Williams takes Montreal II

Long weeks are so much easier to live through when you have something to look forward to for the weekend, and my trip to Montreal certainly lived up to expectations. We left campus just after 4 p.m. on Friday and got to the Four Points Sheraton around 9:30. We were conveniently located just two blocks from Rue de St. Catherine, the major street of shopping, restaurants and clubs.

After getting ready to party, the first order of business was to check out Peel’s Pub, which proved to be everything friends and JAs had promised: cheap food and a great atmosphere. Wooden tables and the dark smoky air made for a true pub feel. The music was mostly great and we really appreciated the pitcher of Sex on the Beach for $20 Canadian, which roughly equates to U.S. $15. Pre-gaming completed, we left the pub with a huge group of other Williams kids to check out Super Sexe, advertised as Montreal’s most famous strip club.

Super Sexe was an educational experience similar to my high school physics class: now I know, and I have no interest in ever repeating the learning process. Eight of us girls left after about half an hour, but I understand the guys in the group found it more enthralling than I did.

Walking down Rue St. Catherine at night was entertainment by itself. We were offered drugs (any and all kinds, apparently) by an enthusiastic dealer, mooned by two guys who were all too eager to show off their large, white, hairy rear ends and queried from whence we came: “the palm of the devil or the wings of God.”

Right off of Rue St. Catherine is Crescent Street, home to a bewildering choice of bars. As it was rather late, we got in free to Pub Claddagh, a smallish club with a mostly male, mostly impolite clientele. Dancing without getting groped proved almost impossible, but we had a great time despite our ardent suitors’ advances and the music was consistently good.

Bright and early on Saturday afternoon, we headed out for some intense shopping. Two hours, several stores and lots of shopping bags later, we headed down to Old Montreal. An hour later, we had no clue where we were, so we found a cab driver who was, intriguingly, similarly clueless as to the location of the IMAX Theater. We got there eventually, however, and luckily found our friends in that place beloved to female hearts, the bathroom.

Exploring Old Montreal was worth the trouble it took to get there. It is breathtakingly quaint and begs to be photographed. We stopped in a Maple Sugar Shop and had some of the best desserts ever: a maple sugar torte and chocolate hazelnut ice cream.

We watched a street performer in the central square, stopped at roughly a hundred indistinguishable souvenir shops and hunted for the perfect place for dinner. Finally, we decided on Le Panoramique, an Italian restaurant with lovely décor, tasty if not outstanding food, reasonable prices and interminably slow service. Ordering wine with dinner was pleasantly European, and overall we came away quite pleased.

We returned to the hotel to nap and get gorgeous, then headed back to Peel’s for some more high-quality pre-gaming. We decided to stop being girly and sprung for the 140 oz. pitcher of beer ($25 Canadian/$18 U.S.), which looked intimidating but was surprisingly easy to finish. Next, we headed to the Easter-appropriate establishment we had carefully selected the night before, Club Vatican.

Vatican was right across the street from Pub Claddagh, but worlds away in terms of quality. The $10 entrance fee made for a classier clientele, the dance floor was spacious, and the music was wonderful. There was even a rendition of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling to complete the sense of holy awe.

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