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A Weekend Surprise – Four Days in Montreal

2012 September 25

So remember how I posted here last week about my sister’s big film premiere in Montreal and how sad I was that I couldn’t be there???

Well…surprise! I went!

I LOVE a surprise and it was so amazing to fly in and catch her off guard on her big night and then spend the rest of the weekend taking in the city with no responsibilities, sippy cups or early bed times to worry about.

Of course, running away from the circus is always great but it’s also bittersweet.

Any time I saw a child, I missed mine. I kept wanting to share fun finds with my husband, but had to resort to text message to do it. And as cool as those late nights were, I was even happier to wake up to an early morning back home today…refreshed and filled with memories and love from four days of old friends, family, and of course, food.

Here’s a little look at the weekend:

My sister’s film premiered in a church in downtown Montreal as part of a hugely popular annual music festival. This picture does not do it justice at all, it was beautiful, haunting and immersive. Just like her film.

A solo brunch in Old Montreal. The café was filled with locals bantering in French, sipping wine with their lunch (I was still on west coast time, so it was café au lait for me) and rolling their eyes at the tourists crowding their beloved cobble stone streets. Thankfully I still give off a local vibe.

A dinner with old friends at a popular new restaurant.

A rainy Friday night in Old Montreal. I welcomed it with open arms.

A croissant on a bench, watching the world go by. That was a damn good croissant.

An afternoon at the spa with my sister. This spa sits in a makeshift submarine in the lake that runs alongside Old Montreal’s port. Need I say more? That defines cool.

I found myself with an hour here and there to just wander the city streets. It was perfect.

I ventured out to the suburbs where I grew up for a dear friend’s birthday dinner. I decided to take the 45-minute train ride back to the city the next morning and it was like a trip down memory lane. Each stop brought back another flashback from childhood or adolescence even sweeter than the last.

I took the métro to meet my sister for brunch. I haven’t lived in a “real” city in close to ten years, but it still feels so second-nature to me. I took that métro every day for a big part of my life and it’s nice to see that a few years in the suburbs can’t take that out of a girl…

We saw a concert in a small park up in the Mile End district where I used to live. It was in honor of a well-known local artist who passed away a few years back and residents young and old came out to watch some of the best local musicians pay tribute to her. This felt like such a signature Montreal gathering, complete with puffs of cigarette smoke I kept choking on. Apparently my city girl lungs have gone very suburban.

My sister and I popped into a favorite French bistro for a late night Sunday supper of red wine, steak frites and rich dessert. Sinful.

We dropped by one of our old haunts where the bar looked the same, the crowd looked young, and the drinks felt cheap.

 And on an early Monday morning, I headed back to the airport to fly home to my little family.

Coffee in hand, of course.

Thank you, ma belle province, for a lovely weekend.

*top photo of a sidewalk display debating city parking regulations in Old Montreal*

3 Responses
  1. September 25, 2012

    looks amazing! how exciting for your sister and so great you could go and support her.

  2. liz duncan permalink
    September 25, 2012

    Wow! I’ve never been to Canada, but your pictures and descriptions just sparked an interest in me. I’m at work, but after looking at your photos I’ll I want to do is go to a cafe, order a croissant with a latte and possibly smoke a cigarette or two. I’ll try not to blow it in a non-smokers direction:)

  3. September 26, 2012

    I’m dying for a weekend in Montreal. DYING. I’ve never been and everyone I know just LOVES it. Glad you had a good time!

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