How did I not know that there was a little piece of France hanging out right above the border in Canada? Seeing that my mother and I are slight francophiles, we decided to take a short weekend trip to Montreal. Did you know that everyone speaks French there? I had zero idea that Montreal was trying to promote their French-Canadian heritage by encouraging everyone to speak the language, but, luckily, everyone spoke English as well, so there were no language barriers (despite my disappointment of not being able to whip out my skills from two years of hardcore French classes).
If you do happen to find yourself in Montreal for a long or short trip, I definitely suggest taking a bike tour with Fitz & Fowell. I am not a regular bike rider at all and my mother “hasn’t ridden a bike in thirty years,” but we both could keep up with the fun 5-hour guided tour without too many issues (there was one huge hill that my mom had to walk her bike up and I seriously struggled to overcome! Also we did ride in the street which could make some people nervous, but if we survived, so can you). Our super informative and enthusiastic tour guide absolutely loved Montreal and was able to give a descriptive history of the old city as well as provide insight about favorite restaurants and activities.
We stayed “downtown” (in quotes, because it was so quaint and not as busy as American downtowns) at the Le Square Phillips Hotel which both my mother and I loved. The nearby downtown square was lively with shopping, people, cafes and restaurants and the hotel itself was so hospitable and had gorgeously large rooms. Before we left, we had to grab some classy poutine (from Burger King…) to get the full Canadian experience. Walking around Notre Dame Basilica and even visiting random basilicas and churches we passed was an astonishing experience; seeing all of the tiny details of each church up close and not in an art history textbook was surreal and breathtaking.
Montreal was the perfect place for a weekend trip filled with stunning architecture, gorgeous scenery, great food and some relaxing quality time with mom. If you have been, I would love to know any places or activities that you recommend for my next visit!