August 2017
  • Day6

    Heady Topper

    August 22, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    Yesterday, after a few final stops in Montreal including Old Montreal by daylight, the Notre Dame Basilica (beautiful - it's a must-see!), and an open air market near our AirBnB, we crossed back over the border and made it to Burlington, Vermont, where we stayed with my old friend and former housemate Alison. Burlington is a cute town and Alison showed us the sights last night including a great little microbrew place with a patio and a view of Lake Champlain. We headed over to Winooski for dinner on yet another patio (can you tell I don't want summer to end?). This morning we stopped for coffee at Onyx Tonics, possibly the coolest little coffee shop due to its artisanal brews and wine-tasting-like descriptors. After brunch at Mirabelle's (also delicious!), Amanda and I packed up for the journey back to Buffalo. However, we didn't want to come back to Nick empty-handed....

    The last time Alison visited us from Vermont, she offered to bring an item of our choosing. Nick mentioned the Heady Topper beer, which I had never heard of. Apparently, it's a pretty big deal. Supply is low and demand is high, so people will literally line-up and wait for stores to open and deliveries to be made in order to get their stash. Oh, and most stores have a limit on how many you can buy at a time. Alison made some calls and we discovered the delivery truck made its rounds in South Burlington on Tuesday mornings, so we might be in luck if we stopped on our way out of town. Our first stop was sold out by the time we got there. We had found another place about a mile down the road, but the delivery wasn't there yet. With a seven hour drive ahead of us, we weren't eager to wait around, but we agreed to give it 15 minutes. We saw another car drive up and a couple get out and start milling around, and I had a feeling they were seeking the same thing we were, but knew something we didn't. Alas, a few minutes later, the little green truck arrived! We lined up behind the couple (who, it turns out, were literally following the delivery truck driver and purchasing their limit at each stop), and we each maxed out on what we could purchase.

    So now we will hit the road back to Buffalo to surprise Nick with 24 Heady Topper beers! 👍🏻🍺 Until the next trip....
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    (mommee) Very cool trip!!! It's wonderful to have friends all over!!!

    9/7/17Reply

    (kie) What a great trip!! And your pics are beautiful!

    9/8/17Reply
    Joshua Stark

    Pretty town!

    9/11/17Reply
     
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  • Day3

    Old Montreal

    August 19, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After our long walk this afternoon, we rested our feet at the apartment before heading back out to explore. We had an appetizer pizza and some wine at a cute little place on Rue Hubert in La Petite-Patrie. There was a soloist playing an electric guitar as well which provided a nice atmosphere as we sat outside on the pedestrian walkway.

    After this, we ventured down to Old Montreal where we happened upon a performance art piece on the history of the city. A movie was being projected on the side of a building (appeared to be the Justice building?) and there were a ton of people sitting in the grass watching. We wandered in the square and had a second appetizer at a jazz bar as well as a drink at a bar wth live rock music. It was a touristy but cool area to be, with cobblestone streets and pedestrian walkways, right along the water. We were also able to check out the Cathedral of Notre-Dame by night which was beautiful.
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  • Day3

    Mont Royal = Montreal

    August 19, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Bonjour! This morning Amanda and I ventured out on the Metro to seek out the best bagels in Montreal. Our expectations were exceeded at St. Viateur in the Le Plateu-Mont Royal neighborhood. We're hoping to swing by again on Monday to bring some bagels with us on the rest of our road trip. After exploring the neighborhood for awhile and popping into some thrift stores, we entered the Parc du Mont Royal. A note for other visitors: we could find no signage reflecting trails, and there were only intermittent signs pointing in the direction of a few different attractions. I think it's safe to say we were both a little demoralized by the wandering in the woods, with no view or activities for pay off. However, we ended up walking up a very long staircase, thinking there might be at least some view and we could give up on finding the Chalet. And, surprise! It was a shortcut to our destination (as much as hundreds of stairs can be a shortcut). We were rewarded with a cool breeze, beautiful views, washrooms, water, and ice cream. Success!

