Best travel portal on the web featuring best travel sites, travel packages, travel guides, travel tips, weekly travel newsletter, travel webcams, and much more!
March 8, 2006

Travel Deals * Website of the Week

Web Cam's * Travel News

WHERE'S JOHNNY JET?                                        Montreal to L.A.

HOUSE KEEPING: Remember when you click on the pictures in "Where's Johnny Jet," they will open up in another window. Just click the "x"(close) in each picture to get back to the newsletter. This should alleviate complaints about closing Johnny Jet. Thanks again for your support, and remember: If you book trips on the web, please go through (It will save you money).

"Maps of Johnny's travels courtesy of Start a travel website of your own for free now."

Web Resources










The cheapest way to ride the rails




Save up to 25% or More on Rental Cars!



Greetings from sunny Southern California! We start this week’s journey where I left off last week: Canada. (If you missed it, here’s the link to the newsletter archive).

I was in Montreal checking out the city’s underground, and the Marriott Chateau Champlain Hotel. Although it was below freezing outside, I was able to leave my jacket home because a good portion of the city is underground (there are 21 miles of pedestrian walkways). All I did was take an elevator down from my hotel lobby, and -- voila! Each day, 500,000 people travel through the Montreal underground. Now I was one of them!

This French city often made me feel like I was in Paris, but never so more than when I rode the Metro. If someone knocked me on my head and I woke up in this Metro, I would’ve bet the house I was in Paris. Every sign -- including all the advertisements in the station and on the subway -- are in French. Not one was in English! It was difficult to comprehend that I was only 45 miles from the U.S. border. The Montreal Metro was built for the 1967 World’s Fair and is special because almost every station has its own style. Each one is designed and decorated differently. The arts are very important in Montreal, and the underground is a good place to start. In fact, the city has the largest underground art collection in the world. A one-way subway ride costs $2.50 CAD (link to metro fares); a 3-day tourist card (link to tourist card) is available for $17 CAD.

The closest station to the Marriott Chateau Champlain Hotel, Bonaventure (station link), was a short 2-minute walk (underground of course). My first stop on the Metro was Olympic Park, built for the 1976 Summer Olympics. Olympic Park includes a stadium, velodrome, swim center and Olympic Village. Although this year marks the games’ 30th anniversary, the stadium still draws many visitors. Guided tours of the park are available year round for $8 CAD (adults). It was cool to see where the athletes competed, and where the Montreal Expos played baseball (1977-2004). The stadium was built with enough concrete to pave a sidewalk all the way from Montreal to Miami! Now that’s a lot of concrete. The stadium these days looks a little depressing. The Expos have moved to Washington, D.C. (Washington Nationals), and the facility is only used part time for Canadian Football League games, trade shows and events like Monster Trucks.

A visit to Olympic Park is still worth a trip, because there a lot more than just the stadium. The swim center is also on the tour. It was the largest indoor swimming center in the world, until Sydney built its for the 2000 Games. I know, who wants to see a swim center? I was expecting something dark and depressing, with no sign of life -- like the stadium. What I found could not have been further from the truth. The swim center was colorful, loud, warm, and alive with people swimming, working out, playing badminton, and other fun games. It’s open to the public, with both yearly memberships and day passes ($4 CAD for adults) available. Here are the rates to swim.

If you like birds-eye views, be sure to take a trip up the Montréal Tower Observatory. Built in 1986, it’s connected to the Olympic stadium. Reaching the observatory requires a 2-minute funicular ride up the highest inclined tower in the world (175-meter elevation, and 45-degree angle). Fortunately for me (I’m afraid of heights), the tower is closed from the beginning of January until the middle of February while maintenance is done. So I didn’t have to feel guilty about not going up. The price for adults is $14 CAD. For more info and prices.

The city came up with a fantastic idea to turn the velodrome into an educational biodome. The Biodôme is made up of four of the most beautiful ecosystems of the Americas: a lush and humid tropical forest, the Laurentian Forest, the St. Lawrence marine ecosystem, and Polar Worlds of the Arctic and Antarctic. All four ecosystems are under one glass roof. Combined, there are over 4,800 animals, 229 species (both numbers exclude invertebrates), 1,500 plants and 750 plant species. Walking around each setting really made me feel like I was in another land (I mean, lands). The tropical forest felt just Costa Rica – there were even monkeys swinging from trees. Regular admission is $12.75 CAD for adults, but if you plan to see the Olympic tower too, you should buy the "a la carte" package for $21.50 CAD (for adults).

