On May 29, Zoltan and I celebrated our second anniversary of being married, and it worked out that we got to spend that and the next day in Montreal with no plans, and no demands on us. Given that we have a pretty small budget and Zoltan was still recovering from bronchitis, it was nothing glamorous, but it was just what we needed. We stayed at our bass player Hammer’s brother’s house, which was quite close to downtown and the city metro system, and one of my favourite Montreal markets, Atwater Market.
On the 29th we drove from Ottawa, and after dropping the boys off at Caleb and Natasha’s, we took off downtown. The plan was to go for dinner at a little restaurant I’d looked up and then go to Thrice’s farewell show at the Metropolis. We wandered around downtown for a bit and then the rain came, and it was fierce! It was one of the most intense thunderstorms I’ve ever experienced. The rain was torrential, and it was coming down so hard that it was hard to see in front of you, and of course it was rush hour so trying to drive to the restaurant in Old Montreal took forever. Old Montreal is at the bottom of the hill, on the river, and it flash flooded. Many of the stores and restaurants were flooded there was garbage everywhere. As we were driving, there was a car stopped in the middle of the road; his engine flooded from some big truck driving through the water and it covering his car, so Zoltan helped him push his car to the side of the road.
A few blocks later, we drove over an open manhole. I guess the cover came off in the rain or something. Luckily there was no damage to the van, but we called the police and informed them of it.
By the time we found parking and made our way to the restaurant, called Stash Cafe, we found out that they were flooded too, and their kitchen was out of order until tomorrow. So we wandered around and came across a fish n chips place called Brits & Chips. Why not have fish n chips in Montreal? It was delicious too…we got the halibut with maple syrup batter, and it was perfect! The tartar sauce was also quite extraordinary, and the fries cooked to perfection. For being fairly disappointed about our plans getting ruined by the rain, it was a nice alternative.
After dinner we made our way to the Metropolis for Thrice’s show. They’re one of my favourite heavier bands and it worked out perfectly that they were playing in Montreal the night we were there! It was an amazing show. They played songs from all of their albums, and it was really neat to see the whole crowd singing along to a lot of the songs. Zoltan was a dear and bought me a Thrice t-shirt AND an Invisible Children t-shirt!
By the time the show was done, we were hungry again and we went out in search of a dessert place or at least something that would be open late. After a few failed attempts, we drove to a poutine place called La Banquise that’s open 24 hours and I had heard they had some of the best poutine in Quebec. I had heard right! I got poutine with sour cream, guacamole and tomatoes (in addition to the regular poutine sauce and cheese curds) and Zoltan got classic poutine. It was delicious! The sauce is their own, and they put some barbecue sauce in it, so it’s slightly tangy and makes it taste awesome! Our late night hunger was DEFINITELY satisfied and we could go to bed happy.
The next day we slept in. LATE. It was much needed. I got a bunch of catching up done while Zoltan slept, and then in the afternoon I was getting cabin fever so I went for a walk. I didn’t know where I wanted to go, but I ended up at the Atwater Market. It’s a huge market, with a bunch of outdoor stalls and an inside hall with shops as well. This time of the year fruit isn’t really in season so much of the outdoor stalls are flowers. It smelled amazing! I got some gelato for myself and got Zoltan a chocolate from the chocolatier.
That night we gave Stash Cafe another try, and this time it was open! It’s a cute little Polish restaurant in Old Montreal, and it felt like we were in Paris or something. We sat by the window with a nice breeze, and we ate perogies to the sound of someone playing piano. It was perfect. And then to top it all off, Zoltan tipped them off that it was our anniversary the day before and they gave us free dessert! It was very special.
But the adventure didn’t stop. When we finished dinner, Zoltan went to the van to grab a cd for the staff and found that the van had been broken into. Someone broke the lock on the back door and had rooted through our stuff, but thankfully (and to my bewilderment) nothing was stolen. It was pretty amazing, but still left us pretty shaken up. But we’re getting the lock fixed today, and hopefully it will never happen again!
But all in all, it was a wonderful night, and a wonderful two days to just hang out together and relax.
Well, until next time, stay safe and I hope you all have a chance to relax from your busy lives as well. 🙂