Journal Life & Style

The Great AmeriCanadian Road Trip: Part 2

So, after we left Toronto we headed to Montreal. There were two things about this trip that we absolutely did not plan for and absolutely did not think about until we were well on our way—lodging and what to do. As we headed towards Montreal, we searched for places to stay but we had 5 hours to make something happen and we did. A little place called Hotel 10. It was right in the heart of downtown Montreal and it was everything you needed in a hotel after being confined to the Jeep for 5+ hours and after what we went through the previous night. Hotel 10 was awesome. The receptionist who’s name we got wrong clear up until we left that place was very accommodating and helped us find local places to eat and explore. We got in mid-afternoon and immediately took to the streets to find stuff to do. And there was a lot to see so we took our time getting to know the place. After a bite to eat we headed back to the hotel for some down time and got acquainted with those clouds they called beds and watched some TV. Well, Andrew watched TV, I was busy turning in assignments because you don’t get breaks off when you’re trying to earn a doctorate. Anyways—after that was done, we decided to go back out for some food and brews. 

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We happened upon an outdoor concert called the Nights of Africa and it was the last night of this show and it took place in this huge open field, and there were vendors all around and the ambiance was otherworldly. It was pretty incredible to be so close to the action and just being on vacation and not having worries and not having stress. It was something we both desperately needed and didn’t know until we go it. After the concert we grab dinner and then head back in for the night. The next day we decided to explore the ancient parts of Montreal—our own personal walking tour. We saw some old churches, some old buildings, some of the hidden parts of town, we ate some great food but it also rained that day. That was also the day we got a parking ticket (which we vehemently decided we weren’t paying). All in all, it was great day and before it was over, we decided that we weren’t done. We wanted to see more of Montreal and so right then and there we decided we were gonna say another night. No, that was not part of the plan, but do I have to keep emphasizing that we didn’t plan this trip?

The next day, we broke out the bikes that we hitched on the back of the Jeep and took to the streets. We tore up the streets of Montreal riding all over the place and I mean All. Over. The Place. We stopped for lunch, some gelato, and to take in some park scenes and we had a few moments where Andrew tried to do some not so death-defying stunts. But between the streets and the bike trails, we had a full day. When it was all said and done, Montreal owed us nothing and we headed back to the hotel for one last night at the infamous Hotel 10.

The next morning, we set off for a newly added destination, and by newly added I mean we did not plan for this stop until we woke up and decided that’s where we were going next. Quebec City. Just 2.5 hours northwest, it was more or less on the way. We got there in the morning. Checked into a hotel, found some food and made our way to the ferry to take us to the actual city. Bikes in tow, we decided it would be great to see as much of this place as we could—and we did. The thing about this place is that French seemed to be the first language. And while I don’t have anyone here to practice with, my French skills definitely came in handy—plus it was nice to speak French to someone who could speak it back for a change, but people who are fluent in French talk fast…like really fast. Still, we were able to get by and what we—or I couldn’t manage in French, we were able to get by with English.

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Andrew found some stairs to ride down, I helped a guy reel his fish in that he was trying to catch off the pier and I found a piano and played a little ditty for the locals. This city was an old place, like really old. It was full of history and it flourished with culture. I loved it and I think at one point we both decided we could become Canadians and be okay. As our time in Canada wound to a close, we had to get back to the ferry to take us back to across the St. Lawrence river. And this was probably the most difficult thing because at one point we had to climb up what seemed like a straight incline and all the muscles in my legs got some action that day. Still, it was a great time and it was fun and we had the time of our lives there but one day was plenty and it was time to get to the next leg of the AmeriCanadian road trip—the crown jewel of the trip—Bar Harbor, Maine and Acadia National Park. It was time to head to Vacationland.

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