What a crazy few weeks! It’s been a bit since my last post and now there is plenty to catchup on! We are going 3 weeks back! Well I guess the Montreal story starts about a year ago, so we will take a quick detour there…
A year ago Wade and I decided to apply for me to get a “Green Card” (which is like a “permanent resident card” but for the USA). In short it would allow me to work in the US should we move there and it generally takes about 3+ years to process. It’s a pretty crazy process (as it should be), but much to our surprise, my interview with the US Consulate came in May, with a June 28th date. So, an unplanned trip to Montreal it is!
I left bright and sparky on Monday June 20. Part of the process requires medical exams from a specific clinic and the results need to be in hand for the interview. This meant I needed to be in Montreal days before my interview. So I went a few days before Wade joined me.
I have never been to Montreal and was quite excited to check it out! I got there in good timing on Monday and hopped in a taxi to go to the Airbnb that would be my home for the next 8 days! I love Airbnb. We have really lucked out on the places we have chosen and it’s quite lovely to be in more of a “home” when traveling for that many days! I was able to make my morning smoothies and even grill dinner a few times. Montreal food is quite amazing, but I did not want to eat out 3 meals a day for 8 days! Plus this one’s neighbour had this super cute boxer who just LOVED Wade:
Once I was settled into my little temporary home, I decided to find a grocery store. We stayed in an “up and coming” area called “Rosemont”. Downtown was an hour walk, and all the fun trendy neighbourhoods were within 15- 60 minutes walks. I found a “Metro” and decided to walk for groceries. It was only like a 20 minute walk, but it was like 33 degrees! I was a sweaty mess once I got back with all my goodies.
So what’s the most logical thing to do now? CROSSFIT of course! There was a Box just around the corner (yesssss). I joined the 5pm class and did a whole WOD in French! (I took French immersion through grade 12 but never use it. I was shocked I still understand a good amount of French and didn’t have a hard time understanding the coaching, just don’t ask me to speak it 😉 )
The WOD was:
3×5 back squat @ 80%
3 rounds for time: 30 WB, 10 Strict Pull ups, 400m run
33 degrees and this WOD = SWEATY MESS!
I unfortunately only made it to this Box once! The next day was my medicals and lucky me, my tetanus shot was expired and they were required to give me one to pass the medicals. I am by no means a fan of needles but I do ok with them, but I HATE tetanus shots. They feel awful! The second they pushed the stuff in I felt it flow down my arm and it felt gross. My arm was unreal sore for 3 days after.
I still got my steps in though, at least 15,000 a day. Something I learned from the Portland trip is I can explore a lot by walking! So I spent the days before Wade arrived walking everywhere! I went to coffee shops walked shady streets…
Everywhere I went houses didn’t seem to exist and there were stairs everywhere! It was these cool old condo buildings with stairs upon stairs! Old designs and soooo much greenery. It was kind of like being transported into another world.
I visited the Notre-Dame Basilica. Old churches are cool, but this one brought me to tears as I entered it, it was stunning. My pictures do not do it any justice.
Montreal is beautiful and full of parks. It’s like they truly understand they need to take full advantage of warm sunny days. I saw so many people out all the time, running and walking and biking. Playing in the park, sitting in the parks with books or full picnics. It was wonderful!
Wade arrived super late on the Wednesday night. I was super happy to see him and begin some adventuring together. We found amazing coffee shops, ate pastries, went to the market, ate baguettes and cheese for days! And of course found some breweries… (craft beer is like art)
For anyone who doesn’t know, Montreal has an incredible bike system. They are called BIXI Bikes. There are racks of these bikes everywhere and you can rent them for super reasonable prices. So obviously Wade was all over this! Something people may not know about me, I am super awkward on a bike.
I was actually pretty nervous about this biking thing with all the car and traffic and people who ALWAYS ride bikes. Turns out the bike paths in Montreal are EVERYWHERE! It was awesome! After a few rides I got more confident and looked only half awkward! We rode bikes everywhere! It was awesome.
We checked out Old Port/ Old Montreal.
We sat in parks cheese and baguettes and beer (you’re allowed to drink in parks as long as you have food…).
We were pretty much on what we would call the “ALL GLUTEN and cheese diet”.
I had never had “proper” Quebec Poutine or Montreal Smoked meat, so we put the two together and had Montreal Smoked meat poutine.
That being said, we also visited the Markets!
New things I learned? Quebec asparagus and Quebec strawberries are unreal! I did not know those were a thing there!
The flowers in the market were beautiful.
For fives days we just rode bikes, ate all the things, got caught in the rain, and explored! It was awesome.
We did Crossfit again at another Box, Crossfit Plateau! (The WOD was so killer we forgot to get a picture!) It was: (because I am sure you all care 😛 )
5 rounds: 50 double unders, 15 dumb bell squat cleans, 15 burpees (rest 2 minutes after each round)
Tuesday, June 28 @ 8:30 am was my interview with the US Consulate. We rode bikes down and then begins a different story. This experience is better told in person as it was a little crazy. In short, I spent the morning going through the process and then afterwards Wade and I explored a bit more (crushed that poutine above), packed up the Airbnb and headed to a Brewery to kill some time. Our flight wasn’t until 9pm. On our way to the brewery, we got caught in crazy rain with all our luggage. It was crazy but an adventure that had us both laughing! After a couple hours we went to a restaurant recommended by the waitress, called Lili.co.
We ate a meal that most people probably sit and eat over 2 1/2 hours in about 30 minutes! It was delicious and full of things I had never had, like duck hearts and leek salad. Then it was time to run through the rain with luggage to hop in a car2go and head for the airport!
If you have never been to Montreal, you should go. It really was a great adventure.