Quick Trip to Montreal, part 1

Noah and I have wanted to take a trip to Montreal for months. Noah had some childhood memories from visiting there in the past, and I had never been, so we thought it would be a great spot for a quick, fun getaway! Plus, now that we’re in our new home, we are not that far from Montreal. The trip didn’t take much planning because we could just hop in the car and drive there (don’t forget the passports!). On the way to Montreal, we were also able to stop in Montpelier and see Noah’s parents which was lovely – it’s so great to live near family!

We arrived to Montreal in the mid-afternoon and immediately headed to the Biodome. The Biodome is in the Olympic Park and is basically a zoo that is structured around different habitats. The first habitat is a tropical rainforest:

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The tropical rainforest featured a lot of fish, birds, alligators, frogs, and this pretty funky looking capybara:

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FROGS:

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The next habitat was the Laurentian Maple Forest – it was pretty brisk in the forest! There were otters, beavers, and this very active lynx:

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Plus, more birds:

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The other two habitats were the Gulf of St. Lawrence (lots of fish!) and the Labrador Coast (penguins!). I must have been so enthralled by those exhibits that I didn’t take any photos…sorry!

After the Biodome we walked around the Olympic Park a bit.

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The highlight of the park exploration was going to the top of the Montreal Tower (pictured above). Noah and me waiting for the funicular to start moving:

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…and we’re off!:

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Awesome views of the city:

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Photo op:

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After leaving Olympic Park, we checked into our hotel and then did some research to figure out where to go to dinner. We stayed at the Auberge Bonaparte – a lovely inn that Noah found. The room was spacious, clean, and comfortable, and the stay included a delicious breakfast each day at the hotel’s restaurant. Based on Yelp reviews and a guide book that Noah and I borrowed from his parents, we decided to go to Holder for dinner. Holy cow, this was a DELICIOUS meal! It was a little on the expensive side…but – hey – vacation, right??

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I ordered salmon and Noah had steak – we both loved our meals!

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And we couldn’t say no to dessert:

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Overall, a pretty decadent meal, but so very worth a splurge.

Our first night in Montreal was also the last night of Chanukah, and we discovered this public menorah in a square near our hotel:

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Happy 8th night!

Stay tuned for another post about the second half of the trip soon!

 

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Eucalyptus and the International Book Fair

Last week, Noah and I celebrated Valentine’s Day by going out to a fancy dinner at The Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is a restaurant in Jerusalem located within the artist’s row on the outskirts of the Old City. I had read about Eucalyptus a few times since being in Jerusalem, and it was often listed as among the best restaurants in the city.

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Eucalyptus is a kosher meat restaurant, and I saw online that they did a few different tasting menus. Noah and I were excited at the prospect of ordering a tasting menu since in the U.S. we usually can’t do that sort of thing since the tasting menu typically includes some sort of trefe (non-kosher) food. It’s sooo nice not having to worry about that sort of thing here in Israel! 🙂

We settled on ordering the Shir HaShirim feast which was the mid-level tasting menu, including assorted appetizers, three entrees, and a dessert platter.

This was one extravagant meal – definitely an experience for a special occasion!
Side note: the lighting in the restaurant was dim (ooooh, how romantic) so the photos aren’t very high quality

The meal started with some breads and dips as well as a wild kale dish:

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The next round of dishes included roasted eggplant and roasted cauliflower with tehina:

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The last round of the ‘appetizers’ course was a trio of soups, including lentil, tomato, and artichoke soup as well as figs stuffed with chicken and something that vaguely resembled an egg roll (unpictured):

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The entrees were roasted duck with mashed potatoes, lamb neck in a stew with a pastry top, and a chicken and rice dish (which was served upside down in a pot and the waitress told Noah to make a wish on it before we ate!). This is the lamb stew:

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The meal ended with a dessert platter that included sorbet, chocolate souffle, something that vaguely resembled flan with a berry sauce, tiramisu, and roasted pears:

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Wow! What a meal. 🙂

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On our way home, we stopped by the International Book Fair which was a cultural event happening all of last week in Jerusalem. The event was hosted at the Tahana Rishona, and the book spread was even larger than I had anticipated.

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The fair was held indoors in an extremely large tent, and the book displays were divided up according to country or topic:

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In addition to books, there were also some stands selling various types of art, posters, etc. Unfortunately, we were there shortly before closing time, so there wasn’t much of an opportunity to look around and find something to buy. Nonetheless, I’m glad we went! I love that Jerusalem has so many cultural festivals and activities year round (and that so many of them are nearby to my neighborhood!).