Day 26 – On the Road to Montreal

Our next stop, Montreal, is just a few hours down the highway. It’s not a very interesting drive. I had forgotten that this part of Quebec Province is very flat and farm-oriented.

On the way, I think about all the beautiful flowers we’ve seen ever since we got to New York State. Where we lived in Virginia, people have flowering trees and shrubs, maybe a couple of pots by the front door but mostly the landscaping is green and boring. We were the oddballs in our neighborhood, with a perennial garden out front that I would augment with brightly colored annuals – zinnias and asters – if the perennials weren’t doing well (usually chomped by the deer). Our neighbors would tell us they loved the flowers but we never saw anyone follow suit. Maybe that’s because it would get so hot and flowers take so much water and attention in that kind of heat?

But in the Northeast, where winters are longer and summer is to be enjoyed to its absolute fullest, we see boxes and planters of flowers everywhere. I started to take pictures of flowers in Rhinebeck and, although my photos never do them justice, I have continued everyone we’ve been.

I’m going to post a few below, just to give you a taste of the exuberant plantings I’ve been enjoying.

Ok. Back to Montreal.

After we check into our hotel, we walk to Vieux Montreal for a fantastic dinner at Robin Square, a small, family-run establishment. Cream of onion soup, pork belly, mac and cheese. Everything is sublime, with smoky and spicy notes that elevate casual food to one of the best dinners we’ve ever had. We had found the restaurant using our favorite “best restaurant in…” Google search and then sorting through the various “Top 10” lists to find what works for us. We don’t necessarily want the high-end, formal restaurant. We like authentic food that’s prepared well.

Wandering around after dinner, we see a huge white tent on a nearby wharf. We have bumped into the Cirque du Soleil show “Volta”. We love Cirque shows and since we’re 35 minutes away from tonight’s performance, we get tickets and head in.

A few weeks ago, I had read an article about the woman who goes around the world looking for unique acts that can be incorporated into a show. That has to be how she found the guy who dribbles, juggles and does acrobatics with basketballs. Even though the beginning narration is in French, the plot’s simple enough that we can follow the show easily enough and it’s not like the plot matters when you’ve got BMX bikes jumping in tandem or a lady twirling from the ceiling by her hair!

We’ve had a great introduction to Montreal.

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