Montreal – A Road Trip

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Diapers? Checked. Bottle? Checked. Formula? Checked. Twenty-thousands things we probably won’t need but might need? Checked. Baby screaming in car seat, waiting for parents? (Sound) checked.

We loaded the car and left to Montreal. A spontaneous Victoria Day weekend trip—we had only booked the hotel the night before.

Can Mark be a great traveler? That was the question of the day. We took him to day trips, including to the US, but we hadn’t been on an overnight family trip yet. I needed to get out of Ottawa a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the National Capital is a great place to live, but I wanted a change of scenery. It’s been a tough long winter.

The drive to Montreal was a quiet one. Mark slept all the way through—at least I think he did. He didn’t say a word but for all I know, he may have been awake, staring out of the rear windshield. I can’t really check on him when he is in the rear-facing car seat (but I can reach out to give him the “mute button” pacifier if needed!). Plus I was kind of immersed into a French novel I had started when we went to Ogdensburg—reading is a rare pleasure these days. We listened to Crowded House, sipping Ginger Ale, and enjoying the moment… the three of us, traveling.

We checked into a Best Western hotel by the airport and Mark immediately fell in love with the huge bed. The kid didn’t look too confused by the change of scenery! Seriously, the pictures of the “happy baby” are worthy of a Best Western ad—yes, I’m having a “this is my beautiful son” moment, alright?

In Montreal, on a Saturday afternoon, you park wherever you can. We found a spot close to Berri-UQAM, a block from Sainte Catherine East, a major commercial artery. We quickly realized we had stepped right into Montreal’s Gay Village when, within minutes, we spotted two guys in their underwear, wearing plastic rooster heads, and holding a sign saying “do you want to see my coq?” (“Coq” is, of course, French for “rooster”…).

Sainte Catherine was closed to traffic and we walked the artery, observing people—and there were quite a few interesting characters around! The atmosphere was very friendly, with a lot of LGBT-friendly businesses, bars and small shops. Quite a few panhandlers too, especially around Place Émile-Gemelin.

We grabbed a bite (French pastries! Oh, delicious French pastries!) and decided to head to the “Vieux Montreal”.

You can see the complete Montreal set of pictures on Flickr.

Driving Into Montreal

Driving Into Montreal

Montreal's Infamous Long Tunnels

Montreal’s Infamous Long Tunnels

Mark Discovering Hotel Beds

Mark Discovering Hotel Beds

Mark Discovering Hotel Beds

Mark Discovering Hotel Beds

Mark Discovering Hotel Beds

Mark Discovering Hotel Beds

... And Sefies in the Hotel's Mirror

… And Sefies in the Hotel’s Mirror

... And Sefies in the Hotel's Mirror

… And Sefies in the Hotel’s Mirror

Quebec Loves Timmies Too

Quebec Loves Timmies Too

The Village

The Village

The Village

The Village

The Village

The Village

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About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.

23 Comments

  1. I really like the mix of cultures in Montreal. Really, though, I go for the the smoked meat as well, haha.

    Mark looks like a happy, bouncing baby!

    Have a great weekend!

      • What, you’ve never tasted smoked smeat or poutine? You mean you’ve never eaten these things in Montreal?

        I’ve never really been a poutine fan but smoked meat is sooooooo good. Too bad there’s no smoked meat in Europe… actually that’s a good thing.

        • I’m ashamed to say that I have never tasted poutine. It’s a texture thing… doesn’t look too appealing to me. I must have had smoked meat before but honestly, can’t remember! “Real” Montreal smoked meat, I don’t think so. Cold cuts, yeah, for sure, in sandwiches or even in France. Now you must think I’m weird 😆

          • I can’t believe it! Well, I can understand, as I was never really crazy about the stuff either.

            But the smoked meat, oh! Whenever I go to Montreal, I always stop off at Schwartz’s. I can’t think of Montreal without thinking of smoked meat as well! And I love kosher pickles! It’s so hard to find kosher pickles in Western Europe.

          • Don’t get me started on pickles in North America… for whatever weird reason, I was craving pickles when I was pregnant (yes, pregnant women are weird… at least I didn’t dip pickles in chocolate or anything like that though!). But I hate these monstrous pickles with dill or the sweet ones, so I had to buy imported jars of Maille “cornichons” at Nicastros. I blew my cornichon budget, trust me! 😆

        • I love those huge kosher dill pickles. I’ll eat the cornichons as well, but I definitely prefer my Canadian pickles!

          I love dill so it’s no surprise that I prefer these pickles. I also love pickles that taste like garlic. I am crazy about dill chips. Why are there none here?

  2. I am really happy that you are starting Mark on the concept of travel at a very young age. Most parents would probably think that travel is too complicated with children that young, but I think the earlier kids realize that there’s a whole world out there waiting for them, then the earlier they can be more open-minded and open to other cultures and viewpoints.

  3. Hi Zhu,
    Oui,Yes; a road trip to QC! It looks like Mark has all the trappings to be a great world traveler. Yay to go, dude!!
    He is so darn cute on the hotel bed 🙂

    Your trip through Ste Catherine & the village makes me think of our trip a couple of years back. We had a B&B in the Village. The ambiance was relaxed; people are cool over there. We never had a problem.

    Great photos!
    Bises.

  4. Mark looks like he is loving it! Great photos of him on the bed! My best friends are going on honeymoon to Montreal next summer, we are going up there to meet them for a few days – I can’t wait, it’ll be amazing!

  5. J’adore m’évader à Montréal! je fais le voyage 1 fois aux deux mois environ, pour ne penser à rien à part à ce qu’on veut manger car on trouve bien des petites places excellentes dans cette ville. J’ai vraiment hâte de découvrir Ottawa par contre, je suis sure qu’on va lui trouver plus de charme qu’elle en a déjà! Oui ton bébé est super cute, sa joie est palpable! trop mignon! 🙂

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