An afternoon at Burger Bar on Crescent Street. Excellent food and AMAZING sangria.

An afternoon at Burger Bar on Crescent Street. Excellent food and AMAZING sangria.

The driving force behind last week’s visit to Montreal was obviously Madonna. I’ve gone on record about what an outstanding show she put on. But in the end, the concert only lasted a few hours.

We left Ottawa before noon the day of the concert and didn’t return until near sunset the following day. Madonna was wonderful, but even without her, by any measure, that’s a fantastic way to spend the middle of a workweek!

Everything about the trip was perfect. After a few short hours of work at the office, my friend and co-worker Don and I made our way to the train station to meet our co-travellers, Richard and Morgan. A relaxing two-hour VIA ride later and we hopped off the train at the foot of our hotel just in time to check in. Dropping our bags we wandered off to kill some time before the concert, enjoying the shops along Saint Catherine Street, then on to Crescent Street where we planted our asses on a patio to enjoy a sunny afternoon and pitcher upon pitcher (upon pitcher) of happy hour sangria.

Everything was just…MUAH! (Here I’m making that motion that a stereotypical French chef makes when food is superb…you know…the one where you bunch your fingers together and kiss them and then pull your hand away and spread them out. Yeah, you know it…MUAH!) The weather, the food, and most of all the company – laughter and relaxation on a Wednesday in Montreal.

The woman who took this photo of us in Old Montreal was REALLY not happy that we asked her. She looked like she wanted to throw the phone on the ground!

The woman who took this photo of us in Old Montreal was REALLY not happy that we asked her. She looked like she wanted to throw the phone on the ground!

And the good times would continue into the next day. We rose late, enjoying our post-Madonna slumber (well…two of us did. Two of us rose early enough to enjoy a morning Starbucks and a stroll through the Arts precinct), and wandered off to Old Montreal to browse the shops and galleries. We eventually found a little lunch place that was absolutely packed but well worth the wait.

I suppose this must be what retirement is like. Enjoying time with friends and lazy lunches in cutesy little boutique restaurants.

At least I hope that’s what it’s like.

In the end, we were a little early when we arrived back at the train station, so we killed time reclining on beanbag chairs under a cloudless sky in a courtyard in downtown Montreal.

Any trip to Montreal is fun – and Madonna made this one particularly memorable – but honestly, it wouldn’t have been HALF as fun had it not been for the company I was keeping.

MUAH!

On the way to Montreal. VIA rail is the ONLY way to travel. :)

On the way to Montreal. VIA rail is the ONLY way to travel. 🙂


Morgan would get peckish on the way and enjoy a Cheese Nibbler from the attendant. It was only $11. :P

Morgan would get peckish on the way and enjoy a Cheese Nibbler from the attendant. It was only $11. 😛


Post-sangria group hug!

Post-sangria group hug!


Some mooving artwork from one of the galleries we popped into.

Some mooving artwork from one of the galleries we popped into.


I look like a cardboard cutout in this photo - taken in a convex mirror.

I look like a cardboard cutout in this photo – taken in a convex mirror.

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