The weekend before school started, we headed up to Montreal. It's a 5 hour drive from Boston, so we were game for a little adventure. The mister was playing in a company soccer tournament and we could not resist an opportunity to explore another destination and support one of our favorite sports. Please forgive my gritty phone pictures, I left my good camera on the kitchen table.
My soccer star and offspring. The mister played all weekend, leaving the kids and I to explore Montreal (without Google Maps, my friends, I earned some stripes, let me tell you!)
We stayed at the The Hilton Garden Inn and it was fantastic. We are loyal to Hilton, as the mister travels quite a bit for work and we have about a million points, but this one was a favorite by far. The pool was on the roof with an amazing roof deck that looked over the entire city. I'm not going to lie, we spent 70% of our time here.
I mean, seriously. There was an adjoining gym that was all glass so as I worked out my frustrations, I watched the sun come up over the city. Breathtaking.
You can't go wrong with food in Montreal. There is amazing restaurants at every turn, thank goodness, but this kid was done on the first night. We hit massive traffic and our 5 hour drive ended up being 7.5 hours. He was done, I was done. Not a good combination. This restaurant, Bistro Cafe & Cucina had delicious food, patient waitstaff, and outdoor seating so we could all decompress and get lost in the sights of the city. The girls claimed it was the best pasta they ever had.
Another eatery we loved was Creperie Chez Suzette. I think this kid's face says it all. We also tried a Montreal bagel and loved it. Can't find the picture, but anywhere you go, the bagels are delicious and so very different than a New York bagel. (I'm not going to say better or worse, they are completely different in taste and texture.)
We were only in Montreal for 2 days, but we did have the chance to explore Old Montreal. It was very humid and the kids were exhausted, so I spent the money and did a horse drawn carriage ride. Worth every damn penny, despite the long faces in the picture below.
Our driver was the best commentator, gentleman, historian, storyteller, and comedian. He loved the kids and they had the privilege of feeding his girl. It was a great way to see the city.
Again, that rooftop deck.
We did not see this guy a whole lot, but we managed to squeak out a trip to Dim Sum at Oh Dumplings! which was very cool because you could see the cooks making the dumplings from scratch. My kids love Dim Sum, so we always find a place to enjoy a cheap, hearty meal.
I'm not going to lie, this trip was exhausting. Traveling and exploring solo with three is utterly depleting. Most nights, I fell asleep with a wine glass in my hand in the office chair in the room. At the end of each day, my sore, tired husband collapsed on the bed, humbling me.
Bea took this picture and I love it. I was so proud of this guy for how hard he played, how much he stepped out of his comfort zone, and how he made time for the four of us despite his exhaustion. I'm so grateful for this life we have and I know the kids can't wait to go back next year. Montreal was clean, friendly, and a blast to explore. I recommend it highly and I, too, am excited to return next year and see this guy in a uniform.
Someone asked me the other day how we afford to do trips like this and I'll visit that in a future post, but we can do this because 50% of the year, my husband is on the road. He stays mostly at Hilton and we have not paid for a hotel room in nearly seven years. The way we look at it is this: if he has to be gone so much, we might as well reap the benefits from his travel. Another tip: I use Trip Advisor for cheap ideas for food and activities for the kids. Lastly: I have a no souvenir policy. We all agree on one magnet and combined with their memories, that is their keepsake. Happy travels!