Fourth of July, Oh Canada: Montreal Fireworks

Overlooking Notre-Dame Basilica

Nothing says July Fourth like Canada, eh kids? The hubs and I slipped away to Montreal, or as I pronounce with my faux French accent Mon-real. I literally had no expectations of the city, it was that much of a surprise trip. We picked a solid weekend to go, as the city was hosting their annual International Jazz Festival.

When we arrived on Friday our travel plans got screwed, but we went with it as best we could. Lesson for all those that travel and something out of your control happens, regroup and replan. The more time you waste pissed at a crap situation, the more time you miss out on venturing the city.

Kind of looks like a backdrop at Universal Studios.

French is the predominant language in Montreal, but many (almost all) speak English as well. We didn’t activate our cell phones, which was freeing but also nerve wracking. With all the craziness, Andrew had to stay close – by arm or shouting distance. The signs and menus are definitely in French. I spent a few panicked minutes thinking fromage was forgeois – no, I don’t want a frog sandwich with mayonnaise! I took four years of espanol gente. You actually pick up on the French fairly quick, enough to get by.

I'm with the band.

After taking in a few jazz shows, we changed it up and went exploring in our running shoes. There was this hill/small mountain we saw when we arrived, both saying in unison, “Ooh, something to hike.” We summited Mount Royal, gorgeous green grass, manicured trails and a spectacular view of the city.

And there were fireworks! Canada was winding down from their own country’s celebration, Canada Day. They held an international fireworks competition on the Saint Lawrence River. The fireworks were gargantuan and lasted quite awhile.

We stayed in downtown and spent a lot of time in the Old City. That was the place to be, right off the water with plenty of bars and restaurants lining the cobblestone paths. Much like escaping to Europe. If you dine out, be p-a-t-i-e-n-t. If you know me, let’s just say I can get “frigidity” quickly. Ah, when in Rome. I am use to the hurry, hustle of U.S. staff, but the French are in no hurry. It’s nice, once you chill out. The bars are delicious! There were rooftop bars that overlooked historic architecture and cathedrals.

More to come, but overall such a fantastic weekend. If you’ve seen “The Whole Nine Yards,” you’ll see where we were.

While I was in a foreign country, my bro was in a different “land” as well.
Mikey Likey: This time last week he was telling me I was bat shi* crazy for wanting to visit Hogwarts. Well see for yourself who went Wizarding this weekend.

I want to go to there.

Take THAT Polar Express.

How was everyone’s Fourth? Ever been in a place where they weren’t speaking your language?


19 responses to “Fourth of July, Oh Canada: Montreal Fireworks

  1. Sounds like a great weekend. Nothing better than taking your running shoes and exploring a new area with a run. I was in Nantucket this weekend and did a similar “rave run” on Sanford farms which is awesome,

  2. Ah, yo creo que Espanol es mas facil! Ha, I’m not sure I’d pick up French over just a weekend jaunt, nice work.

  3. We had a great weekend at the lake. I’ve spent some time in Mexico and thankfully Billy speaks fluent Spanish…me? I can form a handful of sentences – usually relating to directions, food and drinks! 🙂

  4. Great weekend! I haven’t been to Canada since high school – and it was winter! Must cross the border soon!

    I had a low-key 4th – but very fun! Lots of food and family.

  5. Wow!! I went to Israel last summer but luckily most people we encountered spoke English in addition to their native language, Hebrew.

    Same went for Italy! Except the taxi drivers.

    • I LOVE to run, he will do it every once in awhile. He’s more of a biker, hiker, rough-rugged. But he does support me often and it’s nice. You peer pressure your boo enough, he’ll run with ya!

  6. I love Montreal! It’s one of my favorite cities, and we try to get up there for several long weekends a year.

    I’ve been lucky to do a lot of traveling, so there have been many times in my life when I’ve been surrounded by people who speak little to no English. It’s always an adventure.

  7. Canada! Yeah! It’s a great place and you took some fantastic photos. I’ve never been to Montreal but have heard great things about it. Glad you had a good time!

    As for me – I’ve been a few places where I didn’t speak the language. France, Italy and Switzerland woth Japan most recently.

  8. Such an exciting 4th! I’ve never been to Montreal, but I’d love to visit. Your entire trip sounds fabulous 🙂

    But maybe not as fabulous as Hogwarts… 😉 I actually really really want to go there! I know that makes me a huge dork, but seriously — it looks so cool!

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