3 Days in Montreal — A Recap
A short little French excursion.
Day 1 — A travel day (Boston, MA to Montreal, Canada)
Woke up fairly early this morning and set off from Boston to our midway stop in Burlington, VT. The car ride there was absolutely beautiful and we stopped at the Skinny Pancake for a brunch filled with crepes and coffee. I realized that I am an absolute grump without my morning cup of coffee. The crepes here were excellent and well portioned. We walked around the Lake Champlain bike path and went into a couple of stores. Burlington, VT is one of my favorite cities, especially in the Summer and Fall. It is small and peaceful and everyone there is friendly.
After our pit-stop, we crossed the border into Canada and checked into our hotel in Old Montreal. The weather for the weekend was supposed to be gloomy, but to our surprise the sun came out and it was very pleasant. We spent a couple of hours walking in the old city and exploring the part near the St.Lawrence river. The Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal is one of my favorite places to people watch. We ended up sitting in the square a couple of times this trip.
We had a dinner reservation at Tskuyomi Ramen in Downtown Montreal so we took the BEAUTIFUL subway there. This was probably one of my favorite meals of the entire trip. Their ramen broth is really creamy and the noodles taste really fresh. After this, we were tired and went back to the hotel and fell promptly asleep.
Day 2 — Montreal, Canada
This was a day filled with walking. We had two walking tours booked, one in Old Montreal and one in Downtown Montreal. I expected to like the Old Montreal tour more, but ended up liking the Downtown Montreal tour a lot more. We walked all over the city and explored the different types of buildings. Montreal has such an interesting architectural history because of the French and British rule. A lot of the monuments and buildings are very distinctly French or British. The culture is also very much a mix of both influences, however the French have made a long lasting impact on Montreal. I loved reading all of the French signs throughout the city.
After the first tour, we stopped in a cafe for lunch that served the famous St.Viateur bagels. I had these bagels twice when I was in Montreal last. Their sesame bagels with lox are so good.
The second walking tour took us through some of the newer buildings along with the famous underground city which I didn’t know much about. It was really cool to walk through some of the passages that connect the subway to major buildings all throughout the city. Our tour guide was very friendly and gave us so much great information. I felt like I understood the city a lot better after this. After the tours, we sat in the plaza in front of the Basilica.
For dinner we went to a French restaurant called Modavie. We had a very classic French dinner with French onion soup, Escargot, Bone Marrow, Pasta with Octopus and Mussels. The meal was very tasty and I loved the ambience. This was a very a nice end to a short little trip.
Day 3 — A travel day (Montreal, Canada to Boston, MA)
Before leaving Montreal, we wanted to visit the beautiful Mont Royal Park. We drove up to the top of the parking lot and went on the walking trail to the topmost view point. I didn’t realize how massive this park is and it was such a nice morning to walk around. After walking around, we went to a popular bakery called Guillaume and picked up some pastries and sandwiches for the road. These were really yummy and pretty affordable. Then we set off back to Boston with just one stop along the way for gas. This was another beautiful drive back and we lucked out with the weather and traffic.
This was our first family trip without my dad which was weird. I thought I would be a lot more sad, but the trip ended up being pleasant and smooth. There were moments when we were driving or checking into the hotel or on the walking tour where I missed his presence. My dad loved traveling so much and there were times where I knew he would have loved to experience what we were experiencing. I am grateful for all of the traveling we got to do as a family and I feel like we learned so many tips and tricks from him over the years.
Overall, this was a really fun short trip. Montreal is one of my favorite cities and I could see myself living there if I was a Canadian citizen who knew French. The city is down to earth and walk-able and very green which are some of my biggest requirements. I also like how convenient of a drive it is to the States. Thank you for a great visiting Montreal!