Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Transported to My Happy Place

I have not commented much on the Lang house B&B, which is crazy as it is the most expensive night of the trip. It is a big Victorian, and our room is charming, oddly enough the room that was available was the Fisher suite. There seems to be a theme here. The bed is holds a cloudy layer of foam, covered by lovely cotton sheets and just the right amount of covers to create pleasant dreams. The only down side for me is the lack of a bathtub, but the water was good & hot and there are luscious robes just waiting to be donned to keep that cozy clean feeling alive.

Breakfast is in a lovely room with red and paneled walls, floral tapestry covered chairs and moss green damask tablecloths. I am offered a small currant scone and my choice of the offerings of the morning! Hard to choose, but I decided to try the more seemingly seasonal Vermont apple spiced pancakes with, you guessed it, Vermont maple syrup. I am served and am transported to my happy place! Apples in a perfectly spiced pancake with Cabot Creamery butter and the aforementioned mentioned maple syrup. These heavenly morsels are accompanied by ham and some fruit. It is a perfect beginning to a beautiful sunshiny day! The only cloud in my sky is the fact that I may never have these lovely little cakes again as the proprietress declined to share her recipe. This I truly don't understand because I believe in sharing joy, even the joy of a recipe.

On the way out of Burlington we went to the waterfront, where we encountered a Navy Memorial and some lovely scenery, As we were leaving, in front of my very eyes was a April Cornell outlet, but it really did not have anything tempting to my financial ruin. Further on our way Jodi had me preform an abrupt stop so he could take a photo of an unnamed object. Anyone know what it is?

After my earlier sarcasm about the ever-ready presence of chain commerce, today Jodi wanted a Mango-Pineapple smoothie and do you think we could find a McDonalds in which to purchase one? Just before the Canadian border we did encounter one, where I decided to put my neck out there and try a carmel mocha. This carmel mocha the manager prepared a frozen version instead of a hot one. I might as well have let him serve me the frozen one, because at least the taste of the incredibly icky beverage might have been a little less intense!

I was all psyched up for a horrid border crossing, and it was painless. The Canadian guard had a sense of humor, which was nice! All of a sudden I realized that we were not in the middle of the mountains any longer, we were amid corn fields! The trip into Montreal was relatively easy, much easier that Paris. I think I only cursed once or twice on the way in.

The Hyatt Montreal is an interesting number, attached to a mall sort of thing. We parked underground, took the elevator to the Lobby of the Hotel on the 6th floor and then are on the 3rd floor of the hotel, which by my math puts is on the actual 9th floor of this building. As we parked there were these two older fellows sitting on a golf cart sort of thing, monitoring the garage. They told us that we had taken their parking spot, just teasing us. It was a charming first encounter with Montreal citizens. The room is pretty much what I would expect in a modern new hotel in Europe, which is not really a vote in it’s favor. While there are curtains across the entire wall, there is only a window about one third of the size of the wall. The bathroom is an odd shape, a reasonable size closet, has about a foot of space between the top of the doors and the ceiling. Regardless it feels good to be in a place for a few days rather than packing up again tomorrow morning.

Stead Tartare is omnipresent on my mind by 5 PM, and the concierge directed us to a place called Restaurant Julian. Thank God for our earlier interaction with the natives because we had a bit of a hard time finding it, and there was not an abundance of people that were willing to assist us. So it was a challenge, but it was worth the hunt. The waiter, a cute friendly bilingual fellow who brought an amusee bouche of fried plantains and a mango chutney, we both loved it so much he brought seconds! The steak tartare was among the best I have ever eaten, accompanied by a simple salad and pomme frites avec mayonnaise. We ended this feast with a cappuccino with the tallest foam topper I have ever seen and a simple creme brulee. The walk back was brisk, and we encountered a light show like i had not seen before. The cloud cover was low enough that it made round spots in they sky where the light met the cloud. An awesome way to welcome us to Montreal!

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