Winter Adventures

I was really excited to be traveling again. The trip was originally going to be four people, but in end it was only a friend and I. My friend who happens to be retired did all of the planning as far as places to stay.
Since we are still in the COVID world we had to get a PCR test within 72 hours of traveling to Canada and of course you have to “schedule” your arrIval time at the border. And hope your COVID test results come are available so you can make your scheduled entry.

Our first stop was Vermont while we waited for the test results. We entertained ourselves by visiting the state capital building, visiting some maple farms and a local micro brewery.

Once we got our test results we slowly made our way to the border. We stopped for a coffee (tea) break and had to check out the Whales Tails sculptures.

An interesting sculpture find

Going into Canada was fairly easy. The only challenge was bringing up the test results online in front of the customs agent. Once we were able to show negative COVID tests we were able to continue our journey to Montreal.

By the time we arrived at our AirB&B we were tired and hungry. We found a pizza place close by, so we had pizza and beer for dinner. Afterwards we settled in and plotted our adventures for the next day.

As it turns out due to COVID most attractions are either closed or by appointment times only. So the first day there was pretty much wasted day as everything we had planned was not open that day or had no openings. I was amazed at how long it took driving all over Montreal from place to place. And although they did have the metro it was not close enough to the apartment to risk the icy sidewalks.

We did manage to find a grocery store to make our own hors d’oeuvres and wine for dinner. As we enjoyed our delicious meal we planned day two, which included St Joseph’s Oratory and a brewery.

At St Joseph’s Oratory they had nativity scenes made by artists from all over the world. Unfortunately none of the pictures turned out because of the lighting, glare off of the plexiglass and I didn’t have the right filter. We didn’t make it into the main sanctuary, but I did manage to take a few photos from the outside.

The “happy” looking church was across the parking lot from the Oratory.

We made our way to the brewery, which was east just of Montreal after the Oratory. When we arrive an hour and a half later we find out that they no longer offer in house tours or tastings despite what their website indicated. They did suggest we could have a tasting at one of the restaurants in town, which as our luck would have was not open that day.

By this time we were very discouraged and decided to head back to the apartment. We did make a pit stop at one of the local Harley Davidson shop for a souvenir poker chip for my son-in-law. Since we were not having the best of luck in our tourism endeavors we considered the Harley shop being open a win.

Day three was spent at the BioDome with five different ecosystems. The BioDome is one of the buildings on the 1976 Olympic Games complex.

Day four we also made our way to the “Great Christmas Market.” We were hoping the Christmas market would be somewhat comparable to the ones we’re experienced in Europe. However, maybe because of COVID, but there were only a handful of vendors and they were mostly retail vendors instead of artisans. They other two Christmas markets appeared to be the same as we drove by them to we didn’t bother stopping. That was very disappointing.

For our final day in Montreal we toured the Notre Dame Basilica. For me this was the highlight of the visit to Montreal. I’ve seen some beautiful churches and I have to say this is in the top five for it’s beautiful interior.

We attempted to visit a few more churches on this day only to find them closed.

We headed to New York the next day with a brief stay-over in Albany before heading home. My friend had scheduled us for a tour of the state capital building, which I thought was absolutely beautiful and a nice way to end the trip.

Thank you for joining me on this adventure and sometimes a misadventure, but fun nonetheless. Please head over to Lupji’s page for more of Tell Me a Story.

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