With over 5,000 restaurants and 80 different types of national and regional cuisine, there are plenty of places to eat in Montreal. The bakeries rival France. One morning I had a European- style breakfast, sampling fresh baked baguettes, croissants and muffins from the Première Moisson bakery (next to the train station).

Did you know Cirque du Soleil was created in Montreal in 1984? Though they have seven amazing shows, there is no guarantee one will always be in town (like they are in Las Vegas). I got lucky. The weekend I was there, they offered a sneak peek of their new show "Delirium." It was held at the 21,000-seat Bell Centre (home of the Montreal Canadiens hockey team). The show was definitely unique, incorporating huge-sceen TVs and a live modern circus act with loud music. To find out where "Delirium" is playing, or get tickets to any other Cirque du Soleil shows, log on to

I was excited to go back to Los Angeles because I knew my dad, his partner Nancy and my sister Georgette were all in town. Georgette came in from Connecticut for only a few nights but my dad and Nancy were escaping the cold for a couple of weeks. We hung out, ate, relaxed, and visited with family. But we found time for touristy things too. One afternoon we went to the Grove, a beautiful outdoor shopping center with all kinds of stores restaurants, and a popular movie theatre. There is also a free trolley that operates every five minutes. More info:

The Grove is attached to the Original Los Angeles Farmers Market, where over 70 shops and stalls serve a huge variety of international cuisine. I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted for lunch, so I ordered from two stalls near each other. First I had the "Sample Plate" (13 bite-size tacos, $13) from Loteria Grill (website, tel# 323-930-2282). Then I ordered "La Napolean" (a banana, strawberry and Nutella-filled crepe, $6.35) from the French Crepe Company (tel.: 323-934-3113). Ummm ummm!

To work off the calories, we rented (rental rates) bikes at Venice Beach. I’m not a big fan of Venice, but my dad and Nancy really wanted to go. It’s too bad Venice is so sketchy, because it’s in a beautiful location. But the place depresses me. It’s dirty, and home to hundreds of derelicts and homeless people. We went on a weekday, when it’s quiet because there are fewer street performers (especially in winter). However, we watched a young girl sucker-punch another woman. Blood spewed everywhere. What’s wrong with these people? I couldn’t wait to get the heck out. Here’s my advice to L.A. visitors: Stay away from Venice Beach. If you want water, go to nearby Manhattan or Hermosa Beach. Just a 15-minute, $20 taxi ride from LAX, they’re perfect if you’ve got a long international connection.

Further north along the Pacific Coast Highway, Topanga is another beautiful beach. We took a walk there after meeting my good friend Andy for lunch at Duke’s in Malibu. Andy is the one who got married last fall in France (remember?). He lives in Santa Barbara, so Duke’s was a good meeting point. Besides, they have an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. This is the same company that runs Duke’s in Waikiki, but the food here is not as good as its sister restaurant. Does the fact that it’s in Hawaii make it so much better?. Duke’s Malibu, 21150 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu; tel.: 310-317-0777.

Next week we take to the skies again, and head back to the cold.

Happy Travels,
Johnny Jet

*Please tell us what you think of this week's newsletter!

Pictures From

The Trip


Hotel Elevator to Underground




Station Art


Guided Tour




Swim Center


Ecosystems of the Americas


The Laurentian Forest




French Bakery




My Dad and Sister


Sample Plate


Venice Beach


Topanga Beach


View From Duke's



Orbitz Expedia TravelocitySideStep HotwirePricelineDelta Air LinesBooking BuddyOne Time

Lodging.comHiltonHoliday InnMarriott Hotels.com1800USAHotelPriceline HotwireBooking BuddyOne Time

Auto Europe Enterprise HertzSideStep Hotwire PricelineBooking Buddy SearchOne Time Search

