Canadian Vacation Part 3: Montreal

Good morning, Internet!

It’s Thursday, so let’s throw it back to my recent trip to Canada – and more specifically, Montreal. Let’s go!

You can read about the first legs of my trip to Canada here, here, and here.

When we left off, Andrew and I had practically worn through the soles of our shoes after covering an average of 8 miles a day in Toronto, exploring and eating our way through the city. With so much of the city left unseen (and uneaten), we vowed to make a return trip soon, and hopped on a Mega Bus to Montreal!

mega bus

I have to say, the Mega Bus was awesome. On previous trips, Andrew and I have taken the train from Toronto to Montreal, which takes about 6 hours and costs up to $150 a person. The Mega Bus, which was double-decker, got us there in 5 hours and was about $40 a person. Plus, we were able to reserve our seats (up top) ahead of time, and bring food and drink onto the bus (yes, there’s a restroom on board). Mega Bus = clear winner.

bus food

Once we arrived in Montreal, we took a cab to the apartment where we’d be staying. We spent the afternoon relaxing, snacking, and catching up with Andrew’s grandmother, who lives in Montreal. After dinner, we ventured out to stretch our legs and explore the town.

shoes

uphill

downhill

Neither of us was in the mood to really “go out” so we decided to just scope out potential bars we thought we might want to check out the following night. Montreal is a fun people-watching city. Everyone is so stylish! No one leaves the house in sweat pants, unless maybe they’re very expensive, very trendy sweat pants that fit impeccably and coordinate with their also very expensive and trendy sneakers. Everyone I saw was well dressed and put together. Pretty city, pretty people.

night adventures

The next day, Andrew and I started our morning with brunch at St. Viateur Bagel Cafe. Andrew is, by his own admission, a bagel snob. And St. Viateur bagels are his absolute #1. In the past, we’ve flown home from Montreal with 2+ dozen bagels, no joke. Luckily, this time, brunch was enough.

st viator

We spent the rest of the day walking around and exploring, stopping for treats here and there. Had to get some French macaroons at a La Folie.

macaroons

pretty

Pretty packaging 🙂

poutine

And some poutine at La Belle Province. Yum.

Even the graffiti in Montreal is beautiful. I’d call it street art sooner than I’d call it graffiti.

street art

Montreal doesn’t have as many public parks and Toronto, but still more than LA.

town

And then there was that time we tried to take an upward selfie… Lesson learned.

trying to take a selfie

Knowing it was our last night in Montreal, we decided to “hit the town” after dinner and stopped into Thursday’s for a couple drinks.

Thursdays

The bar, like many Montreal bars, was two-stories.  We got a great spot on the second story overlooking the main “drag”.  We must have seen 4 bachelorette parties.  I got a dirty martini, and Andrew got the biggest beer of his life.

big beer

 

Cheers, Montreal!  Hope to see you again, soon.

Amy

Canadian Vacation Part 2: The City of Toronto (Continued)

Hello friends, we’re back with part 2 of part 2… of my Canadian vacation.  If you’re just joining now, you can read all about the Lake House (part 1) and the first half of The City of Toronto (part1 of part 2) – WOW that’s confusing. Let’s just dive right in.

beaches
Toronto Beaches

Tuesday, we knew we wanted to check out an area called The Beaches, so we took the subway+street car to the general area and found a breakfast spot once we were there.

cutie
How cute is this guy?

After a satisfying diner-style breakfast at Sunset Grill, we set off to explore.  I’ve never been to a city with more public parks than Toronto.  We must have wandered through 6 parks on Tuesday alone.  All of them were well maintained and massive.

park

I think we walked a total of about 9 miles on Tuesday, so it was really nice to be able to take breaks throughout the day and have a park to sit in and enjoy for a while without feeling out of place.

relaxing

Sidenote to mention the backpack that served as my purse on the days we walked for miles and miles. Not only is a backpack much more comfortable to wear than a purse, it’s great for carrying snacks (a must) and souvenirs that you pick up along the way.  In case you’re wondering, most of the “souvenirs” I ended up with were subway maps. I’m a nerd.

backpack

We realized that LA is pretty lacking in the parks department.  The city does a good job of preventing loiterers.  With the exception of the beach, there’s no good area to go in LA where you can just wander around and enjoy the outdoors.

ducks

We eventually made our way (read: walked) to St. Lawrence Market: a farmers’ market lover’s dream!  It’s an indoor, two-story mega market with all of the fresh produce, meat, seafood, cheese, baked goods, sweets, and bulk items you could EVER want.

Toronto_-_ON_-_St_Lawrence_Market

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It was hard to resist buying all of the things, but we were good and (mostly) only bought what we went there to get:  a dessert item (mini pies), pickles (recommendation from a friend), and some dried fruit from the bulk section.  Not bad considering I also had maple syrup, fudge, cheese, and many other bulk items in my cart at one point.  It helped to know that whatever we bought we’d be carrying for the rest of the walk.

st-lawrence-market-4

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The rest of the evening was spent catching up with good friends (who had recently moved to Toronto from Washington, DC) over delivery pizza, wine, and the pies we brought from St. Lawrence Market for dessert.

queens park
Queen’s Park, Toronto

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Wednesday was our last full day in the city, so we wanted to make the most of it.  We set our alarms, and got up early to go for a run in Queen’s park, another beautiful public park located right near our apartment.  Andrew and I did more than our fair share of walking around the city, but it felt good to really get our heart rates up and work up a good sweat.

fruit

After some fruit and showers, we took the subway and a street car to Tequila Bookworm, an artsy bar known for its massive collection of beers on tap.  It also happens to be owned by one of Andrew’s good friends.  We caught up over cider beers while doing some serious people-watching out the front window and onto Queen Street.

tequilabookworm3_large

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It felt like we packed a lot in for having only spent 3 full days in the city… and I think that’s because we did!  There is so much to do and see in Toronto that we could have easily spent another 2 weeks there.  Unfortunately and fortunately, we had one final destination to jet off to: Montreal.

CN tower

Until next time, Toronto…

Amy