Monday, April 19, 2010

international getaways

Bonjour, Bon matin! How have you been?! I arrived back in Syracuse early last night in a general whirlwind of thrill about every single thing about this past weekend. It was spectacular, really, everything I had hoped it'd be and more. Ready for the recap? 
Okay :) I woke up on Friday morning with a bowl of berrylicious oatmeal and green tea. I spent the rest of the morning organizing, and packing before hitting the road with K.
We have been planning our trip to Montréal for quite some time now. Not in the OCD detailed itinerary kind of way, but more in the sense that we booked the hotel months ago and were very excited about our French-Canadian weekend vacation. Such feelings may have been reflected in the ridiculous face I made with my passport as we were waiting to cross the border.
We drove into and through the beauty that is the province of Ontario to that of Quebec.
I must admit that I squealed at the first sight of signs written in French. And for some exaggerated multilingual elation of your own, you can purchase this poster at
We did hit some traffic coming into the city, but nothing too terrible, and arrived at the hotel at an easy 4:30 p.m. Jackpot #1: Hotel Stay Centre-Ville, of which we found on Although it may not look like much from the outside, it was a beautifully-decorated, clean, and pleasantly quaint hotel in the center of Montréal, only one short block from the center metro, Berri-UQAM. 
Following a quick rest-up session, we refreshed our appearances for a perfectly low-key night. Jackpot #2. Our first stop was one of the best vegan restaurants in the city, Aux Vivres.
The menu was absolutely fantastic with fresh soups, salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, and pizzas galore, most often with Lebanese, Indian or South-East Asian influences in flavoring. Everything sounded amazing, but a quick glance around the room revealed how overwhelmingly popular the rice bowls were. Noticing this definitely helped cut down on the indecisiveness of selection ;).
I had the macro bowl, an exquisite blend of steamed greens, organic kraut, sea veggies, sprouts, radicchio, and cucumbers with grilled tofu over brown rice. It was easily devoured within seconds. My only reminder to slow down was the comforting pot of Sencha tea which was also wonderful.
K ordered their cornbread as an appetizer (which I, of course, graciously helped her with) and the Thai-peanut bowl. She was a fan of the vegan treats too, and the laid back ambiance. It was too crowded to photograph but picture this: smooth beats, golden walls, mismatched furniture, and wall collages of natural scenery.
Afterwards we walked over to a local favorite, Dieu de Ciel, for a couple of brews. (Photo Source) Because we're just healthy yet fun like that ;) It was very obviously popular with crowds of all ages, all savoring their delicious beers that are made on the premises in the visible microbrewery. People watching, beer tastings, and good times ensued.
As for the next morning, I was up and at 'em at seven o'clock; the curses (or blessings) of a morning person feeling enthusiastic in a new place :). Before leaving for the day, we went downstairs for the complimentary breakfast. Mine? An apple, croissant, and yogurt.
Oh and coffee, definitely, coffee. We were out the door by 9:30 a.m. and didn't plan on making it back until five... we needed to be fueled and energized for our long, glorious day.
The majority of which was spent following the lovely walking tour I found recommended on one of the many travel sites I had previously scoured. I would love to tell you more about it through pictures and stories but duty calls and it looks like I have to answer to my collegiate responsibilities for the rest of the day. I'll be back tomorrow, promise, and until then, National Geographic provides a similar must-see thing if you'd like to check it out. Salut!


  1. What a fun weekend trip!! I love the vegan eats/brewery combo...definitely something I would do :) It's been ages since I've been to Montreal, but from what I remember it's a great city! Hope you have a good Monday love!

  2. um, i love that photo of you. i'm pretty sure the next time i find myself crossing the us border, i will have a similar expression on my face. i seriously need to book a plane ticket.

    i've wanted to visit montreal for a long time now - can't wait to hear the rest of your recap!

    ps: email coming your way very soon. :)

  3. OOH, fun trip! I can't believe it only took a weekend!!! I went to Montreal with my mom once and it was so fun, can't wait to go back.

  4. What a perfect getaway! That vegan restaurant looks like a gem--I've always wanted to try some macro eats.

  5. Gabriela: Oh it was! Haha, you should come next time then ;) same to you!

    leslie: Hahahaha, I hope so. We should go traveling together, it would be wonderful. PS: Looking forward to it :)

    Katie: 'Tis the luxury of temporarily living in central New York :) me neither!

    BroccoliHut: Thanks darling, you should!

  6. My house in Vermont is about 2 hours from Montreal. I don't know why I didn't spend more time up there when it was so close! I'm definitely going to plan a roadtrip when I'm back there for a bit this summer. The food, shopping, and French speaking men are just so fun!

  7. lookthroughmyspecs: Ah, you should! Have fun :)


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