Cruise CruisesCruise WizardCruise Direct


  • Montreal is one of my favorite cities – and once again you’ve always managed to capture the essence of every place you go! PS – I am in Toronto this week at the InterContinental on Bloor Street and happened to see your blog on taking the Airporter/cab combination and decided to take a cab as you recommended. It cost about $45 CAD (a little more than the $17+$15 deal you ended up with) and at 0 F, it was well worth it to be in a cab! Ken P – San Diego
  • I enjoy your writing so much, it is sweet like a bonbon. I have a lot of fun looking at your family and following your escapades around the world and looking at your family album. Marie J - Montréal
  • I was born in Montreal and lived there several years (now 6 months Texas & 6 months in the Laurentian Mts. - Morin Heights - about an hr. north of Montreal). I so enjoyed reading all about Montreal. - I learned many things I wasn't aware off. You did a great job describing the city and all it has to offer. (You must visit the Laurentians!) So glad I discovered your web-site. Thanks Sylvia Sicuso-Fritsch – Texas.
  • It’s always interesting to read a first time visitor’s perspective of Montreal – the most unique city in North America. Welcome, and let us know what we can do to help you understand why we’re so proud of our city. BTW, you might want to talk to a gentleman by the name of Larry Libman who heads up an organization called “AIM” or Americans in Montreal for an interesting perspective on the city. The link is Aaron Rand - “The Aaron and Tasso Show” Q 92 FM. Montreal’s # 1 Morning Radio Show
  • Just wanted to let you know that I love reading your weekly newsletter. Also ...wanted to clear up your misperceptions regarding massage therapy. I am a female therapist who has taught massage and been in practice for 11 years. Charlotte was not "a naughty girl. " She was just doing her job! Your "behind" is merely just a body part connected to your thigh or your back depending on the vantage point!! Professional therapists are not viewing your body the same way others do. I know that you have had massage all over the world. Different laws dictate how we can drape or where we can and cannot make contact with our client's body. So... now I'll get off of my soapbox. Thanks for promoting the benefits of massage. Keep on writing! Sincerely, Toni S. REPLY:. Thanks Toni for the email. I know Charlotte wasn’t being “naughty”-- I was just trying to be funny. But, thanks for clarifying the different laws.
  • Great newsletter re: MONTREAL TRIP!!! Read it all … very nice! D.I. - Canada
  • “The moral of the story: Make sure to make your changes in advance, and get any fees in writing via email or fax before arriving at the airport. And, of course, always be polite and courteous to all.” NO...JUST HAVE A GOOD F---ING TRAVEL AGENT AND YOU WILL NEVER HAVE PROBLEMS!!!! THEY WILL MAKE THE CHANGE FOR YOU, AND WILL HAVE THE CORRECT INFORMATION. COLIN W - Santa Barbara, CA.
  • I love the new way your website is set up. It's so much easier to read...especially clicking unto "Where's Johnny Jet?". That's what people want to read! Nicole – Los Angeles, CA
  • Love your site and visit it frequently. Thanks! Brian Betlyon - Hanover, PA
  • I am taking my boyfriend on a sort of "Sideways" tour for his birthday in April and I did a search and your article came up on your own Sideways tour. What a wonderful, fun and informative read! Thank you so much, I know it will be helpful. :) I do have a question about your tour you remember when all 4 of the movie characters had an idyllic picnic with a vineyard behind them? I would like to picnic in a similar setting but I do not know where I might find it...any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks, Amy D - . REPLY: I had to ask Laura Kath from who worked with the film and county. Her response was: The picnic in Sideways was filmed on a private ranch not open to the public. However, many wineries have lovely picnic areas with great views. A couple of my favorites are Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, 125 North Refugio Road, P.O. Box 1747 Santa Ynez CA 93460. Tel: 805-688-WINE Toll-Free: 1-800-313-WINE. And the secluded Rusack Vineyards and Winery.
  • I just love reading these journals! I have some folks headed to Tahiti and wondered if you had to choose what would you prefer Bora Bora or Moorea? Roxy - Stamford, CT. REPLY: It depends what they are looking for so I would contact the folks at for trip advice. BTW: Here is my article on Moorea

  • *** Buy Your Johnny Jet T-Shirts/Hats

    *Please note that we reserve the right to post excerpts, perhaps edited, from your message on the Johnny Jet website and newsletter. We will not use your full name without your express permission. If you'd rather not have your message posted on the website or newsletter, just say so and it won't be.

This Newsletter is sent by permission only. If you wish to subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription at any time, please login HERE. If you have any questions or suggestions please send message addressed to

Join Our Mailing List
Johnny Jet

Dan Woog
About JohnnyPublicityNewsletter ArchiveMy MomPhotogalleryContact Us
Johnny's BookBlogBookmark Us BannersSuggestions