On Monday, we had planned to take Amtrak from Troy (actually Albany-Rensselaer) to Montréal; our hotel explained that Schenectady would be a better starting point, because they’d take us there for free. We were willing to see the logic in that argument, and were all set to get ask the van to take us, but I decided to check to see what kind of meals we’d be able to buy on the train. It’s a good thing that I did, because I also asked if the train was on time. The agent checked, and told me that it had suffered engine problems a mile outside of New York and had to be brought back to Grand Central and would be a couple of hours late getting on the rails again. That would have made us quite late for the first event at the CTRE (Corporate Technical Recognition Event), so I decided to see if I could get a rental car at a reasonable rate. I could, did, and we enjoyed a beautiful drive to Montréal, with a much better lunch (at Lox of Bagels and Moor in Queensbury, NY (exit 18 of the Northway)) than Amtrak would have provided at any price. Returning the car to Hertz wasn’t too painful (though I did get chased out of a parking lot) — and when I checked Amtrak’s web site to see when the train actually arrived in Montréal, the site told me that I’d have to call their toll-free number and talk to an agent, so I am very glad we chose to drive.
Today, I attended a three-hour meeting with some excellent speakers (Mordecai Richler, giving us a personal introduction to Montréal, and Dr. Sylvia A. Earle talking about the ocean), then a three-hour French wine tasting with lunch at Maison du Gouvernor. Guess which one I enjoyed more?
While I was slaving away, Diane and Jeffrey were exploring Montréal — they said they got as far as the ice rink at 1000 de La Gauchetière.
Tonight, Jeffrey will have a baby-sitter while Diane and I go to dinner along with other attendees. I’m not sure how I’ll be able to eat anything after lunch, but I’m sure I’ll manage.
We had dinner at Primadonna, a trendy Italian restaurant with a sushi bar. We didn’t sit at the sushi bar, and they didn’t offer us the sushi menu, so we had to make due with the Italian choices, which were quite tasty (and filling, not that I needed to eat anything else!). After dinner, we took a little walk, which became a longer walk than we intended when I got a bit turned around — but eventually, we found our way back to the right area and took a bus back to the hotel. Jeffrey was still up (we were hoping he’d’ve gone to sleep already), so we said good night and put him to bed, and then joined him ourselves.
Photos for June 6th (all from Maison du Gouvernor):