The roads to Mont Tremblant were narrow and winding and the traffic was surprisingly heavy. The last hour was in pitch darkness and it was a little unnerving. We were happy to arrive in the small town at last and found great rooms at a great price. We unloaded our luggage and then went into town to buy a few groceries and have a light supper. You can imagine our surprise when we found our hotel was located on Rue Lalonde. We made plans to stop by in the morning to pose for photos by the street sign. Yes, I know, my surname is one of the most common family names in Quebec, but it was still a surprise to see it on a street sign. We headed to the grocery store and were delighted to find that beer and wine is sold as just another grocery item in stores in Quebec. Talk about convenient!
Jeong Ae was thrilled to death when she came across one aisle that had a HUGE Heineken display with a cardboard keg over five feet tall. Half of the aisle was dedicated to Heineken beer, in all shapes and sizes of containers. I’ve never seen anything like it anywhere. David wandered off to explore the other brands of beer and soon came back toting a twenty-four bottle box of Corona. He was so excited because if was on sale for $15.99 a box. He kept saying he’d never seen beer this cheap in Alberta and insisted on buying a case. You should have seen the look on his face when he opened the case back at the hotel and found that the bottles were all miniatures. It made me think of the old saying ‘if it looks too good to be true…’
We were surprised to find the town had closed up so very early and there was little choice for dinner. We ended up having pizza after being told that chicken and chicken wings were not available at that late (?) hour. The pizza was delicious, but shortly after we finished eating a large group of young men arrived and they all ordered chicken wings. I guess the cook was willing to heat up the deep fryer for such a group, but not for just the four of us.
The day dawned warm and sunny and we set off to see the sights. We learned that there are three separate districts to Mont Tremblant. The nearest to the highway is the small town of St. Jovite, where we did our shopping and ate dinner the previous night. It had a lovely small town feel in the morning and the shops were all outfitted to sell things that tourists would find interesting.
The second area is about twelve kilometers off the highway and is the town of Mont Tremblant itself. There are fewer shops here and more residential homes and tourist condos spread among the trees. A little farther along, one arrives at the ski resort area itself and this is designed primarily to service the crowds that come for the recreational activities, all year round. Just as expected, the shops and restaurants are quaint and cheerful, all outfitted with autumn decorations. We walked around the ski village and took advantage of the free lift that takes you up to the base of the ski hill. There are plenty of activities for tourists even in the summer and fall but our main focus was on tasting the famous ‘poutine’ for the first time. David and Jeong Ae rode the lift down and had beers and poutine all ordered and ready to eat by the time Anil and I walked on the paths below. It was an adventure to eat this heart-clogging dish – I think this will be my first and last poutine lunch.
By early afternoon, we found we had seen all there was to see and we headed for the highway and on to Montreal, just and hour and a half away.