Hiya! Lindsay here. This past weekend my boyfriend and I decided to take a trip to Montreal, Canada for a couple days. This decision was not made quickly. It was a painful and long process of “where do you wanna go?” “I don’t know, where do you wanna go?” “Seriously Edin, just pick somewhere” “I wanna go wherever you wanna go.”
This went on for two weeks, until finally I just said “we are going to Montreal damnit.” This series of back and forth is an everyday occurrence for us. What to watch on Netflix, where to eat, what to do. Literally everything.
Montreal is a great place to go if you want to be surrounded by French. I guess I didn’t anticipate SO much French. We felt like we were in France most of the time. We stayed at the Hotel Les Suites Labelle. It was a little difficult to find because the GPS was not cooperating and I am terrible with a map. Imagine: You put Rue Berri into the GPS 78 times, and 78 times the GPS tells you the road does not exist. Then, you use your GPS to search for nearby locations and you click on a nearby park. The GPS takes you right to it. What is the address of this park? RUE BERRI. What the hell GPS. Why. Get it together. Eventually we found it, thanks to Edin who can actually read a map and interpret directions. The hotel was great because it was only about a 10 minute walk from Old Montreal, which is where we spent most of Saturday.
My favorite thing to do when traveling is just walk. Walk everywhere. It hasn’t been a successful trip if I don’t leave with blisters on my feet! Walking is the best way to see things. You get to really explore, and if you see something cool, you can just stop and take a picture of it. I love cute little towns I can just wander around in, and Old Montreal was the perfect spot to do this.
Old Montreal is a cute little area with a lot of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. A lot of cobblestone and a lot of brick. A dream come true. Our first stop was Montreal Poutine. We saw the word “poutine” and decided we HAD to go. Poutine is a very popular Canadian dish. It is french fries smothered in gravy, and topped with cheese curds. Fricken delicious. We opened the door to the place and were immediately met with a stairway. We thought we were in the wrong place. Are we going the right way? Are we going to walk into someones house? If it is someones house will they at least feed us poutine? Turns out we were in the right place. We were the only ones in the restaurant and it was so nice. We obviously got poutine, and a burger and it was the best start to the day.
After we ate, we walked past a creperie and ate again. Immediately after we just ate lunch. This was not the plan. BUT, there was a “trip adviser recommended” sticker in the window. So OBVIOUSLY we had to go. We got a massive crepe. Also not the plan. We thought we would just get a small little crepe just to see what it was like. We got a strawberry, banana, and nutella filled crepe and it was the size of a Volkswagen. We ate the whole thing. Felt like crap after. Talked about how we need to go to the gym more. Story of our lives.
After that we continued to explore. We went into a bunch of art galleries with obscure, hard to understand art that cost more than my college tuition, and took a tour of Notre Dame Basilica.
We continued to walk around and came across an event that was happening near the water. There were bleachers and it looked weird, so we sat down. We like weird. We are weird. We have arrived. It ended up being an obstacle course, but a super Canadian obstacle course. The obstacles included things like walking up a snow covered incline in snow shoes, throwing a Christmas tree, shoveling out a car covered in snow and then pushing it into a garage. It was as weird as it sounds, but highly entertaining. The whole thing was a part of Igloo Fest which apparently is an electronic music festival that happens every year.
We bought matching overpriced Igloo Fest hats. #Worthit
We then continued on back to the hotel where we took a super exciting nap. We needed a nap in order to prepare for the struggle that would be figuring out a place to eat for dinner. Why is this so hard? I’ll tell you why.
1. I am incapable of making decisions. All I can tell you is that I am hungry and want to eat food. However, I cannot tell you what I want to eat.
2. We want to eat places that are unique and highly rated yet we are lazy and don’t feel like doing research.
We aren’t going to travel and eat at restaurants we have at home! NO! So we always try and do research (by “we” I mean “ME”) to find highly recommended places. This place however, was found by Edin. It was called Il Focolaio and it was a pizza place. This place was so busy, but much worth the wait. We ended up being sat RIGHT NEXT TO THE KITCHEN. We could see all the pizza being made and coming out. It was my idea of heaven. This was some of the best pizza we have ever had. Especially for Edin who had a revelation when he realized Hawaiian pizza exists and is super delicious. Shame on me, I once again did not bring my camera. So all that exists is a dark and blurry picture on my phone. I’ll try and do better next time. Promise.
On Sunday the first thing we did was go to Mont Royal which is a popular park. After a short walk you end up with a wonderful view of Montreal.
We continued on to the Biodome, Insectarium, and Botanical Garden. The Biodome is a museum of sorts with climate controlled rooms of different regions. There are a few animals scattered about like birds, monkeys, and supposedly a sloth. We saw no sloth. Is there even a real sloth in there, Canada? IS THERE? The Biodome was slightly underwhelming but not horrible. If you have ever been to a zoo, which you probably have, you probably aren’t going to see anything you’ve never seen before. The insectarium was a lot more interesting. Insects from all over the world on display. Insects that are huge. And terrifying. And others that are small, and terrifying. The botanical garden is probably a better choice in the spring and summer, but they do have a large greenhouse filled with all kinds of plants you can walk through in the winter.
This is where Edin stood marveling at the tiny bonsai trees.
“They are like real trees….but…little…”
I am sure he is on Amazon as we speak trying to order one.
Don’t do it, Edin. Just like the giant bottle of soy sauce, and origami paper, you do not need it.
We ended our journey at a burger joint we contemplated going to the night before. It was called Burger Bar and it was what you could imagine. A whole bunch of burgers. They had 2 award winning burgers on the menu, so we got both of them. Mine was called “The Hangover Burger.” It was topped with bacon, cheese, a fried egg, AND A MOUNTAIN OF POUTINE. It is the kind of burger that is not even possible to eat without completely taking it a apart. I stared at it for a while, wondering what I had done. And why I had done it. I know why. I have no self control. However, it was delicious. The other burger we got was called “The Dude.” It was a pork blend and it was also really, really good. Much smaller and realistic. We highly recommend this place. It is located in downtown Montreal on Rue Crescent.
And that was our weekend away! We love taking little trips. They are fun, easy, and a nice break from reality, if only for a small amount of time. If you are contemplating a trip to Canada, Montreal would be a great choice!