Thursday, July 7, 2016


Would you like to see 125 photos of Montreal? I thought so!

Montreal has been on my list of places to go for a few years - I remember (dimly) checking out guidebooks when I was on maternity leave with Clementine. Our fifth anniversary coincided with our trip to Michigan and my in-laws graciously kept (and are still keeping) the hermanitas.

We left South Haven and spent a day in Kalamazoo visiting Luke's family before catching a flight to Detroit and on to Montreal. Our flight was delayed in Kalamazoo for crew rest and then for 3.5 hours in Detroit due to a malfunctioning radio altimeter and our baby pilots (I prefer my captains with a little gray at the temple) deplaned us and got us to Montreal, albeit a little late. Delta... Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport.

I had planned to do some research into Montreal, read a book set there, etc but none of that happened. I found two apartments in different parts of the city highly recommended on Airbnb and off we went. No plans. No kids!

Our first apartment was in the Plateau neighborhood. We had dinner down the street and in the morning set out for St. Viateur bagels. I don't know much about Montreal but I do know they are very proud of their bagels.

Walking next to the park.

After bagels we took a bus tour: first stop, Notre-Dame Basilica...

...where Celine Dion got married.

image via

St Joseph's Oratory.

Overlooking the city from the Mont Royal.

Our tour ended in downtown Montreal. First order of business: sample the famous smoked meat sandwich and poutine (that also had smoked meat).

Every time poutine came up I'd shout WHEN DID CANADA'S BOYFRIEND BREAK UP WITH HER?! and since Luke hasn't listened to Guy Branum's hilarious album this joke fell on (willingly) deaf ears and we had to wait to get back to some wifi so I could play this bit for him.

We walked back to our neighborhood from downtown and strolled around that evening. This city is amazingly walkable - we took a cab only to get our giant suitcase from one apartment to the next. Otherwise, we walked.

Beautiful buildings everywhere.

And murals.

And sculpture.

Back to our evening. Cocktails in this bar with philodendron hanging from the ceiling. Immediately I began to envision my jungle-kitchen-to-be.

Some live music.

Next morning, back to bagels through the park.

So coy.

Our apartment with the bay window above the bike shop.

At Steve's music shop trying out the Yahama Montage8 with the s u p e r k n o b.


Hand stretched noodles - cold beef salad and hot veggie bowl.

Ducking into a bakery during a brief rainstorm.

Old Montreal. I liked the boho Plateau neighborhood but loved our second apartment in here. Step right of the building- modern metropolis, step left, these romantic little streets.

Brief stop for an eyeglass frame purchase.

Iced coffee that I must replicate: foamed 1% milk and some sugar. Of course.

Best breakfast sandwich everrrrr: baguette, romaine, egg with cheese inside, a slice of bacon, a drizzle of sauce/mayo, sprinkle of herbs. We went back the next morning.

During our first dinner at a cafe on Rue Cherrier a police officer leapt out of her car across the street and Luke said, her pants are pink! I couldn't quite make them out due to the crepuscular time of day -- maybe they're red? I said. Then we asked about it and the pants are in protest - pink protest pants! I didn't get a photo of the pink pair but here is an officer looking dashing in plaid.

We didn't have any plans but we did have many, many delicious noshes. Absolutely delicious pizza with ricotta and nduja, served with scissors. I will steal all of these ideas.

We happened to be there the first day of the Jazz Festival and got tickets for Gregory Porter, an artist Luke was excited to see. We spent a lot of time puzzling over his headwear. Dinner beforehand was an Asian place in this complex and I had black sesame ice cream for the first time. Tasted like peanut butter, slate gray and gorgeous.

Eclair on a log.

Croburger -- a burger on a croissant. Don't worry, we walked eight miles a day.

Napoleon. A brisk eight miles.

Sofa-king rad.

Walking along the waterfront.

Experimental housing built for the World Fair - very expensive now yet utterly bleak and post-apocalyptic.

Luke's whiskey and sodas were served in at least three vessels: whiskey, small carafe or glass of soda, glass of ice. This is the bar of the St Paul Hotel, in the same block as our apartment. We hung out here twice to watch Wimbledon. That was our no-plan plan: ramble around, stop in for a drink and people watching, ramble some more...

Dinner in Old Montreal - macabre setting, good food. Giant vertebral column.


Just because you can taxidermy something doesn't mean you should.

Mini-films and images were projected on the buildings around Old Montreal. Creepy-cool.

Here we are! Now we're back in SATX, eating as many fresh warm flour tortillas as possible before our move to St Louis. Montreal was even better than I thought - gorgeous, glamorous, historic, great weather, safe, friendly, walkable. Next time I will learn a little tourist French - as a provincial American I was a little surprised more people weren't bilingual - and go to Quebec City.

A huge thanks to Luke's family for taking good care of our girls! Happy five years to us, Luke.

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