Saturday, June 11, 2005

Melting Like the Ice Caps in Montreal

So Montreal is hot! No, I mean it’s hot, as in really, really humid and about 98 degrees. So much for that theory of coming to Montreal to escape the Texas heat. It has to be cooler in Dallas and at least in Dallas we have air conditioning. I know, it would have been better for the environment if air-conditioning had never been invented. It destroys the ozone layer which even wrecks more havoc on the environment. Generally, I am very environmentally friendly, but right now I’m just hot and all I can think of is how wonderful air conditioning is. We went to dinner last night at 9 PM. The restaurant seated about 20, so intimate, and when we approached the front door, we noticed a floor-stand oscillating fan twisting left, then right, then left again. My heart sank. We’d walked only a block and a half to the restaurant from our B&B in The Village, and were already drenched with sweat. At that point I wasn’t even that concerned about how great, or even adequate, the food would be, only that it be cool and refreshing and relaxing. Instead, we arrive only to find that their one and only air-conditioning unit, a long, narrow slit of a contraption high on the all near the ceiling, was broken. Since the only place to stand was just inside the door, we stood there awaiting our table. Unfortunately, we also happened to be standing between the fan and the patrons, many of whom looked up from there plates or away from their companions long enough to glare at us. We shuffled a bit to one side, pressing ourselves against the wall and tried not to block the flow.

The restaurant is BYOB. We chose a Chateaux Nuef that turned out to need breathing, lots of it, and since the stifling heat made it hard for us to catch our breaths, I could relate. The food, however, was fantastic. I’d highly recommend it. I had the veal chop and Clint the duck.

Today we visited Olympic Park. Again the heat was wilting, the Metro stifling. We saw the Biodome and road the funicular to the top of the Tower. The view of Montreal was hazy through the humid air.

Tonight we are off to Old Montreal to a French restaurant there. The Grand Prix is in town this weekend and finding a reservation is difficult, but we are told the restaurant is superb and they definitely have AC. We called and made sure.

As we were walking along Sainte Catherine’s Street this afternoon a scary thought hit me, “If it’s this hot here, a thousand miles North of Texas, this much closer to the North Pole, surely the ice caps must be melting at an alarming rate.” Clint nodded, wiped his brow with the back of his hand, and we slogged on.