Burlington and Montreal is a road trip we’ve made before and loved. We were eager to get back and had a great reason to: John and I decided to go to UFC 124 to cheer on George St. Pierre in his hometown of Montreal. Of course there were tons of other things to do and fun to be had along the way. Come see!
We got to Burlington on Thursday night and had a lovely (but cold) nighttime walk around downtown.
We had a delicious cheese board and dinner at the Farmhouse Grill and Tap (which I highly recommend, see my review here).
We sipped on some fine beers as well. My favorite brewery, Ommegang, had a seasonal brew on tap, their Adoration which is a winter spiced beer. Farmhouse also had one of my other favorite beers of all time: Unibroue’s Ephemere (a green apple brewed beer). Yum!
After dinner we did some more walking around in the freezing cold. Somehow a stop at the downtown Ben and Jerry’s just seemed to make sense (freezing temps < Ben and Jerry’s locally in VT). The special Foursquare check in deal helped as well (3 scoops for $3). I got a scoop of the Coconut 7 Layer Bar. It was heavenly (and sadly in stores only).
We drove back to our hotel, watched some TV, and went to sleep.
Early Friday morning we grabbed a quick breakfast at the City Market Co-Op and were on the road to Montreal!
Crossing the border makes me nervous. Even though I’m perfectly legal with a legit passport the whole process makes me sweaty and anxious. I had John quiz me as we got closer to the crossing. None of the questions we assumed were ones the humorless border crossing guy asked me. Ugh!
Interestingly enough though the border crossing guy on the way back into the U.S. was funny. He asked what our relationship to each other was and I said “Oh we’re engaged, getting married in May” and the guy pointed at John and said “Does he know that?” I didn’t expect that kind of silliness so I was totally taken off guard while John laughed and I sat there confused. Duh.
On to Montreal!
It was cold and snowy when we arrived and stayed that way our whole trip. Still, after we got settled we walked all the way down Saint Laurent to check out the shops and find some poutine. Find it, we did! At a place called Patati Patata.
Poutine verdict = I’m not a fan. I can understand the appeal but it’s just not for me. Which is weird because I love french fries and I never met a cheese I didn’t like. Oh well!
John enjoyed the poutine.
It was really snowing when we left Patati.
We walked back to the hotel, snuggled in, and went to bed.
On Saturday morning we had plans to do a lot of walking and exploring despite the snow. We walked down Rue Sherbrooke where our hotel was and passed many beautiful buildings.
Our first stop in Old Montreal was breakfast at Olive + Gourmando. It was divine. The food was delicious and the whole place was just so cozy and quaint.
John got the granola bowl and I got the poached egg sandwich. Crazy good!
We got a salted caramel turtle bar for the road. Holy mackerel, this thing was to die for. Glad we split it!
After brunch we trekked on through Old Montreal which is so charming and pretty. The falling snow made it even that much more enchanting. Such a lovely place to visit.
Next stop was the Notre Dame Basilica. A beautiful and regal church right in the heart of Old Montreal. The interior is overwhelming, golden and gorgeous. A photographers paradise.
The amazing pipe organ:
I love all of the candles and prayer areas. So pretty.
Next stop was the Bonsecours Marketplace:
We continued on to Chinatown for lunch.
(Note: the following are crappy cell phone pictures, no SLRs allowed in the Bell Centre.)
The view from our seats (nosebleed but the jumbo screens helped!):
Bruce Buffer is the man.
After 10 prior fights, the main event finally started at about 11:30PM: George St. Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck. GSP started his assault immediately, closing up Kos’ right eye in the first round. The rest of the fight was a lot of pummeling in short bursts, little aggression from either side which I thought was surprising, but a great demonstration of GSP’s skill and versatility. Plus, the crowd went nuts for him for 30 straight minutes. The energy was amazing.
GSP won by unanimous decision after 5 rounds. His interview afterward with Joe Rogan was great and it was awesome to see him defend his welterweight belt in his own hometown.
We got back to the hotel at 1AM and immediately crashed.
We got up early and hit the road. The drive home was snowy, wet, and a little scary. We made it though, and 6 hours later we were back in Somerville!
A wonderful winter getaway that we both really needed. Bring on the holidays!