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Our Montréal Trip: A Full Recap

Who would think of visiting Montréal at the coldest time of year? Me.

As a New Yorker of 20 years, it may be hard to believe that my first visit to the city of Montréal was in February during the kids' midwinter recess. I thought it would be great for my daughters and I to get out of our town to visit my childhood friend.

We hit I-87 North on a very gloomy day. In spite of the sometimes rainy weather, we enjoyed the most picturesque view of snow capped mountains and ice covered hillsides while driving up to the border entry at Champlain-St.Bernard de Lacolle. I was asked, "Are we there yet?" about thirty times by my younger daughter, before we made it to Côte-des-Neiges on the island of Montreal. You can imagine my fatigue.

Thankfully, I parked right across the street from a Vietnamese spot Restaurant I am Pho where we ordered pho and some spring rolls. The girls and I devoured it.

Surprisingly, it was pretty warm for this time of year, so we walked over for an early check in at Hôtel Terrasse Royal. The staff was kind and accommodating and I was happy to have parking on the premises.

We checked into our room, got a little rest and went out for a walk as the rain subsided.

I was hoping to get us to Saint Joseph's Oratory, but this was the beginning of discovering that so many sites in Montréal are under construction.

On our outing the following day, much like the oratory, the Montréal Botanical Garden's exhibits were closed and under construction. Only the outdoor space was opened, so we decided to get tickets for the Biodôme instead, where we enjoyed many of the exhibits.

On the final and coldest day of 14 degrees Fahrenheit, my friend and I met in the neighborhood of Vieux-Port at the Montreal Science Center. This moment was so long overdue and I was extremely excited to see my friend. We embraced each other and I was just happy to see the person who was a big part of my teen years. We were later joined by her brother and got a chance to walk around Place Jacques Cartier.

After much thought, we settled on lunch at Bevo Bar + Pizzeria where we enjoyed some great food. I had my first taste of poutine and a memorable end to a short, but beautiful trip.

I look forward to being back soon.

(Photo credit: Saint Joseph's Oratory in winter Jason Thibault; Hôtel Terrasse Royal Trip Advisor)


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