As expected after the fiasco last time, the BF and I communicate brilliantly and he keeps me posted on his journey up from NYC. He even arrives an hour or so early leaving me just enough time to find lights for the mini Christmas tree I have taken with me, get glammed-up in my meeting-the-BF-from-the-bus outfit and get to the station. Once the taxi had dropped us back at 1 Rene Lévesque Apartment hotel, BF unpacks, carefully tucking my Christmas presents under the tree and we go across the street to get some food before having a couple of beers in the bar we had gone to in October.
As we are on the corner of Rue St Laurent, the road that leads all the way up to Little Italy, we start walking. It’s freezing. I’m wearing leather gloves rather than woollen today and my hands are dropping off, finger by finger. My hair is frozen. If it had not been -16, the walk would have been very pleasant but it’s a long long way and no amount of stopping to duck into a shop at every opportunity gives us a long-term solution. We make it, and have a scrumptious, hearty Italian lunch served by a Toronto Italian. We stroll a little more before succumbing to our first Canadian subway ride and the end the day watching Avatar. Interesting.
Moved to our more luxurious Christmas hotel in the neighbourhood I discovered on my last day on the birthday trip. Maritime hotel doesn’t have the microwave and fridge we had got used to in the apartment hotel but it is definitely 4 star luxury as far as comfort goes and the area is as good as I had remembered. More importantly, BF loved it. I chose it as you could request the microwave and fridge but when I did, they said I’d have to upgrade the room for it. If I’d known, I would have stayed a couple more nights in the other place but never mind, it all worked.
Still freezing today as we discover picturesque Westmount, as the name suggests to the west of the mountain and the furthest West we go to the ‘English’ side of the city.
Our second subway – actually metro – ride to discover the huge Plateau neighbourhood to the east and foot of the mountain. Not as much there as the guide books stated so perhaps the area comes into it’s own in the café culture of the summer. It’s still freezing so the trip to the base of the mountain is postponed.
Later we go to our new ‘local’ cinema in the famous (to ice hockey fans) Forum, previous home to the uber-successful Montreal Canadiens and see BF’s choice of Up in the Air. The film is OK but the company is lovely.
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The Journals of Alexander Mackenzie: Voyages from Montreal, on the River St. Laurence, Through the Continent of North America, to the Frozen and Pacif