Started off Saturday with some rain showers so I wasn’t sure how the day was going to go. Kevin, a Canadian gymnast who came to visit Olivia and Kristina (they competed together in national comps.), drove his car down so Olivia, Steph and I decided to take Kevin around town and check off some boxes on my bucket list. We started by driving up Mt. Royal to the overlook spot and got to see a beautiful view of the whole city:
After seeing the view, there was that famous bagel spot I wanted to try again but this time we were going to go to the original location. The other spot Anna and I went to was not the original location and apparently this one is always less busy. We went, we ate, we conquered. Best homemade bagels I’ve had! They were phenomenal!
The pictures don’t do it justice. I bought half a dozen, all different kinds and every single one of them were light and fluffy and warm and just homemade-amazing-ness.
Still munching on our bagels, we dropped Olivia off to get her eyelashes done and Kevin, Steph and I went downtown to check out the Basilica of Notre Dame and Old Port. The Basilica was impressive even from the outside. We didn’t go inside because there was a very long line out front due to the fact that the next coming weeks were dedicated to an Organ Festival, which apparently inside, they have a very impressive organ.
Since Kevin and Steph hadn’t been downtown yet, I was their tour guide 🙂 I kind of knew my way around. We went to the maple place Anna and I went to before and made our way down the rest of the French street and back to the car. It was still raining off and on so we were trying to avoid the downpours as they came and went.
We hoped back in the car and made our way up Rue St. Laurent (where we had dropped Olivia off), but not being able to communicate with her was difficult. Kevin was hungry so we made our way to Schwartz, the famous smoked meat place and a box to check off on my bucket list. The line was incredibly long for the lunch rush but right next to the restaurant they had the take-away section. By that time we had actually found Olivia and got inline for take-away. Steph, Olivia and I weren’t that hungry, and I knew I would be back at some point, so we let Kevin get some lunch and we walked down the street and went into a store Olivia had seen earlier. But not before stopping to take some cool picture in front of graffiti 🙂
At 3:30pm there was a show at ToHu, the performance center next to HQ, we wanted to get back for. Weekend traffic was a mess so we got there just in time! There were 5 acts that performed and after each act, the artist would come back our on stage and take advice from the audience about what they thought could make it better or what they thought was great.
After the show, I had another doctors appointment at another hospital to see the “Cirque Doctor” to get the A-OK to start coming back gradually from the stitches as long as they didn’t come out before 10 days. I took a cab to the hospital, checked in, saw the doc, he gave me a sheet, and sent me on my way! It was nice and easy. He even said his wife was working at a hospital in Baltimore! It’s a small world.
Even though it had cleared up about half way through Saturday, it decided to rain again on Sunday morning. I woke up to the rain coming down pretty hard but by 10am it seemed to have stopped. A few of us wanted to go to the Jean-Talon Market which is a pretty well-known market in Montreal. We met in the bottom of the residence and decided how we wanted to get there. Kristina and I decided to walk because I didn’t think it was going to be that bad of a walk and I needed to get my legs moving from not being able to do anything during the week. The walk only took 35-40 mins and we made our way around the market losing each other eventually. I hadn’t planned on doing much else for the rest of the day because it wasn’t fantastic weather and I didn’t want to get caught in the rain if it decided to start again.
The market was amazing! You could try samples of all kinds of fruits, veggies and maple syrup. The peaches were mouth-watering and the sweet corn sample was phenomenal, I wanted to come back to and get a whole ear, I do love a good corn-on-the-cob. I ended up buying a sampler pack of maple goodies, some bananas, cucumbers (obviously all fresh), and ice wine….I had no idea what ice wine was so I went up and asked and had about a 10 min conversation with the guy and he gave me a few samples. Apparently, instead of using regular fruit to make wine, ice wine is when they go into the fruit orchards and pick the frozen fruit to make wine. That gives the wine a sweeter taste, so more moscato tasting. And the colder into the winter months you get, the more expensive the wine/cider is. So if they go pick the fruit in December (which is still cold!!), the wine made is less expensive as opposed to fruit picked in Jan/Feb and then made into the wine or cider, pretty unique concept. There was also a crepe place I was determined to come back to, they looked and smelled fantastic!
At the market, I ran into Kevin and Olivia! They asked if I wanted to join them in going back to the bagel place and exploring some more of town….in a car! So I was on board.
We were heading to Bulk Barn which is a store where you can buy anything (food wise) in bulk, Kevin really wanted to go there and I wanted some specific Canadian candy that you can’t get in the states….because let’s face it, I have a sweet tooth that needs to be fed.
On our way there, we look out the car window and to our right there is Gibeau Orange Julep! That was on my list but it was on the outskirts of the city so I didn’t think I would get a chance to go there! Olivia and I tell Kevin to pull over because first of all, it looks awesome, and second of all it was on the list!
It’s probably “just a fast food place” to Montreal residence but it had the best orange juice I’ve ever had in my life, and I’m not a fan of orange juice! It was almost whipped, it was so delicious! Another check off the bucket list!
The Bulk Barn was really close to Gibeau so we went right over and got some normal candy. They didn’t have very Canada-specific candy so we actually went to the Wal-Mart next door and got Canadian candy bars. Here was the loot:
I think Cadbury may have started in Canada because they have a lot here that they don’t have in the states. All 4 of these were good! Some combination of chocolate and caramel, you can never go wrong! The Wunderbar was my favorite.
We made our way back to St. Viateur’s Bagels because Olivia wanted more and headed down to the Gay Village because 1. Kevin hadn’t been and 2. Pride Parade was happening and it seemed like it would be fun to experience. We got down there, starving, and found a pizza place to eat quick. Behind us, there was some sort of painting-of-the-bodies thing going on. It was definitely a great day to people watch!
After our lunch, I had one more thing downtown that was on my bucket list we could check off. It was called the Underground City, not knowing it was just going to be a regular mall, we went to check it out. Since Montreal gets so cold in the winter they have an a tunnel system which connects different areas of the mall. We went for about an hour before all of the shops closed and made our way back to the residence.
It turned out to be quite a busy and fun day! Checked a lot of things off the bucket list but I still have a few more to go!