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.