Helen has long been obsessed with Canada. I'm not totally sure when it started--she admired the Canadian flag our neighbor Scott (a proud Canadian from Vancouver originally) hung on his door every year on Canada day, and she once stumbled upon a going-away party for someone moving to Canada in a park, and they gave her cupcakes and a mini Canadian flag, and she had a placemat with a map of the United States, above which was the big and beautiful and very pink Canada. So to plan our first international trip after the pandemic, we chose a quick long-weekend jaunt to Montreal--short direct flight at a reasonable price, and a pleasant fall getaway? We were in.
Though it was a bit chilly, we all enjoyed the weekend. We stayed at a lavishly furnished AirBnB right in the Old Port on the water, and we ate hand-pulled noodles, lots of little dumplings, cute bao, and Dragon's Beard Candy in Chinatown daily, as well as 8 poutines over the course of the weekend (one of them an absolutely humongous trough of bacon-topped poutine at La Belle Province, which Robert called, somewhat admiringly, "the most aggressively blue-collar place I've ever been in." as fire fighter after EMT after cop after construction worker walked in to join us for lunch).
Other highlights were the archaeology museum with the basement tunnels, the world's largest indoor maze (Helen, Samantha, and I beat Robert and Marcus by a hefty 15 minutes), and the Halloween festival at the botanical garden, complete with a special bonsai exhibit, adorable squash "monsters," and a "potions class" and singing squirrel live play all in French. It's entirely possible that Marcus enjoyed the grown man pretending to be a terrified squirrel more in French than he would have in English.
Along the way, we admired some of Montreal's finest small details: double-decker bike parking downtown; the ubiquitous Tim Horton's; traffic cones in pink (and green, and yellow, and blue, and orange, and red, and white, and black).
An evening ride up the ferris wheel in the Old Port capped off our touristy trip. Robert gritted his teeth at the cost, and all the kids were in heaven.
We had a lovely weekend, with our only regret being that Debbie and Chris were sick and couldn't join us. Until next time, Canada!
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Created: 12/21/22. Last Modified: 12/21/22.