Here’s the thing about roadtrips: they can be a great, inexpensive, and fun way to travel.
……..except when you take them in the middle of a SNOWSTORM:
Yeeeeah. So driving from Toronto to Montreal in the middle of what newscasters were dubbing “Snowmaggedon 2012” in hindsight may not have been the best idea. The drive (which ordinarily takes about 5 hours) ended up taking my friend Lia and I well over 8, and involved several near-death encounters. Luckily, thanks to a giant bag of pretzel M&Ms, a sweet 80’s playlist, and more than a few prayers to Saint Christopher- I live to blog another day.
We spent our first night in Montreal at Lia’s Aunt and Uncle’s place. Obviously, copious amounts of wine were necessary to repress the memories of imminent peril- and we ended up having a late night of drinking, eating, and taking shelter from the storm.
I awoke the next morning with a vague recollection of drunkenly promising Lia’s Auntie Claude I’d attend her Spin class with her at 10 a.m….. a decision I immediately regretted once armed with sober second thoughts. Being yelled at in french to pedal faster + a low-grade hangover do not make for an appetizing combo, lemme tell ya. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed, and Lia and I agreed to simply run on the treadmill instead.
We had free passes to the gym, which was good considering it usually costs eleventy thousand dollars and your first-born child just to get in there. That plus the fact that it was called “Le Sporting Club Sanctuaire”, told me this gym was going to be ritzy. The best way I could describe it is: how the other half lives. The parking garage was filled with Porsches and Lexi (is that the plural of lexus?) and all of the women looked like they had just emerged from their daily dip in the eternal fountain of youth. (side note: did you know that Louis Vuitton made gym bags? I do now). Inside there were squash courts, an indoor pool, a state of the art pilates studio, and a cardio room that would make Bob Harper cry. They even gave out $20 bills to wipe away your sweat with! (Just kidding.. you got complimentary towels, which smelled like freshly baked cookies…I’m not sure how this works as an incentive, but I went with it).
I did experience one slight hurdle when I realized the treadmill pre-sets were in Km/hour instead of my standard miles. I spent several awkward minutes slow-motion/stumble jogging and attracting quizzical glances from several other fellow gym-goers before eventually figuring that sh*t out. Treadmill fail.
learning that I’m a Luddite working on our fitness, we made our way to Old Montreal. First stop, brunch at Olive et Gourmando.
2459090909 calories (and one pointless workout) later, we stumbled out of the restaurant ready to explore Old Montreal.
I decided during our stroll that Montreal has a charm and sophistication that no other Canadian city can match. The culture, the buildings, the cobblestone streets…. plus, saying anything in French just makes it seem infinitely cooler and more sophisticated. I’ll admit I got sort of caught up in it all, and felt like I was becoming more sophisticated myself through cultural osmosis. I felt a smug satisfaction every time I ordered a Cafe au Lait instead of a coffee, or gave a cab driver directions in [extremely broken] french… I even found myself in an art gallery at one point, contemplating purchasing one of the prints on display. Guess I must have temporarily forgotten that I HAVE NO MONEY.
Anyway, the rest of our trip was delightful, and filled with more cheese, wine, Montreal bagels, and thankfully, a relatively uneventful drive home.
I recognize this post was pretty low in poutine, shopping, and sexy French-Canadian men like I promised…. buuuut it was pretty high in both quality photos and literary content, so you can’t really complain.
Just for good measure though (and because one faithful reader in particular I know will appreciate it) here’s a pic of the one and only Georges St. Pierre.