After spending the holidays with my family (which goes by waaay too fast), B and I had planned a little winter getaway. We had thrown around a few tropical ideas – returning to the British Virgin Islands, Hawaii, the Bahamas, and even Florida – but we ended up somehow in the complete opposite direction: Canada! B had never been to Montreal, a beautiful city just a few hours away from my parents – and I had never been to Toronto, “on the way” home from Montreal – so it was a perfect, easy trip to plan.
B and I got to Montreal just before dinnertime and checked into our hotel in Old Montreal. How cute! Everything was in French and very charming. And of course B had found us the perfect hotel, just a few steps away from the Notre Dame Cathedral. We had plans to walk around and then meet one of his coworkers (Who is from Montreal) for drinks. After bundling up and going outside, it became apparent there wasn’t going to be MUCH walking around – I was frozen! We made it a few blocks, hit a coffee shop and decided to just sit inside for most of the time before meeting up with B’s coworker at Gaspar Taverne.
The Taverne Gaspar was cute – we were greeted with a “Bon Soir” as we walked in and then an immediate “Hello – English?” as we both looked slight confused. Our bartender asked where we were from and began to immediately teach us some French phrases that would come in handy. B’s coworker and her friends arrived and we enjoyed a drink with them before heading off to find someplace close (Brr!) for dinner. Dinner was also in Old Montreal, as we opted for a place that served baguettes with brie and chicken, and poutine.
The next morning we woke up to snow. And not just a little snow – a blizzard! That day, the day we were supposed to walk around Old Montreal and downtown turned into the largest snowfall Montreal had ever had in 24 hours – yes, a record-breaking 50 cm or something like that. Needless to say we probably didn’t walk as much around as we would’ve liked. We walked a few blocks and grabbed crepes for breakfast (YUM!), checked out the indoor market in Old Montreal, and then trudged along a few more miles toward the downtown area to find the underground mall that Montreal is known for. We spent most of the afternoon walking around the snowy streets and moving back toward the underground city/mall (called RÉSO). While it wasn’t ideal (we would’ve gotten way more siteseeing done if it hadn’t been snowing so much), it was a fun way to spend our day in the city. A few blisters later, B and I grabbed an easy lunch – a baguette and some fois gras and then a three course dinner at a prix fixe French restaurant. Fun fact – the waiter called us “King-makers” when he heard we were from Ohio – because “we’re the ones that choose the king [President] in the U.S.!”
The morning next we strolled, slightly easier because the snow had stopped and the streets were somewhat plowed) through Old Montreal one last time and visited their indoor market and a maple shop before heading out to Toronto!
Part two of this blog post is here.