MONTREAL/QUEBEC CITY 2019

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City

It was time to get a taste of Europe in North America.  Our autumn trip to Montréal and Québec City provided us just that, and combined with autumn’s changing colors, we enjoyed a wonderful 10 days.

CHAPTER ONE: OFF TO MONTRÉAL

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Quebéc City CHAPTER ONE: OFF TO MONTRÉAL Tracy and I (along with friends Kim and Mary) had discussed for many years about diverting from our usual European adventures to visit a part of the world that, in some instances, resembles Europe.   We decided that an autumn trip to Montréal and Québec City would not only gives us a little of that old world atmosphere, but, if we were lucky, we’d catch some of those gorgeous fall colors we’d always heard about. The trip did not disappoint.                             Starting in Montréal (where we spent five nights) …   … Read more…

CHAPTER TWO: EXPLORING MONTRÉAL: THE CITY OF LIGHT … SHOWS

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER TWO: EXPLORING MONTRÉAL: THE CITY OF LIGHT … SHOWS Day Two – Always The Gourmand, Down By The River, Sailors Sanctuary, Better On The Outside, Garden At The Château, Of all de Gaulle, Statue Stare Down, Christmas In September, Nose Job, Demonstration Time, Going To Market, “Please Call The Accountant Or The Priest,” There’s An ‘Aura’ About You, Three Restaurants In One, Shades of London & What’s Happening On The Side Of That Building? This trip would be a little different than most.  There was no waking up at the crack of dawn, so on our first morning in Montréal at about 9 a.m. we all meandered … Read more…

CHAPTER THREE: 3 CHURCHES, 2 MUSEUMS, 3 WEDDINGS … BUT NO FUNERALS

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey to Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER THREE:  3 CHURCHES, 2 MUSEUMS, 3 WEDDINGS … BUT NO FUNERALS Day Three – Frolicking Squirrels, No Snakes Here, Where’s Godzilla?, Sex In The City, A “Fine” Collection, Hallelujah, Lost In The Museum, Not Winning With Winnie, Ziggy, Thou Shalt Bacon, Queen Of The World, Reliving Montréal’s History and Therein Lies the Rub A gray, drizzly morning greeted us, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t lots of walking ahead. After a brief stop at Starbucks (any caffeine in a storm), the intrepid four headed to one of three churches we’d visit on a very busy day.   Built between 1843 and 1847 for Montréal’s Irish community, this is … Read more…

CHAPTER FOUR: DINNER BY THE PORT

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER FOUR: DINNER BY THE PORT Night Three – Caffe Un po Di Più & Jackie Robinson Night We had a number of terrific meals on our trip to Canada, and one that really stood out took place at Caffe Un po Di Più.  Located in the Vieux-Port de Montréal (Old-Port of Montréal), Un po di Più serves Italian small plates to be shared.  From Hotel Gault, it was a short ten-minute stroll. (Two photos below from internet)        Un po di Più (“A Little More”) opened in 2018 and is a creation from the same folks who brought Olive et Gourmando to Montréal, the restaurant where we … Read more…

CHAPTER FIVE: THE FOOLS ON THE ROYAL HILL

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey to Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER FIVE: THE FOOLS ON THE ROYAL HILL Day Four – Finding Dr. Kimble’s Wife’s Murderer, Park With A View, A Squirrelly Building, Central Park Designer, Boat Race, Where’s The Entrance?, A New Mrs. MaiTai?, Sing Us A Song You’re The Piano Man, Saint Be Praised, Up Up and Up, You’ve Gotta Have Heart, Cab Driver Comedian, The Line That Never Moved, Wise Decision, No Drinks Without Food, Drinks With No Food & Getting Ready For Old-School Awakening to a majestic blue-sky morning, Tracy and I took our leisurely time getting ready for the day (I’m getting soft in my old age) while Kim and Mary attempted to … Read more…

CHAPTER SIX: DINING OLD SCHOOL IN MONTRÉAL

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER SIX: DINING OLD SCHOOL IN MONTRÉAL Nights Four & Five – L’Express While planning the Montréal portion of our trip, there was one restaurant I desperately wanted to try. I am not usually one to follow food critics, but in my research I did find it interesting that noted Montréal Gazette food critic Lesley Chesterman gave L’Express four stars (out of four) in 2016, something she had very rarely done for any restaurant (the last one receiving four stars at that time was in 2011 for Joe Beef). She once said that Montréal would be “unimaginable” without L’Express. I’m also a sucker for historic restaurants (see Hollywood’s … Read more…

