March. Coming out of the grueling winter months of December/January/February we definitely needed a lifting of spirits come March. March came in like a lion but never went out like a lamb. It was pretty much a lion all month long so it was nice when we found out our good friends from school (bob & joe) & my sister were coming up for a visit! It was just what we needed – a nice reminder of the positive things in life. Bob & Joe came up the first weekend of March and despite the frosty weather we ended up doing a lot of walking around the city. Their first night here we ventured into our favorite part of town (le plateau) to get dinner, drinks for joe & live music. We ended up at a cafe-resto bar that Rory & I have wanted to try since the Fall…L’absynthe. We were lured in by the cool wooden sign – truly inspired by artist Brian Froud. The environment was very laid back with eclectic furniture, a cool reggae/rock band, and delicious vegetarian food! They had a large selection of beers that wet Joe’s palette – so it was a win win for everybody. The best part was just having them up here to enjoy catching up for a few days.
The next day we went up to Mont Royal so Bob and Joe could get in some winter activities – skating & hiking mostly although we stared at the sledders flying down the mountain wishing we had our own sleds! To warm up a bit we took them to our favorite Pho restaurant in town – Pho Hoa where they have the tastiest noodle soups! Joe got the bubble tea which took Bob the whole time we were there to try (because we had convinced him that the jelly in it was Frogs Eggs) haha. We went back to our place to gear up for the Nuit Blanche festival which is all night fest until the wee hours of the morning all over montreal – showing films, art exhibits, fireworks, dance parties, live music, free food, free transport and other stuff. We managed to stay out until about 4 am. We bundled up and met up with our friend Marijke and went to the fireworks and got some dinner & drinks at Le 3 Brasseurs in the Old City (we love that one). After that we headed over to le plateau to check out a puppet show with free chai, then over to the museum of contemporary art to see the exhibits. My favorite part of the night was hands down the five organists at the Église Unie St. James that played horror and suspense movie themes. It was amazing sitting in this old church in the middle of the night, half asleep and cold and just closing my eyes and listening to these super talented organists play familiar horror themes.
The last day they were here – we met Marijke for Brunch at this cute cafe and went over to the Marche Atwater which used to be an old train station that was turned into a public market place that has just about every fresh food you could want; delicious breads, pastries, pâtés, assorted cheeses from cheese shops, deli meats (even organic shops!), fresh fish & seafood, and countless fruit and vegetable stands. It’s awesome – I hope to check out the Marche Jean Talon which is even bigger (and better I’m told) sometime soon now that the weather is beautiful! Anyway, we headed over Old Montreal and then to The Ice Skating Rink at the Quays of the Old Port – where the boys ice skated and we checked out the glacier sized ice in the St. Lawrence River! We decided to get some dinner and on our way Joe scouted out a cool bar to check out where everyone was throwing their peanut shells on the floor (i actually felt really bad doing it…) haha – i can’t recall what it was called but I remember where it is – and I’m definitely going back there because they have swing music on Wednesday nights (rory and I have been working on our moves)! Our last stop of the day was for dinner at Une Crepe – where they have crepes for all desires.
Even though we conquered Montreal that weekend and did a lot of different things my favorite part was just the laughter and conversations had. I think the best feeling in the world is just sitting around, talking and feeling completely open and connected with somebody. So many people filter in and our of our lives that when somebody stays – it’s an indescribable feeling – it’s one of those beautiful things – a fated moment in time. It was really excellent having them visit – like a breathe of fresh air – my sister came to visit a few weeks later and we had an excellent time with her too (despite the fact that I had to work during the day) – and it was that same feeling of being reminded of the familiar. I’m so thankful for all those that have been brought into my life. It’s true, the more love you give the more love you know and I’m blessed for those true and meaningful relationships in my life.