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And so, on the morning of Saturday, 7 June 2008, did three intrepid travelers begin their journey into the wilds of *gasp* Canada....

Uh, sorry, I've been doing some writing lately. It gets to a girl.

But on that morning, [ profile] divalibby76, [ profile] transl8, and I did fly out of O'Hare airport, and land in sunny Montreal. I have known their family for eighteen years, having met Libby the summer we were fourteen, at Interlochen, but have actually never spent long stretches of time with Katie. So I was looking forward to this trip, for many reasons. And yeah, one of these days I'll get the accents working on my keyboard....

The first day, predictably, wasn't overly exciting. In fact, there's only ten pictures in the album for that day, and all except, like, two, are of our room at the Bed and Breakfast.

But! I must tell you about the Bed and Breakfast- or Gites du Passant, as they are called up there- which I later was to learn is more or less literally translated "the den (or lair) of those who pass".

That first night, we checked into the Azur. Libby had wanted to book us in here based soley on the pictures on the website, and when we got there it was very evident why- its decoration is eerily similar to that which I have chosen for my own bedroom, only with more of an emphasis on primary colors instead of neon ones. It is very funky, with a little Zen/hippie twist to it. All in all, the words I'd choose to summarize it are endearing and charming, which is actually better than I'm sure it looks in print.

My photos are pretty much redundant if you peeked at the website, but I'll give them to you anyway. Don't worry, I'll be putting all my photos under LJ cut.

Le Gite Azur )

We arrived there probably around 5-ish, checked in, scoped the place out, and chilled for a bit. We then found ourselves hungry, so we struck out in what seemed a likely direction for an ATM and a place to eat. After a stroll down what seemed to be a disconcertingly empty stretch of Avenue Papineau, all of a sudden we hit what appeared to be civilization. Not only was it civilization, but it appeared that they had prior word we were coming, and had thrown a big street party in our honor!

street festival )

Okay, not exactly. But we continued to stroll through the street festival, getting hungrier and hungrier (said street festival didn't seem to include food booths which, as a native Chicagoan, I was highly unused to), we stumbled upon a tapas restaurant that looked slightly trendy, but promising- it was bustling, but not overfull, and the clientele didn't seem nearly as trendy as the decor or the waitstaff.

It was a lovely little place (actually not all that little- its kind of the TARDIS of restaurants) called Dans la Bouche (or, "in the mouth"), and it was here that I realized I was going to have to start documenting what we ate. I have no pictures, but our dinner menu consisted of:

- Baked brie* with a honey, port, and orange sauce
- Asparagus with goat cheese
- Steamed vegetables
- Escargo with mushrooms and garlic
- something listed as "Poutine Deluxe"

oh yeah, and

- Sangria

It was at this point I text messaged all my housemates and informed them we were moving the community to Quebec. None of them responded. I'm going to take that as a no.

I really have no idea what was so "deluxe" about the Poutine**, but considering we were in Quebec, we knew we were under obligation to try it. We agreed that crack is also an essential ingredient in Poutine, deluxe or no, because while it sounds disgustingly unappetizing, it is actually ridiculously tasty. Or at least our body chemistry was somehow tricked into thinking so.

And on that note, we took our tired, stuffed selves and staggered back to the B&B to sleep off our Travel Cooties so we could arise fresh and perky the next morning, armed with the French none of us use regularly anymore, to take on the beautiful city of Montreal.

Don't you love a good cliffhanger?


*make a note of this word, you will see it pop up- oh, well, lets see- EVERY DAY the entire trip

**now there's a phrase I never thought I'd hear- Poutine in Politics


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