Montreal 2.0

By January 11, 2013 , , , ,

If you're from Winnipeg or read Canadian weather news you'd probably know that we are expecting a major blizzard today which basically translates to bye bye weekend plans. I already went shopping with my Mother yesterday for groceries just in case we get completely snowed in, but honestly I don't think it will be that bad. I had all these plans set up too but I guess skype dates will be scheduled instead!

I haven't been blogging as often lately as I used to because my life has become flat and dull.  I don't shop as much as I used to, I don't go out as often as I did and I clearly don't blog that much anymore! So what exactly am I doing? I'm not so sure myself.  But I digress, I had a wonderful Christmas break with my friends and family and although December was a massive rollercoaster ride of ups and downs, what did happened are some of my greatest memories from 2012.

Some parts of this break were happy, others not so much, but it worked out in the best way possible. I had the chance to take four days off and head over to Montreal with Clara and Tiffany which was absolutely amazing, especially with everything going on within my family. With all the things that had happened during the earlier part of December, I needed to get out to heal, relax and not think about anything or anyone for a while.

Of course, I started my break of with some of my most favourite people in the world. It's almost our decade friendship-anniversary!! Can't believe how fast time flies and how lucky I am to have these girls with me. We've gone through so many changes together and I am so glad I still have them by my side! Of course, we can never really meet up without taking awkward photos in the restaurant while the waiter overlooks mildly amused, and how can we forget the obligatory wash-room picture we used to take in high school.

I flew into Kingston extremely early the next day since I had an appointment with the advisor and also because I had to clean up my room after my sublet had left. Then because Tiffany's birthday just happens to fall very close to end of Fall semester one of our friends organized a mini-celebration before we all returned home for the holidays. Headed over to Woodenheads for dinner and then Tiffany's house for this absolutely decadent cheesecake Brittany picked up from Pan Chancho. One word- Amazing.

Tifffany's Pre-Bday Celebration @ Woodenheads 

To continue the celebrations, we headed over to Montreal afterwards, and after a night of frantic packing and hectic rushing we made it to the Fairmont safe and sound. Most of our trip consisted of food. Loads of it. Our first stop was Kazu, a tiny Japanese restaurant that resembles guu in Toronto. The food was different; we shared an order of beef carpaccio, katsu burger, marinated pork bone, salmon and tuna bowl, and 48 hour pork fried rice. 

 48 hour rice and katsu burger @ kazuurbanspoon

beef carpaccio @kazu

Went strolling downtown afterwards to walk off our meal and also to get some fresh air since the place was crazy cramped. Picked up some drinks and snacks at shoppers and SAQ before heading back to the hotel to watch Fairmont TV ads since that was the only thing playing at that hour. Was planning on heading over to 737 that night to see the night view but ended up going for sangria at the place where Irene took Tiffany and I last summer.

The weather on the second day was absolutely horrible. Snow and ice everywhere! Tiffany had heard about this place called Olive and Gourmando that her Australian friend raved about and we decided to take the metro out to Mont Royal to check it out. Ended up walking in circles for half an hour before we finally found it. Uggs soaked, faces red, but the panini was amazing. We had massive direction and GPS problems this trip and that was only the beginning. 

 View of Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde from our hotel room

Olive et Gourmando

It was such an extremely heavy lunch though, I clearly remember promising myself that we wouldn't eat for the rest of the day... but then Clara wanted pho so the pho came, and after that we trekked over to Chinatown for bubbletea and asian desserts. Pretty sure I finished the five pastries I purchased before the end of the night.. but that still wasn't the end! When walking back to our room, we passed by the Beaver Club in the lobby and saw their oyster promotion. Unfortunately, they had already closed for the evening so we ended up heading back out again to an oyster bar for oysters.

So much for no more food.

Then we passed by an arcade and ended up inside just before midnight so Tiffany could "relive" her childhood before her birthday the next day. In my opinion, one of the best nights of that trip. Went back to the hotel and started the Phantom but I passed out halfway through the movie since I was still catching up on sleep from exams and Clara and Tiffany ended up sleeping in the next day.

We actively made sure we ate less the next day to make up for our gluttonous second day. Did some quick shopping downtown where we picked up a few things and some last minute Christmas gifts before heading over to Lemeac for dinner to celebrate Tiff's birthday before going to the Place Des Arts over to watch the Nutcracker. All I remember from that day was that it was extremely rushed since we had to get to the restaurant by 4:30 to leave adequate time to get to the theatre and traffic had been slow during the day. Stressful!

Birthday girl @ Lemeac

Calamari with Balsamic reduction @ Lemeac

Waiting for Nutcracker to start

Of course, after the nutcracker it wasn't possible for us to simply go back to the hotel and end the night. We initially had plans to head over to Stereo, but since we decided on a low-key, relaxing trip, went for frozen yogurt. Our attempt to be semi-healthy ended with us in Three Amigos where we polished off a salad, a guacamole and a quesadilla. One of the most memorable nights, we ended up laughing all the way from the restaurant to the hotel -approximately an half an hour journey- which ultimately got us strange stares from the strangers we passed, but I can't remember the last time I had laughed that hard or felt that happy. The great thing about Montreal is that we could go absolutely crazy and no one would remember us. Great night, great company, great memories. 

But it had to end and soon it was time for us to go back to Toronto. Started Sunday morning off by heading over to the Eastman Spa where we got massages and facials before spending some time relaxing in their tea room admiring the view of Mont Royal. We specified our last day for relaxing and food shopping so we could pick up perishable gifts for our friends and family back in Toronto. Combined, the three of us ended up getting close to 200 macarons from Point G before heading over to the bakery to grab a few dozen bagels. 

Spa day @ Eastman Spa Montreal

macaron overload

We wandered around for a few hours like orphaned children since we had already checked out of our hotel but our flight wasn't till 11pm that evening. Killed some time at Le Premier Moisson where we shared an Opera and Mille Feuille before going to Maestro S.V.P for dinner. Due to our newfound addiction to raw oysters we found out about Maestro but hadn't been able to go until the last night. It was also because they had an all you can eat mussel special. The garlic and cream version was addictive and fabulous and the Beausoleils were some of the freshest I've ever had. Service was amazing, despite the fact that we kept on asking the servers for this and that their patience and their attentiveness to detail was much appreciated. Other than the fact that I challenged the other two to an eating contest which I completely lost, it was a great way to end this trip. Definitely one of the best meals we had and totally worth the 15 minute trek in -20 degree weather from the Metro station! Best moment? When a tiny little girl crawled up to Tiffany and called her Mommy. 

Paid our bill and went back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and managed to catch our plane right in time to head back to Toronto with wonderful memories and a few pounds heavier.

We had our bumps along the way but all in all I can't think of anyone else I would have liked to spend those four days with, so thank you girls, for putting up with me and my whining, for accommodating all my requests and for being there for me during times I really needed a friend.


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