Oh, Montrèal. We like you a whole lot.
Kristie and I drove up to Canada last Friday to spend the long weekend holed up in a cozy apartment in Montrèal. We rented the apartment through Airbnb, and honestly, I don't know why people stay in hotels anymore. We had a full kitchen, living area, and even a private balcony (covered in snow, but still) for half the price of a standard hotel room. Our host Tony gave us a few maps, directions, and tips about the neighborhood, and was right downstairs for anything we needed.
It was so, so cold -- like, headache-inducing cold -- but wonderfully fun. We spent Friday night in Burlington with Liz, a longtime close friend and one of my bridesmaids, and drove up the rest of the way on Saturday afternoon. Kristie and I ordered in Saturday night (burgers and poutine: French fries smothered in gravy and cheese curds, a Montrèal classic) and stayed snuggled under blankets.
In fact, aside from our few ventures out into the cold, that was the theme of this trip: quiet relaxing time together. I developed a real taste for this one brand of decaf Canadian coffee -- which we (luckily) found at a Pharmaprix on our way home -- and dove into The Goldfinch on my Kindle. Tell me you've read this book too! I haven't lost myself in a piece of fiction like this in a long time.
On Sunday we walked to the metro and, after spending a really funny 15 minutes figuring out how to buy our passes and, you know, get on the train, we headed to the BioDome.
I don't know if you've ever been there before, but I highly recommend it if you ever visit Montrèal. We spent the most time in the tropical zone, which was so sweetly warm!
Kristie was so excited to see the monkeys in action so close to us. The girl wants to own a monkey real bad.
This river otter (basically a wet Samson, as far as we were concerned) is looking at a small slide on the other side of the glass from him in this picture. He'd wait for a little kid to go down the slide, and dive down his waterfall at the same time. It was really cute!
Obviously I took the most pictures while we were at the BioDome. The rest of the time, Kristie and I were both recording footage on our iPhones and making this little video!
We headed back to our apartment for lunch, a nap (it was vacation after all), and then hopped back on the metro and rode to Old Montrèal. I loved the cobblestone streets! It was so charming down near the water. We did some souvenir sweatshirt-shopping and sat down happily for our third poutine dinner of the trip (we'd had it in Vermont too before we left for Canada).
It was a good Valentine's trip. The cold made everything feel cozier, and it was just so nice to travel with Kristie. I don't want to get all Valentine's-Day-sappy, but I feel really lucky that I get to walk through life with her.
24 hours felt like enough time to spend in Montrèal in February, but we're already planning a longer return trip for the summer to stay in the same apartment, and do a lot more walking and outdoor adventuring around the city. And it's looking like this might be the year of magical travel -- we're planning some more exciting trips for the spring and summer! Have you traveled anywhere fun lately?