Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Montreal Memories

At the end of May Rob and I visited Montreal for a short getaway. Our friend, Dan visits frequently and he gave us tons of tips on places to visit and where to eat which was so helpful. The day we arrived we checked into our B&B which has the strangest owners I have ever encountered and then we walked to get poutine and grilled cheese for lunch at Patati Patata and it was so good! Then we walked to Mount Royal Park to walk along some of the paths and then we laid in the sun. We went back to the b&b to relax before going to Schwartz's Hebrew Deli for smoked meat, frites and cole slaw. Rob accidentally dropped his black cherry soda, the traditional drink there, because his hands were so greasy from the meat! The servers were all big jokesters and super fun. Then we got homemade ice cream across the street before calling it a night. The next day we suffered through an awkward breakfast with the terrible owners before walking to the old section of the city. We went to the DHC which is a free art gallery and we saw the craziest art exhibit I've ever seen. There were mannequins dressed in KKK outfits and lots of offbeat McDonald's references like Ronald on the cross. It was free and help Rob's attention which was good. Then we walked to the waterfront and laid in the grass for hours before hunting down a lunch spot. Lots of places were closed since it was Sunday and we ended up eating a brunch spot that was very good. After that we visited the Notre Dame Basilica that was very pretty. On our walk back we found musical swings that played music while you swung. It was part of a city wide art exhibit. We rested before dinner at Au Pied Cochon a foodie spot our friend recommended. Basically meat upon meat upon meat. We ordered way too much and shared a huge plate of ham. I felt pretty awful afterwards but it was good. We loved walking on that little street too. The next day we took the metro to the botanic garden which is by the Olympic Park. Rob did a great job navigating us around and making sure we were going the right way. We went to the insectarium which was really unique and fun. They had this crazy ant farm and lots of displays of colorful beetles. We rested by the water garden with different fountains before going to the Japanese Garden that had a really nice bonsai garden and zen garden with a small pond and waterfall. Then we found another pond to walk around and an area to sit with really pretty flowers nearby. We walked through a garden with gardens in styles from around the world before coming across the Chinese garden that we thought was really impressive with a pretty building and waterfall. We also walked through the greenhouse that is similar to our conservatory in Chicago. We took the train back to the city and got lunch at SoupeSoupe - grilled cheese and tomato and bean soup for me and a disappointing hot dog and lentil and tomato soup for Rob. Then we walked to La Fontaine Park to relax by the pond. We got ice cream in St. Louis Square and relaxed at the b&b until dinner at L Bistro Express. We shared a green salad and I had chicken in the most delicious mustard sauce and Rob had pork and veal ravioli with mushrooms and we shared an apple and blueberry crumble. Rob also loved the tiny pickles and spicy mustard they had on every table. On Tuesday we walked to a little cafe called the Little Spoon where we each got really good coffees. We hung out there for a while and then we went to the Modern Art Museum. They had a cool abstract exhibit and some weird video/audio exhibit that we walked out after about 5 minutes. Then we walked really far to Patati Patata for poutine again. After that we went back to the B&B to rest. Shortly after we got back it started pouring so we rested for awhile then took the bus to mile end where Rob realized he had forgotten his wallet and he had all of our money in it. We went to Fairmont Bagels to try their famous bagels that were fine but not amazing. Then I went to Cafe Olimpico while Rob went back to the B&B to get his wallet. We Meet Hogan's friend for a beer at a nearby brewery before we got dinner at a woodfire pizza place that was good but bad service. On our last day we walked to get coffee at the tiny Le Distributrice and then walked to a nearby park to drink it. Then we went back to La Petite Cuilere for lunch and it was so good. Rob had a butternut squash soup and grilled cheese and I had grilled cheese and a cucumber salad. The sandwiches were so good. I'm so glad we got to have lunch there. We spent the last few hours in our favorite square before it was time to go. It was a great trip! Very leisurely, very relaxing and lots of quality time with my man. I'm so glad we got to go!