I can’t remember if I mentioned the reason for the Montréal trip. MS illustrates card art for “Magic: The Gathering.” All over the world (seriously–the world) they have these events where the players play in tournaments. At these events, they ask artists to appear to sign cards, display original paintings and sell prints and whatnot. So you can see how disappointed we were when customs wouldn’t allow us to bring his paintings and prints across the border. On the way home we got a flat tire and spent 3 hours in the process of getting a new tire, thereby extending our long trip home. BUT–despite those stinkers, it was a fun trip! Montréal is very cool. I could totally see living there. It has a somewhat smaller feel like Philadelphia (not that it’s a small city) and is not as intimidating as a huge city like New York. Everyone was super nice and switched to English quicker than you could say: “Wha…?” I felt quite slick when I managed to enter a store, purchase something and depart uttering “bonjour” and “merci” without anyone realizing I was French-impaired! Old Montréal was really cool. Awesome old buildings and plenty of cool shops. We got a kick out of how many eating establishments put a hyphen in “hot-dog.” One fast food place had a sign that said “Le Hot-Dog.” I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of that!!! Sigh. 🙂

The highlights:

CROISSANT

Ooh la la! Our daily breakfast delight. 😉

ARTISTS’ ALLEY

We found this guy particularly entertaining because he was in the artists’ alley. Can you tell he’s an artist? Notice…le chapeau. MS pretended like he was taking a picture of me to document the sighting. You can see little ol’ me all the way on the left side of the pic creeping into the scene. Tee hee!

BASILICA

The Notre-Dame Basilica was the most beautiful church I have ever seen! Breathtaking. We took lots of detail shots to remember it. They don’t do it justice, though. Which is kind of cool. It’s very magical to be inside.

If you’re interested in seeing more pics, go here to see more photos of the basilica and Old Montréal.

COOL STREETS

To see more go here.

RESTAURANT JULIEN

Wonderful! I love duck and rarely get to have it. It was utterly, melt in your mouth delicious. The Chocolate Marquise was a little pyramid of joy. Kind of like a cross between a flour-less chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. Funny how they could tell we didn’t speak French there. One of the waiters came by, inquiring if we spoke French and told us to flip over the menus as they were in English on the other side. Haha. I didn’t think it was that obvious that we were struggling. In our defense, many of the menus had French first and then English right underneath it. MS felt like it wasn’t French food somehow if we could read it all in English. Check out the site.

BARROCO

Great ambience. Completely welcoming and amiable staff. The heirloom tomato salad with basil, balsamic vinaigrette and burrata cheese had me giddy with delight. I’d always wanted to try burrata cheese. It’s kind of like a softer, creamier, “buttery” mozzarella cheese. A friend recently asked me what my last meal would be if I was on death row. I think that would be it! We had delicious rack of lamb with perfectly roasted root vegetables too. Funny how the simple stuff is often the best. Check their site out.

We rarely go “out” to eat except for getting pizza on Fridays and our birthday dinners, so this was a real treat for us. I could really get used to eating like that.

Be sure to visit these restaurants for sure if you find yourself in Montréal!

FREE HALLOWEEN GIVEAWAY CHALLENGE!!! CLOSED!!!

In the spirit of giving that Halloween encourages, I’m offering up a fabulous orange and black paper chain from my Etsy shop. The challenge is this: Describe your best Halloween costume. Cleverest idea wins! My opinion, of course. 😉 C’mon, let’s hear ’em…and Good luck! – Contest closed 10/6.

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