Random thoughts on our neighbors to the north. Did you know you can drive from Boston to Halifax in one day? It would be a LOONNGGG day trip but doable. In ’06 I biked the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton (which is also doable if you’re in decent shape) and the only decent beer I discovered was called “Sleeman’s Black Pearl.” For some reason there was a graphic of a black number “8” pool ball on the label. I can’t seem to find it on the web, so it may be gone. Piece of advice…I know they advertise themselves as “The Pride of Nova Scotia” on their web site, but please stay away from Alexander Keith’s. The man has a lovely obelisk tombstone in Halifax but his beer…I don’t want to be brought before the Canadian Human Rights Commission, so I’ll quit while I’m ahead.
During my first trip to Toronto, it was about 40 minutes before I heard, “…, eh” in a sentence. (I was walking through Chinatown of all places.) On the same trip I saw two 9 year olds playing hockey…on the sands of Lake Ontario.
In and around Montreal are many fine gentlemen’s clubs. I can’t vouch for the clubs (actually, I’d like to see them wiped off the face of a Quebecois map) but no matter where I went to eat, the food was great.
When in Quebec City, the old town, visit Bar Chez Son Pere. Cheap beer and live music. And forget the very American thing of just listening and nodding your head to the music. EVERYBODY sings very loudly along with the musician. An unbelievable time will be had by all.
Before I end my musings on La Belle Province, I’ve got to mention Patrice L’Ecuyer. If you watch even a fraction of Radio Canada, which is usually available on cable in New England, you would have noticed this man. Patrice is the host of seemingly dozens of t.v. shows and he’s a guest on dozens of other Quebec talk shows. I suppose one french-speaking province can have only so many t.v. personalities. Just look at him…he’s about as “homme” as one can get. (Notice the unbuttoned collar and undone tie…very French.)
One more shout out…to Victoria, BC. It’s lovely. Simply put.
And, so to all my Canadian friends (all one of you), I raise a Unibroue “La Fin du Monde” and wish you a very happy Dominion Day.