Monday morning was bleak. The weather app said it would rain around 10 in the morning so we dragged our sleepy selves from our comfy bed at 6.30 in the morning. The plan was to visit three places then hide out in the underground malls.
First, we needed food. The food at Marriott was okay and it was free but I wanted more than the usual omelette and sausage, muffins, and waffles. I wanted my french toast and hot chocolate or stacks of pancakes with a side of eggs and bacon. We found Dunn’s, which was next to Dominion, where we had our first dinner. Dominion has one of the best marrow bones I’ve ever tasted, second to Ministry of Steak in Melbourne, Australia. We sat on the bar and checked out the beautiful people while perched on bar stools. Even at a busy Friday night, we walked right in without a reservation and managed to snag a bar space. There was an empty table but it was close to the door and we would have been at the mercy of people walking past us and the wind whipping inside. They had the loveliest of staff. Unlike other bar-dining places where the bartender ignored us, our main bartender kept checking in on us. When he wasn’t able to, another staff made sure to get our new orders. We watched the bartenders do their thing and sang along to Ottis Redding about sitting on the dock of the bay.
Now, Dunn’s. It’s a 24-hour dining place. Both D places were under the sexy massage sign above. The place was like a throwback to the 50s diner with the red cubicles, sports memorabilia on the walls and the songs about the birds and the bees and being someone’s Valentine girl. I had my French toast and chocolate cake and H had his bagel and lox.
From there, we took an uber to the Mont Royal Cemetery. We chatted with the driver and asked whether there were a lot of uber around the area since we wanted to go the Chalet du Mont Royal afterwards. It was a great thing we asked because there were apparently multiple entrance to the cemetery. One entrance, where he dropped us off, was next to the park where the Chalet Mont Royal was located.
Cemeteries fascinate me, not because it’s morbid. Cemeteries, in large part, shows how people treat their dead. I’ve been to cemeteries where tombs are packed close to each other, there’s nowhere to walk but on the tombs themselves. I’ve seen cemeteries where flowers surround the tombstone and photos and loving words were engraved on marble. I’ve seen simple crosses to the more elaborate tombstone. I’ve seen hundred-year crumbling tombstones and delicately carved sleeping angels.
The Mont Royal Cemetery was a well-taken cared of resting place. When we were there, no less than 5 people were trimming the grass. Each tombstone were laid out in an orderly fashion.
From the cemetery, we crossed the road and followed the road to the Chalet. We were fortunate to be there so early in the morning since there were only a few people having their photos taken or taking in the view. The view from the Chalet was stunning. The sky was a mix of grey, white, blue, and streaks of orange as the sun struggled to peek through the dense clouds. We met a few people on their walks, jogs, or bikes. It’s easy to imagine how crowded it would get on a sunny day.
The hall was empty save for a few chairs but the exposed beams and carved squirrels were photogenic.
We took another uber ride to get to downtown Montreal. There were bus stops at the park entrance but our weekend pass had already expired. We wanted to go to the Village. I saw the rows of colorful lightbulbs strung across an entire length of street spanning several blocks on our way to and from Quebec City and wanted to explore the place. It turned out that it was Le Village gai or Gay Village or simply the Village. The Village is “located mainly on St. Catherine Street East and extends along Amherst Street in the Ville-Marie borough” (Wikipedia)
Again, because it was early, not even 11 in the morning, the street wasn’t busy. There were a lot of art graffiti on buildings. H, curious as ever, even tried on this stationary bike where it pumped out music when you pedal. A couple joined him and they had fun pedaling to Pharell William’s Happy Song.
When the cloudy sky became more ominous, we decided it was time to go underground. We took the Beaudry Metro, we couldn’t miss it due to the rainbow color posts, and followed google. Google maps led us on a merry chase, as usual, but we did end up in this huge building, which turned out to be the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Montreal.
It’s not as huge or ornate as the Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal but it was still impressive in its own right.
We walked around until we found one underground place but it was mostly a conference venue. When we scrutinized the map, we realized that the underground mall spanned all the malls and wasn’t one particular mall. In fact, two of the malls were close to our apartment, the Simone’s Mall being one of them.
For lunch, we ended up at the Les Cours Mont Royal mall food court after a bit of shopping where I had a very tasty japchae and bulgogi. H, on the other hand, finally tried a bowl of poutine and was severely disappointed.
We were too tired to do anything more, we rested our feet at the hotel. For dinner, we walked next door to this tiny pizza place called Pizzeria No. 900 Napolitaine, where we indulged in a bit of wine and watched the staff prepare our pizza and fire it up in their domed open-door oven.