Originally published: 10/23/2004; 8:48:38 PM

10/21/2004. Christy and I left an unusually hot and humid Dallas for a crisp and cold Montreal. Our cab driver deftly whisked us from the airport to old downtown Montreal to our hotel, L’Auberge de la Place Royale, a small bed and breakfast. The auberge sits right across the street from the St. Lawrence, down the block from the archaeology and history museum and was built some time during the 1800’s.

We set out in search of dinner, wandering down St. Paul, the oldest street in Montreal. This narrow, winding, cobblestone street has many boutiques, galleries and restaurants. We settled on L’Uisine Spaghetti for some Italian food. Unfortunately for us, the waitstaff had called in sick “…five minutes before opening!”, according to the proprietor, leaving him to run the place on his own. Perhaps if we had smoked, spoken French, and professed to be Quebecoise, we would have been served, but as it was we very nearly had to stuff our own tortellini. One slightly redeeming quality of the restaurant was that the back room was purportedly used by Dickens to write Tale of Two Cities.

We finished the night off at a pub called James Rooster. It is a pretty cool little place in the ground floor of one of the old buildings along the river. It is essentially an old stone cellar with arched stone ceilings and walls. We watched the Astros lose to the Cardinals while I drank a couple of pints of Rickards Red. I don’t know if Canadians consider that a good beer or not but I found it to be quite tasty.

On to Montreal Day 2.