A Mini-trip to Montréal

The last time I went on a road trip, I didn’t drive. So I was thrilled at the thought of driving up north to the country that I embarrassingly know very little about, Canada.

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I have a friend by the name of Moose (Katherine) whom I’ve known since the beginning of my pivotal four years of college. Her mom greatly contributed to my Freshman-20, but I have chosen not to resent her for it (because nothing tastes as good as your dad telling you your face looks like a full moon).

She has graduated, which has also more concretely marked the passing of time, but with that milestone, we decided to drive up to Montréal together.

Our first stop was Montpelier, Vermont, which was fun because I was just in Montpellier, France a couple of months ago. This American Montpelier was nestled in the emerald mountains of rural Vermont. We stopped in a charming café where we got some unbelievable savory crêpes. IMG_0410

As we were leaving, we both decided to get Yerba lattes. Yerba is a type of highly caffeinated tea that Moose decided to CHUG in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, my leg of the drive was like riding with, quite simply, a crazy person. IMG_0413

After a few more hours, we hit Montréal. We were staying at an Airbnb in a very convenient part of town, right by one of the most famous outdoor markets in the world called Marché Jean-Talon and the hip area called Plateau.

Our hostess epitomized joie de vivre and had a beautiful aura that energizes everyone around her. The cherry on top was that she made us breakfast every morning, which was quite special (if you have plans to visit Montréal anytime soon, ask me.)

Homemade French Toast with Real Montréal Maple SyrupIMG_0462 Spinach Omelette with a Mushroom-Onion sautée (how did she keep the spinach so perfect? Voodoo)IMG_0529 Famous Montréal bagels, which give NYC bagels a run for their money, with CRACK SMOKED MEATIMG_0647 LIKE EAT SMOKED MEAT IF YOU GO THERE FAVORITE THING EVERIMG_0646

Montréal is a refreshingly grungy and laid back city. It’s totally walkable, contrary to what locals might say, but the subway system is quite easy as well. Although maybe I shouldn’t speak for her, Moose and I never felt stressed or hyper-anxious there to hit every tourist spot. In fact, we planned literally nothing and ended up seeing and eating everything we needed to see and eat just the same.

We ate Polish food…IMG_0472 IMG_0471Nachos…IMG_0573Cocktails at an Asian fusion bar…IMG_0438Chocolate goodness at a dessert bar… IMG_0502And Poutine on multiple occasions (French fries with gravy and cheese curds and other crack money)IMG_0643

One of the nights, we went to a craft beer bar, one of my favorite places and parts of the trip. As the IPAs and bitters started to seep into my lucidity, Moose began to spew genius. IMG_0517

There is an aspect of starvation that penetrates our daily life. If I were to be in a state of starvation, which I won’t pretend like I’ve ever experienced, and somebody offered me food, I would eat everything I could to hold me over because who knows when I would be fed next. As we talked about our experiences in cities, we realized the same concept applied. Moose considers London a livable city because when she lived there, she never felt the need to get everything done and be psycho about just taking a day off and farting around in her flat. Same thing with me and Seoul or the Bay Area – I don’t feel like I’m wasting a day by just vegetating at home, whereas if I visit a place where I know my time is limited, I run around with little sleep, just so I can get everything done. That’s when you know a city is home – when the starvation mindset isn’t there. This can even apply to romantic relationships or any sort of experience. So obviously my mind was blown and the beer only fueled the sheer genius of it all.

After an easy, lovely stay in the Euro-Canadian city, our penultimate stop was the Ben & Jerry’s factory on our drive home. Enough said. IMG_0665

Our final stop was actually a local restaurant in Arlington, Massachusetts called Za (pizZa, get it?!) Of course I ate more than I should’ve, but this should come as no surprise since I was with the notorious Kim Moose Britt + Jim = KimJim. IMG_0689_2 IMG_0688_2

I fell into a deep slumber on my train ride home, full and content after another adventure with a friend turned sister. Always watch for Moose Xing. IMG_0627

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