I recently spent an extended long weekend in Montreal, hanging out with my lovely cousins, meeting up with my good friend J who moved there from Toronto about a year ago, eating EVERYTHING and doing my fave kind of cardio: shopping. Montreal is not only one of my favourite cities in the world, but it’s also my home town. Once upon a time, I ONLY spoke French. That is a horrifying piece of information for anyone who’s recently heard me speak French. My accent? C’est terrible! After four days it felt weird to come back and hear nothing but English on the subway!
Highlights of my visit? Getting my third tattoo with my cousin C. I got the word ‘FOI’ tattooed on my right wrist. It’s the French word for ‘FAITH’ and I’ve been planning it for awhile. C got a cat decal on the back of her neck.
Getting a tattoo is kind of like giving birth (I’m guessing): At the time, it’s extremely painful. But you’re so happy with the result that you sort of…forget…about the pain after some time has passed.
You even lie about it.
“Did it hurt? No. Nope. Not even a little. “Oh, the crying? That was allergies. Umm…no…I was crying because it felt so good. Yeah. Those were happy tears.”
But I’m not going to lie to you fine folks.*
*Too many witnesses/photographic proof.
I got my second tattoo (my astrological symbol) on my back about 6 or 7 years ago and hand to god it did not hurt. Neither did the first tattoo I ever got – a design on my upper left arm. And I was totally 18 and totally sober at the time (*cough*16 and drunk*cough*).
But this one?
It only took about 5 minutes but I was holding my breath for most of it (my vision got a little fuzzy around the edges). The artist did say that the wrist is particularly sensitive because of the veins. So I must have like 17,394 veins.
We got our tattoos at Tattoo Mania - I highly recommend it. My artist was Remi. He did not speak a word of English and somewhere along the line our wires got crossed, and, anyways, he thinks I’m a Supreme Court Judge or something. True story.
We also did brunch at Le Vieux Velo . I consider myself kind of an expert when it comes to eggs benedict (and Julia Roberts movies and unicorn mythology, but that’s neither here nor there), and I can say that this place has the best eggs benedict I’ve ever tasted. If I lived in Montreal, I would eat at this place like it was my job.
Also food-wise, we did dinner at a surprisingly good Mexican chain of restaurants called The 3 Amigos and also did a BBQ/swimming afternoon at the house of one of C’s friends and her family who were visiting from Guadeloupe and France. And C revealed that I absolutely hated Paris but they weren’t offended…at least I don’t think so. We ate so much it hurt. Filet mignon and chicken and pork on the BBQ, homemade cheesecake, corn on the cob, you get the idea. I’m still full. On my last night we took some of the family to La Banquise for poutine. I ate so much I went up a shoe size.
This is the second year in a row that I’ve been in Montreal during Divers/Cite. It’s such a great time in the city. We caught the world’s largest drag show – MASCARA and it was so much fun. That’s also where we met up with my good friend J and watched some amazing drag queens strut their stuff in heels I wouldn’t even be able to wear sitting down. There were also some fireworks later on, set to Beatles music.
We did some shopping and snacking in Mont-Royal (the BEST used DVD and bookstores and my fave cupcake shop Petits Gâteaux) and also along Sainte-Catherine. We headed into the Old Port of Montreal on Sunday night for a great jazz show at Le Piano Rouge. It’s a very touristy area but so pretty at night – reminded me a bit of Yaletown in Vancouver.
Have you been to Montreal? If so, what’s on your must-do, must-see and must-eat list in the city?