When a trip starts to fade away the memories that stick often aren’t the ones you expected them to be. There are big extravagant moments like seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time or walking around the Parthenon that you tirelessly plan and anticipate. While of course those are highlights because they are huge events, it’s often the random, spur of the moment things that really stick with you.
Our decision to go to Montréal was completely random, so I didn’t have huge expectations in terms of specific things that I had always wanted to see. We had some “must sees” that we put together after reading about Montréal but for this trip the pressure was off. I’ll admit, in a way that made it more enjoyable and turned out some incredibly special moments and some incredibly ridiculous ones.
On our first day, we did our own walking tour, which I highlighted here, and we decided to stop at the Chateau Ramezay and explore the museum. For the most part we had the museum to ourselves so when we discovered the random rack of costumes in the basement, Ginger did what any good friend would do and convinced me to try this one on.
I obliged. Poldark, here I come.
Later that day, we stumbled upon these Bauhaus pieces in the design section at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.
I spent the last semester of my senior year studying the artists of the Bauhaus School for my Art History undergrad so I was ecstatic and feeling completely nostalgic to have found these. I am sure Ginger thought I was a little crazy with my enthusiasm.
The next day in Quebec City, our guide mentioned that the Pope designated a holy door in Notre-Dame de Quebec Basilica Cathedral, the first outside of Europe. I am not Catholic, but she assured us anyone of any faith could walk through the door. My understanding is that walking through symbolizes a desire to make peace with God and restore in yourself things you have done in the past.
The Holy Door in this location will be closed later this year and won’t be reopened for another 25 years.
On the ridiculous side in Quebec City, this mural was on our tour. I went with the whole reading on the curb thing.
Ginger went with the whole flirting with the historical figure Samuel de Champlain thing.
I’m not a huge shopper when I travel, so the perfect souvenir to me is something small and full of meaning. One of the treasures I brought home from Paris was a french copy of Le Petit Prince I purchased at Shakespeare & Co, so it felt meant to be when I found the Le Petite Prince record in this little shop in Le Plateau Neighborhood. Ginger purchased the only Edith Piaf record they had since it had been the soundtrack of our first day. It was one of the records on the shelf of our AirBnB loft.
I have so many other favorite trip moments that its hard to pinpoint just a few. Like when Ginger and I chatted with the Montréal older lady versions of ourselves and then established a new goal to find the versions of “us” on all of our subsequent trips. Or when the waiter told me my French was very good (the one time I actually braved speaking French because I will blame my difficulty understanding on their Quebecois accent and not the fact that I haven’t brushed on my French in years.)
Or finally, when I told Ginger I always admired people who were brave enough to travel solo and she wisely said that she enjoys traveling with friends because then there is someone to who really understands all those random experiences you had.
Cheers to traveling with friends!