Tag Archives: Canada

A Weekend in Montréal: Friends, Food, and Frigid Temps

After two weeks in Pittsburgh, Dave and I decided it was time to take our first road-trip together from Pittsburgh.  With Dave’s extremely busy volleyball schedule on the horizon and my freedom to travel during the week (since I don’t have a job right now), we decided it would be the perfect opportunity to see a new city. We both love to travel, don’t mind driving long distances, and have a great friend who lives in Montréal, which made our destination decision easier. We mapped out our route, which included a pit stop in Rochester both ways (Dave’s Hometown), which put us at about 20 hours in the car.

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Spread out across three and a half days, our weekend getaway to Montréal was one to remember.

Day One: Thursday, April 12th, 2018

3:45PM – To help reduce the total number of hours in the car, I took the P67 bus out to Monroeville to meet Dave by his office. Not only did this lower our time on the road, but also helped me get acclimated with Pittsburgh’s public transportation.

4:45PM – On the road! Next stop: Rochester!

5:00PM – Just kidding! Quick stop at Chick-Fil-A to get some dinner! Chicken nuggets and lemonade were calling my name after a three-day juice cleanse.

9:30PM  After a quick four and a half hours in the car, we finally made it! We unloaded some items we’re keeping at his parents place,  caught up for a little bit with his family, and went to bed so we could be ready for a long day on the road tomorrow.  Goodnight!

Day Two: Friday, April 13th, 2018

8:00AM – Time to hit the road. Next stop: Montréal!

3:20PM – After a gas stop, and an extended wait at the border, we finally made it!

4:00PM – Time for a late lunch at Olive Et Gourmando. Our concierge at the hotel recommended  this cute little cafe for us plus it was on our way to the waterfront. I indulged in the Grilled Cheese and Sautéed Onion Panini, while Dave opted for the healthier green salad with roasted almonds, red onions, house vinaigrette. We also ordered two La Saison du tracteur beers and Dave finished off the meal with an Elixir + Bourbon (green tea, ginger, pomegranate).

4:30PM  Walk around the waterfront, up and down Rue Saint Paul, and around the ‘old city’. We also stopped in the Intercontinental Hotel to see a piece of the Berlin Wall and an ‘infinity pool’.

7:30PM – Quick workout at the hotel. Chest and Tri’s and 20 minutes on the bike to get the blood pumping.

9:00PM – Meet up with Wojtek and Memye and head to dinner. I chose Brasserie 701 based off Yelp reviews and it’s pretty close. Win-Win!

10:30PM – After an amazing dinner, we decide to head out on the town. I indulged in Scallop Risotto with Truffles, Dave got Duck with Mushroom Sauce, Wojtek ordered the Duck with Apricot Sauce, and Memye had the Rosemary and Red Onion Marinated Flank Steak. We bounced around Montréal from: 3 Brasseurs to The ColdRoom, which was a speakeasy with a freezer-like door opening.

Day Three: Saturday, April 14th, 2018

9:30AM – Up and at ’em! Time to take on the day. Dave and I sneak out for a quick breakfast and coffee at La Finca, which is down he street from our hotel.  Dave ordered the Danois Dejeuner (Breakfast Danish) with coffee, and I had a croissant (my fav) and a Chaud Chocolat (Hot Chocolate).

10:30AM – We returned to the hotel, grabbed Memye and Wojtek and headed out for the day.  First on our list: Fairmount Bagels! Apparently bagels are different in Canada and I wanted to try it!

11:15AMFairmount Bagels was a disappointing adventure. The bagel was small, not toasted, and sweet?! It makes me miss my NYC bagel habit (Salt Bagel with cream cheese, anyone?)

12:10PM – Time to head to Mont Royal, which is the name sake for the city of Montréal. It is an extinct volcano with beautiful panoramic views of the entire city and a cross on the top. Unfortunately it was extremely cloudy and FREEZING (about 24 degrees!), but we still had a nice walk to the top.

2:30PM – We headed back to the hotel to drop off the car and grab some lunch! We decided on a cute fondue and creperie about a half mile away from the hotel aptly named, Creperie Chez Suzette. I ate the Crepe Parisienne, Dave had the La Spécial Délice, and Wojtek and Memye ordered the La Charlevoix and French Onion Soup! Dave and I also enjoyed a Strawberry and Dark Chocolate Crepe for dessert – my sweet tooth was more than satisfied! We spent the afternoon giggling (mostly at my poor french skills), eating our hearts out and enjoying each others company.

5:00PM –  The four of us retreated from the harsh conditions outside into the warmth of our hotel room and continued catching up for the next few hours before we said our goodbyes! Trips like this remind us how blessed we are to have friends around the world.

9:30PM – After a mini nap (errr.. 2 hour nap), Dave and I headed back out to dinner at the nearby Monsieur Resto+Bar which was a 30 second walk from the hotel (and another Yelp find)! The atmosphere was incredible – jazz music in the background, cool lighting, and lively! I saw scallops on the menu and I had to order them again, this time with an asparagus risotto. Dave ate the butternut squash gnocchi and said it was amazing!  We retreated back to the hotel after a cozy dinner and I fell asleep to the Trailblazers-Pelican game.

Day Four: Sunday, April 15th, 2018

9:00AM – After two unanswered alarms on my phone, we finally got up and hit the road. We decided to stop in Rochester on the way back to break up our drive and aimed to get there around 3PM.

3:20PM – Safe on deck in Rochester! We were making great time, but unfortunately got stuck behind two snowplows that were going about 30 MPH for about an hour and experienced some terrible weather. Major Bummer, but we made it safely!

5:45PM –  After a great lunch/early dinner, we were back on the road to Pittsburgh. I was at the wheel for the majority of this leg, until we got hit with a torrential downpour closer to the city and Dave took over for me.

10:30PM – Home Sweet Home! Trust me when I say, nothing feels better than crawling into bed after a long weekend away.

While we didn’t have the time to do Notre Dame or the Olympic Stadium or eat Poutine, it was still a wonderful weekend. I am definitely glad to be back in the ‘burgh, and in my routine of working out and eating healthy. Here’s to our next adventure, whether that is near or far! Au Revoir!