    On our way out of the park, we discovered a much more populated and approachable entrance, near the L'Oratoire Saint-Joseph du Mont-Royal Cathedral. We recommend both that entrance to the park and the Cathedral itself. It is the second tallest cathedral dome in the world after St. Peter's in Vatican City.
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  • Day2

    Poutine!

    August 18, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    We finally made it to Montreal! Shockingly, the entire highway was shut down at the Ontario-Quebec border, so we had quite the detour through the Québécois countryside. Prior to that we had picked up some fresh cheese and sausage for an impromptu picnic, which we ate as we stretched our legs outside a gas station. Not exactly picturesque, but you do what you have to when traveling for that long. There were also multiple segments of construction which slowed us down at least an additional hour. It was a frustrating day, with a ~5.5 hour drive turning into 8. But we survived and managed to find our airbnb near the Little Burgundy, Griffintown, and McGill University neighborhoods.

    As we arrived fairly late, we didn't have much time to explore. However, we also felt fairly full from our late and heavy lunch, so there was no rush to eat and a high desire to take a walk. We selected a restaurant about 2.5 miles from where we are staying called La Banquise, best known for their variety of poutine. On or walk we saw parts of McGill and downtown, and stopped at La P'tite Grenouille for a drink and live music. It appears to be orientation weekend for multiple universities, plus Montreal Pride, so I think we are in for some adventures!
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    Joshua Stark

    2 kinds?

    8/22/17Reply
     
  • Day2

    Early Morning Toronto

    August 18, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    Good morning! We were early risers today. Said our goodbyes to Neshay, who awesomely let us stay at her apartment, and headed down to the CN Tower. The sky was clear, the crowds hadn't started yet, and it was a great experience. We definitely recommend going early if you can! We almost went last night for sunset, but between the rain and the crowds, this was a much better option.

    On our way out of town we stopped in The Distillery District for caffeine/food. We chose Cluny Boulangerie & Patisserie for the as yet empty patio and the inviting dog. We chose wisely. The coffee and tea is excellent, the atmosphere continues to be welcoming. The breakfast sandwich is AMAZING! Home made English muffins with fried egg, artisan ham and cheddar, fresh tomato, and garlic aioli.

    Next up: the drive to Montreal!
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    (linda mommee) have fun. Did you see where Due South filmed?

    8/18/17Reply

    I know that profile anywhere but I bet you weren't looking out, were you? It could go either way.

    8/18/17Reply

    (frommommee) That looks very familiar!!!

    8/18/17Reply

    Nice building shadow!

    8/22/17Reply
     
  • Day1

    Kensington Market

    August 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    After a fun afternoon wandering with Tamzin, we met up with Neshay, our host and a friend Rachel and Nick met while in Malaysia. She is the reason I became a diver. We explored Kensington Market for awhile, stopping for a pre-dinner cocktail before heading to Lalibela Ethiopian restaurant. We had a lovely experience there and enjoyed an evening of catching up and making new friendships. Thanks Neshay for the wonderful evening!Read more

    (linda) ethiopian food?

    8/18/17Reply
    Adventures With Nachel

    Yep!

    8/18/17Reply

    Do you roll it up and eat it?

    8/22/17Reply
    Adventures With Nachel

    No, you tear off pieces of the bread to pick up the food with your hands/the bread.

    9/5/17Reply
     
  • Day1

    Graffiti Alley

    August 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ 🌧 20 °C

    Amanda and I spent the afternoon exploring Toronto with my friend Tamzin from college. Of note was Karelia Kitchen, a Scandinavian restaurant where we had lunch. On our way to Old Toronto we also explored Graffiti Alley, which was very interesting and beautiful. I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Toronto, and I imagine you would see vastly different art from week to week. Included are a few pictures from our afternoon.Read more

    Nice tagging!

    8/22/17Reply
     
  • Day1

    We survived the Maid of the Mist

    August 17, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Welcome to the best friend road trip of Rachel and Amanda! Unfortunately Nick had to stay home on this trip, but Rachel is excited to show you the highlights of our drive through Ontario.

    On our way from Buffalo to Toronto, we stopped at Niagara Falls and had our first experience on the Maid of the Mist. So fun, and totally worth it!

    We are so excited to see some friends in Toronto and then embark on our road trip to Montreal. Stay tuned!
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