My Friday in Montreal! July 28, 2017
We woke up to a beautiful day in Montreal. It had been threatening rain all week, but the skies were blue and perfect day after day. It was exactly what you’d hope for on vacation! When I peeked out of my hotel curtains, I liked what I saw!
I started Friday in a tougher spot emotionally than the rest of my trip, which was disappointing. I know it’s true that you can’t run away from your problems, but it would be nice to get away from them for four days! To be honest, I felt pretty depressed this day. I probably won’t remember that fact in ten years when I look at the photos. Things aren’t always what they seem.
We had breakfast in the hotel again, and this time I got an herb omelette and a cappuccino with maple sugar! I also nibbled on a chocolate croissant. Yum.
The hike up to Mount Royal was very near our hotel, and it’s the famous lookout in Montreal. It has a lot of stairs and a winding path up to the summit. The Mont Royal summit has a lookout and park designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, who was famous for his work in Central Park. My aunt remembered being a kid in Central Park on a school trip and being amazed by the big rocks.
Our hike up Mount Royal was another instance of dressing poorly for the weather. We left our hotel and were actually making comments to each other about how crazy we thought the other pedestrians were, since they were in shorts and sandals. ‘They must be freezing!’ we kept saying. It was probably 69 degrees. We had on sweaters, scarves, and jeans.
Once we were up the extremely steep road to the Mount Royal entrance, I’d stripped down to my sleeveless shirt and was seriously regretting jeans. Ha!
It was SO beautiful out, and the hike reminded me a lot of hikes in New York. When I picture Canada, it seems so separate from the area I grew up with, because I always picture the lines on maps, showing the delineation of states and countries. But in reality, New York and Montreal aren’t far from each other in that context, and the trees and rocks were very similar.
The view was gorgeous!
There were windmills visible way off to the east, and a huge mountain behind the city, hundreds of miles away. I’m pretty sure those are the Adirondacks, and we could see Vermont! Someone said you can even see New York on a clear day! Then again, how would I know? Everything was in French. Haha! There were lots of other people, including a guy riding a BMX bike and a girl feeding an ice cream cone to a very friendly squirrel.
My aunt and I kind of look alike in the picture 😊, and not just because we have similar bangs and hair color. That’s what we joked about the whole time- that I cut my bangs so people would have an easier time assuming we’re related!
The Tim Hortons Adventure
This next part of the afternoon was all because my maps were a little crazy in Canada. I had good cell service, but sometimes my walking directions would think I was somewhere I wasn’t. Turn left in 900 feet, it would say, when we already passed that street. I should have known better than to trust those maps when we decided to fulfill my big wish and walk to the famous Canadian coffee-and-donut shop, Tim Hortons.
I’ve heard about Tim Hortons forever, although I guess to a Canadian it has all the glamour of someone dying to try Dunkin’ Donuts while in the New York 😂. They went there on How I Met Your Mother, and I’ve read about it, and I knew I couldn’t come home from Canada without going. I was so eager to go that I accidentally lead us on a fifteen minute walk in the wrong direction AFTER our super-long walk down Mount Royal! Oops!
But there were a lot of beautiful sights on this walk. We saw this hotel covered in ivy and were both completely delighted.
I was so excited that I had my aunt take pictures of me with my coffee and donuts. She even had to tell me not to smile so big for the first few. I was especially proud because when we finally found our way to one (like, right next to our hotel 🙄), the entire menu was in French. A lot of Montreal was in both English and French, but not this place. So I managed to order my donuts in a different language! I remembered that érable was maple, from seeing a maple souvenir shop in Old Monteal, and knew I wanted to order all of the maple flavored things.
I ordered a maple timbit, which is like a Dunkin’ Munchkin, and a chocolat timbit. Then I got a maple filled donut. I’ve never had a filled donut before, so I was pumped. Then I tried to order something else and ended up with a plain glazed lol. There goes my awesome French. I ordered a coffee with cream and sugar. I was a little disappointed that I had to practice restraint and not order every single donut. They all looked amazing and I really love donuts! I’d choose a good donut over ice cream any day. My aunt got a chocolate glazed. We were really indulging all of our carb desires on this trip, contrary to how we live at home, next to our Whole Foods markets!
We went back to the hotel and snoozed for a bit. Then we watched Snatched, that movie with Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn, and ate French onion soup from room service. We ate our donuts and I drank my coffee, and it was a really relaxing last afternoon.
Last Night in Montreal
We went out for dinner at a traditional Italian restaurant called Bis that wasn’t traditional at all. Apparently this is the place to go in Montreal, and there were photos of celebrities on the wall (George Clooney went there a lot). The waiters were very attentive, and they told us that Gad Elmaleh, the comedian who co-headlined with Jerry Seinfeld earlier in the week, had just gotten dinner there the night before!
Then we shopped in Anthropologie and I got a silk scarf like my Aunt has, so we can be twins. The second I saw her wearing a navy floral scarf tied jauntily around her neck- so French!- I knew I was on a mission. This Anthro had four floors. It was very small and they didn’t have much merch. Canada is not very wheelchair friendly, and they really don’t baby you. I noticed that there were no signs to watch my step (and, like an idiotic American, I actually tripped a few times on stairs) and no warnings on coffee cups about their temperature. Culturally you’re treated more like a grown up!
I’d worn a black dress I got in San Antonio and black sandals. It felt like a perfect summer night, and it was light out until late. My aunt and I watched a movie until I had to go to bed, since I had to wake up at 5 AM for my flight home.
Oh, what a lovely time!