CHAPTER SEVEN:  SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST IN MONTRÉAL

Colorful Québec – Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey to Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER SEVEN:  SAVING THE BEST FOR LAST IN MONTRÉAL Day Five – This Is Only A Drill, Stunning Interior, Why Didn’t We Bring Mittens?, Are You Sure The Show Tonight Is Here?, Magnifiques Jardins, Trying To Find The Stadium, Lighting The Torch, The Penalty Box For Obstruction & Elbowing, A Jardin All To Ourselves and A Light Show For The Ages As the darkness of night faded into dawn, we were awakened with the pleasant sound of pneumatic drills tearing up chunks of cement and pavement in front of the hotel.  Fortunately, the fearsome foursome had intended to arise early so we could go see a famed … Read more…

CHAPTER EIGHT: FEELING FRENCH IN QUÉBEC CITY

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER EIGHT: FEELING FRENCH IN QUÉBEC CITY Day Six: On Track For A Good Day In Québec City, Hotel Excellence, The Walk Of Hell, Thank Heavens For Popcorn, I Thought We’d Already Seen Notre Dame, Are We In London?, A Mysterious Chapel, Never In Doubt … Seldom Correct, Drinks At a Grande Dame, Now We Find the Damned Funicular, Pub Crawl, Quaint & Crowded, Umbrella Policy, Looking For Ancient Drink Artifacts, Oh Deer! and How Many Languages Do You Speak? Since we had a 9 a.m. train to Québec City, I, of course, needed to be there at least 45 minutes to an hour early. Kim, Mary and … Read more…

CHAPTER NINE: FALLING FOR QUÉBEC CITY

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER NINE: FALLING FOR QUÉBEC CITY Day Seven – Canadian History Lesson, Optical Illusions, Taking A Pass, The Battlefield Becomes A Golf Course, Halloween & Joan, Brrr!, I Know These Guys, Mist Opportunity, Bella Bello, Cocktail At The Chateau, Rainy Day Napping, Two Italians Are Better Than One, Hail Caesar (Part 38) & Downhill Is Harder Than Uphill The forecast was rain free, so we were not surprised that it was pouring as we peered out the lobby of Hotel Priori on the way to the breakfast room. “Good to see that weather prognosticators in Canada are just as bad as ours at home,” I lamented.  Unfortunately, they … Read more…

CHAPTER TEN: A QUÉBEC CITY CIVICS & HISTORY LESSON

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey To Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER TEN: A QUÉBEC CITY CIVICS & HISTORY LESSON Day Eight – A Visit From The Sun, Parliamentary Procedure, The Rainbow Tunnel, Behind Closed Doors, “I’m Making Bombs”, Hilarious (And Informative) Tour Guide, Rachel Takes A Shot, Don’t Paint The Goat Blue, Marvelous Views, Prison Time, The Chardonnay Shut Out, Prison Time (Part Deux), A Penny For Your Thoughts, BuryYour Dead, Art Alley, Pub Stop, Maple Whiskey and Changes In Latitudes, Changes In Attitudes Stepping outside the Hotel Priori after another hearty breakfast, we were momentarily blinded by an unknown object hovering above us as it momentarily escaped from behind the clouds.  Quickly shielding her eyes, Tracy exclaimed, … Read more…

CHAPTER ELEVEN: DAY TRIPPIN’ – QUÉBEC’S AUTUMN COLORS SHINE BRIGHTLY

Colorful Québec: Mai Tai Tom’s 2019 Journey to Montréal & Québec City CHAPTER ELEVEN: DAY TRIPPIN’ – QUÉBEC’S AUTUMN COLORS SHINE BRIGHTLY Day Nine – Bus Driver Extraordinaire, Cascading Chute, Colors Aplenty, Old Man Walking, Is That Wilford Brimley?, Cone Heads, Copper Clappers, Not JR Tolkien’s House, A Basilica To Remember, Fall At The Falls, Blaming The GPS and A Final Farewell To Québec City Our last day in Québec City would not actually be spent in Québec City because we were going to cruise the nearby countryside by bus and visit Chute Montmorency, an island where we’d taste some incredible ice cream, a copper store and Sanctuaire de Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.  A quick stop in Cafe La Maison Smith in Place-Royale … Read more…