Saturday, February 10, 2007

honeymoon - day 2

After sleeping through breakfast yesterday, Rooni and I were detirmined to head down to the Hotel Gault lobby and take in the scenery this morning with a side of toast. Here's what we learned:

1. French french toast from french baguettes is kinda' odd.
2. My mom horribly over-cooks poached eggs.
3. Unfortunately, that's how I like poached eggs.

We followed up breakfast by bundling up and setting off on foot to the Metro station. We tried to buy the Carte Touristique, an all-day Metro pass, from the station agent only to find out that it's only purchasable at a specific Metro stop. Even though I'm violating my promise by writing this down, the nice old station agent let us get on the train if we promised that we wouldn't tell anyone and that we head straight for the needed station, which we did. After getting our day-passes, Manda and I set off for the massive towering piece of modern architecture known as the Stade Olympique beside Montréal's botanical gardens.


Why? Because that's where the Insectarium is, a two-story temple to all things segmented and disgusting. We saw huge beetles. We saw huge walking sticks after searching into the terrariums for a while (stupid natural camouflage).


Manda and I also both stared down our worst fears - huge moths and huge spiders, respectively.



By the end of our time there, both of us were feeling less enlightened than we were completely skeeved out. Our cure ended up being a long and pointless journey by train and by foot (lots of foot) to the let-down of all bagel shops. The guidebook said something about it being so notoriously fantastic of a bagel shop that New Yorkers are known to head there at all hours just to stock up. What we learned, however, is that these must be tongueless, blind New York infants who have never eaten any other bagels before.

On the walk back to the Metro, we stopped at Chez Claudette's for dinner and our first foray into the slimy world of poutine, or as it's known in the US, french fries slathered in gravy and covered with hunks of cheese curds.


It was no Olive+Gourmando, but the service was really nice and my feet loved the rest.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig and by now we were old pros at the Metro. The only problem was that once we got back, we realized that Amanda had left her winter hat at Chez Claudette's. So, it was out again, out again, jiggity-jog to track down her lost chapeau, then back through the Metro in a mad dash to try and make it back before our day-passes turned into paper pumpkins at the stroke of midnight.


Tomorrow it's up early and off to the airport where we'll snag a rental car and set off for Honeymoon: Part Deux: Québec City.


Seth said...

I've never had poutine (which sure looks foul), but I'm glad you guys had it. Means you had the full Canadian culinary experience, apparently. On a recent Kevin Smith DVD, he did a walk-about in Toronto and was asking folks about (or aboot, if you will) what the quintessential Canadian food is, and the only thing anyone could come up with was poutine.

phobucket said...

That's a great shot of the Olympic Park. How was the hotel itself?

phobucket said...

Also, were you humming Fanfare for the Common Man the whole time you were in Montreal?

Bug said...

Yeah, poutine looks foul, but it's okay. Not the best thing I've ever eaten. But it definitely looks like it fits into the world of "late night, post-club drunk food" beautifully. Right next to fish and chips, kababs, and Taco Bell.

The hotel was nice. It's very modern. Probably too modern. The word I kept using to describe the place was "stern." Starched bathrobes, concrete floor, no art on the walls. It wasn't exactly cozy. It was a little like trying to but a hotel room inside an art gallery space, just without the art.

We enjoyed our time there, but I think it's good that we stayed their first out of all of the hotels we stayed in. The next two were definitely cozier.

Bug said...

And why fanfare for the common man? Because of the Olympics?

rooni said...

I kept thinking that poutine tastes like something the British would cook up if they were trying to imitate chili-cheese fries -- they'd use all the wrong stuff, make it more bland, and act all excited about it.

And Ben, when I read your comment about Fanfare for the Common Man, I thought, "When were we talking about that recently?" .. then, "Oh yeah, when we were coming out of a Metro station in Montreal." So, yes, he was humming Fanfare for the Common Man in Montreal (but maybe not the whole time).

Sharlene said...

Amanda will testify that I LOVE all things potatoes. I didn't think it was possible to make a potato that I wouldn't eat...

Just one more reason to hate Canada.

Bug said...

Wow ... way to go, Canada. Good job alienating potato-lovers the world around.

rooni said...

Awesome. And yes, here's my testimony:

Seriously, everyone, the girl LOVES potatoes. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone so dedicated to her enjoyment of potatoes.

Sharlene, you'd be so unhappy with how the Canadians have repeatedly defiled the potato -- fries just aren't fries there, even without the curds 'n' gravy. I'm sorry.

phobucket said...

Because the metro in montreal plays the first 3 notes of Fanfare for the Common Man when it leaves the station.


phobucket said...

Bah to you all. Poutine is delicious and the fries are way better than any stanky McDonalds fries. Different fries for different guys (and gals).

Bug said...

Oh! That's why then! Yeah, I was walking out of the Metro with Manda towards the Stade Olympique when I started to hum the beginning of Fanfare for the Common Man. I had no idea why. It didn't register that it was something actually playing it. I thought I had just heard some sort of mechanical industrial sound whose natural pitches were the same intervals as the opening to Fanfare.

Wow. Fascinating.

rooni said...

I think Canadians should petition to have "Different fries for different guys" be their national motto. Awesome.