After our summer trip to London and Paris, Melanie and Emma have been talking about going back there NON STOP! It was truly a great trip but we were not going back this soon. So, the closest place to Paris is Montreal! The city has the highest population of French speaking residents right after Paris.
We stayed in an apartment on Rue St. Jacques just a block away from the Notre Dame Basilica in Old Montreal. Very French area!
When we arrived at 1:00am Sunday morning, we were greeted with 4 degree temps and 15 mph winds. With the wind chill factor, it brought the tempurature down to double digit below ZERO. It was the coldest all of us have ever been. The NorEaster that hit the east coast hard, caught some of Montreal too. It also caused a huge snow storm that dropped almost 3 feet of snow in 2 days onto the City. Our trip to Quebec City was canceled (the tour operator said they almost NEVER cancel a tour due to weather) and our guided ice fishing trip was also canceled.
We did come prepared for cold weather so we were comfortable.
Montreal is known to be a foodie destination and though we did not have any particularly fantastic meals, portions of the meals were indeed incredible.
We hired a personal guide for a “Grand Tour of Montreal”. It was a 4 hour walking/driving tour of the City. Our Guide, Andre Saint Amant, was very good and knew the city well. We also went on a food tour that brought us to amazing chocolates and the best bagel I’ve ever eaten.
The kids love Afternoon Tea so we booked a couple afternoons at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Montreal. This was the first Ritz-Carlton in North America to bear the name (1912). As expected it was spectacular and we all felt twice was not enough.
We visited pastry shops frequently and I would have to say it was very close to the quality of Paris. This arrangement is made of no flowers but all handmade edible goodies….including the “clay” pot!
On the way home our flights were delayed in Chicago due to the storm but we did not have to stay overnight at the airport, thank god.
Another memorable trip and this will be a place we will visit again and hopefully during better weather.