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