Clicky

rss feed facebook  pinterest twitter instagram youtube

72 Hours In Montreal Sans Kids–Part 3

(Need to catch up? Start with part 1.)

On Sunday morning over breakfast my husband poured over a map of Montreal to find a bike route that I would agree to. We were renting Bixi bikes, which don’t come with helmets, so I insisted we take the safest route possible (yes, I’m ounces of fun on a trip). Once he’d convinced me to within a reasonable degree that I wasn’t going to die, we walked to a Bixi bike station (they’re everywhere) and picked out our bikes.

This is a great system. We each paid $7 for a day of bike access, and if we had kept each ride to under 30 minutes, we wouldn’t have had to pay anything else (it gets even cheaper the longer you sign up for). You can drop your bike off at any Bixi station that has an empty spot, and pick up again at the same spot, or a different one. The stations in more popular areas have slots for dozens of bikes.

Montreal (15)

We rode to the Botanical Gardens (there was a Bixi station right outside) and spent a couple hours there.

Montreal (77)

Montreal (95)

Montreal (96)

If you like that sort of thing, it was absolutely gorgeous. Afterwards we rode to the waterfront and dropped our bikes back off at another Bixi station. I really can’t say enough about this system. The bikes are simple but sturdy, three speeds, with a place in front to put a purse or bag. And for the brief moments I managed to forget that I wasn’t wearing a helmet, I had a great time. Next time I visit Montreal, though, I’ll be packing a helmet. (It’s worth noting that The Fairmont, where we stayed, has a complimentary two-hour bike and helmet loaner program for Gold Level guests.)

Our next stop was the Star Wars: Identities exhibit at the Science Center. (Get your tickets early if you can, just make sure you can print them out.) I was not excited about this, but if you’re at all a Star Wars fan you’ll probably geek out as much as my husband did (he listed this as his favorite thing out of everything we did in Montreal).

Montreal (110)

Montreal (117)

I did like the way the exhibit worked: you wear a bracelet that you can use to identify yourself at the different stations. You also wear a pendant around your next attached to an earphone, which automatically plays the appropriate commentary when you’re in front of an exhibit.

It was neat to see a lot of the original costumes, models, and drawings from the Star Wars movies, although as my husband pointed out, it would have been better had it not included the three more recent movies.

The actual “Identities” part of the exhibit was a stretch – they were tying different aspects of the characters’ personality traits into science-y explanations, as an excuse to put a bunch of Star Wars artifacts in a science museum and move tickets. I doubt if anyone was actually there for the science. But nobody seemed to care.

Our last excursion was a subway trip in search of Poutineville. Our concierge recommended this as a place to find vegetarian poutine, since you can do the whole thing a la carte if you want to, picking and choosing each and every thing you want on top of your fries.

Montreal (134)

I chose to get cheese curds, mozzarella, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes in my poutine. My husband had brisket on his. I have to say that it was one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten in my life. I finished every bit.

Montreal (138)

However, despite our server’s insistence that the gravy was vegetarian, I got it on the side, and was glad I did: my husband said it tasted like regular old beef gravy. I’m amazed at how many people told me that poutine was vegetarian, only to backtrack when I reminded them that the gravy wasn’t. It’s something that meat eaters just don’t seem to think about.

Incidentally, after we’d already visited Poutineville, a Montreal resident tweeted the following:

I’ll keep that in mind for next time, although I have no problem going back to Poutineville for another delicious gravy-free meal.

If you take the subway to the Ontario Street location of Poutineville, and it’s one of the warmer months, you will likely emerge from the metro into this:

Montreal (130)

It was fabulous. It was the West Village on steroids. It was a happy, party atmosphere, and while nobody seemed to care too much that we were there, it’s definitely not a touristy area. It was a lot of fun, especially watching a drag queen hit on a couple of cops who obviously weren’t new to that beat and weren’t phased (at least, I’m assuming they were real cops, and not part of a Village People outreach program; one of them did have a mustache…).

We stopped yet again for dessert, and it was the perfect way to end our trip. We left for home the next day, and it was amazing how easy a trip it was: we left our hotel at 1:15pm, , and were back home by 5:45. It was a great trip, and we’ll definitely be back. In the meantime, I think I’ll be practicing making my own poutine, to hold me over.

72 Hours In Montreal Sans Kids: Part 1

72 Hours In Montreal Sans Kids: Part 2

Want to see all of my pictures from the trip, with captions? Watch the slideshow!

View albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView albumView album

Originally posted on Selfish Mom. All opinions expressed on this website come straight from Amy unless otherwise noted. This post has a Compensation Level of 0. Please visit Amy’s Full Disclosure page for more information.

Written by .

Comments
Note From Amy: Please join the discussion. All opinions are welcome, but don't poop on my site. Posting a link to a post on your own site is OK as long as it is relevant and furthers the discussion. To make commenting easier, please log in or register (before typing your comment, so that you don't lose it). For more information on comments please see my comment policy.


10 Responses to “72 Hours In Montreal Sans Kids–Part 3”

  1. Julia on August 6th, 2012 10:01 am
    1

    I am not a fan of the Poutine (don’t break up with me baby). Still, I’ll have what she’s having!!!! Amy, you look amazing, happy and relaxed beyond words.

    Amy Reply:

    @Julia: :-) Combination of quick flights/no delays, great hotel, great food, great company, and NO KIDS!

  2. Suzanne on August 6th, 2012 11:39 pm
    2

    I’d love to go back to Montreal after you fabulous 3-day post. Plus the desserts and the Poutine sound amazing.
    Suzanne recently posted..Because there can never be enough Toby picturesMy Profile

    Amy Reply:

    @Suzanne: I’m in the final stretch of a Diet Bet and rereading my own post has me drooling for poutine! Dammit! :-)

  3. Nancy on August 7th, 2012 8:29 am
    3

    So I have two questions: When did you get to be such a good photographer. And WHY haven’t I visited Montreal since I was a child? Looks SO fabulous.
    Nancy recently posted..Freshly Pressed’s Best Of July 2012My Profile

    Nancy Reply:

    @Nancy: No I did not recently post that! What a weird plug in!!

    Amy Reply:

    @Nancy: I think you of all people will be happy to know that every single one of those pictures was taken with my Windows Phone! (The one I got for free, yada yada disclosure yada.) And as to the second question, we couldn’t believe we’d never been. It was so close, such an easy trip. And last, I think that plug-in – which is normally awesome – is treating the official Wordress.com blog as the representative for ALL WordPress.com blogs, which totally sucks. :-(

  4. elissapr on August 7th, 2012 4:47 pm
    4

    How is it that you go to Montreal and visit a resto that I have NOT been to? Huh? Am now craving poutine…and luckily, Toronto also has some great places….great reviews! Cuz as you know, Canada (and Canadians might I add) ROCK!

    Amy Reply:

    @elissapr: :-) It was all due to a recommendation from our awesome concierge at the great hotel you recommended! So really, it’s your fault!

  5. [BLOCKED BY STBV] Renting Citibikes In NYC: What You Need To Know | Selfish Mom on April 17th, 2013 11:38 am
    5

    [...] never heard of short-term bike rental programs until my husband and I vacationed in Montreal last summer. I thought the only option for a bike was to rent from a bike store or a resort for a day. And why [...]