food & drinks, montreal, travel, vancouver

Tales from Two Cities


In the past two weeks:

  1. We flew to Vancouver and  attended a wedding at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. Its Lobby Bar is my new favourite hotel bar, possibly second to the Rum House in New York City. I often thought about how Cory Monteith had died in the same building only two weeks before. Outside, just around the corner from the main entrance, a teddy bear and lone flower leaned up against the wall. I wonder how long the hotel will keep them there, if they’re there still and where they go when they’re removed.
  2. The day after the wedding, we woke up at 7:30 to get the first of our hotel’s bike rentals.  H’s front tire caught a tack somewhere between First and Second Beach on Stanley’s westside and our plans to see the city were briefly foiled until we got it fixed. Still, we managed to see much of the park and trekked up and through the Burrard Bridge to brunch in Granville Island at Edible Canada and sake at Artisan Sake Maker. H fell in love with the world music store, here’s our little video of her playing just some of the instruments. I’ve always had good weather on my visits to Vancouver and it almost tricks me into thinking, “yeah, I could live here.”
  3. We flew back to Toronto on WestJet and watched eight episodes of Parks and Recreation during the flight. There were some LOLs, to the chagrin of our aisle-mate.
  4. We finished all of Orange Is The New Black and gasped at the end of the finale.
  5. Two days later, we drove to Montreal with three friends squished in the back seat. Everyone played DJ and we stopped in Kingston to lunch at Pan Chanco, home of my favourite olives. At Maison Publique, all seven of us got the tasting menu and drank some delicious Blue Mountain Pinot Noir and local sparkling cider. I want more. Get the fried smelts, that tartar sauce is out of this freakin’ world.
  6. We then spent the next three days drinking shitty Coors Light and tallboys of Bacardi drinks at Osheaga. The food was marginally better.  I avoided the crowded walk and long wait at the gourmet food trucks  and ate hot dogs covered in mustard. I found out about the St. Hubert stall too late, but it didn’t matter, the snack bar poutine was excellent. Real cheese curds!
  7. By Monday morning, my Sperry Top Siders were toast, covered in mud and totally unsalvageable. It was a sign of a seriously intense weekend of mud, gravel, dancing in the company of 45,000 other people every day. Fantastic weekend of live performances, too many to mention. Now it’s over and it’s back to real life…