Monday, June 17, 2013

What Really Happened on our Vacation


Last week, J. and I went on a lovely vacation to Montreal. Montreal truly is a beautiful city.  It is also great city to eat very well!  As some of you may know, Montreal’s signature dish is poutine, which is traditionally French fries served with gravy and cheese curds on top.   For my fellow New Jerseyans, I would call it the wackier cousin of disco fries.  And at most restaurants that serve it, you have your pick of toppings which would be as low-brow as sliced hot dogs to as fancy as foie gras.  But no matter how fancy or plain you choose to have it, it’s fantastic.  So of course, we had it no less than three times.


Mmmm…. poutine…

Since I knew that I would be eating lots of delicious, but rich foods during the trip, before we left, I wrote down a few strategies to try to stay fit.  Here’s how it actually went down…

1) Schedule a workout or two during the trip.  This sort of happened.  We drove to Montreal, so on our way to and from the city, we made an overnight stop in Clifton, NY.  The hotel we stayed at in Clifton Park had a gym, so I was able to squeeze in 20 minute run on the treadmill both times.  We didn’t go running in Mont Royale Park as I envisioned, but we did take a long walk through the park.  And to get to the summit of the park, meant climbing a lot of stairs so I’d like to think of that as a workout!

2) Plan activities that involved a lot of walking.  The location of our hotel helped out a lot for this goal! We stayed at the Quality Hotel in downtown Montreal, which while centrally located in the city, to get to most destinations still involved a 20 minute walk.  (We found that the metro in Montreal did not take us directly to a lot of the places that we wanted to go, and still involved a good amount of walking.) As I mentioned before, we explored Mont Royale Park for a few hours, which had stunning panoramic views of the city.


A view from Mont Royale Park

We also went for a walk around La Fontaine Parc, which was also pretty…


I noticed there was a lot of joggers and bikers in both of these parks.  And even a tai chi class going on in Mont Royale Park! People know how to stay active in Montreal.


Those people you see lined up in the middle of the picture are practicing tai chi!

3) Split entrée/appetizer/dessert with J. We did this a lot.  It’s a great way to enjoy a taste of different foods, and is friendl(ier) on the figure and the budget!  Fortunately, in Canada, most of the restaurants we went to did not serve gargantuan portions as they do in the US, so I found that to be quite helpful.  (It also meant that we could actually finish our plates, and not waste food. Even as an adult, I still can hear my grandma’s voice scolding me for wasting food when I don’t clean my plate). 


J. and I enjoyed our first experience with escargot!

4) Pack some healthy snacks. I packed granola, dried apricots, cashews, and banana chips.  The original plan was to mix them together to make a homemade trail mix.  But there just wasn’t time for that, so instead we just snacked on them in the hotel room, straight out of the containers

While we made it to the Jean-Talon Market, we didn’t buy any snacks there, since it was close to lunch time when we got there.  We did bring home maple syrup and maple butter!


5) Relax.  There was a lot of relaxing during the trip! Unlike our Austin trip, where I had a long list of restaurants I wanted to try mapped out on a customized Google map, I only picked a few key places I wanted to try in Montreal.  The result was our trip was a lot more exploratory and improvised. We stumbled on some really great finds that weren’t on the list.  On our first night there, we went to Grumpy’s, which was a bar with a laid-back atmosphere that had live music the night we were there.  J. really liked this bar a lot.  We also stumbled upon a comedy club, Comedyworks, which featured some really funny comedians!

So in retrospect, the trip was not as unhealthy as I thought it was, and we had a fantastic time. Stay tuned for more food highlights in Montreal, including my pick for best poutine!

1 comment:

Rose said...

Love it! Great photos!