Friday, May 7, 2010

2010 Montreal Wrap Up: Part Deux

Where did I leave off... Oh ya, it was 70 degrees and sunny. We woke up on Tuesday morning to snow and cold! Luckily we are New Englanders so we were prepared for this climate shift. To make the best of Tuesday's weather, we decided to tackle some indoor activities.

We woke up, had a leisurely breakfast, then took the Metro over to the BioDome, an indoor animal sanctuary with 5 different ecosystems. It was a good way to spend the afternoon. We then made our way back home for naps, cartoons, and hanging out. We had a quiet dinner at home, then Cory went to a bar around the corner to watch the Canadiens win a Playoff Game.
It was still a bit cold when we woke up but not snowing. We ventured over to the local children's library. Beatrice loves her books so we try and go to a library whenever we're on vacation. She immediately spotted her Canadian favorite, Caillou. When we left the library, the weather was warming up so we over to the Atwater Market (another indoor market with meat, cheese, and pate stalls.) Afterwards, we got back on the Metro across town to Schwartz's, a New York style deli famous for its smoked meat sandwiches (think corned beef.) After a couple of sandwiches, delicious pickles, and the best non-mayo cole slaw I've ever had, we hit the streets again for some shopping and meandering (and ice cream.)

We woke up to a beautiful morning, sunny but a bit cooler than the start of the week. We drove up the windy roads to the Mount Royal Observatory where we found gorgeous panoramic views of the whole city. Beatrice finally hit her stroller limit, screaming the entire way back down the mount. For lunch, we realized we were running out of time to partake in a Montreal delicacy, poutine (fries smothered in gravy, topped with cheese curds.) We found our way over to Resto La Banquise. You can get all different varieties of poutine but I think the base is always the gravy and curds. I am not a gravy person so it wasn't for me but I can see why people like it. Beatrice was of course in heaven with her 'chench-chies" (she still can't say her 'f's.) After lunch, we walked the town so more, enjoying the last afternoon moments of Montreal. We spent the evening packing and cleaning up the apartment.

We woke up and had our last bagel breakfast. We packed the car, then headed out of the city. Before we left, Beatrice made a princess card for Daniel (the guy who rented us the apartment.) A couple of hours later, she shrieks from the backseat "Go back. Go back to Ca-na-naa. Need princess card back from Daniel." She is still persevering on getting that card back. She now says it was intended for Julian. She is crazy! We stopped in Burlington, VT for lunch and made it home in about 6 hours. Overall it was not a bad ride home.

We had a really great time on our last family vacation while we're still a family of 3. The city and people of Montreal were wonderful. Beatrice did a great job adjusting to her new surroundings, going with the flow as we navigated a new city. Renting an apartment in a family-centric neighborhood was a huge asset as it really allowed us to get a feel for the area and to find spots we wouldn't have been able to if we stayed in the busy, touristy section of town. Montreal was also a great place to visit because we could drive there. The stress level was totally reduced because I could pack as much as I wanted (those winter coats would never have made it into a suitcase for air travel.) The city is also super easy to navigate via the Metro so you don't need to drive anywhere. I do miss that from our days of city livin'.

As I've mentioned here before, I am married to the world's best vacation planner. I am so lucky! Between my lack of direction and general cluelessness, I would never be able to execute these trips. Cory basically plans the whole trip and I do the packing. Then we show up and plan the days as we go.

I am already looking forward to our next trip... we shall see when that will take place. We are praying for a content 2nd child that will be open to our traveling ways!

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