Montreal, part deux

Left: My new BFF Center: My new ears Right:  A double-tusked Narwhal skull!

SMS and I continued our Montreal adventures on the 4th.  We learned the difference between the BioDome and the BioSphere.  The BioDome is the converted velodrome from the 1976 Olympics.  It now has 4 different climate zones with representative plants and animals.  The highlights were the rainforest (so warm!) and watching beavers and pelicans swim (they were in different climate zones). Beavers swim by paddling their limbs and have feet that open open into flippers only when swimming.  Pelicans look like they’re flying through the water and are so cute!

It started snowing and we went back to Chinatown, which was close to our hotel.  We went to a noodle shop that we had seen the day before when we saw the guy making noodles in the picture window.  The noodles are made out of long ropes of dough that are smacked against the floured surface several times before they are hand-pulled apart.  The noodles are Lanzhou beef hand-pulled noodles, which is made with beef and five colored ingredients- clear broth, white radish, red chili oil, green coriander and garlic.  It is one of the three great Chinese fast-food dishes as designated by the China Cuisine Association.  The noodles come in about 8 different sizes and the soup was really good, especially in the cold weather!

Left: Put some clothes on those girls, they’re freezing! Right: SMS contemplates the old foundation.  The stone was supported by wood pilings, which he thought was stupid since everyone knows wood rots (which in fact, it did).

Next, we went to the the Pointe-a-Calliere, Montreal Museum of Archeology and History.  We saw the old town fortification wall and old foundations.   We also went to a special exhibit called “The Greeks,” which contained over 5000 years of artifacts from ancient Greece, from the Minoans to Alexander the Great.  It was really awesome.  My favorites were the gold diadems, which so intricate and beautiful.

Awesome Ile Flottant du caramel dessert and the awesome SMS!

For dinner, we had reservations at L’Express.  We took the bus in the snow, which made us a little late but fortunately, we were still seated.  They had delicious bread, which was really just a vehicle for the even more delicious butter.  SMS ordered the endive and watercress salad, which I had the sautéed cauliflower with parmesan and bacon chips.  Not the lightest way to serve a vegetable but delicious!  For our mains, I had the quail which had rightly been highly recommended.  SMS got the poached salmon, which was also quite tasty.  For dessert, we split the Ile Flottant du Caramel, a merengue with a caramel sugar shell floating in a liquidy caramel custard.  It was ridiculously good.  The dinner was an extravagant treat and totally worth it.

The next day, we were off to the airport.  The flight leaving Montreal was delayed by an hour due to luggage loading, which caused 20+ of us to get kicked off our connecting flight to Haneda out of Toronto.  Big, huge boo!  We even made it in time for final call but it was too late, our seats were gone.  We were rebooked for the next day after wasting the afternoon in airport lines.  We had a voucher for the Holiday Inn.  Normally, I would want to do something in the city we’re stuck in but between the cold and our fatigue, we just hung out and waited until it was time to go the next day.  I have sworn off Air Canada (not that they’ll even miss me) but even though our return was a pain, the overall vacation was absolutely amazing.  Amazingly cold.  Ha, ha!  It was great and SMS and I had such a fun time with the family!  We should do it again next year!

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