Montreal is an amazing city in so many ways… I love the city for many reasons, but probably the top of the list is how I can stay in my very own country and feel like I’m on the other side of the world. If you didn’t know any better and were plopped down in the middle of Old Montreal you would feel as though you were in Paris (or any other city in France) with the cobblestone streets, quaint shops, and French spoken everywhere. But don’t be daunted by it – if you don’t know a lick of French you will have no problem getting by with English as it seems as though everyone is bilingual. They seem to have an innate sense which language to greet you in just by looking at you, and if by chance they guess incorrectly they will deduce by the confusion in your eyes that you need English instead. Smart folks. :)

We arrived in to Montreal late on Saturday night, and after dropping off our stuff at the hotel we set out for dinner. It was already 9:30 pm, but considering that we had just arrived from Vancouver it felt like 6:30 pm to us. The concierge at the Notre Dame Montrealhotel gave us a few recommendations, and we ended up at a delicious little French bistro and sat outside on the patio. The Just for Laughs comedy festival was on at the same time and we happened to have a view of the evening stage. I’m not sure that what we watched was comedy, but there were some fire-spinners on Segways and some people flipping around in a giant hamster wheel. At the end there was some fairly obnoxious techno music and strobe lights that thankfully didn’t last too long. A huge crowd had gathered for the event and we just happened to witness it by accident and have front row seats. After the crowd dispersed and normalcy was resumed to the street, we finished our delicious dinner and went for a stroll through the old port area. As it was a Saturday night there were a lot of people walking around and the weather was perfect. We completely exhausted ourselves and our feet (Chloe’s iPhone registered us taking over 11,000 steps!) and collapsed back in our hotel for some much needed sleep.

MontrealAfter pulling ourselves out of bed in the morning we did what any other normal person would do in Montreal and went out for crêpes. Fully fortified, we set off for more exploring. We walked around Old Montreal and checked out Place Jacques-Cartier, the Notre Dame de Montréal Basilica, the very cool City Hall, and walked along the waterfront. We were happy to have the opportunity to meet up with our friends Philippe and Marie-Soleil and enjoyed a delicious lunch with them and afternoon visit. It was extremely hot and muggy and we were all in need of showers and rests before meeting up again for dinner. They took us to an amazing Syrian restaurant (Damas) and we all stuffed ourselves. I can’t say I’ve ever eaten Syrian before, and it was fantastic. Highly recommended!

Although it was a quick trip to Montreal I think the kids really got a feel for the city - they kept saying how they couldn't believe they were still in Canada!  I think that's part of what makes this country so interesting, and I'm so thankful to be able to call Montreal partly mine.  Where else do you find Tartare food trucks and poutine on every corner?  Heaven.  :)


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