Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Montreal Day

For our tenth anniversary, we doubled the big blind by heading north to our second-favourite Canadian city, Montreal. We last visited here in July 2012 when the city was burgeoning with music festivals simply because the Montreal natives were happy to be outside with no frostbite imminent.

Montreal is a highly accessible vacation destination, with direct 1.5 hour flights from VA airports and an efficient subway and bus system. There's just enough French to feel exotic, but everyone speaks perfect English and all signs are in both languages. The only big change from our previous trip was the city-wide revitalization project which detoured our airport bus through Nunavut and closed entire city blocks for sewer and street repairs.

We flew in on Saturday around 1 and reached Hotel Le Dauphin by 3. We spent the afternoon trekking aimlessly through the city, as we are wont to do, and Rebecca bought a warm hat to protect her from the 50 degree temperatures at a kiosk in Chinatown. (The pom pom on top fell out in less than 24 hours). In the evening, we had dinner at a local Ramen restaurant where the chefs were rolling out massive lengths of dough to the delight of every single passerby with a smartphone. The night's entertainment was a three-arrangement contemporary dance show by the Ballets Jazz de Montreal (we went on a whim after finding no music festivals in progress). The dances were impressive although we have been spoiled by Cirque du Soleil and expected more acrobats and death-defiance.

On Sunday, we navigated (by subway and bus) to the top of Mont Royal, Montreal's local mountain. It's less than 1000 feet tall, but apparently people get offended if you call it a hill. We walked the well-maintained trails with the locals and enjoyed the view from the Chalet.

After lunch crepes, we wandered Old Montreal in search of cathedrals, art galleries, and other diversions. Dinner was at Modavie, a mildly-upclass restaurant with great food and ambience. We ate deer osso buco and steak tartare while listening to unannoying jazz performed by a guitar and keyboard duo.

On Monday, our last day, we hit the Redpath Museum on the campus of McGill University, an eclectic collection of oddities donated over the years. We then wondered if we could pass as college students anymore (perhaps if I got some thicker-framed glasses and hipster jeans). After a lunch of more noodles (Rebecca had a cold and this was the cure), we made it back to the airport for some last-minute poutine and returned to Virginia around 10 PM.

Meanwhile, Maia had fun with her new Knuffle Bunny.

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