Sorting through photos is always the most tedious thing to do after a vacation. I think between George and I, we took over 500! I’m horrible at editing down photos, so I hope you don’t mind looking at what I considered a “narrowed down” picture gallery from our trip. I also wanted to give you a nice glimpse of our little adventure and tried not to overlap from my Instagram (but should you want to see more… they are here!)
We had a really nice time exploring the different neighborhoods in Montreal. From St. Laurent, to Mile End/Outremont, to Downtown, to the good Old Montreal, we did A LOT of strolling and driving around. Since we traveled with a toddler this time who could barely sit still for 10 minutes, we didn’t do a lot of fine dining. It was a real tease because there were so many good restaurants around and we kept passing by them and couldn’t go in. However, we did stick with discovering more street foods, fun shops and local cafes that filled up our trip. We probably even walked into a few tourist traps I’m sure, but sometimes you do need those because they are super kid-friendly with the pizzas the kids always want!
Shopping for me is always a big and favorite part of my trip. I did buy a few things and stayed with local brands and shops where I couldn’t get from San Francisco otherwise. I bought a few locally made necklaces, hand soaps, a dress from a local designer and also did a little vintage shopping – I’m planning on sharing my finds on another post. :)
Like I said, we did a lot of local cafes and street foods. From the famous smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s (which was the last spot Anthony Bourdain went on the Montreal Layover), to the must-try Bagels on St. Viateur, to the “le brunch” at La Croissanterie Figaro in Upper Plateau, we tried squeezing in as much local flavors as we possibly could. And when Hayden does nap in her stroller (which was rare) we would sneak in our alone time at a nice pub, like Burgundy Lion in Griffintown, to enjoy a nice cold beer and poutine.
We also splurged a little on our hotel because I remember that was a tip for traveling with children. Always find a good family-friendly hotel and if you can get the upgrade, get it! Hayden did spend a lot of time napping and our curfew was probably like 8:30pm. It was nice that the hotel offered continental breakfast as well as happy hour at their club lounge with complimentary wine, hors d’oeuvres, beverages and unlimited coffee all day long – which trust me, was much needed! Oh yea, and I totally made Hayden wore a touristy shirt with me! I am the embarrassing mom. :)
If you were to ask me which part of Montreal is my favorite, I would have to say the Old Montreal. It is quite charming from buildings dated back to the 1600’s during the New France era. We were lucky to stay right at the border so we would constantly walk down the cobble stone streets, admire the beautiful architecture, watch the horse carriage rides, and absorb the history and culture of this special part of town. While this was not France, it was still a little bit of a culture shock to us because almost everyone and everything was in French (even the Chinese spoke French, which we thought was totally weird but super cool!) Will I ever go back to Montreal? Absolutely! Hopefully next time I can make it a dining trip and go back to all the restaurants I was dying to try!
Special thanks to Raluca of What Would Gwyneth Do for making amazing local recommendations and answering my tweets while I’m in Montreal! You’re the best! xx
(Images via Shop Sweet Things)