After some lovely days in Burlington, we loaded back into the rental car and headed North. None of us had been to Canada before. That, plus the lure of an international Spring Break, was enough to convince us to spend two-ish days in Montreal. The drive from Vermont was breathtaking, crossing the border was simple, and the city was exactly what I dreamed it would be.
We stayed in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, a young, charming neighborhood in Montreal. Walking was once again our primary mode of transportation, despite the cold. Our apartment was even better than the first-outfitted with original art I tried to buy (sentimental value, not for sale) and a wall perfect for our makeshift movie nights (I guess I travel with my projector now?) While we squeezed a lot into our time there, all three of us left with the intention to return soon, with perhaps some conversational French under our belts?
Where to eat:
La Banquise According to both our apartment hosts and Goop.com, this is the best place for poutine in Montreal. What is poutine? I'm not really sure, but it involves a base of french fries, so full steam ahead. We timed our dinner perfectly, were seated right away, and were relieved to have an English speaking waiter. There were lots of options, vegan included, which made it the perfect first stop. Cash only!
Boulangerie Premiere Moisson This cafe was the unsung hero of our time in Montreal, with meals for G and plenty of pastry options for me and Mom. Just a five minute walk from our apartment, we stopped in here a few times during our stay. Note: We tried Montreal style bagels but were all convinced New York does it best. I mean, you should try them, but know where the Veurink family stands.
What to do:
Notre-Dame Basilica of Montreal After a stressful bout of "find a parking spot," we stepped into what was one of the best parts of our time in Montreal. This cathedral is iconic. For more reasons than one; Celine Dion WAS married in it. It was really nice to have time alone to explore the church, take in the art, and feel a little bit overwhelmed by it all. This definitely was the most tourist-y moment of our trip, but well worth it.
Musée D'Art Contemporain De Montréal Personally, the afternoon we spent lost in this museum was my favorite by far. A special exhibit on Leonard Cohen had just opened and took over the majority of the space. With varying degrees of familiarity and love for his work, I think it's safe to say we all loved the experience. Exhibits were incredibly immersive and visceral; ending in a chamber of voices humming "Hallelujah." It was really special. I'm incredibly grateful to have experienced it with family.
Where to shop:
Ruse And I thought the vintage in Burlington was good! Due to our limited time in the city, we were only able to check out a few stores, but each was unique in a way that can often be lost in vintage shopping. Ruse was my favorite-the perfect curation of high end designers, a lovely space, and great staff. Runners up for favorite vintage shops include LNF and Annex.
Boucle & Papier Using travel as an excuse to fuel my paper related obsession, picking up cards and notebooks in new cities is my favorite. Grant skillfully guided us to this shop, where we were delighted by the adorable shop. We picked up a water bottle for Jim here. I purchased a few cards in French, which I think I understand at least the theme of.