Saturday, August 19, 2017
We got up early and mustered, as we had a big day planned. I actually went to the gym at 7:00 am. I’ll never do that again. It was packed. I managed to get a treadmill for 10 minutes, but when I was ready to put my mat down, I couldn’t find a piece of floor that would fit a quarter of it. So I went back to the room and lay down on a towel to exercise. Now I know why I don’t get up early. Everyone else does.
Elvon doesn’t, but I made him. 13 hours is enough sleep for anyone. The Holiday Inn provided orange juice, sausages, scrambled eggs, hot frosted cinnamon buns and tea. They provided a bunch of other things, too, but we couldn’t eat them all at once. We were on the road by 10:15 am, and, despite the teeming barrel population on Montreal’s interchanges and bridges, we were in Lac Brome a little after Noon. The duck place has expanded over to Asbestos. That’s a town in Quebec, about 30 miles away. They are born and raised for a short time here, and sent over there to fatten up and face their fate. The store is still here, though, and I bought cans of foie gras, and appropriate condiments, for the women’s Technical Wine Group party in September.
On to Magog, for a visit with Glenn Coates, a retired Anglican minister, who used to live next door to Robert Lemire, in Danville, QC. Glenn was never your ordinary clergyman, and I’ll keep our secrets here, but we sure had a lot of fun. His apartment is quite wonderful, complete with the gayest sofa I have ever seen. I almost took a picture of it, but his view is too good to pass up.
The geraniums are on his patio, what looks like a street is a bike path, and that’s the river beyond. Not too shabby. He doesn’t get to travel much, a prisoner of the too-good Canadian medical system. Elvon felt that was a great shame. It is interesting that Elvon is expressing opinions, these days. I think traveling is doing him good. He even got to asking me what “Je me souviens” on the Quebec license plates means. I knew it meant “I remember” but I didn’t know what they remember. So, I googled, and you can, too. There’s quite the controversy. Which is why I don’t remember.
We left Glenn’s and checked into L’Etoile du Lac” where our own room had a pretty nice view. This one is Lake Memphremagog” from our room.
And the weather looks threatening, but we were okay. My phone said it would rain at 8:00 pm, and we’d be in the restaurant by that time. We had a little party to show off this view before dinner, a couple of bottles of wine, a jar of “duck stuff” and some fabulous crackers, and we were done. I got the wine glasses from the bar, along with an ice bucket. I carried them back to the room myself, having refused the offer, in French, of a “bus girl”. That’s how we talk here.
Our party consisted of our other family, Andrea and Paul Terni, JP and Ellen Morneau, and new friends, Andrea and Page Fairchild, who had thus far only been voices on the phone, booking cruises. They are even better in person, and it was a perfect night. Our restaurant, Au Gré du Vent, is a Table Champêtre, basically, farm to table. They raise guinea fowl, wild boar, and a lot of veggies. I had the wild boar. Seven out of eight of us did. It was lovely, as were the other five courses. The wine was fine, and the company even better. Paul wanted this particular picture, with some of the bottles.
We woke up on the 20th to a glorious day. There were still a few clouds about but it was mainly sunny. The Auberge had an Eggs Benedict brunch that was sorely tempting, but we ate rich last night, and we had the fabulous Le Meac coming tonight. We checked out and I popped into a Magog supermarket named “Le Vegetarian”, don’t laugh. It was breakfast. I came out with some fruit, 4 small yogurts, 2 bottles of mango juice and 4 carrot muffins. I also bought three Quebec cheeses to stock our refrigerator, because when we move back into the Holiday Inn, we’re staying. I drove back near our hotel to a parking lot with a view. The only problem is that it wanted $8.00 to park for the day. People picnic there, walk the waterfront path, enjoy water sports, etc. Luckily, a human being was collecting the money and he had a better idea for us. “Vous continuez sur Principale, vous prennez Merry Sud, et c’est just passé le mec d’eau.” Well “mec d’eau” was a new one on me, so I questioned it. It was short for McDonald’s. Breakfast was delicious, and we were soon on the road, bound for Montreal. It was almost one.
Driving around the Eastern Townships, you always see a lot of bikers. There are headquarters for Hell’s Angels and Outlaws, in these parts. The bikers are ageing, just like us. We saw more 4 wheeled bikes than the regular kind. Why in God’s name anyone would want to ride a motorcycle with training wheels is beyond me. Yes, I know, it’s when you no longer have the strength to keep the hog upright. So, quit already, get a nice car and enjoy the ride. I guess when you’re a Hell’s Angel, that’s not an option. To each his own. We got to the Holiday Inn at around 2:45 pm, and had to wait a half-hour for our room to be ready. Any old room would not do this time, as we were in for a couple of weeks. We went to the gym, and did the necessary there. Then Elvon had a nice nap, and I unpacked and started this blog.
Google got us around the Montreal construction sites and to Le Meac about 15 minutes early. We were soon joined by Linda Snell, Bev Rowat and Wendy Sissons. Wendy and Bev are retired but Linda is still practicing and teaching medicine. That was useful, because the steroid eye drops, that cost $US225 in Santa Rosa, are $CAD44.15 here. Thank you, wonderful friend. Business out of the way, we had a delightful meal, catching up on everyone’s travels. I am sampling torchon de foie gras, from many restaurants, this trip. My favorite presentation will be one of the small plates at WTWG in September. This one was served with a pear condiment and a toasted brioche. I have the ingredients for that, all but the brioche, which I’ll have to get locally, anyway. I followed it with moules frites, another favorite. We had to wait a very long time for the main course, so the restaurant comp’d us their famous pain perdu, for dessert. It’s a three inch thick piece of French toast, from a brioche loaf, so soaked with egg and cream, that it’s practically custard. Comes with gelato and butter and maple syrup. Onyque.