Here’s another tale from my Wildwood, New Jersey of the north.... Montreal. I am so fortunate to get to visit here twice in one year, if only for 36 hours or so. Megan and I were exhausted upon our arrival here by by Greyhound. Thankfully it was only $60 each to get here. Our 160 mile Wildwood express bus from Philadelphia is $30 round-trip, so this is 455 mile ride on Greyhound to another country is one heck of a deal.
I was excited to show Megan the best of Montreal. We did our best tired, groggy from the ER, and injured. I cut open the top of my left foot after I clipped the edge of the bed frame after a shower this morning. Megan continues having trouble with her heel. After pushing you home from the ER and carrying her backpack for this trip, she’s been struggling. Enough talking about struggles... now some fun.
I took Megan to Old Montreal first. We wound up going to Poutinefest. Poutine is a Canadian dish of French fries covered with gravy and cheese curd. They had some pretty exotic poutine flavors. (Megan tried poutine our first night, but ended up giving them to a homeless guy who asked us for them as we sat in open window seating eating a slice of low sauce pizza after traveling all day here). I took a picture of the Pountinefest food truck with the most visible poutine flavors. Megan loved the little shops and her first instinct was to buy souvenirs for my mom, Jo Ann, and Erin. I told her she could buy whatever she wanted but I didn’t have a job right now so I’m not buying anything. We walked along the waterfront of Old Port to an old clock tower with 200 steps up. Every step was marked with numbers. I did not know this until today, but seeing the inside of a clock tower was on my bucket list. I’ve wanted to see one since I saw Back to the Future the tenth time. There were cool gears and a pendulum and a weight keeping the clocks accurately running in all four directions. Apparently moths really liked the clock tower. There were moths and spider webs galore.
My next goal was to head to my special budget supermarket called Segal’s. I made a bet with Megan she wouldn’t guess the entrance to the supermarket, but my hints were too good and she found it immediately although I tried to fool her. Some local started chatting her up in the store after the owner singled him out. They did not have my Turkish pizza and the owner once again started dropping f-bombs every other word immediately. I said see Megan, you think I make this stuff up that I write... I loaded up on kombucha, some decaf teas, sugar-free 85% dark chocolate and my favorite yogurt in the world. Megan got some fresh baguettes and Boursin cheese. Additionally she purchased a loaf of bread with semi-sweet chocolates. I had to walk for an hour after I tried some, but it was good.
So we headed up to Mont Royal, slowly but surely. Megan struggled more than me despite all my problems. Her foot was really hurting. We made it to the lookout point and had our outdoor picnic feast. It felt like a warm Philadelphia early fall day: low humidity with a decent amount of heat. We had no spoons so we dipped the baguette into the yogurt as a spoon. I had my favorite applesauce. Ironically it is from Dollarama, one of the best dollar stores I know - a Canadian chain. I had Megan try it and I told her I can’t find applesauce that tastes this good “in the states”.
Later we walked to the Lac aux Casters (Beaver Lake). Megan was dead and she took a nap on my lap for awhile. I enjoyed the smell of the sea off the lake. I wonder if they pump in untreated sea water. They have row boats for rent like Central Park in New York, but it was 15 Canadian dollars for a half hour. No deal! Eventually we continued to my super playground with the cool unsafe for lawsuit happy USA culture. Megan and I had a good time. I almost threw up on the swings this summer on my one ride in Wildwood, but I did fine today. It must have been the one slice of Sam’s Pizza I ate downtown he shore that wrecked my day after the swings. Anyway, I ripped my shorts on one of the playground attractions. It was kind of like a rotating set of monkey bars. After I ripped my shorts on one side, I ripped something in both of my hips. They feel better tonight, but I’m hoping they don’t flare up over night. I hate to say I’m getting older, but yes, I am. Megan had some safety pins and she mended my right nylon shorts leg together the best she could.
We continued by trying to reach the summit of Mont Royal. Google maps failed us, but we found the giant cross. We run into a live orchestra on our way down from the top of the Mountain. We stopped to listen for a couple songs. They played an arrangement from the movie Avatar, but we were just not into it. It started to cool off fast, it it became a fall evening. We went back to my supermarket. Lo and behold they had my Turkish pizza in stock! Megan got some plain yogurt and we set our way to the Place des Festivals to picnic and see to some Maori culture. Yes, the New Zealand indigenous folks were in Montreal here to entertain. I wound up needing a washroom and I found the underground. There was a really amazing fountain and origami crane-like birds above it. Every couple minutes the fountain water would shoot about 100 feet high never hitting one of these paper crane birds. I have a video you’ll see on Facebook.
It was getting chilly so we headed back to our hotel. All the walking was good for my fickle stomach and digestive system. The upper part of my sock is caked with blood from my morning injury despite a band aide. We’re making the best of it. You do the same. See you on the flip side. I will try to write and share some more adventures as we travel around Quebec and Prince Edward Island. Check out my videos. I tried to make things as interactive as possible so you can live a little more vicariously.