I shot this picture just before Christmas, but it serves as a good photograph since there is no snow today in Montreal. The weather forecast includes the possibility for snow on Christmas night and Boxing Day, and so we can hope.
We had planned to take our annual walk up Mont Royal today - it's a perfect thing to do on Christmas, when there's very little to do, the shops being closed, etc. But Chuck was feeling under-the-weather because of a cold, so we took advantage of the opportunity to be lazy. I think that's the key to a good holiday - not over-planning, and being flexible about the plans you've made.
We walked around the Old City and I took more photographs, which I'll be posting here in the next couple of days.
I should add that, although most shops in the Old City are closed on Christmas, many of the shops more directly related to the tourist trade are open, as are a number of restaurants, particularly on Rue St. Paul Est, as well as along St. Laurent Boulevard. You certainly don't have to starve. Rue St. Paul Ouest may seem deserted by comparison.
Tonight, we're having dinner at Otto. Otto is located in the W Hotel and the food is quite good. I won't pretend that it's our favorite place to dine in Montreal, but on Christmas night, the hotel restaurants tend to be reliable places to find a bite to eat.
Last night, we had a great dinner at Bonaparte, and I've commented already about how it's a fine place to enjoy dinner on Christmas Eve, since it's rather traditional and French-inspired. But this year, we also discovered that Gandhi, one of our favorite restaurants in the Old City, was open on Christmas Eve with a special dinner menu. And somehow, this year, that seemed quite appealing. And so, next year, if Gandhi is open, we may try moving our Christmas Eve dinner there. Traditions are to be savored, but sometimes it's worth breaking them, too.
A note about Otto, now that we've returned. The food was excellent, as always. The restaurant describes itself as Italian, and this is true, but there's also an Asian element that creeps in. We had excellent tempura-battered seafood, and our entrees were tuna, as well as a delicious risotto with perfect texture. Dessert was fun, too - nice take-offs on Tiramisu and Cannoli, with Chambord gelato.
"Pirates of the Carribbean" is on CBC - that's a nice way to kick back and finish off a relaxing and enjoyable holiday.