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Trip report: 29 June - 2 July

Seattle
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637 posts
63 reviews
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Trip report: 29 June - 2 July

Our arrival & first day:

We actually arrived at the airport on July 22nd. We arrived around 12:30am as our flight was 2hrs late. The airport was really quiet. It made us wonder why they made us get off the plane at the furthest possible gate. We walk what seemed forever before we finally arrived at the baggage claim area & customs. Going through customs was really easy & fast. The lady at the Budget rental car counter was super nice & waited for us before shutting down & going home.

BTW, for the ones that are interested, on this trip the cheapest rate I found for a rental car was with Budget through Costco; $165/week taxes & fees included for a compact, even considering we returned the car at the train station downtown instead of the airport. They didn’t have a compact left so we also got a free upgrade :-)

The lady from Budget gave us great directions to get through the maze of detours, because of all the construction, to head towards Sherbrooke to go visit family for a week. Since it was late at night there were hardly any cars on the road so it was really easy to get through Montreal & get pass the Champlain Bridge.

After spending a week in Sherbrooke with family, we drove back to Montreal. We arrive at our Hotel (Chateau Champlain) around 3pm today, Wed the 29th. Despite the fact than we got a really low rate bidding on Priceline ($100/night), we got an amazing newly renovated room on the 16th floor with a view of the park. So far, we’re really happy with the Hotel but I’ll wait until our 3 nights stay before writing a full review.

After checking in & dropping our bags in our room we needed to fill our gas tank up before returning the car. There’s a gas station just 2 blocks from the Hotel (on De la Montagne) so it was really easy. It was very convenient to drop our rental car at the Budget counter at the train station. It was only a couple blocks from our Hotel. By the time we dropped the car it started raining but luckily we were able to access our Hotel through the underground city.

Seattle
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637 posts
63 reviews
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1. Re: Trip report: 29 June - 2 July

After freshening up a bit & getting oriented we headed out for our dinner reservation at Au Pied du Cochon. It was only 5 Metro Stations away. From the Sherbrooke station it was only about 10 minutes walk. Watch the address as there was no sign outside the restaurant. We sat at the bar so we could keep an eye on the open kitchen. We had excellent service. My husband had 2 excellent raspberry Mojitos & I had a glass of wine. For appetizers we had a small poutine with black ink gravy & calamari (not on the menu as it was one of the specials) & a Duck Carpaccio. They were both delicious! We shared the duck in a can & some dish with blood sausage & pork. They were both delicious but especially the duck. We almost licked the plate, LOL. We shared a “pouding Chomeur” for dessert & my husband had a glass of calvados. Our check was only $155 before the tip. We thought it was really reasonable considering the drinks & the amazing experience & food we had just had. We highly recommend it & are even considering going back tomorrow night to try something else. Maybe not since we have other great places on our list.

We decided to make our way to the Jazz Festival by walking through a mix of residential & commercial streets, Duluth, Henri-Julien, des Pins, St-Laurent, Ave President Kennedy. It was a very pleasant walk. Montreal is very different. It was great to get a feel of the city. To our surprise it was not very busy on the Jazz Festival site; probably because of the weather. The music was great but we only spent about an hour there as it was starting to rain a bit.

We loved our first day in Montreal & already felt like we did a lot. We look forward to our next 2 days.

Seattle
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637 posts
63 reviews
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2. Re: Trip report: 29 June - 2 July

Our 2nd day, June 30th

We slept in a bit & grabbed coffee & pastries at the Starbucks in the lobby.

We decided to go to Schwartz for lunch. We took the Metro to Sherbrooke station & walked from there. It was raining a bit but not enough to deter us from walking. We love walking on the streets of Montreal. The walk took about 10 minutes.

We arrived at around 11:30. The place was packed but there were only 5 people in line so we waited about 10 minutes before we got a table. We both had the smoked meat sandwich (fat). They were delicious! We tried both versions of pickles. The dill was our favorite. We also tried the fries & coleslaw. They were both OK. I prefer a creamy version of coleslaw, this one was vinegary. By the time we came out there were at least 25 people waiting in line outside.

We decided to walk on Duluth St to St-Denis St to go for coffee/tea at La Brulerie St-Denis. We loved walking on Duluth. Lots of quirky buildings, fun paintings on the walls, a few busy restaurants. We sat on the terrace of La Brulerie & enjoyed people watching & just soaking in the environment.

We decided to walk down St-Dennis all the way to the Old Montreal area. Lots of shops & terraces on this street. It’s probably really lively at night. We passed by many of the restaurants & pubs mentioned on this forum.

We walked around Old Montreal for a bit before deciding to sit on the terrace of La Sauvagine for a few drinks & a cheese plate. We shopped a bit before going back to our hotel for a quick pit stop.

We headed back to the Jazz festival. We decided to sit at the SAQ Bistro so we could sit & be protected from the rain. We had a good spot so we ordered a bottle of wine & some food. Very limited menu but the food was not bad. We were between 2 stages so it kept us entertained for several hrs. We saw a total of 3 performances & we really enjoyed it! We were impressed with how well the crowd was behaving. Despite the fact that alcohol was sold & lots of people were drinking we didn’t see any “incidents”. People from all ages, were dancing & having fun.

3. Re: Trip report: 29 June - 2 July

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