After spending a beautiful day in Montreal with the boys last October, B and I decided to return for a slightly longer visit over the Thanksgiving weekend. Just like last year, the weather was beautiful, and we had a great time exploring a city that I wish I knew better.
We spent Saturday afternoon walking through Old Montreal. We did the tourist thing and rented a quadracycle to ride along the waterfront. K enjoyed his perch in the “King of the World” position, and A demanded the opportunity to steer. Fortunately those things are limited to a top speed of 4 km/h, so we were never in any danger of inflicting harm on the many families in our path.
As the sun began to set, we started looking for a place to have supper. While I had visions of us dining at Toqué or Au Pied du Cochon, I knew the boys wouldn’t last five seconds. So, I lowered my expectations and suggested…St. Hubert.
You know what? It was fine. A roving magician did some tricks for the boys to entertain them, and it’s pretty hard to screw up rotisserie chicken.
On the way back to the hotel, we strolled down Sainte-Catherine. The boys played with an art installation outside Place des Arts that involved aiming giant spotlights into the night sky – tons of fun. A was a little curious about the sign that read “Nude Dancers” and the bikini-clad superheroes at Club Super Sexe, but it didn’t lead to anything too awkward.
The boys woke me up early on Sunday morning. We let B sleep in and took the subway to find some bagels. I couldn’t help but notice the odd juxtaposition of ads for adult and kid entertainment – somebody has a sense of humour.
Once at the Plateau we hit up both Fairmont and Saint-Viateur for our bagel fix. We also stopped at Fabergé for a decent breakfast – it’s a nice place, and while we were the only ones there when it opened, I’m sure it fills up with hipsters and their beautiful kids later in the morning.
Our visit concluded with a visit to the Biodome. I had heard great things about it from friends, and we weren’t disappointed. The big aquariums were cool, and obviously K got a kick out of seeing the penguins. The live birds-of-prey demonstration was also a hit (although seeing the great horned owl was a little traumatic).
After living in Ottawa for 13 years, I feel bad that I haven’t been to Montreal more often. I feel like I only have a superficial relationship with the city – maybe someday I’ll get the chance to move beyond our infrequent, all-too-short hook-ups to something more meaningful.