Ah, Montreal…

We arrived on Thursday morning and have spent most of our time with our friends Norbert & Carole, with whom we are staying. Alan and I love staying with them; they are the kind of friends with whom you can spend weeks doing nothing but sitting around a table enjoying the best conversation. We’re never at a loss of things to talk about and often stay up until 2 in the morning just chatting.

We spent the last couple of days just hanging out in the West Island of Montreal (not actually a separate island but rather the west side of Montreal island). Thursday we went for a walk by the lake and a stroll through Pointe-Claire Village, one of our favourite spots on this side of the island. Friday we went for lunch at the village of St-Anne-de-Bellevue after spending all morning (a good 4 hours!) chatting around the breakfast table. At night we went to our good friend Jenn‘s house, where we met many of Alan’s best friends from his old swim team, people he has known for a good ten, twenty years and who embraced me into their circle when I first came to Canada ten years ago. Most of them visited us in Barcelona, and yesterday we celebrated the 10th anniversary of my first visit to Canada with much cava and laughter.

Today we are going downtown to one of our favourite spots in Montreal, the Marche Jean Talon, and later on we’ll meet with Norbert & Carole’s children and significant others to celebrate his birthday at a Lebanese restaurant. Yum, can’t wait!

Actually, that’s one of the things I miss the most about Montreal – the food. Like in France, in Montreal you can be sure to have the most amazing meals at every little hole in the wall. Norbert says it’s because the French have higher expectations and the clientele will define any service industry. I don’t know what it is, but the difference is noticeable. Toronto is an amazing city, very diverse, with cuisines from around the world, but I have never had a truly amazing meal there. The food can be good, often you have to pay more to have really good food, but it lacks that… I don’t know how to explain it… that je ne sais quoi that one finds here in Montreal…. Plus, one can get wine & beer at the grocery store here! Much more civilized…

I’ll post some pictures once we are back to Toronto next tuesday. I hope you are all having a good weekend!!