Weekend Get Away

Montreal

As a New Years Resolution hubs and I promised ourselves to have more weekend get aways. Just us! When Secret Escapes had a super deals on hotels in Montreal  we were off.

Founded by the French in 1641 Montreal is the largest city and capital of Quebec Canada. Montreal is a city I’ve always been fascinated by. It is perfect, a medium size city with the style of Paris, old European flair,in North America. Only 5 hours away by car.

It’s not very far from mid coats Maine but as Burt and I said, “you can’t get there from here. In Maine there are no major roads that run east west. Our choice of local two lane roads was OK, but…. in northeast Maine they actually have  logging roads with sighs that say “ DO NOT DRIVE HERE WITHOUT CHAINS, NOT PASSABLE IN WINTER!”

do not pass in winter?

You guessed it we found one. We drove it and in the end all is well. Our Pathfinder blazed a trail, with Lydia the passenger making non stop editorial comments.  It was the start of a fun 48 hours.

Montreal is on an Island in the Saint Lawrence Seaway. It’s north and COLD.  We stayed at the Omni Mt. Royal in the MiGill University area Mont Royal the 233m peak after which Montreal was named and in the summer there is an extraordinary park…

At the edge of the park

The city is a culinary tour de force. Our first night was authentic French Bisto, We loved the bone marrow.

The next morning after coffee and croissant were off to visit  my friend  and fellow Annie Sloan Stockist Johanne Bilodeau. Johanne is also a stockist for Efex Moldings which is our manufacturing and embellishment company. As another friend put it she is also a faux painting power house. Her shop specializing in custom painting and all things paint is just so cute. I bought some really fun stencils and picked up a couple of projects to bring back to the USA for Efex.

After stops at olympic park

and a very large Marche Aux Puce (flea market) it was off to Vieux-Montreal (Old Montreal) for a winter stroll. Old world European charm at 5 degrees.

The old city is filled with shops, cafes,and galleries all in the cobblestone section of the original town. It has a large indoor market Bonsecours which offers a mix of handicrafts and trendy local fashion designers boutiques as well as Inuit art made of rock from Baffin Island.

That night is was a lovely dinner with Johanne and her wine importer husband. Need I say more. The wine, the food and the friendship were just like we were in Paris.

On our final day the temperature dropped even more, so it was off to the famous underground shopping area for a little bit of retail therapy. RESCO is a vast network of underground shops and tunnels the largest of its kind in the world – covering much of the downtown area.

It’s great to have blocks and blocks of shopping underground – a great use of space but the outdoors called. Chris bought a warm hat

Don’t laugh at the goofy picture 🙂

and off we went back to Old Port. Those galleries were so fun we just had to brave the cold.

Dinner at a great steak house finished the trip

We drove home the next day chatting about what a great time we had. But when we got to the  US Canadian boarder we did have a choice. Or someone has a since of humor.

Check out our other posts with fun pics and examples of my friend Johanne work on Instagram and at the EfexUSA website.

xoxoxo

Lydia

Life on the coast of Maine

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