, we went by the Olympic grounds.
Then on to  Place St. Louis where there were supposed to be some of the prettiest houses:

We walked down a pedestrian only street nearby full of restaurants. We ended up eating at La Bretonne Creperie. I had an enormous crepe full of mushrooms, a big bowl of cream of leek soup and a creme carmel. We wearily went back across the river to our hotel where we had wine and fell asleep.The next morning,  it was back to Chez Sue  after a trip to the wonderful bakery in Longueuil where I had a fresh almond croissant and a bol of cafe au lait, one last visit to Montreal by car to find those cool houses in the Golden Square. Not sure if we found them but we did find some interesting places to take photos. I only posted a small amount of my pictures though my companion took 3 for every one of mine with a much better camera. I will steal some of hers when I can. Then the long trip back stopping for a good lunch in Kingston and visiting their farmer's market. We went  through awful traffic around Toronto. Fortunately the nightmare I envisioned at the border did not happen. All in all, an excellent adventure.
Kingston Farmer's Market

1 comment:

Holly said...

beautiful photos...feel like i've been on vacation just sitting at my desk! also love the new eiditng format on your blog...


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