Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

4 years ago, roughly around this time, the hubs and I took a week long trip to Montreal, Mont Tremblant, and Quebec City to celebrate our first wedding anniversary.  At the time, everyone, including the hubs, thought I was crazy for suggesting Canada in January, but it turned out to be such a fantastic vacation.  There was so much to do in the region and with all the snow and festive holiday decorations, it was uber romantic.  There’s also lots of active family friendly activities, so I would highly recommend this trip to anyone looking for a fun family trip.

We started our trip in Montreal, about a 5 hour drive from the NYC metro area.  Unfortunately we didn’t see as much as we would’ve liked in Montreal since it had snowed pretty badly and we only had one full day before we were off to our next stop.   We spent most of the day walking around Old Montreal, taking in all the historical, quaint buildings on Rue St. Paul and also doing some light shopping on Rue St. Catherine.  Old Montreal is touristy, but it is a very pretty area.  There’s lots of little shops, restaurants, galleries, and of course famous sights like the Notre-Dame Basilica.  We also spent a day in Montreal at the end of our trip, windowing shopping in the Plateau neighborhood, a hip residential area, and visiting the Canadian Centre for Architecture, which was interesting and something different from the usual art museums.

What we ate:  Modavie – good french bistro located in the heart of Old Montreal with a reasonable prix fix menu and nice ambience.  Fairmount Bagel – delicious Montreal bagels, freshly baked on site and open 24 hours a day!  Poutine – can’t remember which one we went to but it was a fast food chain and it was greasy and fattening and good.  L’Express – french brasserie with great comfort food, croque monsieurs, steak frites, etc.

The next part of our trip was in Mont Tremblant, a ski-resort 2 hours from Montreal.  We stayed at Le Westin Resort and Spa, which is right in the heart of the pedestrian village and has ski-on access to the mountain.  Below is the view from our room.  All the rooms are suites with a living, bedroom, and kitchenette, so extremely spacious and so convenient.

We spent one whole day snowboarding and another day dog-sledding! I also had reservations for a  horse drawn sleigh ride through the forest, but unfortunately it was cancelled last minute.  Other activities there include ice-skating, snow-mobiling, tubing, zip-lining, and just strolling through the village.  See, TONS of activities!

What we ate:  La Savoie – restaurant that specializes in fondues and raclettes (melted cheese that is scraped off and eaten with potatos, bread and cured meats), which is so delicious and can only be found in Switzerland or certain parts of France.  Creperie Catherine – sweet and savory crepes, tasty and satisfying since the crepes are about the size of my head.  BeaverTails – a super delicious pastry that’s the best snack in between skiing/snowboarding.

The final stop on our Quebec trip is Quebec City, about 3 hours north of Montreal.  It was so absolutely charming there, I definitely recommend for a winter trip.  We spent our time there exploring the Upper and Lower Town of Old Quebec (first picture).  There was fresh snow almost daily and all the shops and restaurants were decked out in holiday decor.  We walked uphill to the Chateau Frontenac (above picture) which had beautiful views of the partially frozen St. Lawrence River and the Lower Town.  Right outside the Frontenac was a toboggan slide and some taffy, which I imagine would be pretty popular with the kids.

We also went ice-skating in the evening, visited the Ice Hotel, one of two in the world, and went snowboarding again in nearby Mont St. Anne, smaller but less crowded than Mont Tremblant.  We stayed at the boutique Hotel le Germain Dominion, which is centrally located in Old Quebec, and was really charming.

What we ate:  Le Lapin Saute – a cozy restaurant specializing in rabbit and duck, it was delicious.  L’Echaude – an upscale French restaurant with great ambience.

I absolutely loved visiting all 3 places and would definitely love to visit Montreal in the summer when I can do more outdoor activities.  The only thing I would’ve done differently is to make sure we put anti-freeze in the car, it really does get below freezing in Canada! And have dinner at Au Pied de Cochon, we meant to go on our last day for lunch but realized that it’s only open for dinner and unfortunately we had to be on the road by then.

Just remember to dress warmly and you’ll have the time of your life!

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