Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year - Montreal Day 1

Wow, happy 2017! Hope you all had a good new year's eve celebration, can't believe it's already over. In years past we took the long trek up to Quebec City to ring in the new year but this year opted for the shorter trek to Montreal. I for one vetoed the idea of Quebec City because being the driver of said excursion I can tell you right now it's a brutal trip, compounded by the fact that we always, and I mean always get hit with a really bad storm en route.

Plus, Montreal is a cool city, more cosmopolitan and eclectic if you ask me. We headed up on the 30th to give us some time to get a lay of the land, though this process can be a challenge at night and when it's freezing cold outside. Then again, when you're in Canada, you don't let a little thing like the polar vortex hold you back. On the drive up around the capital we also got his with a storm, and we all couldn't help but think that we just can't get a break when it comes to traveling up to Canada. It was a complete white-out snowstorm, and I was bummed, to say the least. The snow, however, was short lived, and by the time we were near Burlington it had cleared up. Thank goodness for that.

After a bit of a pause at the border, we landed in Montreal around 5:00PM. Finding the hotel was smoother than I thought it would be, and there was parking underneath the building, so we parked the car and forgot about it until the new year. Then we unloaded (exploded?) in our room, took a moment to catch our breath, and then began the search for something to eat. As I mentioned, Montreal is a much more diverse city than QC, in large part due to the college, McGill. The crowds tend to be younger, more hip and modern, and definitely more multi-cultural. Our goal was to eat something tasty and unique, and we found a really nice Egyptian restaurant where the crowd was interesting the proprietors were very friendly. They took the time to chat with us and explain what was in the dishes and how they were uniquely Egyptian. We ended up chowing down and enjoyed the meal immensely.

Afterward we headed out into the city to walk off our meal and take in the local flavor. The weather was cold and a little raw, with snow and wind, but there were crowds of people out and about. Our hotel was closer to the old section, which is in turn closer to the river where the New Year's Eve festivities were going on. When you walk further inland toward the college the crowds get thicker and more lively. It was fun to see, and you get a sense of vitality with so many young people around.

By the time we got back to the hotel it was well past 10:00PM, so we chilled for a bit, the kids had some late night screen time (bad parents), and we hit the sack hard. I for one was exhausted, but what else is new?

Stay tuned for more about day 2 of our Canadian New Year adventure. Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks to Eva Blue for the pic.

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