Since we are currently located outside of Boston, we decided to finally take the quick trip up to Canada over Easter weekend. We’d heard a lot of great things about Montreal, and we wanted to see the city for ourselves!
Since the halfway point from Boston to Montreal is in Waterbury, VT, we of course had to start our weekend getaway with a quick pitstop at Ben & Jerry’s. I got Half-Baked, and it was delicious!
We kept on driving up to Montreal, and arrived at our Airbnb around 5pm. We got settled in after a little snafu with parking, and then decided to go get drinks and then dinner. We went to a small pub where we ordered a pitcher of sangria, and the waitress bought us a round of whiskey shots (and took one with us!) to welcome us to Montreal. Oh, Canada.
From there we walked (a little further than we may have liked, in a bit colder of weather than we originally thought) down to Old Montreal where we had a reservation at Modavie. I had an amazing French Onion Soup, and we enjoyed the live jazz that plays almost every night.
The next morning I got up (relatively) early, and instead of doing a workout (I didn’t want to wake my husband & friends up) I did some deep stretching. This turned out to be a good idea, since we did a WHOLE LOT of walking on Saturday, and the incline was pretty steep. We ubered over to St. Viateur to start our bagel tour – so, I am not HUGE into bagels (I mean, I like Thomas bagels or even the frozen ones from Starbucks) but these bagels are made with honey water, so they were pretty tasty. I got a cinnamon raisin bagel, and the rest of the group got the original sesame bagels. We also walked over to Fairmont Bagel, just a few blocks away, but I was pretty full from my own bagel beforehand, and let the rest of the group continue the taste test.
From there we walked to Parc du Mont-Royal, which we totally underestimated in terms of how intense the hike is. It was also snow & ice-covered, which made the trails both hard to climb but also hard to find. My friend had the thought to wear rubber bean boots, and she had a far easier time walking through the snow, whereas the rest of us ended up knee-deep in a snow bank after misjudging a safe trail. We finally made it to the actual hiking trail, and we walked up the rest of the mountain. Thank goodness for the stairs, even though they were basically a straight 90 degrees up. Let me say this: I am in pretty good shape, and I actually enjoy working out everyday, but I had had surgery earlier the weeks before so I hadn’t been able to work out, and I definitely felt that. Still, the views at the top were pretty incredible, and well-worth feeling crappy about elderly people and parents carrying children passing us on the way up.
We walked down through McGill, and then were on the search for a little candy shop called Squish. This place is the absolute cutest, the packaging is BOMB, and the salespeople were the NICEST. We kept inquiring about how the different gummies tasted, and the sales girls just kept offering samples. Best customer service I’ve ever had in a candy store, that is for sure.
We walked through Old Montreal, and stopped to get lunch at a restaurant inside a fancy hotel, Maggie Oakes. I got a shredded chicken sandwich, my husband got the flank steak. He might have ordered better, but I still got some fries. We had to walk through the hotel a bit to get to the bathrooms (a bit of a trek, to tell you the truth) but it was SO CUTE. Very modern, very airy, very bright. I kind of wish we could have stayed there.
We stopped for croissants on the way back, and my husband and I also grabbed some macarons. We are heading to Paris this summer for our *first* anniversary, and I am very much looking forward to experiencing Paris after this mini-trip to a French-Canadian city.
Once we got back to the Airbnb, we freshened up a bit, then ubered out to drinks at Bar Darling. Again, super cute and nice, very warm inside. It had a very eclectic vibe, and had some great ciders and french fries. I was starving at this point, so I yelped a pizza place and had a great little personal pizza at Dirty Pizza, which specializes in pizza and poutine. Has to be good then, right?
We went to a creperie after, and my friends got the savory crepes and cider, while my husband and I shared a sweet crepe with homemade jam. Oh my deliciousness.
After this we walked around to find this “hidden bar,” where we waited in line for about a half hour, and I was getting super tired, kind of cranky, and still hungry (so I probably didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I could have). Once we got inside, it was pretty cool, with a great vibe and a snake-y bar. The coolest part was when we asked about the whiskey bottles hanging above our heads – the bartender told us that people can buy a bottle of whiskey, and then have it whenever they come back. Some of the bottles were almost empty, while others were basically full. Overall, pretty cool.
The next morning was our last morning, and our friends did Easter Mass at the Basilica of Notre Dame, and we got early croissants and then an Easter Brunch at my favorite place in Montreal, Brassiere 701. 3 courses, along with mimosas. Let’s just say, it was wonderful.
On the way home, we stopped in Waterbury, VT once more, trying to go to Cabot Creamery. Unfortunately for us, it was Easter Sunday, so they were closed. We ended up at this little cider farm down the road, and it was perfect. We brought back some Vermont maple syrup and cider jelly (which we enjoyed on waffles this weekend – YUM!).
It was a great weekend trip, and I’m excited to keep our adventures going. Where shall we venture to next?